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Both Rome and Constantinople were located on seven so-called hills. Rome was capital of the Roman state, and maintained that status into the imperial era; Constantinople was founded as a new capital.

Could there be a reason why Rome and later Constantinople were both founded on sites with seven hills? Did seven hills carry any particular significance to the Ancient Romans, perhaps in their mythology or religious beliefs? Or was it just a coincidence?

  • So you're asking if the presence of seven hills was of special significance to the Romans and was, therefore, behind the choice of Constantinople as the eastern capital? – Steve Bird Jan 5 '15 at 19:52
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    The other way round: Bamberg is a town on seven hills and calls himselfs the (Franconian Rome) – knut Jan 5 '15 at 21:23
  • I'm still not sure what kind of information this question is seeking. It might help if you explain how the Wikipedia cited above failed to satisfactorily answer your question. – David H Jan 5 '15 at 22:07
  • @DavidH It is clear that I am asking if it is a coincidence or not in selecting the capital city of the Roman Empire. It might be a myth! Edited part emphasizes that some others also refer to this fact which arouse my curiosity. – Berkheimer Jan 5 '15 at 22:18
  • @Semaphore Yes, exactly! Also, I ask the same question for Constantinople. – Berkheimer Jan 6 '15 at 10:03
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The Seven Hills of Rome is something of a misnomer, as three of them (Quirinal, Esquiline, and Viminal) are all protruding parts of one landmass. As in the Legendary Seven Kings of Rome, the attraction to seven is probably just that seven is a lucky number.

Once you make the "Seven Hills" famous, it is pretty easy to pick out seven lumps in your city to make the allusion. Note that in Constantinople (Istanbul) three of the seven hills are one large hill (4, 5, 6) and three are outside the walls that Constantine founded the city on! (5, 6, 7).

With this freedom of definition of what a hill is, many cities can and do find seven hills. My hometown, Cincinnati Ohio, did this too.

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