Justinian I, traditionally known as Justinian the Great and Saint Justinian the Great in the Eastern Orthodox Church, was the Eastern Roman emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the historical Roman Empire. Justinian's rule constitutes a distinct epoch in the history of the Later Roman empire, his reign is marked by the ambitious but only realized renovatio imperii, or "restoration of the Empire"; because of his restoration activities, Justinian has sometimes been known as the "last Roman" in mid 20th century historiography. This ambition was expressed by the partial recovery of the territories of the defunct Western Roman Empire, his general, swiftly conquered the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa. Subsequently, Belisarius and other generals conquered the Ostrogothic kingdom, restoring Dalmatia, Sicily and Rome to the empire after more than half a century of rule by the Ostrogoths; the prefect Liberius reclaimed the south of the Iberian peninsula, establishing the province of Spania.
These campaigns re-established Roman control over the western Mediterranean, increasing the Empire's annual revenue by over a million solidi. During his reign, Justinian subdued the Tzani, a people on the east coast of the Black Sea that had never been under Roman rule before, he engaged the Sasanian Empire in the east during Kavad I's reign, again during Khosrow I's. A still more resonant aspect of his legacy was the uniform rewriting of Roman law, the Corpus Juris Civilis, still the basis of civil law in many modern states, his reign marked a blossoming of Byzantine culture, his building program yielded such masterpieces as the church of Hagia Sophia. Justinian was born in Tauresium, around 482. A native speaker of Latin, he came from a peasant family believed to have been of Illyro-Roman or Thraco-Roman origins; the cognomen Iustinianus, which he took is indicative of adoption by his uncle Justin. During his reign, he founded Justiniana Prima not far from his birthplace, which today is in South East Serbia.
His mother was the sister of Justin. Justin, in the imperial guard before he became emperor, adopted Justinian, brought him to Constantinople, ensured the boy's education; as a result, Justinian was well educated in jurisprudence and Roman history. Justinian served for some time with the Excubitors but the details of his early career are unknown. Chronicler John Malalas, who lived during the reign of Justinian, tells of his appearance that he was short, fair skinned, curly haired, round faced and handsome. Another contemporary chronicler, compares Justinian's appearance to that of tyrannical Emperor Domitian, although this is slander; when Emperor Anastasius died in 518, Justin was proclaimed the new emperor, with significant help from Justinian. During Justin's reign, Justinian was the emperor's close confidant. Justinian showed much ambition, it has been thought that he was functioning as virtual regent long before Justin made him associate emperor on 1 April 527, although there is no conclusive evidence of this.
As Justin became senile near the end of his reign, Justinian became the de facto ruler. Justinian was appointed consul in 521 and commander of the army of the east. Upon Justin's death on 1 August 527, Justinian became the sole sovereign; as a ruler, Justinian showed great energy. He was known as "the emperor" on account of his work habits, he seems to have been amiable and easy to approach. Around 525, he married Theodora, in Constantinople, she was by some twenty years his junior. In earlier times, Justinian could not have married her owing to her class, but his uncle, Emperor Justin I, had passed a law allowing intermarriage between social classes. Theodora would become influential in the politics of the Empire, emperors would follow Justinian's precedent in marrying outside the aristocratic class; the marriage caused a scandal, but Theodora would prove to be a shrewd judge of character and Justinian's greatest supporter. Other talented individuals included his legal adviser. Justinian's rule was not universally popular.
