Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, to the southeast by Azerbaijan; the capital and largest city is Tbilisi. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres, its 2017 population is about 3.718 million. Georgia is a unitary semi-presidential republic, with the government elected through a representative democracy. During the classical era, several independent kingdoms became established in what is now Georgia, such as Colchis and Iberia; the Georgians adopted Christianity in the early 4th century. The common belief had an enormous importance for spiritual and political unification of early Georgian states. A unified Kingdom of Georgia reached its Golden Age during the reign of King David IV and Queen Tamar in the 12th and early 13th centuries. Thereafter, the kingdom declined and disintegrated under hegemony of various regional powers, including the Mongols, the Ottoman Empire, successive dynasties of Iran.
In the late 18th century, the eastern Georgian Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti forged an alliance with the Russian Empire, which directly annexed the kingdom in 1801 and conquered the western Kingdom of Imereti in 1810. Russian rule over Georgia was acknowledged in various peace treaties with Iran and the Ottomans and the remaining Georgian territories were absorbed by the Russian Empire in a piecemeal fashion in the course of the 19th century. During the Civil War following the Russian Revolution in 1917, Georgia became part of the Transcaucasian Federation and emerged as an independent republic before the Red Army invasion in 1921 which established a government of workers' and peasants' soviets. Soviet Georgia would be incorporated into a new Transcaucasian Federation which in 1922 would be a founding republic of the Soviet Union. In 1936, the Transcaucasian Federation was dissolved and Georgia emerged as a Union Republic. During the Great Patriotic War 700,000 Georgians fought in the Red Army against the German invaders.
After Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, a native Georgian, died in 1953, a wave of protest spread against Nikita Khrushchev and his de-Stalinization reforms, leading to the death of nearly one hundred students in 1956. From that time on, Georgia would become marred with blatant corruption and increased alienation of the government from the people. By the 1980s, Georgians were ready to abandon the existing system altogether. A pro-independence movement led to the secession from the Soviet Union in April 1991. For most of the following decade, post-Soviet Georgia suffered from civil conflicts, secessionist wars in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, economic crisis. Following the bloodless Rose Revolution in 2003, Georgia pursued a pro-Western foreign policy; this strengthened state institutions. The country's Western orientation soon led to the worsening of relations with Russia, culminating in the brief Russo-Georgian War in August 2008 and Georgia's current territorial dispute with Russia. Georgia is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development.
It contains two de facto independent regions and South Ossetia, which gained limited international recognition after the 2008 Russo-Georgian War. Georgia and most of the world's countries consider the regions to be Georgian territory under Russian occupation. "Georgia" stems from the Persian designation of the Georgians – gurğān, in the 11th and 12th centuries adapted via Syriac gurz-ān/gurz-iyān and Arabic ĵurĵan/ĵurzan. Lore-based theories were given by the traveller Jacques de Vitry, who explained the name's origin by the popularity of St. George amongst Georgians, while traveller Jean Chardin thought that "Georgia" came from Greek γεωργός; as Prof. Alexander Mikaberidze adds, these century-old explanations for the word Georgia/Georgians are rejected by the scholarly community, who point to the Persian word gurğ/gurğān as the root of the word. Starting with the Persian word gurğ/gurğān, the word was adopted in numerous other languages, including Slavic and West European languages; this term itself might have been established through the ancient Iranian appellation of the near-Caspian region, referred to as Gorgan.
