Constantinople has been selected by Roberto Amati in relation to the real history of european integration, then enlisted in the CITY OR CIVITAS category, accompanied by own fact SHEET useful to the comprehension, completed of historical MAPS AND IMAGES or with a direct linking to the related Blog contents dedicated to the entire history of european integration and the future of Europe.

Constantinople civitas

Constantinople is one of the most ancient cities of the history of European integration, signed in great part by Christianity. The Civitas Constantinople was founded hundreds years ago by Greeks people, on the Bosphorus strait in the Aegean sea developing its trade and commercial soul at the point of conjuction among Europe, Asia and Scythia. Under the protection of the ancient god Nyke, the city-state (πόλις) of Constantinople was founded by Dorian people and named Byzantion, became famous until today as main centre for politics, arts, education, religion and trading, such important that highly influented the European continent and regarded as the cradle of European civilization and the seat of ortodox Christianity.

Constantinople always maintained its independence and trading activities: directly involved by the Persian invasion in V century BC, it could avoid the submission to Macedonian kingdom and successively the conquer of Roman Empire until the II century AD cause of its strong strategic position naturally defended by the Golden Horn. Within the reform of Augustus (see Roman Empire), Constantinople was included in the Acaja province, becaming a Colony for Greeks and Italics veterans in early 3rd certury AD cause of its special strategic position between the Black and the Aegean seas. Then Constantinople was connected to the rest of Balcanic peninsula by the Egnatia way, reaching the other ancient and christian civitas of Thessaloniki ending in Durres, the Moesica way, running all around the Black sea coasts touching the civitas of Odesa, Constanta and Istrus in Dacia province up to Tyras and Tanais in Sarmatia, and the Valeria way, directed to Tarsus in Minor Asia and passing through Nicomedia and Niceae civitas.

With the reform of Constantine I (see Christian Empire), Constantinople became the capital of the empire and of the Tracia Diocesis cause of its ancient christian community: once reunited the empire, Constantine moved the capital in the renamed "new Rome" of Constantinople, reproducing all the main public seats and monuments into the Augustaeum area inaugurated on 11 may 330 AD. Saved by the sacks of the Visigoths, emperor Theodosius II built a triple-wall fortifications and the ancient University (Πανδιδακτήριον), wading the extension of the civitas up to the Golden Gate point. When the Barbarian invasions overran of the Western Roman Empire demonstrated the choise of Constantinople as capital city of the Roman Empire was right, so that emperors could reign from their imperial palace in the Great City and send generals to command their armies on the limes carrying the wealth of the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia flowed into Constantinople. An example was Justinian I who could reconquer the Diocesis of Africa and Italiae and rejoin them to the Christian ortodox Empire, giving them all the new laws contained in the Codex, used for centuries by all western and eastern reigns of Europe! To celebrate these successes, the emperor commissioned the building of the first cathedral of Constantinople (named Hagia Sophia) and gave fame and power to the city archibishop: that was at the origin of the theological dispute with Roman Church and following separation between latin western world and the greek eastern old one! There began the glorious history of Constantinople as Ecumenical Patriarchade of Christianity (opposed by Roman Church),defender of ortodoxy and guardian of Christendom's holiest relics.

Some decades after Constantinople was attacked simultaneously by and Slavs, Arabs and Persians, but could resist thanks to the walls defence and a new weapon used against Arabs fleet: the "greek fire". The new emperor Heraclius could restore the roman possessions (except for Egypt and Africa), thanks to the militar help of northern neighbours Bulgars people: he operated a new reform and founded the Byzantine Empire which endured until the Ottoman conquer in 1453 AD. During the Macedonian dinasty rule (IX-X centuries AD) Constantinople was confirmed capital of the empire and the bizantine Hellas theme and could react to the Bulgars and Russians attacks, submitting and converting them to the ortodox Church of Constantinople. There started the great evangelization mission of the ortodox monks all around Eastern Europe up to the Sava and Danube rivers (that signed the northern limes of byzantine empire until the end) and the Russians Principades, defining the resurrection of the Bizantine Empire and its central role in the Middle Age Christianity and over the Reich western politic power, until the "Crusader's sack" of 1204 AD: that event captured Constantinople to the Catholics Church as capital of the Latin Empire, ruled by Flandres and Capetingian families until 1261 AD, when it was restored as capital of the byzantine empire under Palaiologan dinasty.

Constantinople has always been an international city, since its foundation thanks to the position on the trading routes from Asia and Scythia towards Europe, especially when Islam and "steppe people" blocked the other traditional communication ways to East. After elevated as capital of the Christian Empire, Constantinople became the centre of European politic and religion, the lighthouse of culture (its vast imperial library could containt the remain of the ancient Library of Alexandria and thousands of books from the major intellectuals of the history of European integration) and the source of the Roman lex, where people coming from all over the world could live and do their business, such as the traders from the Republic of Venice that inherited most of their culture and uses, coin system and politic organization. This unique situation existing in the most populated city of the "know world" (in Middle Age) remained until nowadays: after Constantinople was conquered by Ottoman, renamed in Istambul and transformed in the capital of their muslim empire and the successive Turkish empire, it remained the most important city of the western world, renaissed and rebuilt by Sultans with islamic style on the ancient byzantine roots, conserving the history and tradition of Constantinople as "centre of the oykumene". In modern era Constantinople remained the principle ortodox metropolitan archibishopric in Europe, direct heir of the original christian community, connected to Europe by the diplomatic net and the "Orient Express" railway (still working!) and lots of naval routes passing through the internation free naval passage of the Bosphorus.

Today, Istanbul/Constantinople is the biggest European city with more than 15 millions of inhabitans, a prolific centre for culture, trade and tourism, to visit the Santa Sofia church and the "historic area Istanbul" enlisted in the UNESCO Wordl Heritage. Nowadays, Constantinople is located in the north-west of Turkey within the Marmara region, whose christian patron is Saint Andrew holy head of the ortodox Church, one of the twelve Apostle and brother of Saint Peter founder of the Church of Rome.

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