Justinian recovered. Theodora died in 548 at a young age of cancer. Justinian, who had always had a keen interest in theological matters and participated in debates on Christian doctrine, became more devoted to religion during the years of his life; when he died on 14 November 565, he left no children, though his wife Theodora had given birth to a stillborn son several years into his reign. He was succeeded by Justin II, the son of his sister Vigilantia and married to Sophia, the niece of Empress Theodora. Justinian's body was entombed in a specially built mausoleum in the Church of the
Siege of Málaga (1487)
The Siege of Málaga was an action during the Reconquest of Spain in which the Catholic Monarchs conquered the city of Málaga from the Muslims. The siege lasted about four months, it was the first conflict in which ambulances, or dedicated vehicles for the purpose of carrying injured persons, were used. Málaga was the main objective of the 1487 campaign by the Catholic Monarchs against the Emirate of Granada, losing territory to the Christian forces. King Ferdinand II of Aragon left Córdoba with an army of 20,000 horsemen, 50,000 laborers and 8,000 support troops; this contingent joined. The army decided to first attack Vélez-Málaga, continue west to Malaga. Nasrid spies gave word of the movements of the Christians, the inhabitants of Vélez fled to the mountains and the Bentomiz castle; the Spanish reached Vélez-Málaga on 17 April 1487 after a slow advance through difficult country. A few days the lighter siege engines arrived, it had proved impossible to move the heavier ones along the poor roads.
Muhammed XIII, Sultan of Granada made an attempt to relieve Vélez, but was forced to retreat to Granada by the superior forces of the marquis of Cadiz. On his arrival there he found that he had been overthrown in favor of his nephew Abdallah Muhammad XII. Seeing no hope of relief, Vélez capitulated on 27 April 1487 on condition that the lives of the people would be spared, they would keep their property and religion. Smaller places surrendered along the road to Málaga, the next objective; the Moorish city of Mālaqa was the second city in the emirate after Granada itself, a major trading port on the Mediterranean. The city was prosperous, with elegant architecture and fountains; the city was surrounded by fortifications. Above it was the citadel, the Alcazaba of Málaga, connected via a covered way with the impregnable fortress of Gibralfaro. A land-side suburb was ringed by a strong wall. Towards the sea were orchards of olives and pomegranates, vineyards from whose grapes the sweet fortified Malaga wine, an important export, was made.
The city was well-supplied with ammunition. In addition to the normal garrison it contained volunteers from other towns in the regions and a corps of Gomeres and disciplined African mercenaries. Hamet el Zegrí, the former defender of Ronda, was in command of the defense. While still at Vélez, Ferdinand attempted to negotiate a surrender on good terms, but his offers were refused by Hamet el Zegrí. Ferdinand left Velez on 7 May 1487 and advanced along the coast to Bezmiliana, about six miles from Málaga, where the road led between two heights defended by the Muslims. A fight ensued that continued until evening, when the Christians managed to turn the position and the Muslims retreated to the Gibralfaro fortress; the landward height was converted into a Christian strong point, they began construction of works encircling the city. These were either a trench and palisade, or an earth embankment where the ground was too rocky for excavation. A fleet of armed ships and caravels placed in the harbor cut off all access to the city from the sea.
The first Christian attack was against the landward suburb. They breached the wall, after strong resistance the Muslims were driven back into the city. King Ferdinand II sent an expedition to the ruins of Algeciras to retrieve stone balls used in the Siege of Algeciras so they could be used against Málaga. Queen Isabella joined her husband, accompanied by her court and by various high clergymen and nobles, a move that helped to boost morale; the Muslims kept up fire from the city on the Christian lines, made repeated sallies, sometimes in strength. There were attempts to relieve the city. In one case El Zagal sent a body of cavalry from Guadix, but a stronger force sent by Abdallah intercepted and defeated it. Abdallah followed up by sending costly gifts to the Catholic monarchs and assuring them of his friendly disposition. In return, the monarchs agreed to leave his subjects in peace and to allow non-military trade between Granada and Spain. Málaga began to run short of food supplies; the Christians received two Flemish transports with military supplies sent by Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor.
Ferdinand had intended to starve the city out, but became impatient with the delays and began construction of mobile siege towers that could be used to bridge the walls, mines to enter the city from below or to undermine the walls. The Muslims attacked and destroyed the towers, counter-mined and drove out the Christians, sent out armed vessels against the Christian fleet. However, after three months the Christians managed to take possession of an outlying tower attached with a bridge of four arches to the city wall, a key point from which to advance into the city. By this time the Malagans had run out of stores of food and had been reduced to the extremes of eating dogs and cats, eating the leaves of vines and palms and chewing hides. Seeing their extreme suffering, Hamet el Zegrí agreed to withdraw with his forces to the Gibralfaro, let the population make terms with the Christians. After unsuccessful attempts to negotiate terms, the representatives of the city capitulated without conditions, throwing themselves on Ferdinand's mercy.
