Monday, May 27, 2013
FROM BYZANTINE CONSTANTINOPLE to OTTOMAN KOSTANTINIYYE: CREATION of a COSMOPOLITAN CAPITAL and VISUAL CULTURE UNDER SULTAN MEHMED II
THE conquest of Constantinople engendered Mehmed II's lifelong ambition to revive the ruinous city's ancient status as the prosperous capital of a world empire. This essay interprets the sultan's negotiation of the western and eastern cultural horizons of his rapidly expanding domains through visual cosmopolitanism, a process of "creative translation" and fusion that contributed to the construction of a multifaceted imperial identity. Mehmed II engaged with diverse artistic traditions in refashioning his public persona and self-image upon the reconstructed stage of his new capital, which continued to be called Kostantiniyye (Costantinopolis), alongside its popular name, Istanbul (from the Greek eis tin polin, meaning "to the city,,).l Strategically situated at the juncture of two continents (Asia, Europe) and two seas (Black Sea, Mediterranean), this was the center for an emerging empire that combined Perso-Islamic, Turco-Mongol, and Roman Byzantine traditions of universal sovereignty.
The artistic patronage of Mehmed II (r. 1444-46, 1451-81) was shaped not only by his personal tastes but also by the Rum? (Eastern Roman) geopolitical and cultural identity he was forging for his empire, a polity mediating between multiple worlds at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.,,2 By systematically promoting kuls (converted Christian-born slave to the highest posts of his increasingly centralized state, the sultan created a polyglot ruling elite no longer dominated by the Muslim-born <;andarh family of grand viziers. His viziers and grand viziers were predominantly kuls not entirely "foreign" to his non-Muslim subjects and European visitors to his court: the aristocratic ByzantinoSerbian Mahmud Pa§a Angelovic;:, whose Christian brother was a courtier of the Serbian Despot; the Greek Rum Mehmed Pa§a, who married a Turkic princess from the Anatolian Seljuk dynasty terminated by Mehmed II; and two descendants of the Byzantine Palaiologan dynasty, Has Murad Pa§a and his brother Mesih Pa§a. The sultan's governors included such renegades as the Italo-Greek lskender Bey: born from a Levantine Genoese father and a Greek mother from Trebizond,'he was married to the daughter of a Genoese merchant from Pera (the Genoese colony of Constantinople), where his brother continued to live as a Christian merchant dressed "all'[taliana." Mehmed II's intimates included sons of defeated rulers, among whom his Italian courtier Angiolello (attached to the imperial court between 1474 and 1481) counts the princes of Trebizond, the Morea, Bosnia, and Wallachia.
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Friday, May 24, 2013
Dan Brown’s latest novel,sent to the protagonist Robert Langdon’s Inferno Istanbul for the Hagia Sophia which is an important place in world history, but do we realy know the Hagia Sophia.
On page 334 of Dan Brown’s new novel Inferno, Dan Brown’s tweedy Harvard iconographer Robert Langdon reveals to Sienna Brooks – a British-born misfit genius who gallops around three favourite tourist destinations with him in this latest adventure – that “We’re in the wrong country”. Cue a flight out of Venice, where a plot rammed to bursting-point with guide-book factoids and the vintage formulae of apocalyptic science-fiction has shifted from its opening location in Florence.
Readers will know soon enough that the third, and decisive, city of Inferno is Istanbul. Once there, we learn under the gilded dome of the cathedral-mosque-museum of Hagia Sophia that “the traditions of East and West are not as divergent as you might think”.
Dan Brown’s book says the status of the famous hero Robert Langdon inside Hagia Sophia.Come take a look at 1500 years Istanbul landmark Hagia Sophia.
Dan Brown Inferno:What is Hagia Sophia ?
The dome and minarets of Hagia Sophia are the symbols of Istanbul. This is the only building in the world to have served as a Catholic Cathedral and as the seat of two religions, Greek Orthodox Christianity and Sunni Islam.
The Hagia Sophia that we see today is to a great extent, despite the rebuilding work carried out after regular earthquakes, the building that was consecrated on the 27th December 537 by the Roman Emperor Justinian. It would be the greatest church in Christendom for a thousand years, until St. Peter’s in Rome was completed.
Hagia Sophia’s massive dome and gigantic proportions, visible in the image above, were believed by many to have been the work of the divine. It heavily influenced the architecture of mosques and churches and it’s grandeur was said to have led Russia to convert to Orthodox Christianity, not Catholicism. Relics such as the shroud of Mary, nails from the true cross and the tombstone of Jesus were some of its treasures, until the city was ransacked during the Fourth crusade.
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