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Old August 5th, 2012, 08:48 PM   #1

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Why not Çanakkale instead of İstanbul?


istanbul was praised (still is i suppose, since its one of the most populous cities in the world) for its strategic position throughout the history and was an important location. it always has been a big city since its foundation. but how about its counterpart çanakkale and the dardanelles strait? was it not closer to the silk route? what makes istanbul so special in historic and today's perspective? (also the climate is better in çanakkale )
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Old August 5th, 2012, 11:00 PM   #2
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Harbor Size? Istanbul has a large Harbor capable of supporting vast amounts of trade, Canakkale I dont think so.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 04:00 AM   #3

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Probably because there is natural harbour in Istanbul in the shape of the golden horn (Halic). Becomes a natural site along which to build a city. Also Istanbul has 7 hills if i am not mistaken hence the direct comparison with Rome.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 08:53 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pugsville
Harbor Size? Istanbul has a large Harbor capable of supporting vast amounts of trade, Canakkale I dont think so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaheen View Post
Probably because there is natural harbour in Istanbul in the shape of the golden horn (Halic). Becomes a natural site along which to build a city. Also Istanbul has 7 hills if i am not mistaken hence the direct comparison with Rome.
yes i think halic was an important element, thanks to both of you for pointing that out. also maybe there are more streams (for drinking water supply) on istanbul side, i dont think there are that many in canakkale. about that 7 hills, i am not so sure about that. afaik it's a claim.

Last edited by infestør; August 6th, 2012 at 09:28 AM.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 10:42 AM   #5

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I suppose that we could also ask why not Nikomedia (Izmit) instead of Istanbul? While the harbours helped make Constantinople a trading hub, we have to remember that before Constantine built it as his tetrarchic capital Byzantium was not a very important city. Sure, it gave Philip II a hard time and Pescennius Niger held out there for quite a while against Septimius Severus' forces, but even with its fine natural harbour the city did not naturally develop into a major emporium in antiquity. The reason for its success must then lie in imperial patronage. Although it notably resisted Philip and Severus, it was Roman engineering that made the Byzantine city nigh-impregnable. The city lacked a good source of fresh water as the Lykos river tended to dry up every summer and wells had to go down very deep, so the Romans built a series of massive aquaeducts to provide for the city. Under Constantine it was endowed with many works of ancient art and lavish buildings. By the time of Justinian two centuries later the city already had an illustrious Roman history, an invented role in early Christian history, and sufficient imperial patronage to make it one of the most spectacular cities in the empire. That mystique and prestige remained part of the city's image for centuries, and combined with its continued role as an imperial capital until the early 20th c. made Constantinople/Istanbul/Constantiniyye important beyond its fairly good strategic location.

As for the Silk Road, Antioch was the major hub of the land route.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 10:51 AM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by infestør View Post
yes i think halic was an important element, thanks to both of you for pointing that out. also maybe there are more streams (for drinking water supply) on istanbul side, i dont think there are that many in canakkale. about that 7 hills, i am not so sure about that. afaik it's a claim.
Well one thing for sure is that there are a lot of hills in Istanbul. It took 2 weeks for the blisters on my feet to recover after coming back from Istanbul in June.
Two painful walks were from Karaköy, up Galata to Istiklal Cadessi. Another one was the walk from Sultan Ahmet to Fatih.

Regarding water, i dont know if it was any more abundant in Istanbul than it was at Canakkale. The big aqueduct built by the Romans bringing water from the Belgrade Forest suggests water wasnt very abundant around Istanbul either.

Edit: "7 hills of Istanbul"
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...inople_eng.png

Last edited by Shaheen; August 6th, 2012 at 11:02 AM.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 12:27 PM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaheen View Post

Regarding water, i dont know if it was any more abundant in Istanbul than it was at Canakkale. The big aqueduct built by the Romans bringing water from the Belgrade Forest suggests water wasnt very abundant around Istanbul either.
Roman/Byzantine Constantinople had serious water problems. The sheer number of cisterns and the size of the two aquaeducts suggest just how bad this was perceived to be.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 03:18 PM   #8

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Also note that Istanbul would be easier to defend than Iznik and Çanakkale.
Pay attention to this map.
Click the image to open in full size.

You see a city with litte connection with land. You don't have to surround the city with walls. You can block Golden horn. Byzantines blocked It with gian chains. During siege they can get help from the sea.

If she was located in Çanakkale or Iznik, I suppose East Rome wouldn't survive to that long.

Additionally, the scienery is far more beautifull in Istanbul.

Last edited by Efendi; August 6th, 2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 03:44 PM   #9

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^ Very good reason Efendi. Probably the most important reason was just this, the city is covered by water on three sides. As long as you have a good navy which the Romans/Byzantines did ("greek fire" destroyed navies of various opponents), you are quite safe.
And yes the views of the city, especially i must say from Kizkulesi are magical.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 10:15 AM   #10

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Coincidentally I have ancestry from both places.

I thought it was Constantine the Great who had in his mind other placesbuilt his capital, like Troy.

I think that it is Bosphorus which makes Istanbul special.
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