The city surrendered on 13 August 1487. The citadel held out until 18 August 1487 when its leader, the merchant Ali Dordux, surrendered on the basis that his group of twenty-five families would be allowed to stay as Mudéjars; the monarchs entered triumphantly on 18 August 1487. The fortress of the Gibralfaro, under the command of Hamet el Zegrí, surrendered the next day; the conquest of Málaga was a harsh blow to the Nas
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV, known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who reigned as King of France from 1643 until his death in 1715. Starting on 14 May 1643 when Louis was 4 years old, his reign of 72 years and 110 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country in European history. In the age of absolutism in Europe, Louis XIV's France was a leader in the growing centralisation of power. Louis began his personal rule of France in 1661, after the death of his chief minister, the Italian Cardinal Mazarin. An adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, Louis continued his predecessors' work of creating a centralised state governed from the capital, he sought to eliminate the remnants of feudalism persisting in parts of France and, by compelling many members of the nobility to inhabit his lavish Palace of Versailles, succeeded in pacifying the aristocracy, many members of which had participated in the Fronde rebellion during Louis' minority. By these means he became one of the most powerful French monarchs and consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution.
Louis encouraged and benefited from the work of prominent political and cultural figures such as Mazarin, Louvois, the Grand Condé, Turenne, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban, André Charles Boulle, Molière, Boileau, La Fontaine, Marais, Le Brun, Bossuet, Le Vau, Charles, Claude Perrault, Le Nôtre. Under his rule, the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to Huguenots, was abolished; the revocation forced Huguenots to emigrate or convert in a wave of dragonnades, which managed to destroy the French Protestant minority. During Louis' long reign, France was the leading European power, it fought three major wars: the Franco-Dutch War, the War of the League of Augsburg, the War of the Spanish Succession. There were two lesser conflicts: the War of Devolution and the War of the Reunions. Warfare defined the foreign policy of Louis XIV, his personality shaped his approach. Impelled "by a mix of commerce and pique", Louis sensed that warfare was the ideal way to enhance his glory. In peacetime he concentrated on preparing for the next war.
He taught his diplomats that their job was to create tactical and strategic advantages for the French military. Louis XIV was born on 5 September 1638 in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, to Louis XIII and Anne of Austria, he was named Louis Dieudonné and bore the traditional title of French heirs apparent: Dauphin. At the time of his birth, his parents had been married for 23 years, his mother had experienced four stillbirths between 1619 and 1631. Leading contemporaries thus regarded him as his birth a miracle of God. Sensing imminent death, Louis XIII decided to put his affairs in order in the spring of 1643, when Louis XIV was four years old. In defiance of custom, which would have made Queen Anne the sole Regent of France, the king decreed that a regency council would rule on his son's behalf, his lack of faith in Queen Anne's political abilities was his primary rationale. He did, make the concession of appointing her head of the council. Louis' relationship with his mother was uncommonly affectionate for the time.
Contemporaries and eyewitnesses claimed. Both were interested in food and theatre, it is likely that Louis developed these interests through his close relationship with his mother; this long-lasting and loving relationship can be evidenced by excerpts in Louis' journal entries, such as: "Nature was responsible for the first knots which tied me to my mother. But attachments formed by shared qualities of the spirit are far more difficult to break than those formed by blood." It was his mother who gave Louis his belief in the absolute and divine power of his monarchical rule. During his childhood, he was taken care of by the governesses Françoise de Lansac and Marie-Catherine de Senecey. In 1646, Nicolas V de Villeroy became the young king's tutor. Louis XIV became friends with Villeroy's young children François de Villeroy, divided his time between the Palais-Royal and the nearby Hotel de Villeroy. On 14 May 1643, with Louis XIII dead, Queen Anne had her husband's will annulled by the Parlement de Paris.
