One of the largest cities in the world

In the middle of the twelfth century Constantinople the populace of the city was 400,000 or more. The city still had the appearance of a late Roguy metropolis with public forums, shopping roads and apartment blocks. Even via this populace tright here were still huge tracks within the wall surfaces that were offered over to farming. The population had not been this massive considering that Justinian"s time once torment wiped out two-thirds of the populace in simply three months time. The expansion in populace was because of expanding economic task, boosting riches, and immigration from Asia Minor - as people fled the proceeding Turks. Much of the riches of the Byzantine Realm was now produced by Constantinople itself, a huge consumer market developed by the surrounding businesses, farms and fisheries that gave its citizens. This trade concentrated entirely on the day-to-day need to home, cloth and also feed practically half a million souls and also the taxes, rents and fees it produced financed the Imperial court. One thing that collection Constantinople apart were her high-end industries, like the manufacture of fabrics, gold-functioning, glass, perfumes, books, furniture and works of art. The export of many kind of luxury products was limited to the aristocracy. The Imperial court was always the number one customer of them. In previously times the throne provided court officials through their unicreates, a exercise that ended in the 11th century. Court officials were paid enough to buy their own garments and also tright here was a huge supply at reasonable prices on the open up sector. While deluxe trades focused on the affluent and elites of Constantinople, eextremely residence had its very own - if even more humble - furnishings. The middle-course market was astronomical, also for art. Eextremely Christian family would certainly have actually proudly owned and also piously displayed at least one icon. These residential icons were inexpensive; one icon was equal to the cost of a great pan. People put them over the doors of their houses for security and also in many thanks for the solutions that a saint had currently offered. They gave icons as gifts for all occasions. Neighborhoods had actually a special attachments to symbols in their regional churches and had copies at house. This connected the house spiritually to the original icon and also its saint. The glinting gold and bbest colors of symbols would have offered their owners a little of deluxe and beauty, no issue how bad they might be.

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A living history and art museum

Beyond icons, the prevalent civilization had an appreciation for non-spiritual art, given that they were surrounded by secular functions from ancient Greece and also Rome in the city"s forums, squares, colonnaded streets and also the famed Hippodrome. The statues in the city were masterpieces by the a lot of well known artists of antiquity that had actually been gathered up and brought to the city by Constantine and also his instant followers. As the Roman world came to be Christian temples were closed. Their cult statues of Zeus, Hera and Aphrodite involved Constantinople wright here they were put on public view. Tright here were hundreds of churches and also chapels crammed through beautiful points that people observed daily. With so a lot to watch in every quarter of the city, people took them for granted, although they could be extremely superstitious about this statue or that column, giving them superherbal powers over the fate of the city. The educated citizens of Constantinople cared around their background and also the many renowned and beautiful points to be uncovered there. The Hippodrome was lined with dozens of statues, columns and various other points the prevalent civilization observed as soon as they were at the races or games in the stadium. Sitting in the stands and crunching on snacks they would comment on the myths connected via the statues of guys, beasts and gigantic insects which were inserted along the spina - which ran down the center of the race track. No matter what your level of education and learning or how well-off you were Byzantines had actually an appreciation for art and beautiful things. They were additionally good followers of sport, fashion and also stars of the theater.

The city of Constantinople was shelp to have actually been built on salso hills, simply choose ancient Rome. Many of the a lot of vital monuments were developed alengthy the high spine of the city and can be seen from simply around anywhere. Byzantium was conquered by great columns which towered above the city that were crowned by statues and crosses. Several of these marble columns were wrapped in spiraling bands of sculpture glorifying the achievements of monarchs. The column of Justinian was built by him appropriate external Hagia Sophia. It was as tall as the good dome and was crowned by a giant gilded statue of the emperor dealing with east in army gear on horseearlier. The heritage of erecting columns continued into 13th century. The Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus put up a column via a bronze statue of himself giving a design of the city to the Archangel Michael outside of the Church of the Holy Apostles. Soon after its erection the statue dropped from the column in n earthquake and also it was put earlier on its column by his boy, Andronikos II. We don"t know if it was a brand-new production or assembled from bits of other statues.

Life in the BIG city

We can"t loose sight of how filthy and also over-inhabited parts of Constantinople were in the late 12th century. The population thickness varied considerably from area to neighborhood, tbelow were still big areas provided over to gardens and also even little range farming within the walls Constantinople looked choose a fairy tale kingdom if you approached the city from the sea. The city was developed upon a collection of hills, and also the horizon was dotted via domes colonnades and also gilded monuments. Tright here was a towering marble royal residence that had actually been developed into the seawall, covered through balconies collection with statues of marble beasts. It was referred to as the Boukoleon Palace and it had actually its own a marble quay and also exclusive harbor to welcome guests. Towering above everything was a mammoth column crowned via a gilded statue of Justinian on horseago encountering eastern. Next off to it was the massive Church of Hagia Sophia, justly civilization famed for its size and also beauty. Throughout the city there were the splendid rock mansions of the affluent which boasted paintings, mosaics, luxurious furnishings and also wall surfaces of precious marble revetment. However before, once you gotten in the city the city you would certainly discover a shocking juxtaplace of riches and also poverty to be checked out almost everywhere, also in the the majority of desirable of communities. The well-off and also bad lived ideal beside one another.

Most private houses in Constantinople were courtyard dwellings. There would be communal huge dome ovens in them for food preparation - especially the making of breview. These ovens compelled timber which was delivered straight to dwellings and structure by commercial providers. Different kinds of wood and charcoal were used for various functions. There were portable braziers retained on upper floor for warmth and to prepare tiny meals. As a highly developed urban culture Oriental residences had actually a large range of pots and utensils provided in the preparation, storage and eating of food. Homes likewise had large tanks for water storage in their courtyards and smaller sized ones in houses.

