By John Freely
"Surrounded through a garland of waters" at the slim straits of the Bosporus dividing Europe and Asia, Istanbul, previously often called Constantinople, has been an unequalled locus of cultural trade when you consider that its beginnings because the Greek colony Byzantium. In its greater than twenty-six centuries of life the town has survived numerous typical and political catastrophes, international conquests, and dynastic upheavals, enduring amazing alterations in faith, language, political prestige, and identify. regardless of those onslaughts of time, a colourful neighborhood personality and spirit have abided. This attention-grabbing background of the town from its beginning to the current is a advisor for the curious vacationer in addition to an evocation of an illustrious previous. additionally incorporated is a accomplished gazetteer of all significant monuments and museums
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Extra info for Istanbul: The Imperial City
The total number of the wrecks proved so great that some drifted on the islands and the Asiatic coast, and the defeat became known by these relics before it had been heard of. The next day the horror was increased still more for the townspeople, for when the water had subsided, the whole sea in the vicinity of Byzantium was covered with corpses and wrecks and blood, and many of the remains were cast up on shore. The survivors had no choice but to surrender to the Romans. Severus then took his revenge, putting to death all of the surviving soldiers and magistrates of Byzantium and depriving the city of its independence, making it tributary to Perinthus.
The two contenders for the throne were Septimius Severus and Pescennius Niger. The Byzantines surrendered voluntarily to the forces of Niger, as a result of which Severus sent an army to attack the city. After suffering a defeat in Bithynia, Niger's forces withdrew from Byzantium and retreated across Asia Minor, leaving the city to face the army of Severus, which put the city under siege. The siege dragged on for nearly three years, during which time Severus defeated and killed Niger, establishing himself as sole emperor.
This promontory also acts as a barrier to divert the shoals of tunny that swim down the Bosphorus from the Black Sea, forcing them into the port and creating an abundant fishery that became one of the principal sources of income for the people of Byzantium. Other important sources of income were the tolls and harbour fees paid by the ships that passed through the strait, for Byzantium controlled the Bosphorus from the beginning of its history, and this was the principal reason for its subsequent rise to greatness.