Ancient Istanbul

By Phin Upham

Founded in the 7th century BC, what is today known as Istanbul began life as a strategic trading post that ran through the river Bosphorus. For the next sixteen centuries, the city would play host to Byzantines, Ottomans and enjoy a brief stay as the revised capital of Rome. It is one of the most contested and important cities in ancient history that has gone through several periods of rebirth.

It was melting ice from the ice age that led to the creation of the Bosphorus, and there is evidence that life existed in the region back in the Copper and Bronze ages. The Megarians settled Istanbul after having travelled from Greece. Led to the site by a Delphic Oracle, the Greeks settled and came to call their town Byzantium.

The territory would come under dispute, and the Persians would rule for a brief time during the 5th century. The Greeks would return to reclaim the territory during the Greco-Persian Wars and it would fall under Athenian jurisdiction when they resettled.

The river Bosphorus continued to play an important role as a trade destination in the ancient Mediterranean world. Trade ships would seek to trade stores of wine, olive oil, grains and wool. Ships sailing from the Black Sea would bring honey, salted meat and exotic fish.

Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Twitter page.

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