The native name is Sakartvelo, derived from the core central Georgian region of Kartli, recorded from the 9th century, in extended usage referring to the entire medieval Kingdom of Georgia by the 13th century. The self-designation used by ethnic Georgians is Kartvelebi; the medieval Georgian Chronicles present an eponymous ancestor of the Kartvelians, Kartlos, a great-grandson of Japheth. However, scholars agree that the word is derived from the Karts, the latter being one of the proto-Georgian tribes that emerged as a dominant group in ancient times; the name Sakartvelo consists of two parts. Its root, kartvel-i, specifies an inhabitant of the core central-eastern Georgian region of Kartli, or Iberia as it is known in sources of the Eastern Roman Empire. Ancient Greeks and Romans referred to early western Georgians as Colchians and eastern Georgians as Iberians; the Georgian circumfix sa-X-o is a standard geographic construction designating "the area where X dwell", where X is an ethnonym. To
The Umayyad Caliphate spelt Omayyad, was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty; the third Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, was a member of the Umayyad clan. The family established dynastic, hereditary rule with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of Syria, who became the sixth Caliph after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661. After Mu'awiyah's death in 680, conflicts over the succession resulted in a Second Civil War and power fell into the hands of Marwan I from another branch of the clan. Syria remained the Umayyads' main power base thereafter, Damascus was their capital; the Umayyads continued the Muslim conquests, incorporating the Transoxiana, the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula into the Muslim world. At its greatest extent, the Umayyad Caliphate covered 11,100,000 km2 and 33 million people, making it one of the largest empires in history in both area and proportion of the world's population.
The dynasty was overthrown by a rebellion led by the Abbasids in 750. Survivors of the dynasty established themselves in Cordoba in the form of an Emirate and a Caliphate, lasting until 1031; the Umayyad Caliphs were considered too secular by some of their Muslim subjects. Christians, who still constituted a majority of the Caliphate's population, Jews were allowed to practice their own religion but had to pay a head tax from which Muslims were exempt. There was, the Muslim-only zakat tax, earmarked explicitly for various welfare progammes. Muawiya's wife Maysum was a Christian. Relations between the caliphate's Muslim and Christian subjects were stable in this time; the Umayyads were involved in frequent battles with the Christian Byzantines without being concerned with protecting themselves in Syria, which had remained Christian like many other parts of the empire. Prominent positions were held by Christians, some of whom belonged to families that had served in Byzantine governments; the employment of Christians was part of a broader policy of religious accommodation, necessitated by the presence of large Christian populations in the conquered provinces, as in Syria.
This policy boosted Muawiya's popularity and solidified Syria as his power base. According to tradition, the Umayyad family and Muhammad both descended from a common ancestor, Abd Manaf ibn Qusai, they came from the city of Mecca in the Hijaz. Muhammad descended from Abd Manāf via his son Hashim, while the Umayyads descended from Abd Manaf via a different son, Abd-Shams, whose son was Umayya; the two families are therefore considered to be different clans of the same tribe. While the Umayyads felt deep animosity towards the Hashimites before Muhammad, their animosity deepened after the Battle of Badr of 624; the battle saw. This fueled the opposition of Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, the grandson of Umayya, to Muhammad, his family, Islam as a whole. Abu Sufyan sought to exterminate the adherents of the new religion by waging another battle against the Medina-based Muslims only a year after the Battle of Badr, he did this to avenge the defeat at Badr. Scholars regard the Battle of Uhud as the first defeat for the Muslims, since they incurred greater losses than the Meccans.
After the battle, Abu Sufyan's wife Hind, the daughter of Utba ibn Rabi'ah, is reported to have cut open the corpse of Hamza, taking out his liver which she attempted to eat. In 629, within five years of the defeat in the Battle of Uhud, Muhammad took control of Mecca and announced a general amnesty for all. Abu Sufyan and his wife Hind embraced Islam on the eve of the conquest of Mecca; the Umayyad's ascendancy began when Uthman ibn Affan, an early companion, second cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad became the third Caliph. Uthman placed some members of his clan at positions of power. Most notably, he appointed his first cousin, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, as his top advisor, which created a stir among the Hashimite companions of Muhammad, as Marwan had been permanently exiled from Medina by Muhammad. Uthman appointed his half-brother, Walid ibn Uqba, whom Hashimites accused of leading prayer while under the influence of alcohol, governor of Kufa and appointed his foster-brother Abdullah ibn Saad as the Governor of Egypt, replacing Amr ibn al-As.