Water was carried to your door in wood tanks on carts for sale or extracted from wells. Many homes had actually direct accessibility to cisterns - there were countless them anywhere the city. Homes in Constantinople had developed from Roman style apartment buildings and courtyard houses. You might uncover fine nobles living in palaces -- best following door to five-story tenements of significant squalor. The smell at ground level would certainly have been disastrous, all of the sanitary framework were on the ground floor. When even more people were added to a building there was no means to include even more toilets. Wealthier civilization lived on the optimal floors, but they still had to climb down to the ground floor to usage them - or use chamber pots cleared by others. As more world moved to the city landlords built up - adding floors to existing buildings and splitting up great residences. Not a wise move when the enhancements were frequently built of lumber and the roadways were so narrowhead. Fires were regular and an indicator of the decline in the quality of life as the city became more crowded. Before 1204 a lot of of the private homes were built of stone and also brick, in late Byzantine times - and also throughout the Ottoman period - residences were developed largely in timber. The fires collection by the Crusaders of the 4th Crusade did even more damages to the fabric of city than pillage. Vast areas were diminished to ashes and the fires noted the true finish of the primitive city as its porticoes, shops and also forums were destroyed. The fires came very, exceptionally close to Hagia Sophia and got to the edge of the atrium.

The image above is of the Forum of Constantine. In the center is his red Porphyry column topped via his statue. Here you can check out the Roman-style apartment blocks and also courtyard houses.

A city constructed of wood houses

Beyond the public buildings and also churches, the city in the 12th century was mainly built of timber. Even the brick and also rock shops in the forum had actually wooden roof beams. They were imported from the excellent forests of the Pontic hills facing the Black Sea. The forest extended all the means from Georgia to the Sea of Marmora and the Babsence Sea shore of Bulgaria. There were substantial gives of Nordmann Fir that might prosper to 255 ft tall. It was soft, white and also basic to occupational. It came in incredibly long planks and was perfect for private homes, the beams of basilicas and also scaffolds, as well. Tright here were many various other woods to be harvested, Oriental Beech, Sweet Chestnut, Black Alder and Scotch Pine among them. Tbelow were many kinds of hardwood provided in the structure of dwellings and furnishing them.

The city had actually many kind of experienced craftspeople who were woodworkers. Carpenters roamed the roadways and forums carrying their tools of the trade on their backs, favor massive two-tackled saws, searching for occupational from door to door. You can order chairs, chests, doors or beds ideal from them. The price of furniture was cheap. The biggest price was frequently the hardwood. Carpenters made furniture without nails making use of intricate mortising and also joinery. Furniture was ornately carved and ornamented via inlays, turned spindles and also friezes of leaves and also flowers. Some pieces were then gilded and painted in bappropriate colors. Amazingly, some furniture from Oriental times has endured so we deserve to appreciate the craftsmanship of the carpenters that made it and also the beauty of the deindications. Furniture was additionally marketed through shops.

The major problem through the hardwood provided in large scale building, like Nordmann Fir, was just how easy it was to burn. To prevent its flammcapability the sap was removed in the time of processing of its logs. One of the reasons the city was so conveniently redeveloped after fires was the availcapability of cheap timber in inexhaustible amounts that might be yielded in a couple of days.

Pontic timber was likewise provided in shipbuilding. Constantinople had countless ships of all sizes supplying its needs in port eincredibly day. It has actually been calculated that at leastern 500 ships would have been required to supply the grain for the city"s everyday bcheck out requirements.

Taverns and bars

Tbelow were hundreds of taverns and wine bars in Constantinople almost everywhere the city. As today, area was very essential to a tavern"s success and also one could find substantial ones in company districts close to the Golden Horn. Being an innkeeper could be an extremely profitable company. There are business records of their resale that tell us exactly how a lot they marketed for in addition to their area, descriptions of the type of organization they were in and also just how popular they were. Taverns served food as well as wine and might be operated by men or women. They were often run by family members. One tavern, owned by Goudeles, was positioned outside the city wall on the Golden Horn, proudly advertised that they offered the best Cretan wines, prefer malvasa. Tright here seem to have been chains of taverns that were operated by importers and also wholesalers of wine. The Venetians operated as well many kind of taverns and also were compelled by treaty to reduce their number to 14. This did not meet the city authorities that proceeded to taxes them out of existence. They were more profitable because they were exempted from paying taxes as a result of their trade treaties via the empire. These exceptions were resented by native operators of taverns and also their patrons. As an outcome Venetian merchants were the tarobtain of riots, they were thrust from the city and also their businesses confiscated on even more than one occasion. The loss of revenue from their taverns in Constantinople was so substantial that the resident Venetian main that managed their operation could not be phelp his salary of 1,000 ducats a year.

Favorite Wines and also Foods

The citizens of Constantinople were advanced consumers of wine of all kinds. Grapes were grown on low stakes and as rampant vines and also in trees. The ideal wines came from nearby Bithynian Bursa, Cyzikus and Nicaea. The ideal Bithynian wine was the white theraia ampelos grape, sweet and thick like honey. It came in 3 qualities with the best being scheduled for the Imperial court. The raremainder wines were developed in small batches and also came in little amphora, they were defined as being "fit for a king". Cheaper wines were described as watery. Sweetness was what made a wine more desirable. in 1307 the Ottoman Sultan Osmale ordered the damage of the Bithynian vineyards in order to drive every one of the Christian farmers from the land also. The Turks were nomadic herders, not settled farmers. This created the first-ever shortage of wine in Constantinople. It additionally increased the price of wine and also the value of vineyards. Anvarious other outcome was the migration of wine manufacturing to seaside producers and also the shores of the Sea of Marmora. Soon after the Turkish occupation of Asia Minor they ended up being passionate consumers of Bithynian wines themselves, which could just be grvery own by Christians.

