History

Bettany Hughes: Istanbul

Sat 24 Nov / Quarterhouse

''I first travelled to Istanbul 30 years ago - and was immediately enraptured. This metropolis has been a cornerstone of the most powerful of civilisations - and has fuelled and dashed the dreams of women and men across millennia… As Istanbul races up the modern political agenda, new archaeology is allowing us, for the first time, to piece together the full story of a brilliant and a brutal, history-making settlement, inhabited since 6000 BCE."

Join award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, Bettany Hughes, as she discusses her latest book, Istanbul, a Tale of Three Cities.

Istanbul has always been a place where stories and histories collide and crackle, where the idea is as potent as the historical fact. From the Qu'ran to Shakespeare, this city with three names - Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul - resonates as an idea and a place, and overspills its boundaries - real and imagined. Standing as the gateway between the East and West, it has served as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. For much of its history it was known simply as The City, but, as Bettany Hughes reveals, Istanbul is not just a city, but a story. In this epic new biography, Hughes takes us on a dazzling historical journey through the many incarnations of one of the world's greatest cities. As the longest-lived political entity in Europe, over the last 6,000 years Istanbul has absorbed a mosaic of micro-cities and cultures all gathering around the core. At the latest count archaeologists have measured forty-two human habitation layers. Phoenicians, Genoese, Venetians, Jews, Vikings, Azeris all called a patch of this earth their home. Based on meticulous research and new archaeological evidence, this captivating portrait of the momentous life of Istanbul is visceral, immediate and scholarly narrative history at its finest.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Folkestone Book Festival

7.30 pm/ £10 / Friends & concessions £8

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