This action made Anne sole Regent of France. Anne exiled some of her husband's ministers, she nominated Brienne as her minister of foreign affairs. Anne nominated Saint Vincent de Paul as her spiritual adviser, which helped her deal with religious policy and the Jansenism question. Anne kept the direction of religious policy in her hand until 1661. Anne wanted to give her son a victorious kingdom, her rationales for choosing Mazarin were his ability and his total dependence on her, at least until 1653 when she was no longer regent. Anne protected Mazarin by arresting and exiling her followers who conspired against him in 1643: the Duke of Beaufort and Marie de Rohan, she left the direction of the daily administration of policy to Cardinal Mazarin. The best example of Anne's statesmanship and the partial change in her heart towards her native Spain is seen in her keeping of one of Richelieu's men, the Chancellor of France Pierre Séguier, in his post. Séguier was the pers
The Reconquista is a name used in English to describe the period in the history of the Iberian Peninsula of about 780 years between the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 711 and the fall of the Nasrid kingdom of Granada to the expanding Christian kingdoms in 1492. The completed conquest of Granada was the context of the Spanish voyages of discovery and conquest, the Americas—the "New World"—ushered in the era of the Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires. Traditional historiography has marked the beginning of the Reconquista with the Battle of Covadonga, the first known victory in Iberia by Christian military forces since the 711 military invasion of Iberia by combined Arab-Berber forces. In that small battle, a group led by the nobleman Pelagius defeated a Muslim patrol in the mountains of northern Iberia and established the independent Christian Kingdom of Asturias. In the late 10th century, the Umayyad vizier Almanzor waged military campaigns for 30 years to subjugate the northern Christian kingdoms.
His armies composed of Slavic and African Mamluks, ravaged the north sacking the great shrine of Santiago de Compostela. When the government of Córdoba disintegrated in the early 11th century, a series of petty successor states known as taifas emerged; the northern kingdoms struck deep into Al-Andalus. After a Muslim resurgence in the 12th century the great Moorish strongholds in the south fell to Christian forces in the 13th century—Córdoba in 1236 and Seville in 1248—leaving only the Muslim enclave of Granada as a tributary state in the south. After 1491, the entire peninsula was controlled by Christian rulers; the conquest was followed by the Alhambra Decree which expelled Jews who would not convert to Christianity from Castile and Aragon, a series of edicts which forced the conversions of the Muslims in Spain, although a significant part of them was expelled from the Iberian Peninsula. The concept of Reconquista, consolidated in Spanish historiography in the second half of the 19th century, was associated with the development of a Spanish national identity, emphasizing nationalistic and romantic, colonialist, aspects.
Since the 19th century traditional historiography has stressed the existence of the Reconquista, a continuous phenomenon by which the Christian Iberian kingdoms opposed and conquered the Muslim kingdoms, understood as a common enemy who had militarily seized territory from native Iberian Christians. The concept of a Christian reconquest of the peninsula first emerged, in tenuous form, at the end of the 9th century. A landmark was set by the Christian Chronica Prophetica, a document stressing the Christian and Muslim cultural and religious divide in Iberia and the necessity to drive the Muslims out. Both Christian and Muslim rulers fought amongst themselves. Alliances between Muslims and Christians were not uncommon. Blurring distinctions further were the mercenaries from both sides who fought for whoever paid the most; the period is seen today to have had long episodes of relative religious tolerance. The Crusades, which started late in the 11th century, bred the religious ideology of a Christian reconquest, confronted at that time with a staunch Muslim Jihad ideology in Al-Andalus by the Almoravids, to an greater degree by the Almohads.