The Byzantines ate extremely well, food was cheap and also abundant. They loved cheese and also imported most it from Crete. The Venetians acquired manage of the sector produced a syndicate on the supply. In the 12th century the Venetian Quarter of the city is recommended for the best cheese. People ate many fish, shellfish. mussels and calamari - all cooked in oil and greatly spiced. Fish came from the countless watercrafts that supplied the city through goods on a day-to-day basis. Seafood was ceded from the Sea of Marmara to the south side of the city and then carried into the city by middlemen who bought the capture dockside. The docks were regulated by excellent commercial ventures, greatly churches and monasteries of the city. Unlike meat, tright here was no central marketarea for fish, you could buy it everywhere in the city.

Besides fish people ate many breview. The main bcheck out market was located between the Forum of Constantine and the Forum of Theodosis, which might have focused on the primary ingredients of breview, given that you can buy the finished product almost everywhere the city. Dinner was regularly just wine and also bcheck out. Lunch was the principle meal of the day. Saconsumption was another resource of protein that was extensively developed on small farms. Partridges, pigeons, blackbirds and goose were also typically eaten. Enormous geese were stuffed with all sorts of herbs and also tiny game birds at feasts.

Eating at home

At home world in the 12th century ate meals communally - they provided their hands to serve themselves from big, rimmed platters and footed bowls. In Comnenian times fine white-glazed ceramics were developed in huge quantities, were inexpensive and came in a broad variety of shapes and sizes. Some were ordinary and also others were very decorated with animals, loving couples and geometric forms. Knives and forks were used significantly throughout the century. Tables were tall, square, and also extended via white linen table cloths. Everyone used linen napkins, which were folded and also embroidered. The napkin was hosted in the appropriate hand while dining. Lots of bcheck out was provided - the Byzantines ate astronomical quantities of it, and they were emerging brand-new kinds for the table, including bread made into pretzel shapes. Wine was served on trays of glass bottles and also large glass goballows. At the table they were refilled directly from tiny amphora and huge flask-choose bottles by servants. Sophisticated banquets offered multiple primary and side dishes and throughout the 12th century tbelow is an increase in the serving of rare and exotic dishes. Truffles were thought about an excellent delicacy, a food suited for princes. that was an expensive current. Caviar was commonly famous. As with today the a lot of treasured was sturgeon caviar from Russia, the Babsence Sea and also the Caspian. Salt-cured fish eggs were very widespread and also inexpensive.

More on Byzantine cuisine - what they ate

Vegetables were fresh and dried. Fresh fruits and also nuts were locally offered from gardens in the city and other operated just external the walls. People additionally ate numerous dried fruit which was shipped right into Constantinople from exotic locations. Raisins came from Syria and also the Peloponnesus. Dried figs also came from the Peloponnesus and were imported in large amounts. Sweet fruits favor figs were preserved in honey and also marketed in glass containers sealed via wax in Constantinople. Apples, quinces and citrus were likewise cooked in honey and also merged with flavors. Naples was the resource for the large range importation of chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, and also almonds in shell, shelled or cruburned. Nearby Bulgaria additionally developed honey and candle wax for the city. It was likewise produced in your area in and around Constantinople, wbelow it was produced on ranches and also in abbeys. Tright here were many hives in the city. A single producer can conveniently control 150 hives or more. It"s exciting that monks were motivated to eat as much honey as they can discover in the wild or create in the monastery. Honey was taken into consideration a gift from God. Sugar was a deluxe item that came from Syria and Cyprus and does not seem to have actually been provided much. Fried foods were conveniently developed at residence, however a huge amount of food was offered by street peddlers and roadside kiosks, largely operated by woguys.

An crucial aspect in what people ate was the religious calendar which regulated what Christians could eat and as soon as.

The wine trade and also olive oil

Wine was supplied by personal enterprises and also abbeys. It came from almost everywhere Greece, Italy, Crete and also Asia Minor and also was transported in clay amphorae - just choose in ancient times - till the 1fourth century when wine barrels became the norm. The transition to barrels strained the Cretan wine industry bereason they quickly ran out of timber and had to import barrels from awide. Wine and also its transport was a large business in Byzantium and also extremely profitable. A single ship delivering 20,000 amphora each holding 7-8 liters of wine - 140,000 to 160,000 liters - was shipwrecked on its way to Constantinople in the Sea of Marmora in the 11th century. This means each amphora included the modern-day indistinguishable of 5 bottles of wine and also a substantial shipment favor this one can serve about 50,000 people for simply at some point. A big quantity of red wine was exported from Southern Italy to the city. It was popular for its high level of alcohol which likewise made it less complicated to ship and store. Tbelow as a sector for rare and also exotic wines. The royal court was a customer for them. We have documents showing wines that were shipped to particular kings. Amphora regularly carried the mark of their wine"s origin.

The city consumed several olive oil and also this came progressively from growers in Greece where production broadened significantly during this time duration. Olive oil came mainly from a narrow band also of producers around the Aegean Sea. Ships would certainly each year visit neighborhood ports and buy up and ship their access production to Constantinople. Olive oil was used both for food preparation and also additionally for lighting.

Flowers and plants at home

In spring and also summer the city was extended through flowering vines, roses and also fruit trees. Late May and also the initially week of June was the elevation of fraprovide rose manufacturing, which were supplied to decoprice rooms, streets, palaces and churches - and to develop rosewater. Wright here ever tbelow was an area or a pot to plant something in people did. They filled their windows and balconies with beans, peas and also flowers. If they living in a house through a flat roof the inhabitants would certainly plant anypoint they might that could be harvested and consumed. People who were fortunate enough to live in a residence via a courtyard can plant fruit trees, grape vines and also also roses. In summer every one of this greenery can have actually made life in the city more fraprovide and pleasant. Home-grvery own flowers and herbs were the primary source for the fragrant essences womales used in cosmetics and to scent their apparel or produce sachets. Christians were motivated to adorn beds with flowers choose roses. Rosemary, which was easy to grow at house, was included to soap. It was also scattered on floors to freshen up rooms. People melted aromatic woods and incense in their dwellings to freshen the atmosphere. Fragive unguents were included to the oil in lamps to perfume homes. Visitors were constantly anointed through rosewater to welcome them to your residence.

