TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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Constantinople in the time of the Comneni dynasty

Two dates are especially important for the Byzantine Empire: may 11th 330, inauguration of Constantinople
City, and may 29th 1453, conquest of the city by the Turks. Generally, historians have
divided this period into 3 parts: 330-610, the begining period or late romanity, 610-1204, the byzantine Middle Ages and 1261-1453, the last period or late byzantine. This division has the advantage of
refl ection on the historical data of a state with over a millennium of existence. In 1081, Alexis I Comnenus
took over the Byzantine Empire and was forced to face a number of problems internally and
externally. In this study I tried to present the situation of the capital under the Comneni Emperors
with a description of the main public and religious buildings, which were giving Constantinople a
unique urban profi le since its beginnings. In the days of the Comneni kings, Constantinople was
the largest city in the world, the richest and most populated, with 400,000 inhabitants. Those who
came by sea could admire the pediment of the racetrack with its gilded horses, which are today in
Venice, and the columns with their statues that adorned the forums: the Augustaion market, the column
of Justinian, with the nine meters equestrian statue of the king which seems to be still fi ghting
barbarians. In the forum of Constantine, the column and his statue as Apollo, in the Tauri forum
a column with historical scenes, with an equestrian statue at the top, later distroyed by crusaders.
And many gardens and parks that were decorating the palace and the private properties outside the
walls. Those arriving in the city from Thrace were impressed by the walls 11 meters high, built by
Emperor Theodosius II (408-451).
Keywords: Constantinople, Alexis I Comnenus, the Hippodrome, the Tauri Forum, Hagia Sophia,
the capital palaces, religious foundations, commercial districts