Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul: the story of an iconic city
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: RA125
Duration: 1 session
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What is the course about?
In this course, we will explore the multilayered history of Istanbul from the origins to the end of the Ottoman Empire and we will examine the main artworks produced along the centuries.
What will we cover?
In the morning, we will examine the surviving examples of Roman and Byzantines art in the city. We will analyse some remarkable Roman statues of the Emperor Constantine along with Byzantine jewellery, ivory caskets and mosaics. We will proceed by shedding some light on the arrival of the Ottomans in Anatolia. Our main focus will be on the conquest of Constantinople by the Sultan Mehmet II in 1453. In the afternoon, we will complete the course investigating the reign of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent and the key role played by his architect Sinan. He designed and erected the fabulous Topkapi Saray (the Royal Palace) and the imperial mosques. In the last part of the course, we will analyse life at the Ottoman court, focusing on Iznik pottery, the art of war, the harems and hammams.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- discuss the arts and artefacts produced in Istanbul, above all during the centuries of the Ottoman rule;
- locate artwork and artefacts in their historical, political, religious, cultural context;
- establish skills of critical and visual analysis.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No previous knowledge is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Teaching is intended to be interactive. PowerPoint presentations with a wide range of slides will accompany the prepared talks. Questioning is welcomed throughout. Handouts with a selected bibliography and other helpful information for further self-study will be provided on Google Classroom.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other cost for the study day. Please, bring writing material and your eagerness to learn a lot about Istanbul and its articulated history.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Any other ancient civilisations class. See our website for inspiration.