Lots of occasions & celebrations in the Hippodrome - Popular Sports

The city had a full calendar of events, both secular and religious. A few of the yearly religious holidays connected through certain saints had ddeveloped into excprovides for drunkeness, ribaldry and licentiousness. Tright here were processions via the city continuously filling the roads and also forums via scent, music, shade and ceremony. There was gambling on experienced sporting occasions choose chariot racing. A marble gambling machine has made it through wbelow money was wagered on the outcome of the chariot races; below colored balls would certainly be rolled down the tracks and also through the holes, with gamblers placing bets on which round would certainly arise initially at the earlier. A Oriental churchman complained around the obsessions of the fans of chariot racing:

"Tbelow are those who are in a state of excited distraction over the spectacle of steed racing and also are able to state with complete accuracy the names, the herd, the pedigree, the area of origin, and also the rearing of the equines, as well as their age, their performance on the track, which horse drawn up versus which various other equine will be victorious, which equine will certainly begin best from which starting-gate, and which charioteer will be victorious over the course and outrun the opposition"


The human being were mad about chariot racing. Drivers of the chariots had substantial fan bases and were dressed in splendid unidevelops in bideal colors so you might conveniently spot your favorites. White steeds were much admired and also fans complied with horses in their stables, researching them to asparticular winners. Betting on equines was widespcheck out. Drivers could come from any class, also Imperial princes and also kings drove chariots in races. One emperor, Michael III, acted as godfather to the kids of his favorite charioteers and provided gifts of 50 to 100 lbs of gold for each of their kids. He promoted his coarse chariot-driving buddies to the ranks of patricians. One of Michael"s favorite drivers was called Himerios, which means "Most Longer For" in Greek, was nicknamed "Pig" bereason he was ugly. Michael offered Pig 100 lbs of gold. This scandalized the court because he invited Himerios to formal dinners were he demonstrated disgusting behavior in front of everyone and also used gutter language.

Michael melted dvery own the famed gold trees with singing birds, the beaten-gold lions and also griffins of the throne, and gold body organ that so impressed travellers to the Imperial royal residence to cover his sporting expenses. Even then he was unable to make the annual payroll of the court or pay any type of of the bonprovides they expected.

The Emperor Alexander, whose portrait deserve to be viewed in the North Gallery of Hagia Sophia, took tapestries and silver candelabra from the churches of the city to decorate the Imperial box during races. He was also a fan and daring - also reckmuch less - participant in polo matches. He played a match while drunk and also passed away afterwards.

Drivers can be incredibly young - simply boys via their initially beard. The bellows of pipe-organs were set at the turning point of the Hippodrome and also roared out as the chariots went by. You could hear the roar of the crown within the walls of the Hippodrome which enhanced the din. It is hard to imagine this in the 12th century. Constantinople was the just area in the human being wright here chariot races still took place. The Crusader princes and kings who passed through Constantinople were offered races as component of the spectacle of life in the city. One can just imagine what they believed of Constantinople and also day-to-day life of the world. The last chariot race in Constantinople we know of took area in 1200 and was organized in the astronomical courtyard of the Blachernae Palace in the time of the celebration of an imperial wedding. Tright here were other race tracks in the city, including one within the walls of the Great Palace.

Polo was another famous sport in Constantinople, which was played by installed military police officers and also Imperial princes. It was extremely dangerous and also often caused fatality. Tbelow was an Imperial polo field within the Great Place and others to the west, exterior the walls of the city.

The Hippodrome was still the area of games, wild beastern fights and also public assembly. Womales attfinished every one of the occasions.

Every year the city commemorated carnival as soon as its citizens dressed in outlandish costumes, wore masks and also danced in the roadways. There were acrobats, pet acts, dancers, singers, burlesque pantomimes, group chants and also arranged cheers for the emperor - all backed by musical instruments like harps, guitars, zithers, trumpets, clarinets, drums and water organs. There were even giant bears that played musical tools. Just like this day musicians played in the highways for tips and also can be hired or employed in areas choose taverns to entice business. Trumpets, kettle drums and clarinets could be incredibly loud and also were played out of doors while stringed instruments were offered for intimate occasions.

Al-Marwazi, the Arab doctor who went to Constantinople in the at an early stage twelfth century, saw concerts,wrestling matches, and races, all in the presence of the emperor (Manuel I) and empush in the Hippodrome, he says:

"They collection dogs upon foxes, then cheetahs upon antelopes, then lions upon bulls, while (the onlookers) feastern and also drink and also dance.” In enhancement the Jewish people traveler Benjamin of Tudela checked out the Hippodrome on Christmas day and reported “guys from all the races of the human being come prior to the king (Manuel I) and queen with jugglery and without jugglery, and they introduce lions, leopards, bears and wild asses, and also they connect them in combat with each other; and the very same point is done via birds. No entertainment choose this have the right to be found in any kind of other land.”

From time to time monarchs would celebprice army victories by public triumphs via roadways lined via tapestries and hung with garlands of flowers. The roadways were likewise strewn through fraapprove herbs choose rosemary and also myrtle, grape leaves and flowers. The the majority of celebrated procession in the city was the weekly move of the Hodegetria symbol of the Theotokos from its monastery in the area of the Great Palace alengthy the primary street of the city, the Mese. It it stayed for short durations of time in assorted churches alengthy the route before returning home. The symbol was conveyed by a guild of men dressed with wings - like angels - and also wearing red silk uniforms.

