In 1995, the British author Philip Mansel published a book titled Constantinople: City of the World's Desire. The same phrase also appears in the game Europa Universalis IV: one of the Ottomans' missions is called "City of the World's Desire". The phrase seems to predate Mansel, but who coined it, and when?

According to an article in the Washington Post (which is actually an excerpt from Mansel's book), the phrase was coined by a Greek speaker:

The walls had been built because Constantinople was, as one Byzantine had written, 'the city of the world's desire'.

But I'm struggling to find out which 'Byzantine' wrote those words. Can anyone else do any better?

  • @justCal Thank you! You obviously read it more carefully than I did!
    – Tom Hosker
    May 6, 2022 at 13:26
  • If I remember correctly, Ionce read that a medieval writer mentioned Constantinople as "this city of the world's desire".
    – MAGolding
    May 6, 2022 at 21:49


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