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Constantinople's Water Supply and Public Buildings
The Valens Aqueduct is a Roman aqueduct which was the major water-providing system of the Eastern Roman capital of Constantinople.
The architectural development of Constantinople may be divided into three main periods.
First Period (4th–early 7th C.)
Constantinople was built as a late antique city with all the normal features of contemporary urbanism, only more magnificent. A straight avenue bordered by colonnades (emboloi) was obligatory: at Constantinople this was the Mese, which ran from the arch of the Milion near the Hippodrome to the Capitolium, a distance of 1.7 km, then as far again to the Constantinian Golden Gate. This longitudinal avenue was crossed at right angles by another (later called emboloi tou Domninou), with a tetrapylon at the intersection. At intervals along the main avenue were squares, or forums (see Agora), each adorned with suitable monuments. Two of these were inherited from ancient Byzantion, namely the Strategion, later remodeled by Theodosios I, and the Tetrastoon, which became the Augustaion.
The umbilicus of Constantine's city consisted of a circular forum (called simply ho Phoros) bordered by porticoes. At its center stood a column (see Columns, Honorific) made of drums of porphyry and supporting a statue of the emperor wearing a radiate crown. The column is still preserved in a truncated form (Turk. Cemberlitaş). On the north side of the Phoros was the Senate House with a porch of porphyry columns; facing it on the south was a monumental fountain (nymphaeum). The next forum to the west (Forum Tauri, corresponding to modern Beyazit) was laid out by Theodosios I in imitation of Trajan's Forum in Rome: it had a triumphal arch on each side (parts of the west one are preserved; see Arch, monumental), a basilica and, on axis, a gigantic column covered with spiral reliefs commemorating the emperor's military exploits (destroyed ca.1500).
The next two forums to the west, the Forum Bovis (ho Bous) and the Amastrianos, are poorly documented. Then, on the city's seventh hill (Xerolophos), was the Forum of Arkadios, with a second spirally decorated column (pedestal preserved). At the western limit of the walled city, the Golden Gate (both Constantine's original and that constructed by Theodosios II farther west) had the form of a triumphal arch; evidence indicates that the processional way linking the two gates also received a monumental treatment.
Nearly every emperor from Constantine I to Phokas commemorated his reign by erecting monuments in the capital. Beyond those already mentioned, only two survive: the so-called Column of the Goths on the Seraglio Point, which may be Constantine's, and Marcian's Column. The colossal Corinthian capital discovered in 1959 in the courtyard of the Seraglio has been linked to a column of Leo I and the Barletta Colossus (U. Peschlow in Studien Deichmann 1:21–33). Justinian I was glorified by a column and equestrian statue in the Augustaion; Justin II erected a column of his own in the quarter called Deuteron and started to build another one (not completed) near the baths of Zeuxippos; Phokas put up a column near the Tetrapylon. In addition to imperial monuments, several statues of pagan gods, mythological figures, philosophers, and so on were imported from other cities by Constantine and his successors and placed in public baths, forums, the Hippodrome, and elsewhere. New honorific statues of persons other than emperors were also made, the last recorded one being a statue of Niketas, cousin of Herakleios (ca.614). A monumental weathervane called the Anemodoulion was decorated with bronze statues. These display monuments were put up for the city's adornment but also to express certain ideological messages (e.g., imperial victory, the wisdom of the senate, etc.) and to provide an appropriate setting for ceremonial occasions.
Public buildings of an ornate character included the two Senate Houses; the Basilike next to the Augustaion, which appears to have been a vast stoa with a gilded roof surrounding a central courtyard; the theaters (of which little is known); the Roman amphitheater (Kynegion) and the Hippodrome; the public baths, the biggest of which may have been the Constantianai (begun 345, completed 427) and which also included the Karosianai (built by Valens in 375), the Arkadianai (395), the Honorianai (412), the Helenianai, and the bath of Dagistheos (started by Anastasios I, completed by Justinian in 528) in addition to the famous baths of Zeuxippos and the ancient bath of Achilles near the Strategion. The construction of baths was a favored sector of imperial munificence because of the popularity of bathing.
The construction of display monuments ended in the early 7th C., by which time the city or, at any rate, its main avenues and squares must have resembled a vast stage set. The “dark age” that followed caused the abandonment of earlier urbanistic practices, the gradual ruination of public buildings, and a shift in popular mentality: the monuments that remained were no longer understood for what they were and assumed a mythic character. They were invested with occult power, either beneficent or maleficent, and interpreted as presages of things to come. The cryptic messages they conveyed could be decoded only by “philosophers.” It is in this manner that they are interpreted in the Patria of Constantinople.