Augusteon & Antechamber of Hagia Sophia - Archangel Michael Chapel

At Easter the good square in front of Hagia Sophia - the former Augusteon which the Byzantines later on referred to as the Agora - was full of wooden stalls selling food, drink, icons and various other crafts. The Augusteon was a location of restaurants and also hostels serving locals and also pilgrims. It had actually many kind of columns and statues including the towering Column of Justinian, mentioned previously, which soared over the roof of Hagia Sophia and bore a huge bronze statue of the emperor on horseago dealing with east. Tright here were many lofty churches and also chapels surrounding the Augusteon, you might look right into the square from their roofs and also watch the world milling around. The primary entrance was a good triumphal gate of marble called the Milion. The Augusteon had actually locked entrances and was packed between 6 and 9AM. Tbelow was a regional heritage of having breakrapid here after the morning company in Hagia Sophia. The emperor and the Imperial family members would certainly use their very own personal restaurant in the surrounding Great Palace.

On Sundays it was conventional for world to additionally bathe after attfinishing liturgy. Tright here were public baths developed adjacent, and an Imperial one for the rulers and also their households. People lugged their very own towels.

You would certainly enter Hagia Sophia via the Antechamber-Chapel of the Archangel Michael, which was adorned with a beautiful mosaic of the head of the angelic hold holding a sword. The entrance to the church was locked at night. The entrance via the South Vestibule was quite narrowhead and also dangerous if as well many type of people tried to enter the church at once, particularly if a uncontrollable mob was affiliated.

Tbelow were still many type of theaters in the city which hosted performances of plays and also pantomimes, incorporating dancing and music. Several of the theaters were late-antique marble buildings while others were wood shanties that doubled as taverns via in-house entertainment. In Byzantium women were actresses and singers, there were no prohibitions against them.

Byzantine dress and jewelry

Clothes were mainly professionally made and offered either through shops or via street peddlers that bough and also sold both new and also used garments. Professional tailor shops, regulated by the city prefect, controlled the supply of thcheck out and also fabric. Clothes were made in pre-made batches by fabric, color and style. Individual tailoring was done at the suggest of sale to fit the customer. Many day-to-day apparel were made of wool. Linen was likewise extensively provided for garments, towels, sheets, curtains and under-clothes. It came in many levels of quality and whiteness. Tbelow was a high-standing production of fine linen that was embroidered in silk or even gold thread. Linen was grown exterior the city and also processed as threview or towel before it was carried to Constantinople. Dying fabric was a disastrous and smelly business that was often done by Jewish employees. Dye colors can be extremely expensive and also many type of were difficult to apply. Multiple dyings were regularly required to gain the right hue or intensity of shade. It was easy to damage fabric during the dying process. Silk was a prestige product for clothing that ended up being widely easily accessible to the customer market in the 12th century in reduced top quality threview and in combination with other fibers, choose linen. Silk was likewise developed through recycled thread from old garments. The regional market in Constantinople came to be so big that it can no longer meet neighborhood production. Jewish families developed brand-new silk weaving workshops external Constantinople in cities prefer Thebes and Corinth in Greece. Silk worms were grvery own there so it was close to the source of manufacturing. It was additionally outside he control of the city prefect who controlled manufacturing in and around the city. Silk worms prospered on mulberry leaves from groves of trees in Greece (the medieval name for Greece, Moreos or Morea, indicates Mulberry tree) and also the cocoons were processed tbelow. Local manufacturing would certainly have likewise contained dying of the thcheck out or wcooktop cloth. Once it was completed the product was simple to export - east or west - by ship.

People stored their garments in flowers, herbs and also perfumed essences which preserved them fresh.

Tbelow was a huge market in clothing - both and offered - at the annual festival in honor of St. Demetrius in Thessalonica, wright here there were even more that a thousand also booths in significant rows selling them. People pertained to buy and also market at the fair from all over the people. Your individual purchases can be tailored on the spot or mass purchases could be bundled and also shipped by land also or sea right from there. Most of Greece, both villperiods and also towns, was more than likely provided through garments from the annual fair.

Above is a wonderful rebuilding of the Chalke - Bronze - Gate to the Great Palace Above the door on the right is the renowned mosaic symbol of Christ. The Chalke Gate was decorated with bronze and also marble sculptures and also had actually huge bronze doors. On the left is the famous elevated passage that led from the Great Palace to the South Gallery of Hagia Sophia. This passage was developed by Justinian and also was provided by the Imperial court. Behind it is the Church of Christ Chalkes, rebuilt by John I Tzimiskes (969-976) in the late 10th century. He was buried tbelow after a very short power.

Styles of apparel adjusted promptly throughout this time and were affected by foreign layouts of dress. Tbelow was even something of a youth fashion industry in Constantinople. It was male-dominated bereason men lived their resides in public while many women"s resides were identified by church and home wright here modesty and practicality was valued. Woguys dressed for comfort. Manuel I had no difficulty with foreign dress, he wore Latin apparel himself on occasion. Manuel was such a fan of Latin things that he competed in armed forces jousting as soon as he remained in Antioch. His father, John II, had been pertained to about the wearing of brand-new fashions of grooming and dress at court and also made his family members concreate to his tastes. This did not extend to foreign formats of military clothes - prefer tightly tailored silk kaftans - which he himself wore. For generations Emperors had actually given gifts of these silk kaftans to other men. Alexius I, Manuel"s grandpa, gave presents of his own garments to friends and also foreign generals and also rulers he knew.