Most notably, Uthman consolidated Muawiyah's governorship of Syria by granting him control over a larger area. Muawiyah proved a successful governor, he built up a loyal and disciplined army composed of Syrian Arabs and befriended Amr ibn al-As, the ousted governor of Egypt. In 639 Muawiyah was appointed as the governor of Syria after the previous governor Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah died in a plague along with 25,000 other people. In 649 Muawiyah set up a navy manned by Monophysite Christian and Jacobite Syrian Christian sailors and Muslim troops, who defeated the Byzantine navy at the Battle of the Masts in 655, opening up the Mediterranean. Uthman's rule saw the relaxing of restrictions instituted by the second Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khatt
Azerbaijan or Azarbaijan known as Iranian Azerbaijan, is a historical region in northwestern Iran that borders Iraq, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Iranian Azerbaijan is administratively divided into West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan and Zanjan provinces; the region is populated by Azeris, with minority populations of Kurds, Tats, Talysh and Persians. Iranian Azerbaijan is the land and called Azerbaijan. Historic Azerbaijan was called Atropatene in antiquity and Aturpatakan in the pre-Islamic Middle Ages; some people refer to Iranian Azerbaijan as South Azerbaijan and the Republic of Azerbaijan as Northern Azerbaijan, although others believe that these terms are irredentist and politically motivated. This term is used by the people of the Republic of Azerbaijan and its usage in Iran is rare. Following military defeats at the hands of the Russian Empire, Qajar Persia ceded all of its territories in the North Caucasus and Transcaucasia to Russia via the Treaty of Gulistan of 1813 and the Treaty of Turkmenchay of 1828.
The territories south of the Aras River, which comprised the region known as Azerbaijan, became the new north-west frontier of the Persian Empire and Iran. The territories north of the Aras River, which were not known by the name Azerbaijan at the time of their capture by Russia, were absorbed into the Russian Empire, renamed the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic during the country's short-lived independence from 1918 to 1920, incorporated into the Soviet Union as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, became the independent Republic of Azerbaijan when the Soviet Union dissolved; the name Azerbaijan itself is derived from Atropates, the Persian Satrap of Medea in the Achaemenid empire, who ruled a region found in modern Iranian Azerbaijan called Atropatene. Atropates name is believed to be derived from the Old Persian roots meaning "protected by fire." The name is mentioned in the Avestan Frawardin Yasht: âterepâtahe ashaonô fravashîm ýazamaide which translates to: "We worship the Fravashi of the holy Atare-pata."
According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam: "In Middle Persian the name of the province was called Āturpātākān, older new-Persian Ādharbādhagān, Ādharbāyagān, at present Āzerbāydjān/Āzarbāydjān, Greek Atropatíni, Byzantine Greek Adravigánon, Armenian Atrpatakan, Syriac Adhorbāyghān." The name Atropat in Middle Persian is connected with Zoroastrianism. A famous Zoroastrian priest by the name Adarbad Mahraspandan is well known for his counsels. Azerbaijan, due to its numerous fire-temples has been quoted in a variety of historic sources as being the birthplace of the prophet Zoroaster although modern scholars have not yet reached an agreement on the location of his birth. With Qajar Iran being forced to cede to Imperial Russia its Caucasian territories north of the Aras River during the course of the 19th century, through the treaties of Gulistan and Turkmenchay, vast amounts of soil were irrevocably lost. Following the disintegration of the Russian Empire in 1917, as well as the short-lived Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic, in 1918, the leading Musavat government adopted the name "Azerbaijan" for the newly established Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, proclaimed on May 27, 1918, for political reasons though the name of "Azerbaijan" had always been used to refer to the adjacent region of contemporary northwestern Iran.
