Professor Mary Beard casts a classicist's eye over Istanbul, one of the world's greatest and most unique cities, under the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine.
The city's unique position as the bridge between Europe and Asia made it Emperor Constantine's perfect choice as the new capital of his vast Roman Empire. Renamed Constantinople or the 'New Rome', magnificent buildings, gardens and squares in the Roman model were built, including a vast Hippodrome for chariot races. By examining the fates of these incredible classical riches, Mary Beard explores the rich cultural heritage, and many faces, of this extraordinary city.
Istanbul, historically also known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the largest city in Turkey, and uniquely straddles both the continents of Europe and Asia. These essays paint very different and very personal views of Istanbul, past and present.
Mary Beard is Professor of Classics at Newnham College, Cambridge. She also a regular radio broadcaster and writes a blog for the Times Literary Supplement.