Woguys wore even more jewelry than men did. Men wore signet rings of rings decorated through saints and religious engravings. The a lot of decorated part of a man"s apparel was his belt, which might sport a gold or gilded buckle with other accessories. Woguys wore rings, arm bands and also earrings. Bracelets of glass wbelow popular at this time and many kind of have actually been found. Earrings were regularly the a lot of expensive pieces of jewelry a woguy owned and might be incredibly valuable heirlooms. While the the majority of valuable earrings were made of gold, pearls and gemstones, the common human being wore earrings of gilded or silvered bronze set via small pearls and also glass gemstones. Both guys and also women wore crosses and also reliquaries roughly their necks. They were not worn on height of ones garments, yet underneath, alongside the body. Thousands of examples have survived because they were primarily made of bronze rather than gold. Of course the rich and effective might wear incredibly expensive jewelry. Only the Imperial family members wore crowns. Men and also womales of all classes brought little purses for coins on their belts.

The life of women in Constantinople

Anna Comnena states that womales veiled themselves once they went exterior the home, yet this definitely did not pertain to working woguys. One cannot imagine woguys running businesses and also doing physically demanding work while being veiled. Adult woguys wrapped their braided hair and heads via turbans, which can be basic or supplied beautiful silks via tassels, knots and also fringes adhering to the present fashion. In the 12th century women wore a cylinder head wrap that had actually been sewn together that was easy to put on and also take off. Working women in workshops, retail stores and also in the areas would have actually wore what ever was practical based upon the task. In church it was taken into consideration correct for woguys to wear a veil over her turban. An Arab traveler to Constantinople remarked that all of the shops of the city were manned and run by beautiful womales. Many type of of the street peddlers and also world offering foodstuffs and drink were womales, as well. There is a manumanuscript reflecting female silk weavers functioning inside through their heads spanned. Another manumanuscript reflects a silk vendor called Danilis wearing a loosely draped silk veils around her head and shoulders on a visit to the emperor. Her confront is uncovered.

There was an yearly female festival referred to as Agathe on May 12th and had been arranged about the birthday of Constantinople which was commemorated on May 11th, the previous day, in the Forum of Constantine and the Hippodrome. The woman"s festival started through a good procession via the roadways of the city by countless women who were associated in the craft of fabric making, spinners, weavers and also carders of wool. We deserve to be certain that the womales would certainly have actually worn the beautiful garments and also hats they had actually made themselves. It was a festival of experts led by the older womales who were known as the experts in their craft. The festival had actually arranged activities of routine and also ceremony. The goal of the procession was a church wbelow there were displays of the art of cloth-making and then the womales made offerings of their finest job-related to the church. After finishing at the church the womales gathered for the singing of songs and also engaged in group dancing accompanied by musicians.

Women wamelted their hair in one-of-a-kind fragranced remedies that naturally lightened it, consisting of saffron, turmeric, fern roots and also citrin-colored sandalwood and also rhubarb. The cloths they wrapped their hair in were generally bruburned through perfume. People made their own scents at home. Lotions and creams were made fresh from natural resources and also had actually to be offered in a few days.

Spotting foreigners

You can recognize a person"s nationality by the apparel they wore. Bulgarians were frequently stated for their outlandish apparel. You had actually to be careful wearing foreign apparel in Byzantium. It could be dangerous. People were killed by soldiers or police that mistook them for the nationality of the clothing they had on. Hats were also exceptionally well-known and also came in many type of formats. Dress was regulated by the government for professions or guilds - countless these unidevelops were produced in silk every year and were the staple manufacturing for some firms who had federal government contracts to create them. They were worn in the time of group processions and also stored by the government as soon as not necessary. They were retained in storerooms in the Great Palace. Maintaining and repairing them was an recurring concern of the government workers attached to them.

Brothels and prostitutes

Constantinople had actually many brothels - the most famous were situated in side highways near the Forum of Constantine. Foreign travellers were shocked by the vice they observed in the roads, particularly the prostitutes that openly functioned the streets. The Crusaders expressed dismay at them and then patronized them. The city regulated prostitution under the city prefect and also they were taxed. Like Paris in the 19th century Constantinople had many type of renowned courtesans that were sometimes likewise actresses and also dancers in the public theaters. One deserve to assume womales also worked individually as sex workers throughout the city. They likewise worked privately in the neighborhoods of the city, living in shacks right alongside churches. One account claims they could be very noisy - you can hear them in the neighborhood church during services - which indicates drinking was probably going on there, too. The church seems to have ignored the trade.

Bapoint and the water supply

The water supply of the city was under stress and anxiety bereason of the rise in populace. The imperial administration was concerned about finding new sources to carry into the city and improving the supply from established aqueducts. The problem was not just finding brand-new sources but how to gain water into the facility of the city. People were motivated to open up up old cisterns and make new ones. The water system seems to have actually been remarkably complimentary of water borne illness. Very deep cisterns were especially trusted as a resource for street sellers of water. I had actually never check out about outbreaks of typhoid in the city, however tbelow are many accounts of outbreaks in the time of military projects. The city seems to have actually done a good task in controlling the drainage mechanism.

Tbelow were many kind of public baths; the Byzantines - even monks and also nuns - bathed generally. One was expected to bathe twice a week. One of these baths is still in operation Istanbul now. Clothes were cleaned at residence or in commercial operations. Home cleaning could be communal by building or neighborhood involving boiling them in great tubs of water and soap. The Byzantines had a broad array of cleaning assets for bodies and clothes.

Safe behind the city walls?

People felt safe within the wall surfaces of Constantinople. However before, the French Crusader, Ocarry out of Deuil, who checked out Constantinople for 23 days in 1147 through the French King, Louis VII and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, reports:

"The third side of the city"s triangle includes fields, but it is strengthened by towers and a dual wall which exoften tends for about 2 miles from the sea to the palace. This wall is not incredibly solid, and it possesses no lofty towers; however the city puts its trust, I think, in the dimension of its population and the lengthy period of tranquility it has enjoyed. Below the walls lies open land, grew by till and hoe, which consists of gardens that furnish the citizens all kinds of vegetables. From the outside underground conduits circulation in, bringing the city a wealth of sweet water... The bishop of Langres, but, urged us to take the city. He proved that that the wall surfaces, a great part of which broke down before our eyes, were weak... He included further that Constantinople is Christian in name, not in truth."