Thus, until 1918, when the Musavat regime decided to name the newly independent state Azerbaijan, this designation had been used to identify the Iranian province of Azerbaijan. The oldest kingdom known in Iranian Azerbaijan is that of the Mannea who ruled a region south-east of Lake Urmia centred around modern Saqqez; the Manneans were a confederation of non-Iranian groups. According to Professor Zadok: it is unlikely. Like other peoples of the Iranian plateau, the Manneans were subjected to an increasing Iranian penetration; the Mannaeans were conquered and absorbed by an Iranian people called Matieni, the country was called Matiene, with Lake Urmia called Lake Matianus. Matiene was conquered by the Medes and became a satrapy of the Median empire and a sub-satrapy of the Median satrapy of the Persian Empire. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, the Medes were an: Indo-European people, related to the Persians, who entered northeastern Iran as early as the 17th century BC and settled in the plateau land that came to be known as Media.
After Alexander the Great conquered Persia, he appointed as governor the Persian general Atropates, who established an independent dynasty. The region, which came to be known as Atropatene or Media Atropatene, was much disputed. In the 2nd century BC, it was liberated from Seleucid domination by Mithradates I of Arsacid dynasty, was made a province of the Sassanid Empire of Ardashir I. Under the Sassanids, Azerbaijan was ruled by a marzubān, towards the end of the period, belonged to the family of Farrokh Hormizd. Large parts of the region were conquered by the Kingdom of Armenia. Large parts of the region made up part of historical Armenia; the parts of historical Armenia within what is m
Slavs are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group who speak the various Slavic languages of the larger Balto-Slavic linguistic group. They are native to Eurasia, stretching from Central and Southeastern Europe all the way north and eastwards to Northeast Europe, Northern Asia, Central Asia, as well as in Western Europe and Western Asia. From the early 6th century they spread to inhabit the majority of Central and Southeastern Europe. Today, there is a large Slavic diaspora throughout North America in the United States and Canada as a result of immigration. Slavs are the largest ethno-linguistic group in Europe. Present-day Slavic people are classified into East Slavs, West Slavs, South Slavs. Slavs can be further grouped by religion. Orthodox Christianity is practiced by the majority of Slavs; the Orthodox Slavs include the Belarusians, Macedonians, Russians, Rusyns and Ukrainians and are defined by Orthodox customs and Cyrillic script, as well as their cultural connection to the Byzantine Empire.
Their second most common religion is Roman Catholicism. The Catholic Slavs include Croats, Kashubs, Poles, Slovaks and Sorbs and are defined by their Latinate influence and heritage and connection to Western Europe. There are substantial Protestant and Lutheran minorities among the West Slavs, such as the historical Bohemian Hussites; the second-largest religion among the Slavs after Christianity is Islam. Muslim Slavs include the Bosniaks, Gorani, Torbeši, other Muslims of the former Yugoslavia. Modern Slavic nations and ethnic groups are diverse both genetically and culturally, relations between them – within the individual groups – range from ethnic solidarity to mutual hostility; the oldest mention of the Slavic ethnonym is the 6th century AD Procopius, writing in Byzantine Greek, using various forms such as Sklaboi, Sklabēnoi, Sthlabenoi, or Sklabinoi, while his contemporary Jordanes refers to the Sclaveni in Latin. The oldest documents written in Old Church Slavonic, dating from the 9th century, attest the autonym as Slověne.
These forms point back to a Slavic autonym which can be reconstructed in Proto-Slavic as *Slověninъ, plural Slověne. The reconstructed autonym *Slověninъ is considered a derivation from slovo denoting "people who speak", i. e. people who understand each other, in contrast to the Slavic word denoting German people, namely *němьcь, meaning "silent, mute people". The word slovo and the related slava and slukh originate from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱlew-, cognate with Ancient Greek κλέος, as in the name Pericles, Latin clueo, English loud. Ancient Roman sources refer to the Early Slavic peoples as Veneti, who dwelled in a region of central Europe east of the Germanic tribe of Suebi, west of the Iranian Sarmatians in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD; the Slavs under name of the Antes and the Sclaveni first appear in Byzantine records in the early 6th century. Byzantine historiographers under emperor Justinian I, such as Procopius of Caesarea and Theophylact Simocatta describe tribes of these names emerging from the area of the Carpathian Mountains, the lower Danube and the Black Sea, invading the Danubian provinces of the Eastern Empire.