The so-called Macedonian Renaissance brought a few instances of the collection and reuse of earlier pieces of sculpture and one recorded case of the restoration of a monument (the masonry obelisk of the Hippodrome by Constantine VII) but did not return to the monumental tradition of antiquity. The Macedonian and Komnenian dynasties, however, constituted a period of considerable construction activity, during which the Mangana and Blachernai palaces were built in Constantinople and the Bryas palace in the suburbs. New churches and monasteries of this time include the Nea Ekklesia, Myrelaion, Lips monastery, Kalenderhane Camii, and Pantokrator monastery.
Third Period (13th–15th C.)
Following the Fourth Crusade and the period of Latin occupation of Constantinople (1204–61), during which numerous buildings were damaged or fell into disrepair, a surge of new construction occurred under Michael VIII and Andronikos II. Perhaps to symbolize his work of restoration, Michael VIII erected a group of statuary near the Church of the Holy Apostles representing the emperor offering a model of the city to St. Michael. In addition to the palace of Tekfur Sarayi, several new monasteries and churches were built, most notably the South Church at the Lips monastery, Pammakaristos, Chora, and the Bebaias Elpidos nunnery.Cyril Mango
Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. oxfordreference
(κινστέρναι). Constantinople, with no rivers, few springs, and fast runoff of rainwater, needed reservoirs to tide the city over dry spells and lengthy sieges, when aqueducts might be threatened. Water from forests west of the city was introduced into open cisterns (total capacity approximately 900,000 cubic m [Janin, infra 202]) and more than 80 covered cisterns (capacity approximately 160,000 cubic m). Constantinople's daily consumption of water was about 10,000 cubic m. Most cisterns were built between the late 4th C. and early 7th C. as population burgeoned. The largest open cistern was that of Aetios (probably the eparch of the city in 419): built in 421, it measured 244 × 85 × about 14 m deep and had a capacity of between 250,000 and 300,000 cubic m. Covered cisterns included Binbirdirek (Philoxenos), whose superposed columns reached a height of 12.4 m and were set in 16 rows of 14 columns each (capacity about 40,000 cubic m), and the Basilike (Yerebatan Saray1), whose 336 columns, 8 m high and set in 12 rows of 28 each, supported a chamber capable of holding approximately 78,000 cubic m.
The major cisterns, usually placed on hills, supplied water to about 40 public baths as well as monasteries and churches. The use of columns rather than the brick and cement piers used by the Romans reduced maintenance costs; impost blocks make an early appearance in cisterns. Hydraulic cement (opus signinum) lined the structures.Katherine M. Kiefer, William Loerke
Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.oxfordreference
This is the most detailed study to date of one of the most impressive feats of engineering of the entire Roman period and its equally impressive early medieval survival and rennovation. It presents a synthesis of historical material combined with the results of ten years of fieldwork. It describes and plots the elaborate system of water channels, aqueducts, and urban cisterns which made up the most extended water supply network in the Roman world. It also includes catalogues of masons' marks and Christian iconography to be found on the structures, as well as translations of all mentions of the system in the historical sources. Accompanied throughout with photographs, maps, plans and elevations, this book is a must for anyone interested in Roman and Byzantine engineering.
Water is a large part of the human body; water is the commonest substance on the planet. And yet,lack of water seems to be one of the major problems of the future. Information on the use of water in another age not only enriches our knowledge but also gives us ideas on how to economize sources of power and energy. Byzantine man's relationship with water, his material and spiritual creations stimulated by water resources,are a channel of communication with the Byzantine world.
This book is about the Byzantine monuments of Istanbul, most notably, Haghia Sophia. The remains of the land and sea walls, the Hippodrome, imperial palaces, commemorative columns, reservoirs and cisterns, an aqueduct, a triumphal archway, a fortified port, and twenty churches are also described in chronological order in the context of their times. These "monuments" are viewed in relationship to the political, religious, social, economic, intellectual and artistic developments of the Byzantine dynasties.