In just a few years the crusaders would take the city in the 4th Crusade scaling the walls in this incredibly spot.

Doctors and also Hospitals

Constantinople had a large variety of extremely trained medical professionals. For example the church of Saint George of Mangana had several totally free hospitals attached to it, one for the aged, another for the bad, a hospital for homeless migrants and also a basic hospital for everyone else. One reason Alexius I Comnenus was moved to the Mangana in his last days, was because his doctors wanted him to be close to the hospital right here. Tright here was a pharmacy mechanism in the city and workshops that developed medicines. In the 12th century Manuel I Comnenus himself developed brand-new drug compounds to be distributed throughout hospitals in the city, so we have the right to check out that hospitals had actually - for excellent or negative -the attention of emperors. The Emperor Theophilus established a hospital designed for the healthy and balanced exposure to gentle breezes and beautiful views for the benefit of the patients.

On the best you have the right to see a photo of a Byzantine doctor in his official uniform (notice the turban), he is holding medication in a glass or metal vial. This is a portrait of a genuine man. He have to have actually been extremely proud of his forked beard. Doctors would have actually carried medical handpublications favor this.

Byzantine hospitals were significant organization endeavors, via specialized services and very skilled support staffs. In Constantinople the medical professionals ran the hospitals, which also had out-patient infrastructure. Hospitals operated in-home institutions for the children of the doctors on staff. Doctors who worked in the hospitals likewise had actually their own exclusive practices; they operated for six months in the hospital and also the remainder of year was complimentary. Doctors were not paid for their job-related in the public hospitals and were discouraged from accepting tips. Woguys can be physicians, the well known Princess-Historian Anna Comnena was a doctor that ran her father"s 10,000 patient hospital, which was the biggest in Constantinople in the 12th century. Anna was a specialist in the therapy of gout. Hospitals had massive assistance staffs. Beyond nurses and also orderlies tbelow were cooks, maids, errand also boys and human being that preserved the medical instruments sharp and also clean. Certainly, cleanliness was an excellent issue and also tbelow were many type of laundresses and also civilization who operated water boilers. All of this went on until the finish of the empire. We recognize the Mangana hospitals were still functioning in the mid-1fifth century.

Byzantine doctors percreated dissections of corpses to examine the interior organs of the humale body. Unfavor the Catholic west, the Orthodox church had actually no trouble with this exercise. Doctors in Constantinople were renowned for their skill in the cleaning and dressing of wounds. I wonder what they provided to proccasion infection.

Doctors embarked on some dramatic operations. Tbelow were a well known pair of Siamese twins from Armenia who were checked out hobbling about the forums and also roads of the city, walking with difficulty using a cane. Some world felt sorry for them and also pitied their problem, yet many believed they were a portent of excellent evil and they were moved from the city. They shared a belly. Returning to Constantinople in severe condition - among the twins was dying - they were carried to a hospital in the city. A doctor there sassist they can sepaprice them, among the twins was close to fatality anymethod. He, in addition to a team of four doctors and assistants, operated on the twins. They were hosted down and no anesthetic was used! One of the twins - the one that was near death anymethod - passed away after the pair was cut apart with large knives. That one lived, also for a brief while - is an remarkable reality. Who would have actually thought that a surgeon in the 10th century might perdevelop such an procedure without antibiotics. The occurrence was so famed it was tape-recorded in the illustrated background of Skylitzes, you have the right to see it below:

The twins are checked out in the highways of Constantinople. A man drags them to a hospital.


Doctors cutting the twins apart while the one on the left dies. His brother offers his walking stick in many thanks to God for conserving him.

People from international lands pertained to examine medicine in Constantinople. The Norguy Oto of Stigand involved the city via his brvarious other Robert for three years and during his continue to be he ended up being a medical professional and veterinarian. In Byzantium human and also animal doctoring were two various professions. The 2 brothers ended up being fluent in Greek and also served as commanders in the Imperial Guard. When they went back to Normandy (loaded with prizes consisting of gold, jewels and the relics of St. Barbara) they intended to use their training to operate area hospitals for William, the Duke of Normandy, that invaded Britain.

Education of children

An educated guess would imply a 30 per cent rate of standard proficiency and also numeracy among guys in the Oriental Realm, equivalent to that in eighteenth-century China and exceptional to that in eighteenth-century France. This price would have been higher in Constantinople, probably as high as 50%.

Boys were educated till they were roughly 14 years old, girls until they were 12. Following Christian teaching in a perfect world children were viewed as innocent and also pure creatures, full of confidence and not yet uncorrupted by the sins of adulthood. Most kids were intended to follow in the footsteps of their families and occupational in the very same professions or family members businesses. Girls and also boys primarily married within their own social teams. Doctors and also nurses are an excellent example of this, their children were educated in their very own schools and also also lived cshed by one another. Girls were taught to read and write, while boys were additionally taught grammar, poetry, rhetoric, arithmetic, geomeattempt, astronomy, and also music. Some girls were likewise educated in these various other topics if their parents wanted it. One have the right to expect the children of specialists like doctors and also registered nurses would certainly have actually got as broad an education and learning as feasible. Language and grammar was taught with the study of the Scriptures and also background. Tbelow were educational competitions at a lot of institutions, also orphanages. School began at 6 or 7 and also elementary institution lasted 3-4 years, it was referred to as "First Letters". It was followed by "Circular" and also then "Superior" research studies. Children were also taught to sing and also play musical tools. Singing was a critical part of religious instruction.