Jordanes, in his work Getica, describes the Veneti as a "populous nation" whose dwellings begin at the sources of the Vistula and occupy "a great expanse of land". He describes the Veneti as the ancestors of Antes and Slaveni, two early Slavic tribes, who appeared on the Byzantine frontier in the early 6th century. Procopius wrote in 545 that "the Sclaveni and the Antae had a single name in the remote past; the name Sporoi derives from Greek σπείρω. He described them as barbarians, who lived under democracy, believe in one god, "the maker of lightning", to whom they made sacrifice, they lived in scattered housing, changed settlement. In war, they were foot soldiers with small shields and battle axes clothed, some entering battle naked with only genitals covered, their language is "barbarous", the two tribes are alike in appearance, being tall and robust, "while their bodies and hair are neither fair or blond, nor indeed do they incline to the dark type, but they are all ruddy in color. And they live a hard life, giving no heed to bodily comforts..."
Jordanes described the Sclaveni having forests for their cities. Another 6th-century source refers to them living among nearly impenetrable forests, rivers and marshes. Menander Protector mentions a Daurentius who slew an Avar envoy of Khagan Bayan I for asking the Slavs to accept the suzerainty of the Avars. According to eastern homeland theory, prior to becoming known to the Roman world, Slavic-speaking tribes were part of the many multi-ethnic confederacies
Nikephoros I of Constantinople
St. Nikephoros I or Nicephorus I was a Christian Byzantine writer and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from April 12, 806, to March 13, 815, he was born in Constantinople as the son of Theodore and Eudokia, of a orthodox family, which had suffered from the earlier Iconoclasm. His father Theodore, one of the secretaries of Emperor Constantine V, had been scourged and banished to Nicaea for his zealous support of Iconodules, the son inherited the religious convictions of the father, he entered the service of the Empire, became cabinet secretary, under Irene took part in the synod of 787 as imperial commissioner. He withdrew to one of the cloisters that he had founded on the eastern shore of the Bosporus, until he was appointed director of the largest home for the destitute in Constantinople c. 802. After the death of the Patriarch Tarasios of Constantinople, although still a layman, he was chosen patriarch by the wish of the emperor; the uncanonical choice met with opposition from the clerical party of the Stoudites, this opposition intensified into an open break when Nikephoros, in other respects a rigid moralist, showed himself compliant to the will of the emperor by reinstating the excommunicated priest Joseph.
After vain theological disputes, in December 814, there followed personal insults. Nikephoros at first replied to his removal from his office by excommunication, but was at last obliged to yield to force, was taken to one of the cloisters he had founded, Tou Agathou, to that called Tou Hagiou Theodorou. From there he carried on a literary polemic for the cause of the iconodules against the synod of 815. On the occasion of the change of emperors, in 820, he was put forward as a candidate for the patriarchate and at least obtained the promise of toleration, he died at the monastery of Saint Theodore, revered as a confessor. His remains were solemnly brought back to Constantinople by Methodios I of Constantinople on March 13, 847, interred in the Church of the Holy Apostles, where they were annually the object of imperial devotion, his feast is celebrated on this day both in Roman Churches. Compared with Theodore of Stoudios, Nikephoros appears as a friend of conciliation, learned in patristics, more inclined to take the defensive than the offensive, possessed of a comparatively chaste, simple style.
He was mild in his ecclesiastical and monastical rules and non-partisan in his historical treatment of the period from 602 to 769. He used the chronicle of Trajan the Patrician, his tables of universal history, in passages extended and continued, were in great favor with the Byzantines, were circulated outside the Empire in the Latin version of Anastasius Bibliothecarius, in Slavonic translation. The Chronography offered a universal history from the time of Eve to his own time. To it he appended a canon catalog; the catalog of the accepted books of the Old and New Testaments is followed by the antilegomena and the apocrypha. Next to each book is the count of its lines, his stichometry, to which we can compare our accepted texts and judge how much has been added or omitted; this is useful for apocrypha for which only fragmentary texts have survived. The principal works of Nikephorus are three writings referring to iconoclasm: Apologeticus minor composed before 814, an explanatory work for laymen concerning the tradition and the first phase of the iconoclastic movement.