In fact, previous documents from the 10th and 11th centuries are mute on any idea of "reconquest". Propaganda accounts of Muslim-Christian hostility came into being to support that idea, most notably the Chanson de Roland, a fictitious 11th-century French version of the Battle of Roncevaux Pass dealing with the Iberian Saracens, taught as historical fact in the French educational system since 1880; the modern idea of Reconquista is inextricably linked to the foundational myths of Spanish nationalism in the 19th century, consolidated by the mid-20th century during Franco's National-Catholic dictatorship, based on a strong underlying Castilian ideological element. The idea of a "liberation war" of reconquest against the Muslims, depicted as foreigners, suited well the anti-Republican rebels during the Spanish Civil War who agitated for the banner of a Spanish fatherland threatened by regional nationalisms and communism, their rebellious pursuit was thus a crusade for the restoration of the Church's unity, where Franco stood for both Pelagius of Asturias and El Cid.
The Reconquista has become a rallying call for right and far-right parties in Spain to expel from office incumbent progressive or peripheral nationalist options, as well as their values, in different political contexts as of 2018. Some contemporary authors consider it proved that the process of Christian state-building in Iberia was indeed defined by the reclamation of lands, lost to the Moors in generations past. In this way, state-building might be characterised—at least in ideological, if not practical, terms—as a process by which Iberian states were being'rebuilt'.. In turn, other recent historians dispute the whole concept of Reconquista as a concept created a posteriori in the service of political goals. A few historians point out that Spain and Portugal did not exist as nations, therefore the heirs of the Christian Visigothic Kingdom were not technically reconquering them, as the name suggests. One of the first Spanish intellectuals to question the idea of a "reconquest" that lasted for eight centuries was José Ortega y Gasset, writing in the first half of the 20th century.
However, the term is still in use
Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, in some definitions, some parts of western Jordan. The name was used by ancient Greek writers, it was used for the Roman province Syria Palaestina, the Byzantine Palaestina Prima, the Islamic provincial district of Jund Filastin; the region comprises most of the territory claimed for the biblical regions known as the Land of Israel, the Holy Land or Promised Land. It has been known as the southern portion of wider regional designations such as Canaan, ash-Sham, the Levant. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites and Judeans, Babylonians, ancient Greeks, the Jewish Hasmonean Kingdom, Parthians, Byzantines, the Arab Rashidun, Umayyad and Fatimid caliphates, Ayyubids, Mongols, the British, modern Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians.
The boundaries of the region have changed throughout history. Today, the region comprises the State of Israel and the Palestinian territories in which the State of Palestine was declared. Modern archaeology has identified 12 ancient inscriptions from Egyptian and Assyrian records recording cognates of Hebrew Pelesheth; the term "Peleset" is found in five inscriptions referring to a neighboring people or land starting from c. 1150 BCE during the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. The first known mention is at the temple at Medinet Habu which refers to the Peleset among those who fought with Egypt in Ramesses III's reign, the last known is 300 years on Padiiset's Statue. Seven known Assyrian inscriptions refer to the region of "Palashtu" or "Pilistu", beginning with Adad-nirari III in the Nimrud Slab in c. 800 BCE through to a treaty made by Esarhaddon more than a century later. Neither the Egyptian nor the Assyrian sources provided clear regional boundaries for the term; the first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the entire area between Phoenicia and Egypt was in 5th century BCE Ancient Greece, when Herodotus wrote of a "district of Syria, called Palaistinê" in The Histories, which included the Judean mountains and the Jordan Rift Valley.
A century Aristotle used a similar definition for the region in Meteorology, in which he included the Dead Sea. Greek writers such as Polemon and Pausanias used the term to refer to the same region, followed by Roman writers such as Ovid, Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch as well as Roman Judean writers Philo of Alexandria and Josephus; the term was first used to denote an official province in c. 135 CE, when the Roman authorities, following the suppression of the Bar Kokhba Revolt, combined Iudaea Province with Galilee and the Paralia to form "Syria Palaestina". There is circumstantial evidence linking Hadrian with the name change, but the precise date is not certain and the assertion of some scholars that the name change was intended "to complete the dissociation with Judaea" is disputed; the term is accepted to be a translation of the Biblical name Peleshet. The term and its derivates are used more than 250 times in Masoretic-derived versions of the Hebrew Bible, of which 10 uses are in the Torah, with undefined boundaries, 200 of the remaining references are in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel.
