Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities By Bettany Hughes

It is a biased work. Chapter 8: There is a possibility that Lydia was invented by Luke Might this be a deduction by Sherlock Holmes? Chapter 9: The Berber author Lactantius (a Christian, so not an unbiased source) describes better have a pin ch of salt handy in case of reading history written by Christians. Chapter 11: An interesting possibility here is that a Christian gloss has been conveniently sealed over pagan historical fact this same convenient fight of fancy is absent while describing Osman's dream in chapter 50. The gruesome murder of Hypatia by Christians is graphically described in chapter 21 and in chapter 47 we read, For the majority of women (and indeed men) living in this region at the time of Crusades who had he misfortune to be in a town when it fell to the Crusaders, sexual violence in the name of God would have been not the exception but the rule. Reading the latter chapters of the book, one gets the impression that the Christians were virtually hoping for their towns and villages to fall to the Muslims in Jihad so that the women and girls could become part of the war booty and finally gain entry into the harems, and the men, if they survived, could become the Janissaries. Very benevolent conquerors indeed. Since the clash between the Abbasid s and Ummayads, sultans had been allowed to claim one fifth of War captives as their own. The system continued vigorously until the seventeenth century. This is misleading because this clause was in effect from the time of prophet Muhammad and is still effective as per the claims of the ISIS. Chapter 58: We have to pity the Ottoman war fleet whose personnel could not differentiate between merchant vessels and war galleys. During Lepanto battle, Turkish admiral Ali Pasha was beheaded and his severed head displayed on a pike a brutal act that punctured the Ottomans' morale. The finds finds the display of a head severed in the thick of the battle to be a brutal act: Of Cyprus, the author says, In A. D. 1570 the sultan Selim ll had invaded Cyprus. The surrender of the Island 's Christian rulers at Famagusta in 1571 spurred.. However, conveniently or otherwise, the author fails to mention the following: 1) that Cyprus was a colony of Venice and that there was a peace treaty in force between the Ottomans and the Venetians, sworn upon the Koran. Invasion and seige of Cyprus was a contravention of this treaty. 2) that Kara Mustafa ( Ottoman commander) had guaranteed the life of the Cypriot citizens and Venetian soldiers before they surrendered. 3) that, Kara Mustafa and the Ottomans contravened the surrender terms. 4) that after surrender, 30000 Christian civilians were massacred and 2000 boys and girls were enslaved and sent off to Turkey. 5) that Marcantonio Bragadino, commander of the Christian garrison at Cyprus, was tortured, flayed alive, taken in procession around the town. After the murder, his stuffed skin was run up a yardarm and displayed like a windsock. 6) that at the battle of Lepanto, two of the Christian war galleys were commanded by the brothers of the murdered Bragadino. The author who highlighted the brutal decapitation and display of a head by the Christians in the batlle of Lepanto could not find words to write about the Muslim atrocities at and after the seige and surrender of Famagusta. That perhaps is the author's manner of writing history. This particular book will not be found in my collection of history books. Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities


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Istanbul has long been a place where stories and histories collide, where perception is as potent as fact.

From the Koran to Shakespeare, this city with three names Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul resonates as an idea and a place, real and imagined. Standing as the gateway between East and West, North and South, it has been the capital city of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. For much of its history it was the very center of the world, known simply as The City, but, as Bettany Hughes reveals, Istanbul is not just a city, but a global story.

In this epic new biography, Hughes takes us on a dazzling historical journey from the Neolithic to the present, through the many incarnations of one of the worlds greatest cities exploring the ways that Istanbuls influence has spun out to shape the wider world. Hughes investigates what it takes to make a city and tells the story not just of emperors, viziers, caliphs, and sultans, but of the poor and the voiceless, of the women and men whose aspirations and dreams have continuously reinvented Istanbul.

Written with energy and animation, award winning historian Bettany Hughes deftly guides readers through Istanbuls rich layers of history. Based on meticulous research and new archaeological evidence, this captivating portrait of the momentous life of Istanbul is visceral, immediate, and authoritative narrative history at its finest. Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities