As someone from Istanbul, I have always heard stories and legends about the olden Roman city, when it was Constantinople. I am curious about the one I really like, whether it has any truth in it, or is it a just a legend? It goes like this;

"Since Constantinople was build in later years as the new Eastern capital, Romans gave all their best efforts in building and designing the perfect city. The Queen of Cities was so perfect that even during their conquests in the new world Spanish conquistadors carried the detailed plans of it, so that they can use this perfection as the layouts for the cities they plan to found."

This story is especially used as a sad comparison with modern Istanbul's terrible city planning, saying Turks ruined the perfection. Is there any historical evidence for this story?

  • 9
    Seems like perfection is in the eyes of the beholder.
    – Semaphore
    Feb 19 '16 at 11:43
  • 12
    If you're old enough to have been born in "Constantinople", we should be asking you history questions, not you us.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 19 '16 at 16:30
  • 1
    @Semaphore I think it must be possible by some technical analysis to get a quantitative value for the excellence of any given city. The word perfection was just a metaphor for the excellence of the city design.
    – buræquete
    Feb 19 '16 at 16:34
  • 1
    @T.E.D. It was officially renamed as Istanbul after the founding of the Turkish Republic, up until then Konstantiniyye was often used. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Istanbul#Kostantiniyye
    – buræquete
    Feb 19 '16 at 16:41
  • 7
    @bureaquete That is not possibly unless you define "excellence of the city design" in objectively evaluable terms first.
    – Semaphore
    Feb 19 '16 at 20:00

According to the Romans it appears to have been 4th century historian Sozomen describes it as a "New Rome" equal in power and influence ,and describes Constantine's success-"He created another senate which he endowed with the same honours and privileges as that of Rome,and he strove to render the city of his name equal in every way to Rome in Italy;nor were his wishes in vain,for by the favor of God ,it became the most populous and wealthy of cities".Source "The mammoth book of how it happened in Ancient Rome"

  • 2
    My question was to get information about the story of conquistadors using the plans of the city, and whether this story has any truth in it.
    – buræquete
    Feb 19 '16 at 16:40
  • 8
    @bureaquete - You should probably consider editing your question to make that more clear. I'd pay particular attention to changing the title. Some users (and I'm often one of them) have a bad habit of answering the title without bothering to read the entire text of the question.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 19 '16 at 19:11
  • 3
    @bureaquete - Yes it is. Just giving some advice to a question writer here though, not justifying it.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 19 '16 at 23:09

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