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Constantinople: City of the World's Desire, 1453-1924 cover
  • ISBN: 9780312145743
  • ISBN10: 0312145748

Constantinople: City of the World's Desire, 1453-1924

by Mansel, Philip

  • List Price: $35.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publish date: 02/01/2009
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Description
At once scholarly and entertaining, Constantinople depicts the Ottoman capital as a place of shifting boundaries and categories. It was the capital of both Islam and the Orthodox church, part of the "system of Europe" and a magnet for people and ideas from Paris to Isfahan. It was also a city of critical strategic importance, coveted at different periods by Russia, Germany, Bulgaria, and Greece. After the Great War, in its last years as an imperial capital, Constantinople was occupied by British, French, and Italian forces. Within a broad chronological framework, here is the story of the city and of the impact the Ottoman Sultans and their dynasty had on it; here too are the families who settled in Constantinople and served the Sultans, among them the Turkish Koprulu, the Italian de Testa, the Greek Mavrocordatos and the Hashemites from Mecca. The story begins in 1453 with the triumphant entry into the city of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror on a white horse. It ends with the hurried departure of the last Ottoman ruler, Abdulmecid on the Orient Express. In studying the five hundred years between those two events, the author goes beneath the surface of the bustling, cosmopolitan traveler's Constantinople to record the history of what was at once an imperial capital, a holy city, a trading entrepot, a pleasure resort and, in its cultural and intellectual life, a laboratory of modernization.
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