Originally Posted by Jinit
I found this sketch in an online book regarding the walls of constantinople. And the book is written in late 19th century although I am not sure. Here is the link of that particular page showing the sketch. Also read the page 189 and upper part of page 190. It gives the brief discription of it. Byzantine Constantinople, the Walls of the City and Adjoining Historical Sites
As I said and as it is written in the book the wall is already torn down so I don't think there is any other photograph of it. However I am sure if there is any somebody will surely post it soon.
As said above by someone for most of their history Byzantines, It wasn't common for the emperors and noble familes to use Coat of arms , banners and flags associated with particular family as it was common in western europe. Even the famous double headed eagle also appered very late in their history. Most of the time they used cross, and of images of Christ ,the Virgin Mary and various saints , but these were personal rather than family emblems. It was only after the increasing contact with western europe in late 12th century during crusades that they started using these symbols and that also only to the limited extent and I think this sketch shows the clear western influence. Another point regarding star and crescent moon symbol
- As somone said above it was actually invented in the byzantium time (I mean from the time when byzantium was a greek city) And I have read two possible hypothesis of their origin and both are mythological in origin which I am posting directly from wikipedi link
The first one is greek in origin.
The second one is from ancient moab and babylonian mythology.
some people suggest that it is because of the influence of this eastern cultures they also adopted this symbol.
thank you for posting the Byzantine Constantinople, the Walls of the City and Adjoining Historical Sites
the influence of the eastern culture theory, in my opinion, can be searched in the way of possible earlier interactions between ancient greece culture and eastern cultures, without not excluding the existence in parallel.
but the town of Byzantium have taken the influence direct from the greek culture. now if that culture on past has relations with easten ones or not, this is something need different search.
so in the years we search, there is not any source that shows the easten influence to the city of Byzantium, when we refer about the crescent and the star.
what is very significant about the history, of the town and the crescent and the star, and not easily found to modern preservations of the subject , is that the first Greek inhabitans from Megara of the ancient town of Byzantium had left because they had taken part in the Ionian revolt against Persia, and went to the town Mesimbria in the Black Sea. Byzantium was rebuilt after the battle of Plataea the Lacedaemonians [=Lacones=people from Laconia, in south Greece] with the installation;[both Lacedemonians and Megaris spoken ancient greek Dorian DIALECT]
So , the town of byzantium, first made by megaris, but at 5th century bc , lacones came and have been inhabitans of the town of byzantium.
Devotion to Hecate was especially favored by the Byzantines > lacones inhabitans for her aid in having protected them from the incursions of Philip of Macedon. Her symbols were the crescent and star, and the walls of her city were her provenance. (but also the Dioscuri as also their sister Helene was local goddes of Lacedaimon [the territory of Laconia, with the most significant town Sparta at ancient years], and they also appeared with the crescent and the star in many reliefs)
lacones/spartans are relatives with ancient romans . in ancient times romans mixed with sabini which were becaming from laconia.
Roman emperor Caracalla, in imitation of antiquity, composed 2 greek Lacedemonian lochi, a lochos λόχος named Pitanatis and a named Laconicos of Laconia. and also emperor has ordered to use their local type of arms and symbols. direct used them against Parthians.
Lacones in medieval period they also named as Tsacones, and the lacones=spartans of the roman army, were in majority non christians even to 10th century -they have churches from 500ad but people still believed to the old pagan relegion and symbols, and this is described from emperor Constantinos Porfirogenitos
at the midle of 10 th century, and their neibors call them Hellenes still.(as they also speak even today -[ to some villages only though and only the old ones] the ancient spartan lamguage.)
so they had a special role in roman empire as soldiers as also as society.
to their paganism relegion those are symbols that used as symbols of Dioskouroi, (="sons of Zeus")
or of Artemis (or Hecate).
Dioskouroi, are local laconian but as you see they are represented to many coins.
even very later to the 17th century, Evliya Tselebi the Ottoman officer (about 1660-1670)that passed from their land he gave many informations about their strength, religion(they had a special christian typical, and on the past , as i reffered the Byzantine Romans called them Hellenes for their beliefs continuity to the ancient Greek relegion)
but they are faith to the emperor, and using the ancient crescent and star symbols to their shields.
in 13th century when romans=byzantines recaptured constantinople from latins in 1261, the first they did is to transfer lacones population from south of greece and elsewhere, because were excelent soldiers , marines and to to the navy, also the most poor send as guard to castles or cities and a part of roman emperor's bodyguards consisted by them.
but something very significant is that the emperor continiued the tradition of the empire, having the old population with their symbols , and returned them to their city, so continued the tradition to Constantinople's laconian as also used as imperial symbols. (lacones and ancient romans were relatives, as ancient romans have mixed with sabbini in latio area, and sabini became from laconia as i reffered) so with this action emperor symbolize the reborn of the empire from the authentic owners.
in Constantinople at 1261+ the area that established the Tsacones/[lacones -Spartans] were near the sea walls as the emperor Michail Palaiologos
was afraid of an impending Latin attack by sea. He used them also to restore the town, as they are not only excelent soldiers who served to the navy and to the army as historian Pachymeres describe, but they are experienced restoring and making buildings,walls, castles, bridges monuments etc
(When Michael VIII entered the city, its population was 35,000 people, but he succeeded in increasing it to 70,000 people by the end of his reign)
a part of them consisted the Tsacones part of the Roman imperial guard which they were over the chest a 'epanoclivano' blue shirt with white lions looking against , and same as also appearing to the back side.
(to this picture the crescent in the shield appears upsidedown though the painted wall is damaged and dont look clear, make right clik and then open to the picture to see better what i mean)
as also Tsacones have in medieval time colonies to many places, such as to south Italy and Sicily (messina area and other), to thrace towns around Constantinople, in Asia minore, in Selge (near Atalia), in Piwe (Biga) etc
have a look also to this page http://www.historum.com/middle-easte...on-what-6.html
ancient greek coin of the town of Buzantium.
as i also have mention before, Roman empire also use the symbol of the crescent and the star as an emperial flag, as a symbol of their capital and status, as symbol to high army field officers, so it has also an Roman imperial symbolism.
now some pictures including roman symbols / emblems, to this one we can see both cross with 4b, double headed eagles , and an appearance of Saint Demetrios with a steady white lion [unfortunately it has been damaged some so we can not see if the lion holds a sword or not so to compare it with that of the walls] the mosaic icon is of 13/14th century but the metal revetment is of 15th century.
The arrival of emperor Ioanis Paleologos
in Italy.Scene from the bronze doors of st Peter's temple, Vatican made by Filarete at 1449. see the double headed eagles of the imperial ship.
the lil as Roman imperial symbol.
the shield that carried on left, is possibly one of the emperor's which rides to the right side. 7th century st.Demetrius Thessaloniki, [emperor JUSTINIANUS II entrance to Thessaloniki].
14th + century the lil as army flag.
[from the Alexander romance , Hellenic institute Codex Gr. 5, Venice, f.27]
the draco / griffin style in late Roman army [14th + century ] appearing as flag army.
[from the Alexander romance , Hellenic institute Codex Gr. 5, Venice, f.36v]