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The Walls of Constantinople AD 324-1453 [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Stephen Tumbull , Peter Dennis
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

29 Oct 2004 Fortress (Book 25)
The walls of Constantinople are the greatest surviving example of European medieval military architecture in the world. They withstood numerous sieges until being finally overcome by the artillery of Mehmed the Conqueror in 1453, and exist today as a time capsule of Byzantine and Medieval history. This book examines the main defensive system protecting the landward side of the city, which consisted of three parallel walls about 5 miles long. The walls defended the city against intruders, including Attila the Hun, before finally being breached by European knights during the fourth Crusade in 1204 and, ultimately, destroyed by Turkish artillery in 1453.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (29 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184176759X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841767598
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 18.5 x 0.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 523,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Stephen Tumbull is recognised as one of the world's foremost military historians of the medieval and early modern periods. He first rose to prominence as a result of his extensive writings on the samurai, and has since written on less familiar areas of military history such as Korea, Eastem Europe and the Baltic states. Peter Dennis was born in 1950 and, having been inspired by contemporary magazines such as 'Look and Learn,' he studied illustration at Liverpool Art College. He has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on hstorical subjects. He is a keen wargarner and modelmaker.

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First Sentence
A cross-section of the Theodosian walls of Anthemius reveals three layers of defence. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great companion to the history of 1453 23 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book with excellent drawings and pictures of the wall.

Is an excellent companion to the books addressing the great sieges of the city.

The cross sections and plans of the walls are very accurate and impressive.

The author adds his own pictures of sections of the wall that are still standing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Walls of Constantinople 3 Feb 2011
I wish I'd had this book before I visited Istanbul. The walls are one of the most interesting features of the city but don't seem to be on the main tourist trail.
Maybe the book could have said more about the walls post-1453, in particular the fortress at Yedikule.
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2.0 out of 5 stars The briefest overview 17 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The book has a few worthwhile sections, but the walking tour section was annoyingly brief, especially as one memorable chunk was "inspired" (almost word for word) by Freely's Blue Guide. Very little on the sea or Golden Horn walls. Wish I'd have shelled out the extra for a decent copy of the Van Millingen.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Despite quite a number of flaws, to which I will come back shortly, this is a quite valuable overview of the rather unique and massive Walls of the "Queen of Cities". I found that it has at least three main qualities.

First of all, this book, and particularly its second and third section, made me want to return to Istanbul and revisit the Walls, possibly with this little book in hand. Granted, it is only an overview and the materials are drawn from other works, but nevertheless they are put together in such a way as to make the subject particularly attractive, at least for me and with regard to these two sections.

The second section is about the design and development of the Walls from their initial construction between 405 and 413 (and not 423, as indicated in the chronology) by Anthemius, Praetorian Prefect of the East, until the last repairs almost at the very end of the Empire over a thousand years later. This section is good, concise, and very readable and makes all the essential points. It is also a rather fascinating one, showing in particular how sophisticated the defence system was.

The third section - "Tour of the site" - is just as interesting and the plates are rather gorgeous, especially the one depicting the Golden Gate. It is a guided tour of the whole perimeter of the land Walls starting from the Sea of Marmara and finishing at the Golden Horn. Together with the section on "the Walls of Constantinople today", it provides a guided for any Byzantine loving tourist wanting to visit them.

Other sections, however, are more uneven, and faulty editing means that the text or the chronology contains some flaws.
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0 of 34 people found the following review helpful
By bairdie
the walls of constanintople are roman. as in ancient roman. as such they are the finest remaining example of roman military architecture.
im sure the book is all well and good but i already have some knowledge of byzantium, which is why i post this even though ive not read it.
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