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New Rome (Greek: Νέα Ῥώμη, Nea Romē; Latin: Nova Roma) was a name sometimes used to describe the new city that the Roman Emperor Constantine created as his new imperial capital on the European coast of the Bosphorus strait. The city was known as Byzantium prior to his rededication, and as Constantinople thereafter, until the 20th century, when it was renamed Istanbul. 'New Rome' was never an official title, but was sometimes used as a laudatory description of the city, which was often compared with Rome in many ways.

Constantine essentially rebuilt the city on a monumental scale from 326[1] to 330, partly modeling it after Rome. Names of this period included ἡ Νέα, δευτέρα Ῥώμη, "the New, second Rome";[2] Ἄλμα Ῥώμα, "Alma Roma"; Βυζαντιάς Ῥώμη, "Byzantine Rome"; ἑῴα Ῥώμη, "Eastern Rome"; and Roma Constantinopolitana.[1]:354

The term "New Rome" was used to indicate that Byzantium was the second capital of the Roman Empire, since 285 CE when Diocletian established it as the center for the eastern provinces. In modern times, "New Rome" remains part of the official title of the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of that city.[3]

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  1. ^ a b Georgacas, Demetrius John (1947). "The Names of Constantinople". Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 78: 347–67. doi:10.2307/283503. JSTOR 283503.
  2. ^ The 5th-century church historian Socrates of Constantinople writes in his Historia Ecclesiastica, 1:16 (c. 439) that the emperor named the city "Constantinople" while decreeing that it be designated a "second Rome" (‘Κωνσταντινούπολιν’ μετονομάσας, χρηματίζειν ‘δευτέραν Ῥώμην’ νόμῳ ἐκύρωσεν).
  3. ^ Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch