1710 Etat Abrege de la Maison du Grand Seigneur, [Views of Constantinople]
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By: Henri Abraham Chatelain
Date: 1710 (Published) Paris
Dimensions: 13.5 x 17.5 inches (34.3 cm x 44.5 cm)
This lovely hand-colored authentic antique map by Chatelain depicts Constantinople in the early years of the eighteenth century with special attention paid in the first illustration to the Serai (Palace) of Topkap?, the grand palace built by the Ottomans on the point of the ‘rhinoceros’ horn’, a term often used to describe the shape of the land jutting out into the sea at this point. The scene from the sea is still recognizable today, as a portion of the land below the Palace is yet undeveloped, and portions of the great walls still stand. The accompanying text names and describes the responsibilities of various important members of the Ottoman government, including the Sultan.
The central engraving is a panoramic view of the city from the east side of the Bosphorus, which includes all major architectural edifices then extant as well as some which did not exist in quite the form depicted. The text describes the government’s military forces and sources of revenue, and pictures camels laden with goods, peasants, and the smaller walled settlement of Chalcedon.
The third engraving depicts Hagia Sophia, the mighty architectural edifice built by Justinian I on the site of the original church which was burnt to the ground during the Nika Revolt of the sixth century. Justinian spared no expense in realizing the plans drawn up by the famed architect Isidore of Miletus and the mathematician Anthemius of Tralles. He ordered all provinces under his reign to send the best architectural pieces to be used in the construction so that the Hagia Sophia could be bigger and grander. The columns and marbles used in the structure were taken from ancient cities in and around Anatolia and Syria, such as, Aspendus Ephessus, Baalbeek and Tarsa.
Condition: This map is in A condition with toning at the borders and some spotting. Centerfold and other minor separations have been repaired with archival material on the verso.
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