The term is used in the Septuagint, which used a transliteration Land of Phylistieim different from the contemporary Greek place name Palaistínē. The Septuagint instead used the term "allophuloi" throughout the Books of Judges and Samuel, such that the term "Philistines" has been interpreted to mean "non-Israelites of the Promised Land" when used in the context of Samson and David, Rabbinic sources explain that these peoples were different from the Philistines of the Book of Genesis. During the Byzantine period, the region of Palestine within Syria Palaestina was subdivided into Palaestina Prima and Secunda, an area of land including the Negev and Sinai became Palaestina Salutaris. Following the Muslim conquest, place names that were in use by the Byzantine administration continued to be used in Arabic; the use of the name "Palestine" became common in Early Modern English, was used in English and Arabic during the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem and was revived as an official place name with the British Mandate for Palestine.
Some other terms that have been used to refer to all or part of this land include Canaan, Land of Israel, the Promised Land, Greater Syria, the Holy Land, Iudaea Province, Coele-Syria, "Israel HaShlema", Kingdom of Israel, Kingdom of Jerusalem, Retenu, Southern Syria, Southern Levant and Syria Palaestina. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt and Arabia, the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture and politics; the region has been controlled by numerous peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Israelites, Babylonians, Ancient Greeks, Parthians, Sasa
Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome, it was an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture"; the Hagia Sophia construction consists of masonry. The structure is composed of mortar joints that are 1.5 times the width of the bricks. The mortar joints are composed of a combination of sand and minute ceramic pieces displaced evenly throughout the mortar joints; this combination of sand and ceramic pieces could be considered to be the equivalent of modern concrete at the time. From the date of its construction's completion in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire.
The building was converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935, it remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. The current building was constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the prior one having been destroyed by rioters in the Nika Revolt, it was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Anthemius of Tralles. The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity, its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia, sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom, its full name in Greek is Ναός της Αγίας του Θεού Σοφίας, Naos tēs Hagias tou Theou Sophias, "Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God".
The church contained a large collection of relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre silver iconostasis. The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius communicated by Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal envoy of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act, considered the start of the East–West Schism. In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, who ordered this main church of Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. Although some parts of the city of Constantinople were falling into disrepair, the cathedral was maintained with an amount of money set aside for this purpose; the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque. The bells, altar and other relics were destroyed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints, angels were destroyed or plastered over.
Islamic features – such as the mihrab and four minarets – were added. It remained a mosque until 1931, it was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting 3.3 million visitors annually. According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey's most visited tourist attraction in 2015. From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul; the Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the aforementioned mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex. On 24 March 2019, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the Hagia Sophia is to be reverted to a mosque; the first church on the site was known as the Μεγάλη Ἐκκλησία, or in Latin Magna Ecclesia, because of its larger dimensions in comparison to the contemporary churches in the City.
Inaugurated on 15 February 360 by the Arian bishop Eudoxius of Antioch, it was built next to the area where the imperial palace was being developed. The nearby Hagia Eirene church was completed earlier and served as cathedral until the Great Church was completed. Both churches acted together as the principal churches of the Byzantine Empire. Writing in 440, Socrates of Constantinople claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, working on it in 346. A tradition, not older than the 7th or 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great. Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, after it had collapsed. Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter; the edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium, it was claimed to be one of the world's most outstanding monuments at the time.