Nikephoros follows in the path of John of Damascus. His merit is the thoroughness with which he traced the literary and traditional proofs, his detailed refutations are serviceable for the knowledge they afford of important texts adduced by his opponents and in part drawn from the older church literature. List of Catholic saints Development of the Canon of the New Testament: the Stichometry of Nicephorus St. Nicephorus
Strategos or Strategus, plural strategoi, is used in Greek to mean military general. In the Hellenistic world and the Byzantine Empire the term was used to describe a military governor. In the modern Hellenic Army it is the highest officer rank. Strategos is a compound of two Greek words: agos. Stratos means army "that, spread out", coming from the proto-Indo-European root *stere- "to spread". Agos means "leader", from agein "to lead", from the proto-Ιndo-Εuropean root *ag- "to drive, draw out or forth, move”. In its most famous attestation, in Classical Athens, the office of strategos existed in the 6th century BC, but it was only with the reforms of Cleisthenes in 501 BC that it assumed its most recognizable form: Cleisthenes instituted a board of ten strategoi who were elected annually, one from each tribe; the ten were of equal status, replaced the polemarchos, who had hitherto been the senior military commander. At the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC they decided strategy by majority vote, each held the presidency in daily rotation.
At this date the polemarchos had a casting vote, one view among modern scholars is that he was the commander-in-chief. The annual election of the strategoi was held in the spring, their term of office coincided with the ordinary Athenian year, from midsummer to midsummer. If a strategos died or was dismissed from office, a by-election might be held to replace him; the strict adherence to the principle of a strategos from each tribe lasted until c. 440 BC, after which two strategoi could be selected from the same tribe and another tribe be left without its own strategos because no suitable candidate might be available. This system continued at least until c. 356/7 BC, but by the time Aristotle wrote his Constitution of the Athenians in c. 330 BC, the appointments were made without any reference to tribal affiliation. Hence, during the Hellenistic period, although the number of the tribes was increased, the number of strategoi remained constant at ten. In the early part of the 5th century, several strategoi combined their military office with a political role, with Themistocles, Cimon, or Pericles among the most notable.
As political power passed to the civilian rhetores in the 5th century, the strategoi were limited to their military duties. The strategoi were appointed ad hoc to various assignments. On campaign, several—usually up to three—strategoi might be placed jointly in command. Unlike other Greek states, where the nauarchos commanded the navy, the Athenian strategoi held command both at sea and on land. From the middle of the 4th century, the strategoi were given specific assignments, such as the strategos epi ten choran for the defence of Attica; this was generalized in Hellenistic times. One of them, the strategos epi ta hopla, ascended to major prominence in the Roman period; the Athenian people kept a close eye on their strategoi. Like other magistrates, at the end of their term of office they were subject to euthyna and in addition there was a vote in the ekklesia during every prytany on the question whether they were performing their duties well. If the vote went against anyone, he was as a rule tried by jury.
Pericles himself in 430 was removed from office as strategos and fined, in 406 the eight strategoi who commanded the fleet at the Battle of Arginusae were all removed from office and condemned to death. The title of strategos appears for a number of other Greek states in the Classical period, but it is unclear whether this refers to an actual office, or is used as a generic term for military commander; the strategos as an office is attested at least for Syracuse from the late 5th century BC, in the koinon of the Arcadians in the 360s BC. The title of strategos autokrator was used for generals with broad powers, but the extent and nature of these powers was granted on an ad hoc basis, thus Philip II of Macedon was elected as strategos autokrator of the League of Corinth. Under Philip II of Macedon, the title of strategos was used for commanders on detached assignments as the quasi-representatives of the king with a title indicating their area of responsibility, e.g. strategos tes Europes. In several Greek city leagues the title strategos was reserved for the head of state.
