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CHAP, about one hundred and fifty acres of our own
measure. The seat of Turkish jealousy and despotism is erected on the foundations of a Grecian republic; but it may be supposed that the Byzantins were tempted by the conveniency of the harbour to extend their habitations on that side beyond the modern limits of the seraglio. The new walls of Constantine stretched from the port to the Propontis across the enlarged breadth of . the triangle, at the distance of fifteen stadia from the ancient fortification; and with the city of Byzantium they inclosed five of the seven hills, which, to the eyes of those who approach Constantinople, appear to rise above each other in beautiful order.5 About a century after the death of the founder, the new building, extending on one side up the harbour, and on the other along the Propontis, already covered the narrow ridge of the sixth, and the broad summit of the seventh hill. The necessity of protecting those suburbs from the incessant inroads of the barbarians, engaged the younger Theodosius to surround his capital with an adequate and permanent inclosure of walls. From the eastern promontory to the golden gate, the extreme length of
& Codinus Antiquitat. Const. p. 12. He assigns the church of St. Anthony as the boundary on the side of the harbour. It is mention. ed in Ducange, 1. iv, c. 6; but I have tried, withoạt success, do discover the exact place where it was situated.
h The new wall of Theodosius was constructed in the year 413. In 447 it was thrown down by an earthquake, and rebuilt in three months by the diligence of the præfect Cyrus. The suburb of the Blachernæ was first taken into the city in the reign of Heraclius, Ducange Const. l, i, c. 10, 11,
Constantinople was about three Roman miles;" CHAP. the circumference measured between ten and eleven ; and the surface might be computed as equal to about two thousand English acres. It is impossible to justify the vain and credulous exaggerations of modern travellers, who have sometimes stretched the limits of Constantinople over the adjacent villages of the European, and even of the Asiatic coast. But the suburbs of Pera and Galata, though sítuate beyond the harbour, may deserve to be considered as a part of the city;' and this addition 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 re
* The measurement is expressed in the Notitia by 14,075 feet. It is reasonable to suppose that these were Greek feet; the proportion of which has been ingeniously determined by M. d'Anville. He compares the 180 feet with the 78 Hashemite cubits, which in different writers are assigned for the height of St. Sophia. Each of these cubits was equal to 27 French inches.
* The accuratè Thevenot (1. i, c. 15) walked in one hour and three quarters round two of the sides of the triangle, from the Kiosk of the seraglio to the Seven Towers. D'Anville examines with care, and receives with confidence, this decisive testimony, which gives a circumference of ten or twelve miles. The extravagant computation of Tournefort (Lettre xi) of thirty-four or thirty miles, without in. cluding Scutari, is a strange departure from his usual character.
The sycæ, or fig-trees, formed the thirteenth region, and were very much embellished by Justinian. It has since borne the names of * Pera and Galata. The etymology of the former is obvious ; that of the latter is unknown. See Ducange Const. 1. i, c. 22, and Gyllius de Byzant. I. iv, 'c. 10.
m 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 Measures ftineraires, p. 53. VOL. III.
Yet Constantinople must yield to Babylon and Thebes," to ancient Rome, to Lon
don, and even to Paris. Progress of The master of the Roman world, who aspired the work. 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 expence 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
* 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 in. credible circumference of about twenty-five or thirty miles. Compare d'Anville Mem. de l'Academie, tom. xxviii, p. 235, with his Description d' l'Egypte, p. 201-202.
• If we divide Constantinople and Paris into equal squares of 50 French toises, the former contains 850, and the latter 1160 of those divisions.
p 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.
9 For the forests of the Black sea, consult Tournefort, Lettre XVI, for the marble quarries of Proconnesus, see Strabo, l. xiii,
artificers urged the conclusion of the work with CHAP: incessant toil: but the impatience of Constantine XV119 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
p. 588. The latter had already furnished the materials of the stately buildings of Cyzicus.
* See the Codex Theodos. 1. xiii, tit. iv, leg. 1.' This law is dated in the year 334, and was addressed to the præfect of Italy, whose jurisdiction extended over Africa. The commentary of Godefroy on the whole title well deserves to be consulted.,
s Constantinopolis dedicatur pæne omnium urbium nuditate. Hieronym. Chron. p. 181. See Codinus, p. 89. The author of the An. tiquitat. Const, l. 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.
CHAP. of memorable wars, the objects of religious ve
neration, 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 illustrious 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 religious 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 success, 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 enclosed 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
t Hist. Compend. p. 369. He describes the statue, or rather bust, of Homer with a degree of taste which plainly indicates that Cedre. nus copied the style of a more fortunate age.
u Zosim. l. 2, 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.