may perhaps authorise the measure of a Byzantine historian, who assigns sixteen Greek (about fourteen Roman) miles for the circumference of his native city.” Such an extent may seem not unworthy of an imperial residence. Yet Constantinople must yield to Babylon and Thebes," to ancient Rome, to London, and even to Paris." The master of the Roman world, who aspired to erect an eternal monument of the glories of his reign, could employ in the prosecution of that great work the wealth, the labour, and all that yet remained of the genius of obedient millions. Some estimate may be formed of the expense bestowed with imperial liberality on the foundation of Constantinople, by the allowance of about two millions five hundred thousand pounds for the construction of the walls, the porticoes, and the aqueducts." The forests that overshadowed the shores of the Euxine, and the celebrated quarries of white marble in the little island of Proconnesus, supplied an inexhaustible stock of materials, ready to be conveyed, by the convenience of a short water-carriage, to the harbour of Byzantium." A multitude of labourers and artificers urged the


Progress of
the work.

etymology of the former is obvious; that of the latter is unknown. See Ducange
Const. l. i. c. 22, and Gyllius de Byzant. l. iv. c. 10.
j One hundred and eleven stadia, which may be translated into modern Greek
miles each of seven stadia, or 660, sometimes only 600 French toises. See
D'Anville Mésures Itineraires, p. 53.
k When the ancient texts, which describe the size of Babylon and Thebes, are
settled, the exaggerations reduced, and the measures ascertained, we find that
those famous cities filled the great but not incredible circumference of about
twenty-five or thirty miles. Compare D'Anville Mem. de l'Academie, tom.
xxviii. p. 235, with his Description de l'Egypte, p. 201, 202.
1 If we divide Constantinople and Paris into equal squares of 50 French toises,
the former contains 850, and the latter 1160 of those divisions.
m Six hundred centenaries, or sixty thousand pounds weight of gold. This
sum is taken from Codinus Antiquit. Const. p. 11; but unless that contemptible
author had derived his information from some purer sources, he would probably
have been unacquainted with so obsolete a mode of reckoning.
n For the forests of the Black Sea, consult Tournefort, Lettre XVI; for the
marble quarries of Proconnesus, see Strabo, l. xiii. p. 588. The latter had
already furnished the materials of the stately buildings of Cyzicus.

conclusion of the work with incessant toil: but the o:

impatience of Constantine soon discovered, that, in the decline of the arts, the skill as well as numbers of his architects bore a very unequal proportion to the greatness of his designs. The magistrates of the most distant provinces were therefore directed to institute schools, to appoint professors, and by the hopes of rewards and privileges to engage in the study and practice of architecture a sufficient number of ingenious youths, who had received a liberal education.” The buildings of the new city were executed by such artificers as the reign of Constantine could afford; but they were decorated by the hands of the most celebrated masters of the age of Pericles and Alexander. To revive the genius of Phidias and Lysippus surpassed indeed the power of a Roman emperor; but the immortal productions which they had bequeathed to posterity were exposed without defence to the rapacious vanity of a despot. By his commands the cities of Greece and Asia were despoiled of their most valuable ornaments.” The trophies of memorable wars, the objects of religious veneration, the most finished statues of the gods and heroes, of the sages and poets, of ancient times, contributed to the splendid triumph of Constantinople; and gave occasion to the remark of the historian Cedrenus;" who observes, with some enthusiasm, that nothing seemed wanting except the souls of the illus

• See the Codex Theodos. l. xiii. tit. iv. leg. 1. This law is dated in the year 334, and was addressed to the praefect of Italy, whose jurisdiction extended over Africa. The commentary of Godefroy on the whole title well deserves to be consulted.

P Constantinopolis dedicatur poene omnium urbium nuditate. Hieronym. Chron. p. 181. See Codinus, p. 8, 9. The author of the Antiquitat. Const. 1. iii. (apud Banduri Imp. Orient. tom. i. p. 41.) enumerates Rome, Sicily, Antioch, Athens, and a long list of other cities. The provinces of Greece and Asia Minor may be supposed to have yielded the richest booty.

* Hist. Compend. p. 369. He describes the statue or rather bust of Homer with a degree of taste which plainly indicates that Cedrenus copied the style of a more fortunate age.

CHAP. trious men whom those admirable monuments were


intended to represent. But it is not in the city of
Constantine, nor in the declining period of an empire,
when the human mind was depressed by civil and re-
ligious slavery, that we should seek for the souls of
Homer and of Demosthenes.
During the siege of Byzantium, the conqueror had
pitched his tent on the commanding eminence of the
second hill. To perpetuate the memory of his suc-
cess, he chose the same advantageous position for the
principal Forum;’ which appears to have been of a
circular, or rather elliptical form. The two opposite
entrances formed triumphal arches; the porticoes,
which inclosed it on every side, were filled with
statues; and the centre of the Forum was occupied
by a lofty column, of which a mutilated fragment is
now degraded by the appellation of the burnt pillar.
This column was erected on a pedestal of white
marble twenty feet high; and was composed of ten
pieces of porphyry, each of which measured about
ten feet in height, and about thirty-three in circum-
ference. On the summit of the pillar, above one
hundred and twenty feet from the ground, stood the
colossal statue of Apollo. It was of bronze, had
been transported either from Athens or from a town
of Phrygia, and was supposed to be the work of
Phidias. The artist had represented the god of
day, or, as it was afterwards interpreted, the emperor
Constantine himself, with a sceptre in his right hand,
the globe of the world in his left, and a crown of
rays glittering on his head." The Circus, or Hippo-


* Zosim. l. ii. p. 106. Chron. Alexandrin. vel Paschal. p. 284. Ducange Const. l. i. c. 24. Even the last of those writers seems to confound the Forum of Constantine with the Augusteum, or court of the palace. I am not satisfied whether I have properly distinguished what belongs to the one and the other.

