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The Urban Image of Late Antique Constantinople


  • 43 b/w illus. 7 maps
  • Page extent: 314 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.88 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 733/.0939/8
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: NB85 .B375 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Sculpture, Classical
    • Sculpture--Turkey--Istanbul
    • Public spaces--Turkey--Istanbul--History
    • Istanbul (Turkey)--Buildings, structures, etc

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521827232 | ISBN-10: 052182723X)

From its foundation in the fourth century to its fall to the Ottoman Turks in the fifteenth, the city of Constantinople boasted a collection of antiquities unrivalled by any city of the medieval world. The Urban Image of Late Antique Constantinople reconstructs the collection from the time that the city was founded by Constantine the Great through the sixth-century reign of the emperor Justinian. Drawing on medieval literary sources and, to a lesser extent, graphic and archaeological material, it identifies and describes the antiquities that were known to have stood in the city's public spaces. Individual displays of statues are analysed as well as examined in conjunction with one another against the city's topographical setting, in an effort to understand how ancient sculpture was used to create a distinct historical identity for Constantinople.

• A full catalogue of sculpture in Constantinople in the late antique period • Provides alternative conclusions regarding the topography of the city • The only full-length study of early Constantinople in English


List of illustrations; Periodicals: abbreviations; Primary sources; Abbreviations; Preface; Introduction; 1. The shape of the city; 2. Creating the collection; 3. The Constantinian collections; 4. Theodosian Constantinople; 5. The Lausos collection; 6. Justinian and antiquity; The catalogue; Notes; Select bibliography; Index.


'Sarah Bassett's study of the reuse of ancient sculpture in early Constantinople offers a unique approach to the creation of a civic identity in the Late Antique period, and an important reassessment of the foundation of the Byzantine capital.' Cornucopia

'This is an informative and highly readable work whose title conceals its relevance to a far broader readership than specialists in late antiquity … an extremely useful volume which should appeal to a wide range of readers, both because of the nature of its contents and because of the highly accessible style in which she writes throughout.' Classics Ireland

'… this volume is a valuable contribution to the field of late antique studies, tackling important but neglected historical questions, demonstrating a mastery of difficult sources, and offering an imaginative and thought-provoking thesis. It is certain to become the starting-point for all future studies of Constantinople's early urban development.' Journal of Hellenic Studies

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