Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Temple of Seasons

When Constantine consecrated the new Roman capital, Constantinople, on the 11th May 330 AD, 6
years of hectic construction had occurred, but it was not only new buildings that started appearing.
In fact, many of the new monuments and buildings were moved or copied from other parts of
the Roman Empire, for example: the Milion, the Curia, the Chalke and the new Golden Gate in the
Theodisian Wall.
    One of the city's old monuments that was demolished to make way for the new, was the
Temple of Seasons – Naos ton Epochonhad. It had the appearance of a park, or rather, it contained
a park and was in turn contained by one. Along the edge of the monument was a wall to separate
the inner park from the surrounding one. This edge of the monument was a path, which could be
seen as the monument itself – the object was the edge that defined it.
    Prof. Alan K. Bowman, at the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, has studied Herodotus'
‘The Histories’ at length, together with other texts describing the old city of Byzantine. He
claims its location, most likely, is where the Grand Bazaar is situated today.
    Walking along the monument you would encounter four humble temples, describing the
four seasons, and in between these temples the wall and path shifted – turning from line to place.
Winter was situated, according to Herodotus' ‘The Histories’, at the northernmost point. The layout
of the other temples followed the movement of the sun – spring placed to the east, summer
resting in the southern part, leaving to autumn the view of the sunset.

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