(Pdf) Istanbul The Imperial City author John Freely


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Istanbul The Imperial City

Udy of this legendary city through its many different ages from its earliest foundation to the present day the perfect traveller's companion and guide. John Freely s reference book can be identified as tale of three cities Byzantium Constantinople and stanbul This lyric tale which attracts the reader from the very first page just starting with ethymological roots of stanbul stin poli ie to the city no other name is needed to identify it as Freely beautifully points out and Anatolia which means land of sunrise whereas Europe can be translated as land of darkness in both Indo Europe and Semitic languages according to FreelyThe tale floods from mythological origins of the city and touches every significant era until 20th century and explains how a Greek colony evolved to first Roman capital than land of promise for Muslim world and a Muslim imperial city for 5 ages than part of new Turkish republic Yet ueen of cities stanbul can not be understood by just digesting its own history hence the book dwells on city s identity in multidimensional forms including but not limited to its topographical details sociological layers its interaction with other millets ie national compartments and cultural evolution and transformation throughout the centuriesThe book also contains some beautiful illustrations and maps as well as containing innumerable anecdotes and reviews from famous intellectuals such as Lord Byron and Edmondo de Amicis that I will omit in this review in order not to further spoil the book and harm its fluencyAnother aspect of the fluency is the language I read the book from an English copy something I mitigate to do unless I am enforced to as this decelerates me due to my lack of vocabulary and this was even explicit in long uotations in the book Nevertheless reading the book in its own language acts like the soul of the work is diffusing in my brain directly and that is why I dared to write this review in English although I knew my English is not sufficient enoughHaving said all this the relation that you establish with the city is eventually personal Freely s masterpiece can be a key for you to enter through one of the Roman walls and help you wander around within centuries in stanbul but it will be your own personal experience to assoicate all of these pieces with you build your own network of memories with the people you love This I believe may be why Freely implies his personal experience towards the very end of the book which contrasts the formal language dominates the rest

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Daily life as well as court ceremonial and intrigue The book also includes a comprehensive gazetteer of all major monuments and museums An in depth st. Not that good it s like a long list of names of who got murdered for control of the city with the occasional anecdote and the he build this and she build that with a long index of monuments at the end that seems copy pasted from wikipedia

John Freely µ 0 summary

Istanbul's history is a catalogue of change not least of name yet it has managed to retain its own uniue identity John Freely captures the flavour of. It s already a part of tradition that I always find and buy a book about the places I visit fortunately Istanbul have not one but two excellent english bookshops in the central area same owner that cater for tourists visitors and diplomats there is a nice selection of books about Turkey and Islam in english so I selected Istanbul the imperial city by John Freely as my first introduction to this beautiful and exciting city since I don t know much about its history except basic informationsSo far I am really enjoying it not too much space was focused on early settlers but very soon author moves on to explain it greeks and roman roots that have left much traces than people who lived here before Right now I am at the Chapter 12 and romans are in full swing lots of interesting and brutal anecdotes about emperors being killed by mobs and ueen mothers having their tongues sliced noses cut off and such stories We also get informations about all the important palacestemples and public buildings built around this time as well as occasional story about ordinary people who lived there famous courtesans saints priests and soldiers who were remembered in history Very gripping story and I am truly enjoying it and so far its still a roman city at this stage of the book muslims are only distant treat from far away

  • Paperback
  • 414
  • Istanbul The Imperial City
  • John Freely
  • English
  • 01 April 2018
  • 9780140244618

About the Author: John Freely

John Freely was born in 1926 in Brooklyn New York to Irish immigrant parents and spent half of his early childhood in Ireland He dropped out of high school when he was 17 to join the U S Navy serving for two years including combat duty with a commando unit in the Pacific India Burma and China during the last year of World War II After the war he went to college on the G I Bill and eve



10 thoughts on “Istanbul The Imperial City

  1. says:

    Yowzer I thought it was hard to memorize the Presidents of the United States It would be uite an accomplishment to memorize all of the rulers of Istanbul I finally abandoned the book about halfway through I am sure that it is an accurate listing of who ruled when what architectural feats they accomplished what major battles they fought in whose eyes they gouged out but it to me was a mind numbing whirl of facts and figu

  2. says:

    Somehow managed to have at least a seven year gap between starting and finishing thisWriting a history of a city that has been an imperial hub for what 1700 years is always going to be difficult in that the history of the empires and the history of the city blend into one another The Byzantine Empire was saved countless times by the fact Cons

  3. says:

    It's already a part of tradition that I always find and buy a book about the places I visit fortunately Istanbul have not on

  4. says:

    Objectively this book is kind of boring I picked this book up because I find Istanbul enchanting and I enjoyed the portions of this book that focus on the growth and development of the city and its landmarks enough to like the book as a whole But that really isn't the book's focus Instead Freely focuses on the long and violent parade of emperors and empresses that ruled the empires centered there While these rulers' r

  5. says:

    Not that good it's like a long list of names of who got murdered for control of the city with the occasional anecdote and the ''he build this'' and she build that with a long index of monuments at the end that seems copy pasted from wikipedi

  6. says:

    This is a book I enjoyed readingWith my general love of history the author introduced me to pre Ottoman Istanbul which revealed to me along with Ottoman and Republican Istanbul this what weight and value this beautiful city has in world history making me love Istanbul even The author divides the book into three parts ; Byzantium Constantinople IstanbulThe first two cover the period before the 1453 Ottoman con

  7. says:

    John Freely's reference book can be identified as tale of three cities Byzantium Constantinople and İstanbul This lyric tale which attracts the reader from the very first page just starting with ethymological roots of İstanbul stin poli ie to the city 'no other name is needed to identify it' as Freely beautifully points out and Anatolia which means land of sunrise whereas Europe can be translated as land o

  8. says:

    I bought this book on the road back from Istanbul a city I enjoyed very much during a week long visit Istanbul The Imperial City by John Freely is exactly what I should have been reading before visiting it is a history of the city sprinkled with descriptions of the buildings and landmarks still visible at the middle of th

  9. says:

    This book about ByzantiumConstantinopleIstanbul by the American teacher John Freely is a curious read It purports to be a chronological history of the city yet is in fact mostly a string of anecdotes about the doings of its sometime rulers interspersed with the odd undigested gobbet of political history It has none of the contextual depth or atmospherics reuired to really understand the place in the way for example that you can almost walk

  10. says:

    Too many facts to really digest by reading it through but lots of information for someone visiting Istanbul that provides a significant depth of knowledgeI would have rated it lower if I had to read it all in one sitting probably too overwhelming for that but if you spread it out you can see patterns and understand the flow of the city

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