Undergraduate Seminar Istanbul Through the Ages
This undergraduate seminar will explore Istanbul's architecture and urban development through the ages. In the seventh century BCE, an ancient Greek colony from Megara sailed through the Aegean Sea and founded a port city named Byzantion. Later, the Roman emperor Constantine the Great renamed this city as New Rome, also known as Constantinople, in the fourth century. His ruling successors turned this capital of Christian power in the eastern Mediterranean into a coveted prize and the ultimate conquest goal of conquest for the Ottoman sultan Mehmet II. This Ottoman "Conqueror" (Fatih) succeeded in his efforts in 1453 CE, making the city a center of Ottoman-Islamic dominion for almost five centuries. Istanbul, the "Queen of Cities," has a long history as one of the world's most important imperial capitals for both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. It stands on the Bosporus, connecting Europe and Asia. It also hosts a vast array of imperial monuments, religious architecture, monastic traditions, paintings, and sculptures from the ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern periods. This course aims to introduce students to the city's expressive traditions—their interconnections and divergences—over the course of over two millennia.
HISTART Distribution Requirements: Middle East, Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern, Modern