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The Infrastructure Of A Great City: Earth, Walls And Water In Late Antique Constantinople

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Chapter Summary

By the later 5th c. A.D., Constantinople was the greatest urban centre in the Mediterranean world. This chapter considers three associated elements of the infrastructure of the city, each of which applied aspects of ancient technology: a first theme considers the urban terraces which have only been studied in detail for the area of the Great Palace, but which represent a massive investment in the transformation of the built topography of the city. A second theme examines the new Theodosian fortifications and suggests that these reflect a new level of innovation more often associated with the religious and civic architecture of the city. The third theme briefly reviews recent research on the water supply and will identify major areas of continuity and innovation into the Middle Byzantine period.

Keywords: ancient technology; Byzantine period; Constantinople; Great Palace; Theodosian fortifications



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