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Etymology - Byzantium - تور فور اربز
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Etymology – Byzantium

Etymology – Byzantium

Istanbul has been given different names throughout the ages. These city names are associated with different periods of city history. These names are, in historical order, Byzantion, Augusta Antonina, Nova Roma, Constantinople, Constantinople, and today’s Istanbul names.Byzantion (Greek: Βυζάντιον, Latin: Byzantium) is the first known name of Istanbul. B.C. 667 Dorli from Megara city state in ancient Greece Greek settlers established a colony on today’s Istanbul and the new colony or Byzantas king Byzas (Greek: Βύζας or Βύζαντας) honor they gave the name Byzantium. The original name of Byzantion is M.S. In the 1 st century, when the city seized the Romans, they were latched by them.

Augusta Antonina

Augusta Antonina is the short name of the city that Istanbul put in honor of his son Antonius (next Roman Emperor Caracalla) by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus at the beginning of the 3rd century.

Nova Roma

A.D. In 330 the Roman Emperor Constantine by the city of the Roman Empire’s capital was declared, the city is Latin for “New Rome” Nova, which means Rome (Greek: Νέα Ρώμη, Near Rome) put his name and has tried to encourage this name is not adopted this name at all.


However, M.S. In 337 Emperor Konstantin Un the city’s name with the death of his honor “the city of Constantine,” which means to Constantinople (Greek: Κωνσταντινούπολις, Konstantinoupolis, Latinceleştiril were: Constantinople) was translated. Constantinople remained the official name of the city during the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. But Constantinople was referred to by the inhabitants of the city as the only Greek “city” (Πόλιν, Polis).Even after the conquest of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1453 by the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople remained the most common name used in the West. Even after the establishment of the Turkish Republic on October 29, 1923, the name of Constantinople continued to be used by Westerners for almost the first seven years of the Republic.


Konstantiniyye (Arabic: القسطنطينية, al-Qusṭanṭiniyah, Ottoman Turkish: قسطنطينيه, Konstantiniyye), is a form of Arabic and the city of Constantinople came to be known in the Islamic world and was the most commonly used name. Contrary to Constantinople, which means “the city of Constantine” in Greek, Constantine means “place of Constantine” in Arabic.After the conquest in 1453, the city of the Ottoman Empire was proclaimed the fourth capital and Konstantiniyye was used as the official name of the city by the Ottoman Empire and until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1923, most of the time stayed at the use of this name. For example, the Ottoman Empire and the courts, to indicate the source of the official documents published in Constantinople, “ba-Authority-i-reign Darü’s-i-Mahmiyy to Kostantiniyyetü’l-Mahrusâtü’l” was used as titles.However, in some periods the Ottoman authorities were from other names for the city.

Especially for the city and for the diplomatic correspondence to define the Ottoman government, these glorious names were used synonymously and encouraged:

  • Dersaadet (Arabic: در سعادت, “Happiness Gate”)
  • Derâliye (Arabic: در عاليه, “The Great Gate”)
  • Bab-i Âli (Arabic: باب عالی, “The Great Gate”)
  • Pâyitaht (Persian: پایتخت, “Throne of the Foot” or “Capital”)
  • Acidane (Persian: آستانه, “The State’s Threshold”).


Etymologically, the origin of the name of Istanbul (Turkish pronunciation: [istanbuɫ], and sometimes [ɯstambuɫ] among the people) in the Middle Ages (Byzantine) Yunan meaning “in the city” or “in the city” (Greek pronunciation: [εἰς τὴν Πόλιν ], [Isin polin]) was formed by Turkishization of the words.The name of Istanbul has been in Arab sources since the 10th century (in different forms) and in Turkish sources since the 11th century. Also, the name of Istanbul was used in Turkish before the 1453 conquest especially for the Turkish people among the Turkish people.In the Ottoman Empire, the name of Istanbul in the first period documents was Ottoman Turkish (استان, a-sitan or i-stan), and it means “ibis” in Arabic. In his last periodicals (استانبول, a-stan-bol or i-stan-bul).Although Istanbul was not an official name during the Ottoman period, it entered official documents and was frequently used. In addition, for the central army commander of Istanbul in the Ottoman Army officially the Istanbul branch and officially the title of Istanbul master for the highest civilian judge of Istanbul were used. This title later became prestigious and began to be used informally for cultured and mysterious Istanbulites.Even after the establishment of the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923, the names of Constantinople continued to be used by Constantinople for almost the first seven years of the Republic and by Westerners abroad.However, on March 28, 1930, the name of the city was officially changed by the Turkish Postal Service Law and it was named Istanbul. The name Constantinopolis (and Constantinople) was completely abolished. In addition, the Turkish authorities demanded that the name of Istanbul be used as the only name of the city in foreign languages ​​from foreigners and put it into practice. It was forbidden to use the name “Constantinopolis” in letters or other correspondence and in international areas after the Republican period was declared the official and international name of the city of Istanbul. For example, if the letters sent from abroad to Istanbul were written as “Konstantinopolis” (even if they were written in Istanbul by the side) as addresses, these letters began to be sent back.


