ME3163 The Imperial City: Byzantine and Ottoman Constantinople
Lecturer Dr Dimitri Kastritsis (Room 133, New Arts Building)
Credits 30
Availability Semester 2, 2019-20
Class Hour View Timetable
Description This module provides a detailed historical introduction to one of the greatest cities in history: Constantinople or Istanbul, capital first of the Byzantine and then of the Ottoman Empire. We will be studying the city as a continuous geographical space stretching across a millenium and a half; its structure and life at certain key moments; and how it changed over time. Specific themes to be considered include defense and provisioning, the urban economy, imperial and sacred space, and perception by inhabitants and visitors. Sources include chronicles, travel narratives, and other literary texts, as well as archeological and architectual plans and administrative documents.

Basic Reading
  • John Freely, Istanbul: The Imperial City (Penguin, 1998)
  • Hilary Sumner-Boyd and John Freely, Strolling through Istanbul (revised ed., Tauris Parke, 2010)

Course Structure

One two-hour meeting per week

Assessment 60% examination – one 3-hour paper
40% coursework

Learning Outcomes

Learning about the history and monuments of one of the world’s greatest cities, the capital of two major empires.
Studying the development of urban space over 1,500 years through a variety of different sources (textual, visual, archaeological).

Restrictions None
Resource Lists