Scribes and documents

The citizens of the city had actually regular require of scribes and clerks. The profession was regulated by the state. Tbelow were hundreds of records produced, notarized and sealed eextremely day. This meany kind of tright here were a vast number of human being that could read and create professionally. You could discover scribes anywhere the city, especially outside Hagia Sophia where they operated with portable desks, ink, quills and paper. Documents were frequently compelled in duplicate, a copy was expected to kept on file forever before. A expensive number of these were maintained in vast storage halls under the Hippodrome where they were filed and managed by government clerks. In the 12th century a lot of of these documents were made on paper. Church records were retained in storerooms attached to Hagia Sophia and also were inventoried by church staff. All of these documents, going ago thousands of years, were lost in the Fourth Crusade and also its results. Although all of these papers have been shed, many of the lead seals attached to them survived.

Church life

People attfinished the church that was nearest to their home or occupational. Everyone had actually to walk, so the distance to your chosen church was vital. An emperor developed a church in the Forum of Constantine so the vendors tright here had actually a church surrounding. The idle public and the rabble could go where they chosen. This often brought them to Hagia Sophia wbelow they could inmention riot and cause trouble. Hagia Sophia walso attfinished on feast days and special occasions prefer Easter. Some human being would certainly connect themselves to local well-known shrines, like the Hodegon Monastery or the Blachernae shrine of the Theotokos, however the distance constantly put a great part of the decision of wright here to go. People did seek out holy human being, monks and also hermits for their spiroutine advice. Only priests or ordained monks might bless human being or forgive sins. Unfavor Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians perform not take weekly communion. This implies they confess much less often too. Orthodox Christians attend church to hear and take part in the liturgy. Here they would certainly venerate icons and relics. Miracles emerged everywhere the city and also also repeated themselves on certain days of the week in certain churches. Tright here were many Holy Wells in and about the city and some of these exist to this particular day in Istanbul wbelow they are went to by Muslims and Christians. In Constantinople world received a lot of of the main news in church from the priest. When the emperor was out of the city he issued a newsletter to the Hagia Sophia clergy which was consequently conveyed to the human being from the pulpit of their local parish.

The famous Varangian Guard

The Imperial "Varangian" guard was written mainly of Anglo-Saxon Englishmales in the time of the reigns of the Comnenian emperors. Formerly it had actually been Viking, however this readjusted as a result of immigrants from England after the Normale Conpursuit. In 1088 5,000 of them were said to have sailed for Byzantium in 235 ships. They lived in a barracks on a street within the walls of the Great Palace that was protected by a good gate. Guardsmen incorporated through the local populace by taking wives and also also being associated in business. When they returned residence they took as many kind of things, favor garments, jewelry and armor, earlier as feasible. In retirement they kept their connection to Constantinople and also periodically tried to redevelop the way of living and also therefore gain the exact same high standing they had actually well-known in Imperial business.

Muslims in 12th century Constantinople

In the 12th century there was a big mosque in the city that could organize thousands and was constantly crowded for Friday prayers. It offered a large number of Muslims that were irreversible occupants or travellers to the city consisting of ambassadors, merchants and also Muslim soldiers who were in company to the emperor. The speak to to prayer was done publicly and also might be recited by some Byzantines. Manuel I might have actually spoken some Arabic. Tbelow were many kind of Arabic speaking people in the city, consisting of Christians from Antioch and also various other eastern cities within the borders of the empire. The mosque existed for a lengthy time without interference or harassment. Manuel I insisted that the profession of faith used as soon as Muslims became Christians be readjusted so did not deny Allah by name; thus assuming the Christian God and Allah were one and also the exact same. Crusading armies and their kings were horrified to uncover the mosque as they passed via the city headed for the eastern. It should have been damaged by the 4th Crusade in the burning and also sack of the city.

Icon Painters in Constantinople

Constantinople should have had 10,000 icon painters completing for organization. Although we deserve to assume that there were several freelance artists, most painters would certainly have been part of a workshop or attached to a monastery. Icons, both new and also antique, were marketed in shops, from street kiosks, and also by street peddlers. There should have actually been a staggering variety in creative high quality once so many painters are associated. Amongst potential patrons of symbol painters the Imperial Court and also the Patriarchal church would have been the the majority of essential. Eexceptionally workshop and also painter would certainly have aspired to to occupational for them. Being an officially known painter could give an artist a level of defense, but you were just as good as your last icon. This is the eternal battle of all artists - you deserve to be famous someday and also foracquired the next. No issue just how great you think you are tright here is always someone better and cheaper competing for service. Icons can be produced in cheaper products to reduce their price. Gold backgrounds might be substituted through cheap silver leaf which was then glazed in ovariety colored shellac to imitated gold. Icons could be painted on level timber backgrounds instead of panels with hollowed out centers. Panels could be painted on cheaper woods (leading to splits), be made of smaller sized pieces of lumber glued together, or simply made much thinner to save money on them. Painters might usage cheaper pigments, too. One have the right to assume that many type of Byzantine symbols made for the mass industry where created in assembly line fashion, through one artist painting faces, another clothing and also another doing backgrounds. Styles - even in icon paint - changed promptly. Subject matter readjusted as well, pilgrims wanted icons of their very own nationwide saints, favor Boris and also Gleb for the Russians. The peddlers of icons who trolled the roads would likewise besiege potential customers inside and outside locations favor Hagia Sophia.Fortunately for the 12th century Byzantine icon painter there were lots of of potential individual patrons through money. Many of them would certainly have actually been civilization who kbrand-new creative quality and fine method once they saw it and also would certainly buy it once they uncovered it. Below the Imperial court and the Patriarchate tbelow were also wealthy nobles and affluent monasteries that were knowledgeable patrons of art. Tright here was also a company in the repair and restoration of old symbols.

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Tright here were many type of portrait painters in the city, one called Andreas came to be famed enough that a historian taped his name. His dad was a cleric in Hagia Sophia.