The Patriarch of Constantinople John
Antioch on the Orontes was an ancient Greek city on the eastern side of the Orontes River. Its ruins lie near the modern city of Antakya and lends the modern city its name. Antioch was founded near the end of the fourth century BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander the Great's generals; the city's geographical and economic location benefited its occupants such features as the spice trade, the Silk Road, the Royal Road. It rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East; the city was the capital of the Seleucid Empire until 63 B. C. when the Romans took control. From the early 4th century the city was the seat of the Count of the Orient, head of the regional administration of sixteen provinces, it was the main center of Hellenistic Judaism at the end of the Second Temple period. Antioch was one of the most important cities in the eastern Mediterranean of Rome's dominions, it covered 1,100 acres within the walls of which one quarter was mountain, leaving 750 acres about one-fifth the area of Rome within the Aurelian Walls.
Antioch was called "the cradle of Christianity" as a result of its longevity and the pivotal role that it played in the emergence of both Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity. The Christian New Testament asserts, it was one of the four cities of the Syrian tetrapolis, its residents were known as Antiochenes. The city was a metropolis of a quarter million people during Augustan times, but it declined to relative insignificance during the Middle Ages because of warfare, repeated earthquakes, a change in trade routes, which no longer passed through Antioch from the far east following the Mongol invasions and conquests. Two routes from the Mediterranean, lying through the Orontes gorge and the Beilan Pass, converge in the plain of the Antioch Lake and are met there by the road from the Amanian Gate and western Commagene, which descends the valley of the Karasu River to the Afrin River, the roads from eastern Commagene and the Euphratean crossings at Samosata and Apamea Zeugma, which descend the valleys of the Afrin and the Quweiq rivers, the road from the Euphratean ford at Thapsacus, which skirts the fringe of the Syrian steppe.
A single route proceeds south in the Orontes valley. The settlement called Meroe pre-dated Antioch. A shrine of the Semitic goddess Anat, called by Herodotus the "Persian Artemis", was located here; this site was included in the eastern suburbs of Antioch. There was a village on the spur of Mount Silpius named Iopolis; this name was always adduced as evidence by Antiochenes anxious to affiliate themselves to the Attic Ionians—an eagerness, illustrated by the Athenian types used on the city's coins. Io may have been a small early colony of trading Greeks. John Malalas mentions an archaic village, Bottia, in the plain by the river. Alexander the Great is said to have camped on the site of Antioch, dedicated an altar to Zeus Bottiaeus; this account is found only in the writings of Libanius, a 4th-century orator from Antioch, may be legend intended to enhance Antioch's status. But the story is not unlikely in itself. After Alexander's death in 323 BC, his generals divided up the territory. After the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BC, Seleucus I Nicator won the territory of Syria, he proceeded to found four "sister cities" in northwestern Syria, one of, Antioch, a city named in honor of his father Antiochus.
He is reputed to have built sixteen Antiochs. Seleucus founded Antioch on a site chosen through ritual means. An eagle, the bird of Zeus, had been given a piece of sacrificial meat and the city was founded on the site to which the eagle carried the offering. Seleucus did this on the 22nd day of the month of Artemisios in the twelfth year of his reign. Antioch soon rose above Seleucia Pieria to become the Syrian capital; the original city of Seleucus was laid out in imitation of the grid plan of Alexandria by the architect Xenarius. Libanius describes the first arrangement of this city; the citadel was on Mt. Silpius and the city lay on the low ground to the north, fringing the river. Two great colonnaded streets intersected in the centre. Shortly afterwards a second quarter was laid out on the east and by Antiochus I, from an expression of Strabo, appears to have been the native, as contrasted with the Greek, town, it was enclosed by a wall of its own. In the Orontes, north of the city, lay a large island, on this Seleucus II Callinicus began a third walled "city", finished by Antiochus III.
A fourth and last quarter was added by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. From west to east the whole was about 6 kilometres in diameter and a little less from north to south; this area included many large gardens. The new city was populated by a mix of local settlers that Athenians brought from the nearby city of Antigonia and Jews; the total free population of Antioch at its foundation has been estimated at between 17,000 and 25,000, not including slaves and native settlers. During the late Hellenistic period and Early Roman period, Antioch's population reached its peak of over 500,000 inhabitants and was the third largest city in the Empire after Rome and Alexandria. In the second half o