Istanbul is a world city located at the intersection of European and Asian continents extending from the settlement date of the last excavations in Yenikapı to 8500 years in the direction of the port, urban history is about 3 thousand and the capital is 1600 years old. The city has been home to different civilizations and cultures throughout the ages and has been a unique mosaic in the historical process, preserving the cosmopolitan and metropolitan structure where various religions, languages ​​and racial people lived together for centuries. One of the few places in the world that has managed to stay in power and to be central to every area over a long period of time, Istanbul is a world capital of the past.Istanbul’s historic outlines can be divided into five major revolutions:

Prehistoric eraByzantion periodThe period of ConstantinopleConstantinian periodIstanbul period

Prehistoric ages

The history of Istanbul dates back to three hundred thousand years ago. The excavations in the Yarımburgaz cave on the edge of Kucukcekmece Lake revealed the first traces of human cultures. Neolithic and Chalcolithic people are believed to live in this period around the lake. Excavations in various periods found the Lower Paleolithic Age near Dudullu and the Middle Palaeolithic and Upper Palaeolithic ages in the vicinity of Ağaçlı.

Foundation period and Byzantion

During the excavations at the Fikirtepe on the Anatolian side of the city where the remains of the Polished Stone Age lasted for 6500 BC during the excavations of the Marmaray tube passage for the Istanbul metro in 2008, there were remains dating back to the Copper Age from 5500-3500 BC . In addition, the remnants belonging to Phoenician were found in Kadıköy. Traklar founded the city of Semistra near the city in the 13th century BC and the 11th century BC. At the time of King Lygos, an acropolis was established in Sarayburnu, where today’s Topkapi Palace is located. Greeks from Megara in 685 BC set up a colony here, Byzantion was established in 667 BC, when King Byzas ruled. When the city was ruled by the Roman Empire, the city’s name was Septimius Severus, and his son’s name was named Augusta Antonina for a brief period. Then, during the time of Emperor Constantine I, the city was declared the capital of the Roman Empire. At the same time, the name of the city changed to Nova Roma, and in 337 Emperor Constantine I was converted to Constantinople by the death of Constantine.