In the Aetolian League and the Achaean League, where the strategos was annually elected, he was the eponymous chief of civil government and the supreme military commander at the same time. Two of the most prominent leaders re-elected many times to the office in the Achaean League, were Aratus of Sicyon and Philopoemen of Megalopolis. Strategoi are reported in the Arcadian League, in the Epirote Republik and in the Acarnanian League, whereas the leaders of the Boeotian League and the Thessalian League had different titles and Tagus respectively. In the Hellenistic empires of the Diadochi, notably Lagid Egypt, for which most details are known, strategos became a gubernatorial office combining civil with
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire, of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire, until falling to the Ottoman Empire. It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, dedicated on 11 May 330; the city was located in what is now the core of modern Istanbul. From the mid-5th century to the early 13th century, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe; the city was famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, the Golden Gate of the Land Walls, the opulent aristocratic palaces lining the arcaded avenues and squares. The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453, including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandria and had over 100,000 volumes of ancient texts.
It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom's holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross. Constantinople was famed for its complex defences; the first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, surrounded the city on both land and sea fronts. In the 5th century, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius under the child emperor Theodosius II undertook the construction of the Theodosian Walls, which consisted of a double wall lying about 2 kilometres to the west of the first wall and a moat with palisades in front; this formidable complex of defences was one of the most sophisticated of Antiquity. The city was built intentionally to rival Rome, it was claimed that several elevations within its walls matched the'seven hills' of Rome; because it was located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara the land area that needed defensive walls was reduced, this helped it to present an impregnable fortress enclosing magnificent palaces and towers, the result of the prosperity it achieved from being the gateway between two continents and two seas.
Although besieged on numerous occasions by various armies, the defences of Constantinople proved impregnable for nearly nine hundred years. In 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade took and devastated the city, its inhabitants lived several decades under Latin misrule. In 1261 the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos liberated the city, after the restoration under the Palaiologos dynasty, enjoyed a partial recovery. With the advent of the Ottoman Empire in 1299, the Byzantine Empire began to lose territories and the city began to lose population. By the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, making it an enclave inside the Ottoman Empire. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, the first known name of a settlement on the site of Constantinople was Lygos, a settlement of Thracian origin founded between the 13th and 11th centuries BC; the site, according to the founding myth of the city, was abandoned by the time Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara founded Byzantium in around 657 BC, across from the town of Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus.
The origins of the name of Byzantion, more known by the Latin Byzantium, are not clear, though some suggest it is of Thraco-Illyrian origin. The founding myth of the city has it told that the settlement was named after the leader of the Megarian colonists, Byzas; the Byzantines of Constantinople themselves would maintain that the city was named in honour of two men and Antes, though this was more just a play on the word Byzantion. The city was renamed Augusta Antonina in the early 3rd century AD by the Emperor Septimius Severus, who razed the city to the ground in 196 for supporting a rival contender in the civil war and had it rebuilt in honour of his son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, popularly known as Caracalla; the name appears to have been forgotten and abandoned, the city reverted to Byzantium/Byzantion after either the assassination of Caracalla in 217 or, at the latest, the fall of the Severan dynasty in 235. Byzantium took on the name of Kōnstantinoupolis after its refoundation under Roman emperor Constantine I, who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium in 330 and designated his new capital as Nova Roma'New Rome'.
During this time, the city was called'Second Rome','Eastern Rome', Roma Constantinopolitana. As the city became the sole remaining capital of the Roman Empire after the fall of the West, its wealth and influence grew, the city came to have a multitude of nicknames; as the largest and wealthiest city in Europe during the 4th–13th centuries and a centre of culture and education of the Mediterranean basin, Constantinople came to be known by prestigious titles such as Basileuousa and Megalopol