Istanbul stands at a unique conjunction of an inland sea with a long maritime inlet, and a winding, turbulent maritime strait that links two seas and separates two continents. These topographical features have greatly facilitated maritime trade, for which the city has had an enormous harbor capacity. Istanbul's relationship with fresh water is also idiosyncratic: its dearth meant that fresh water for consumption had to be channeled, stored, and distributed with the help of long-distance aqueducts, open-air reservoirs and cisterns. The natural environment combined with the norms of local societies created a culture of water that has constituted an important part of Istanbul's identity. Various aspects of it are explored in this volume, the outcome of a symposium organized by Koc University's Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations. The eleven essays by leading scholars present research findings from the archaeological excavations at Yenikapi, examine the distribution and consumption of water in Byzantine times as well as the social impact of water in the Ottoman era, and offer reflections on the aesthetics of water.
Examining Byzantine architecture—primarily churches built in the area of Constantinople between the ninth and fifteenth centuries—from the perspective of its masons, its master builders, Robert Ousterhout identifies the problems commonly encountered in the process of design and construction. He analyzes written evidence, the archaeological record, and especially the surviving buildings, concluding that Byzantine architecture was far more innovative than has previously been acknowledged.
Ousterhout explains how masons selected, manufactured, and utilized materials from bricks and mortar to lead roofing tiles, from foundation systems to roof vaultings. He situates richly decorated church interiors, sheathed in marble revetments, mosaics, and frescoes—along with their complex iconographic programs—within the purview of the master builder, referring also to masons in Russia, the Balkans, and Jerusalem.
The famous aphorism of Hippocrates--""life is short, art long""--stands at the heart of this exhibition, which examines the art and practice of healing in Byzantium from Roman times to the late Byzantine period. It traces the concurrent methods of healing-faith, magic, and rational medicine-from the foundations laid by Apollo and Asklepios, healers of antiquity, as well as Hippocrates and Dioscorides, the founders of rational medicine. The fascinating coexistence of a belief in demons as the primary cause of illness and a rational perception of disease, grounded in Hippocratic teachings, come together in the protagonists of the ""art of healing""--the physicians, druggists, saints, holy men, and magicians who healed the sick. The daily rituals involved in maintaining and pursuing well-being, protecting against demons, purifying the body and soul offer a glimpse into the daily life of the Byzantines.The exhibition catalogue illustrates the influence of Byzantium's ancient cultural heritage on religious and rational thought as well as contemporary scientific developments and innovations from around the Mediterranean. The catalogue is one of the most updated and extensive publication on the history and art of healing in Byzantium with essays written by the acclaimed academics and with various works, some of them being published for the first time.
Fransiz Anadolu Arastirmalari Enstitüsü ile Kitap Yayinevi'nin ortak yayinidir.Bizans: Yapilar, Meydanlar Yasamlar, Fransiz Ulusal Bilimsel Arastirma Merkezi'ne (CNRS) bagli olarak istanbul Fransiz Anadolu Arastirmalari Enstitüsü'nde (IFEA) düzenlenen konferanslar dizisinin ürünü. Ocak 2004-Haziran 2007 tarihleri arasinda gerçeklestirilen bu konferanslar, konularinin uzmani tarihçiler, arkeologlar, sanat tarihçileri tarafindan verildi.
Scholars have made conflicting claims for Byzantine hospitals as medical institutions and as the forebears of the modern hospital. In this study is the first systematic examination of the evidence of the xenôn texts, or Xenonika, on which all such claims must in part rest. These texts, compiled broadly between the ninth and thirteenth centuries, are also transcribed or edited, with the exception of the combined texts of Romanos and Theophilos that, the study proposes, were originally a single manual and teaching work for doctors, probably based on xenôn practice. A schema of their combined chapter headings sets out the unified structure of this text. A short handlist briefly describes the principal manuscripts referred to throughout the study. The introduction briefly examines our evidence for the xenônes from the early centuries of the East Roman Empire to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Chapter 3 examines the texts in xenon medical practice and compares them to some other medical manuals and remedy texts of the Late period and to their structures. The xenôn-ascribed texts are discussed one by one in chapters 4–8; the concluding chapter 9 draw together the common, as well as the divergent, aspects of each text and looks to the comparative evidence for hospital medical practice of the time in the West.
