Writing Rome Out Of Istanbul’s History

History has always  been written by the victors.

But what is it about the lingering power of Rome’s legacy in Istanbul (formerly Constantinople – Nova Roma – Byzantium), that 600 hundred years after Mehmed the Conqueror breached Constantinople’s walls, the modern Turkish government finds the Roman Empire to be such a threat?  Or so it would seem given the resources that Turkey (led by Prime Minister Erdogan’s party) has devoted to programs to eliminate Rome from the archaelogical record by selectively restoring Roman monuments and buildings in Istanbul to emphasize their Ottoman influences at the expense of their Roman origins.

Perhaps the headline from this recent piece in the Financial Times should have read (encouragingly) as follows: “Rome Still Matters.”


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