The Roman Empire, which existed from 27BC to 1453, was headed by emperors and had territorial holdings in Africa, Europe, and Asia. The empire was one of the largest in the world and among the most powerful military, political, cultural, and economic forces at the time. The Roman Empire did not only boast of powerful socio-economic forces but also had some of the largest cities in the World. The cities of Rome and Constantinople were the largest cities in the world in different periods of the history of the empire. Rome was the capital city from 27 BC to 330 AD while Constantinople was the capital from 330AD until the fall of the empire in 1453. What was known as the great city of Constantinople is now referred to as Istanbul.
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire from 330-1204 and 1261-1453. It was the largest and the wealthiest city in Europe from the mid-5th century to early 13th century and was popular for its magnificent architectural design. The city was built with an intention of rivaling Rome and eventually becoming the capital of the Roman Empire. It was protected by massive walls that surrounded it on both land and seafront. Despite the protection and great wealth, Constantinople was taken over and devastated by the army of the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The inhabitants of the city lived under the Latin misrule until 1261 when the city was liberated by the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos. Constantinople finally fell to the Ottoman Empire on May 29, 1453.
Founding Of Constantinople
Constantinople was founded on the site of the then existing city of Byzantium. Byzantium was located at the narrowest point of the Bosphorus Strait and was a suitable place for the construction of a pontoon bridge. Although it was not as influential as other cities such as Athens, it enjoyed relative peace and prosperity. The city was also a land route from Europe to Asia and a waterway between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The strategic geographic location of Byzantium protected it from attacks. Constantinople was founded on this site and re-inaugurated as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great in 324.
Where Is The Modern-Day Constantinople?
What was known as the great city of Constantinople is now referred to as Istanbul. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and a transcontinental city in Eurasia. It straddles the Bosphorus strait which is located between the Black Sea and Sea of Marmara and separates Asia from Europe. The commercial and administrative centers of Istanbul lie on the European side while approximately 30% of its population live on the Asian side. Istanbul has, for years, stood between the conflicting surges for culture, religion, and imperial powers. For all those years, the city was the most coveted because of its economic and military importance. The city was named Constantinople until the establishment of the Turkish Republic. The name Istanbul is believed to have been derived from a Greek phrase for “to the city” as Constantinople was the only city in the vicinity. Today, Istanbul is the cultural capital of Europe and one of the most visited cities in the world
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