During the Byzantine Empire

This period covered between 324 and 1453. After Constantine I conquered the city and made it the capital of the Roman Empire, the city was also the administrative center of Rome’s east. The Roman population increased significantly in this period, including the migration of Roman nobility. In this period; The city has expanded considerably with a new architecture. A hippodrome of 100,000 people (Sultanahmet Square), as well as ports and water facilities were built.During the period of Constantinus the city was named Nova Roma dese; On May 11, 330, the name of the city was Constantinople. Constantine founded Hagia Sophia, the world’s largest cathedral in 360 BC; And thus changed the religion of the Roman Empire to Christianity. The first break with the western belief in Pagan Roman religion began in this period. Although, Beginning with the death of the Byzantine Empire I. Theodosius; The Byzantine Empire Constantine regarded him as a Byzantine Emperor because of his respect for Christianity; Until the collapse in 1453, the 10 Emperors became the more famous Constantine. The role of Istanbul in this period was quite strategic; It was a gate between Europe and Asia. On this occasion, it was a center for trade, culture and diplomacy. In this period, the name of the city was “Poli” (city).After the fall of Western Rome in 476; A large majority of the Romans in the Western Roman Empire migrated here, and the capital of the Byzantine Empire was Istanbul. After the plague epidemic, which caused the death of half the population in 543; The city was rebuilt during the reign of Emperor Justinian I.The city was attacked by Sasan and Avarlar in 700 years; 800 years of Bulgarians and Arabs, 900 years of Russians and Bulgars attacked years.But; The most devastating among the attacks was in 1204. By the Crusaders; 4. The city that was seized in the Crusade in 1204 was looted; A large majority of the population fled from the city; Poor and transformed into a city in wreckage. That is why the Latins growing in Western Rome; They are the differences and incongruities between the Catholic Christianity and the Orthodox Christianity in Byzantium. After this period, in 1261 Palailogos Dynasty; Michael VIII Palaeologus recaptured the city and concluded the Latin period.After this period, Byzantine was gradually shrinking; It was begun to be besieged by the Ottoman Empire after 1391; Eventually passed on to the Ottoman Empire in 29 May 1453. The conquest of Istanbul symbolizes the end of the Middle Ages in the history of the world.Constantine, the last emperor of Byzantium, defended Istanbul well before the conquest. Grejvar, which burned even when it was burning, made sea cruises difficult. The strength of the shrines made it difficult to enter the city by 70-80%. But Fatih Sultan Mehmet had a new era with success.The period of the Ottoman Empire [edit] This period included between 1453 and 1923. On 29 May 1453; After the siege of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, the sultan of the Ottoman Empire for 53 days; Istanbul was the third and last capital of the Ottoman Empire.After the capture of the Ottomans; After the establishment of the Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar, many schools and baths were opened. It was a cosmopolitan society where Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived together in the city where people from all over the world and the Empire moved. Remains of the Byzantine period, old buildings and walls were repaired. 50 years after the conquest; In Istanbul, which has become one of the largest cities in the world, it is called “Little Doomsday” 14 September 1509 Istanbul After the earthquake (claimed to be 8 magnitude); Thousands of buildings were destroyed with 45 days of aftershocks, and many people lost their lives.In 1510; Sultan II. Bayezid; With 80,000 people working, the city rebuilt. A great majority of the works still exist today. During the reign of Süleyman the Magnificent, who built the monuments and other buildings of the architect Sinan; Architecture and art. During the Tulip Revolution; Grand Vizier Nevşehirli Damat İbrahim Paşa Since 1718; Set up the fire department, opened the first printing house and set up factories. After the Tanzimat Fermanı which was declared on November 3, 1839, westernization process accelerated and many innovations took place.Bridge over the Golden Horn; Istanbul, which has become a modern city with the construction of tunnels, railways, sea transportation within the city, municipal organizations and hospitals to Karaköy, has again suffered a great deal with the Üçyüzon Earthquake in 1894. In the end of World War I, on the 13th of November 1918, it was also occupied by the Entente States navy. [38] Istanbul’s 2500-year-old capital city ended on October 29, 1923.In the Ottoman and Byzantine records, while the siege of Istanbul in the period of Yıldırım Bayezid was removed in 1402, 760 houses from Göynük and Tarakli were placed in Manav Istanbul in accordance with the condition of establishing a Turkish neighborhood in Sirkeci. In other words, it is also confirmed that the first indigenous Turks settled in Istanbul are the Groceries going from this region. Especially the origin of the Turks on the Anatolian side are the groceries.

Republican period

Between the years of 1923-1950 after the Republic, there were physical breakthroughs. The population of 1 million at the beginning of the 1900s fell to 690,000 in 1927, 740,000 in 1935, and again reached 900,000 in 1945. In the 1950s, when the immigration from the Balkans took place, urbanism became the frontier of urbanism in this period. In the 1960s, apartment building began with the slums. In the 1970s, rapid population growth and housing and transportation problems gained importance. The increase in the number of automobiles in this period and the increase of traffic as a result was effective in the construction of the Bosphorus Bridge and a significant point was reached in transportation. The metropolitan area of ​​Istanbul reached a radius of 60 kilometers in 1980, while it was 50 kilometers in the center between 1970 and 1975. Population growth in the 1990s resulted in the population spreading to the outside world, and as a result, the IETT was inadequate and minibuses tried to close the gap. The Bosphorus Bridge was opened in 1973 in the city, where the development activities were revived, though not with the old pace in the 70’s.


When the city changed hands and worn many times, the city did not have much building belonging to the Roman Empire period. The most important of the remains were the monument erected in 330 in honor of Emperor Constantine I, one of the seven hills of the city. The column was formed by stacking a total of 8 columns and one column on top of each other, which were connected to each other by brackets weighing 3 tons and 3 meters in diameter. Bozdoğan Kemeri is another structure that has remained daily from this period. The construction of the city’s water reserve system began during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. In the time of Constantine I, the city had to be further enlarged to meet the rapidly growing population need with the restructuring and growth of the city. Kemer took its place from the slopes of the hills between Kağıthane and the Sea of ​​Marmara to the city from the hilly regions of Thrace to the last point of the wide arches and channels system that met the water need of the city. This water, which came to town from that time, was stored in more than one hundred underground cisterns such as three open and Yerebatan Cisterns with a total capacity of more than 1 million cubic meters. Hippodrum Square, now known as Sultanahmet Square, was built by Circus Maximus.

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