Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities by Bettany Hughes

A city that empires ruled. And that ruled empires.

Byzantium. Constantinople. Istanbul. A city that has beckoned, enchanted, charmed and ruined empires and built a whole civilization around it. The Romans, Byazantines, Christians and the Ottomans, all made it their own., and in some cases, the center of their empire.

The book traces 2,500 years of what we now call Istanbul. The book charts the beginning of the city somewhere in the late bronze age and then takes us through its episodes with he Greeks, Persians, Romans… right upto present day Turks.

It was the richest city in Europe for about 8 centuries and was the imperial capital of the Roman empire from the times of Emperor Constantine till Constantine XI Palaiologos lost it to sultan Mehmet II, the Ottoman ruler, who in turn originated from the Steppes.

The book is full of history, anecdotes and visits all of those sights of this mighty city from a different perspective – be it the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque or Topkapi Palace. Oh and yes, did you know that the humble Samosa came to India via Constantinople and originates from the Greek Island of Samos.

A good read, probably a 8.5, you can buy it here.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *