Thursday 21 April 2016 at 8pm

Turkey: from Constantinople to Istanbul

Lecturer: John Osborne
Location: DESY Hörsaal

Lecture Summary

Istanbul street

The first part of this lecture illustrates the Greco-Roman period: there is a profusion of sites, including the prehistoric site of Troy and the Classical sites of Pergamum and Ephesus, where there are spectacular and extensive remains.
The second part takes us to Istanbul, the capital of two consecutive empires. As Constantinople, it was the capital of the Byzantine Empire until 1453 and from this period there remain Justinian’s great Cathedral, Ayia Sophia, and the Church of St Saviour in Chora, the Kariye Cami, each with outstanding medieval mosaics, and the Hippodrome. The Sultans of the subsequent Ottoman Empire inhabited the fascinating Topkapi Palace for 400 years and built imposing mosques, including the great complexes of the Sulemaniye and the Blue Mosque of Sultan Ahmet.
Some 20th century history is then touched on: the Allied landings at Gallipoli in the First World War, stymied by heroic Turkish defence, and Ataturk’s extraordinary achievement in creating the modern Turkish state.

Biography of Lecturer

John Osborne graduated in Classics at Cambridge University. He taught Classics at Marlborough College for over thirty years and worked for the British Council in Iran and Turkey. He lectures in Islamic Civilisation and is a Tutor, Marlborough College Summer School and Lecturer, Department of Continuing Education, University of Bath. He is a guide at Salisbury Cathedral and lecturer on cruises and leader of numerous study tours to Bulgaria, Romania, Iran, and Turkey and other countries in S.E. Europe and the Mediterranean.

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