Constantinople land walls between the Yedikule (Fortress) and Topkapi (Palace)

Department Archive
Collection SPHS BSA Image Collection
Reference No. BSA SPHS 01/1142.2961
Level Item
Description Film negative, approximately quarter plate size, an original negative.
Dimensions 10.5 x 8.5 cm
Place Constantinian Wall Constantinople
Dates 1910
Creator Hasluck, Dr Frederick William
Collection event Cyprus and Turkey (Hasluck) 1910
Scope and Content The original description in the SPHS register reads: "Constantinople: land walls, between Yede Kule & Top Kapi".
Notes Date is based on the image's appearance in the 1910 slide accession list. Also BSA Annual Report for 1909/1910 indicates that Hasluck visited Constantinople to photographing Byzantine monuments. This is probably referring to the remains of the older Constantinian wall, the remains were said to exist around the Isakap mosquei (near the Old Golden Gate) between the Yedi Kule and the later Golden Gate and the street that leads to the Topkopi Palace (see p. 32-33 in van Millingen, A. 1899, Byzantine Constantinople: The Walls of the City and Adjoining Historical Sites, London: John Murray). Hasluck captures gardening activity next to the wall.
Further information Scenes from Modern Greek Life
Historic images often show scenes from modern life. These are not modern in the current sense, but reflect a time they were taken. Some were captured unintentionally, recording an aspect of contemporary activity while composing scenes of other interest such as ancient or historical monuments. However, many were taken with the express purpose of recording folk life, part of a trend in the latter part of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. The process of categorizing these ethnographic scenes of everyday life in image collections reflected contemporary folklore categories: material life (eg. domestic architecture, dress, craft and agricultural production), social life (eg. games, festivals) and spiritual life (eg. superstitions, religious activities).

However, a significant idea encapsulated in these ethnographic images was the 19th-century concept of continuity - relics or survivals - of ancient social life and practices in the present. In Greece, this concept of continuity was notably promoted by the scholar of folklore (laographia), Nikolaos Politis, and held by many British classicists and archaeologists of the time. In fact, the Irish classical scholar, J.P. Mahaffy encapsulated this idea in his 1876 travel book, Rambles and Studies in Greece: "Everywhere the modern Greek town is a mere survival of the old". These survivals were often linked to classical literature, cult and myth by scholars of the Greek world.

It is clear that these images are not simply quaint historical scenes, but they embody principles inherent in the discipline of Hellenic Studies in the recent past.

Reference 1910 JHS 30: 6th accession to 1904 slide catalogue. lxxvi.SPHS 2961. Link to article
1913 JHS 33: Catalogue of Slides. 22.SPHS 2961. Link to article
1913 JHS 33: Catalogue of Slides. 75.SPHS 2961. Link to article