* The most tolerable account of this column is given by Pocock. Description of the East, vol. ii. part ii. p. 131. But it is still in many instances perplexed and unsatisfactory.

* Ducange Const. l. i. c. 24, p. 76, and his notes ad Alexiad. p. 382. The statue of Constantine or Apollo was thrown down under the reign of Alexis Comnenus. "Tournefort (Lettre XII.) computes the Atmeidan at four hundred paces. If he means geometrical paces of five feet each, it was three hundred toises in length, about forty more than the great Circus of Rome. See d'Anville Mésures Itineraires, p. 73. * The guardians of the most holy relics would rejoice if they were able to produce such a chain of evidence as may be alleged on this occasion. See Banduri ad Antiquitat. Const. p. 668. Gyllius de Byzant. l. ii. c. 13. 1. The original consecration of the tripod and pillar in the temple of Delphi may be proved from Herodotus and Pausanias. 2. The Pagan Zosimus agrees with the three ecclesiastical historians, Eusebius, Socrates, and Sozomen, that the sacred ornaments of the temple of Delphi were removed to Constantinople by the order of Constantine; and among these the serpentine pillar of the Hippodrome is particularly mentioned. 3. All the European travellers who have visited Constantinople, from Buondelmonte to Pocock, describe it in the same place, and almost in the same manner; the differences between them are occasioned only by the injuries which it has sustained from the Turks. Mahomet the Second broke the underjaw of one of the serpents with a stroke of his battle-axe. Thevenot, l. i. c. 17. " The Latin name Cochlea was adopted by the Greeks, and very frequently occurs in the Byzantine history. Ducange Const. l. ii. c. 1. p. 104. * There are three topographical points which indicate the situation of the palace. 1. The staircase which connected it with the Hippodrome, or Atmeidan.

drome, was a stately building about four hundred CHAP.

paces in length, and one hundred in breadth." The space between the two metae or goals was filled with statues and obelisks: and we may still remark a very singular fragment of antiquity; the bodies of three serpents, twisted into one pillar of brass. Their triple heads had once supported the golden tripod which, after the defeat of Xerxes, was consecrated in the temple of Delphi by the victorious Greeks." The beauty of the Hippodrome has been long since defaced by the rude hands of the Turkish conquerors; but, under the similar appellation of Atmeidan, it still serves as a place of exercise for their horses. From the throne, whence the emperor viewed the Circensian games, a winding staircase" descended to the palace; a magnificent edifice, which scarcely yielded to the residence of Rome itself, and which, together with the dependent courts, gardens, and porticoes, covered a considerable extent of ground upon the banks of the Propontis between the Hippodrome and the church of St. Sophia.” We might



likewise celebrate the baths, which still retained the name of Zeuxippus, after they had been enriched, by the munificence of Constantine, with lofty columns, various marbles, and above threescore statues of bronze.” But we should deviate from the design of this history, if we attempted minutely to describe the different buildings or quarters of the city. It may be sufficient to observe, that whatever could adorn the dignity of a great capital, or contribute to the benefit or pleasure of its numerous inhabitants, was contained within the walls of Constantinople. A particular description, composed about a century after its foundation, enumerates a capitol or school of learning, a circus, two theatres, eight public, and one hundred and fifty-three private, baths, fifty-two porticoes, five granaries, eight aqueducts or reservoirs of water, four spacious halls for the meetings of the senate or courts of justice, fourteen churches, fourteen palaces, and four thousand three hundred and eighty-eight houses, which, for their size or beauty, deserved to be distinguished from the multitude of plebeian habitations.”

The populousness of his favoured city was the next and most serious object of the attention of its founder. In the dark ages which succeeded the


2. A small artificial port on the Propontis, from whence there was an easy ascent, by a flight of marble steps, to the gardens of the palace. 3. The Augusteum was a spacious court, one side of which was occupied by the front of the palace, and another by the church of St. Sophia.

y Zeuxippus was an epithet of Jupiter, and the baths were a part of old Byzantium. The difficulty of assigning their true situation has not been felt by Ducange. History seems to connect them with St. Sophia and the palace; but the original plan, inserted in Banduri, places them on the other side of the city, near the harbour. For their beauties, see Chron. Paschal, p. 285, and Gyllius Byzant. l. ii. c. 7. Christodorus (see Antiquitat. Const. l. vii.) composed inscriptions in verse for each of the statues. He was a Theban poet in genius as well as in birth :

Baeotum in crasso jurares aere natum.

* See the Notitia. Rome only reckoned 1780 large houses, domus; but the word must have had a more dignified signification. No insulae are mentioned at Constantinople. The old capital consisted of 424 streets, the new of 322.

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