Constantinople and Tenochtitlan were two great cities in their time. They both had many dominant physical features. They also had many cultural influences and their major function for each city was different. The two cities had important landmarks and their locations still exist. The cities both had religious affiliations and other important aspects. Constantinople and Tenochtitlan help to show you what cities were like between 1160-1520.
Any two cities could have been chosen to show what it was like back then. These two show the global nature of this occurrence by contrasting the two. One is located in the Mediterranean and the other is in Mesoamerica so they are basically worlds apart. They also experience two different kinds of life. These two were also chosen to be compared because many of the Europeans went to these places and made their own accountable comparisons on what they had thought.
Each city had its own dominant physical characteristics. Constantinople had St. Sophia and the hippodrome. It also had well-to-do houses and markets. Constantinople was in the center for trading on the Silk Road. It also had a great defense system because the city was surrounded by water. The city had the Old Horn Port on one of its edges. Tenochtitlan was built up in the marshes. The city also had special roads to connect it to the mainland. Each city had its way of living with their physical features.
Constantinople and Tenochtitlan each had its own set of cultural influences. Constantinople was mostly Roman and Greek. They mainly spoke Greek there. They were also Christian Orthodox. Tenochtitlan was built by the inspiration of two older cities. The immigrants and visitors that came had to stay in their own neighborhoods. They also traded with the north and south. Constantinople and Tenochtitlan were influenced by their cultures.
The major function for each city was different from each other. Constantinople was used as a political place. It was also very religious. Constantinople was also a major trade center. Tenochtitlan was mainly a religious center. It had different ritual sacrifices that went on. It also had a lot of religious ceremonies that went on. They both had different functions.
The cities had many important landmarks and their locations still exist. Constantinople had St. Sophia as well as the Mese Road or “Midway”. The Golden Gate was also located there. Other places located here are the Golden Horn and the Hippodrome. Tenochtitlan had the Pyramid of the Sun. They also had the Market. Old Horn Port is still around today. Tenochtitlan stood where present day Mexico City is. Each city had its own set of important places and each are still around in some way.
Each city had its own religious affiliations. Constantinople was centered around the Orthodox Church. Tenochtitlan had many things that were religious. They had sacrifices in their city. They also had many Gods and were polytheistic. Tenochtitlan also had many priests and a chief to look up to. Constantinople and Tenochtitlan had their own way of believing in their religions.
Constantinople and Tenochtitlan also had some other important characteristics. Constantinople was extremely wealthy. They also had inhabitant Greeks that were not made for war. The language of Tenochtitlan was Nahuatl. They also had a population of two hundred thousand. Their city was built by the Aztecs. The two cities had many important characteristics.
Most Europeans had their part in thee decline of both of these cities. Many places say that their religions had an affect on their violence. They both had an obsession for gold and other wealthy material. They each had a big population for their time. Many believed that because of their great and different urban development went well with the fact that they had a modern economic development. Both were built in imitation of older cities and more well-known centers. They both were known more as imperial capitals, but now they are often referred to as cities. Constantinople was older, but its became more famous as a Roman capital later in history. Tenochtitlan was a younger city and quickly grew from a small place into the largest city of the Americas as their expansion of power grew over all of Mesoamerica.
Constantinople and Tenochtitlan helped to demonstrate how cities developed and what their lives were like back then when they were developing cities. They both had their own set of physical characteristics. They also had their own share of cultural influences and what their major function for their city was. Constantinople and Tenochtitlan had important landmarks within each of their city limits and the site for their locations are still around in some form. They also had their own religious beliefs and ways of life. They also had some other important aspects to their cities to distinct themselves from other cities. Constantinople and Tenochtitlan were classified as a city, but do you think they could have become more than that?
Wiesner, Wheeler, Doeringer, Curtis. Discovering The Global Past. Houghton Mifflin Company; New York: 2007. Pages 268-300.
Source 4, Illustrated Map of Constantinople, 13th Century Source 5, Interior Saint Sophia Source 10, Spanish Illustrated Map of Tenochtitlan