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The SUNDAY TIMES-bestselling biography of one of the world's greatest cities - Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
'Life-filled and life-affirming history, steeped in romance and written with verve' GUARDIAN
'Richly entertaining and impeccably reserached' Peter Frankopan
Istanbul has always been a place where stories and histories collide and crackle, where the idea is as potent as the historical fact. From the Qu'ran to Shakespeare, this city with three names - Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul - resonates as an idea and a place, and overspills its boundaries - real and imagined. Standing as the gateway between the East and West, it has served as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. For much of its history it was known simply as The City, but, as Bettany Hughes reveals, Istanbul is not just a city, but a story.
In this epic new biography, Hughes takes us on a dazzling historical journey through the many incarnations of one of the world's greatest cities. As the longest-lived political entity in Europe, over the last 6,000 years Istanbul has absorbed a mosaic of micro-cities and cultures all gathering around the core. At the latest count archaeologists have measured forty-two human habitation layers. Phoenicians, Genoese, Venetians, Jews, Vikings, Azeris all called a patch of this earth their home. Based on meticulous research and new archaeological evidence, this captivating portrait of the momentous life of Istanbul is visceral, immediate and scholarly narrative history at its finest.
With a broadcaster's delight, Bettany Hughes ... reconstructs Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul as living, breathing landscapes - SUNDAY TIMES
Richly entertaining and impeccably researched - OBSERVER
A scholarly narrative, but Hughes isn't averse to heating it up with the salacious stories that dot the city's past - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Life-filled and life-affirming history, steeped in romance and written with verve - GUARDIAN