In Bathing in the Roman World, Fikret Yegul examines the social and cultural aspects of one of the key Roman institutions. Guiding the reader through the customs, rituals, and activities associated with public bathing, Yegul traces the origins and development of baths and bathing customs and analyzes the sophisticated technology and architecture of bath complexes, which were among the most imposing of all Roman building types. He also examines the reception of bathing throughout the classical world and the transformation of bathing culture across three continents in Byzantine and Christian societies. The volume concludes with an epilogue on bathing and cleanliness in post-classical Europe, revealing the changes and continuities in culture that have made public bathing a viable phenomenon even in the modern era. Richly illustrated and written in an accessible manner, this book is geared to undergraduates for use in courses on Roman architecture, archaeology, civilization, and social and cultural history.
This book restores the fountains of Roman Byzantium, Byzantine Constantinople and Ottoman Istanbul, reviving the sounds, shapes, smells and sights of past water cultures. Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, is surrounded on three sides by sea, and has no major river to deliver clean, potable water. However, the cultures that thrived in this remarkable waterscape through millennia have developed and sustained diverse water cultures and a water delivery system that has supported countless fountains, some of which survive today. Scholars address the delivery system that conveyed and stored water, and the fountains, large and small, from which it gushed. Papers consider spring water, rainwater and seawater; water suitable for drinking, bathing and baptism; and fountains real, imagined and symbolic. Experts in the history of art and culture, archaeology and theology, and poetry and prose, offer reflections on water and fountains across two millennia in one location.
Medical historians have traditionally claimed that modern hospitals emerged during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Premodern hospitals, according to many scholars, existed mainly as refuges for the desperately poor and sick, providing patients with little or no medical care. Challenging this view in a compelling survey of hospitals in the East Roman Empire, Timothy Miller traces the birth and development of Byzantine xenones, or hospitals, from their emergence in the fourth century to their decline in the fifteenth century, just prior to the Turkish conquest of Constantinople. These sophisticated medical facilities, he concludes, are the true ancestors of modern hospitals. In a new introduction to this paperback edition, Miller describes the growing scholarship on this subject in recent years.
Individual essays discuss Byzantine conceptions of paradise, the textual evidence for monastic horticulture, animal and game parks, herbs in medicinal pharmacy, and the famous illustrated copy of Dioskorides's herbal manual in Vienna. An opening chapter explores questions and observations from the point of view of a non-Byzantine garden historian, and the closing chapter suggests possible directions for future scholarship in the field.
The archaeology of everyday life is a relatively under-explored aspect of the Byzantine world, and often takes a back-seat to the more visible aspects of Byzantine history, such as works of art and ecclesiastical architecture. This book seeks to redress the imbalance by focusing on some of the available evidence for the 'everyday' in Byzantine houses and towns: the archaeology of secular domestic structures. Several papers bring together and reinterpret much of what is known of Byzantine housing, from Italy and Greece to North Africa and the East Mediterranean rim, in the fifth to fifteenth centuries. Other topics include a review of the rich archaeological data for domestic and commercial activities from the Byzantine shops at Sardis; a re-examination of the of the relationship between domestic artefacts and religious identity in Early Byzantine Israel; and a reinterpretation of the most extensively studied (and grandest) of all Byzantine houses: the Great Palace of the Byzantine Emperors at Constantinople.
The Serpent Column, a bronze sculpture that has stood in Delphi and Constantinople, today Istanbul, is a Greek representation of the Near Eastern primordial combat myth: it is Typhon, a dragon defeated by Zeus, and also Python slain by Apollo. The column was created after the Battle of Plataia (479 BC), where the sky was dominated by serpentine constellations and by the spiralling tails of the Milky Way. It was erected as a votive for Apollo and as a monument to the victory of the united Greek poleis over the Persians. It is as a victory monument that the column was transplanted to Constantinople and erected in the hippodrome. The column remained a monument to cosmic victory through centuries, but also took on other meanings. Through the Byzantine centuries these interpretation were fundamentally Christian, drawing upon serpentine imagery in Scripture, patristic and homiletic writings. When Byzantines saw the monument they reflected upon this multivalent serpentine symbolism, but also the fact that it was a bronze column. For these observers, it evoked the Temple's brazen pillars, Moses' brazen serpent, the serpentine tempter of Genesis (Satan), and the beast of Revelation. The column was inserted into Christian sacred history, symbolizing creation and the end times. The most enduring interpretation of the column, which is unrelated to religion, and therefore survived the Ottoman capture of the city, is as a talisman against snakes and snake-bites. It is this tale that was told by travellers to Constantinople throughout the Middle Ages, and it is this story that is told to tourists today who visit Istanbul. In this book, Paul Stephenson twists together multiple strands to relate the cultural biography of a unique monument.