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Byzantium - Constantinople - Istanbul: founded as a Greek settlement on the Bosporus, the city's history is replete with significant political and cultural developments. The Hagia Sophia stems from the early Christian era, the Middle Ages bequeathed us churches and monasteries rich in mosiacs as well as illuminated manuscripts and icons; and the cultural Renaissance in 1453 brought magnificent palaces and mosques, calligraphic treasures, and book and miniature paintings inspired by Persian and Arabic forms.
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Stephane Yerasimos, born in 1942 in Istanbul, is an architect, city planner and historian. He has lived in France since 1966, where he teaches at the University of Paris. From 1994 to 1999 he was the Director of the Institut Francais d'Etudes Anatoliennes in Istanbul. In France, Yerasimos has made a name for himself as chief editor of the reports of famous travellers to Asia and the Orient, including Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta, Jean Chardin and Joseph Pitton de Tournefort. His previous publications on the Orient have focused in particular on the Ottoman Empire, Turkey, and the history of construction in Istanbul.
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