chapter  20
22 Pages

Pera and Galata

ThehistoricoriginsofGalataandPeraareasremote intimeaathatofConstantinopleitself.

Fromveryearlytimestherehadbeensettlementsand communitiesalongthenorthernshoresoftheGoldenHorn; Byzashimselfissaidtohaveerectedatempletheretothe heroAmphiaraus.Themostimportantofthesecommunities,Sykai,theFigtrees,whereGalatanowstands,was alreadyinthefifthcenturyA.D.includedastheVIIIth Region,RegioSycaena,ofthecityofConstantinopleitself: ithadchurches,aforum,baths,atheater,aharbor,anda protectingwall.In528Justinianrestoreditstheaterand wallandcalleditgrandiloquentlyafterhimselfJustinianae, anamewhichwassoonforgotten.Towardtheendofthe samecentury,TiberiusII(578-82)issaidtohavebuilta fortresstoguardtheentrancetotheGoldenHorn,from whichachaincouldbestretchedtotheoppositeshoreto closeitsmouthagainstenemyshipping;somesubstructures ofthisstiiJexistatYerAlhCamiineartheGalataBridge. ThenameSykaicontinuedinuseuntil,intheninthcentury, thenameGalatabegantosupplantit,atfirstforasmall districtonly,laterforthewholeregion.Thederivation ofthenameGalataisunknown,thoughthatoftheother apellation,Pera,isquitestraightforward.InGreekpera means"beyond",atfirstinthegeneralsenseof"onthe othersideoftheGoldenHorn",laterrestrictedtomedieval Galata,andstilllatertotheheightsabove.Inthepast generationtheseoldGreeknameshavebeensupplantedby

#0PERAANDG.ALATA

newTurkishones;PeraisnowknownofficiallyasBeyoglu andGalataasKarakoy,butoldresidentsofthetownstilJ refertothesequartersbytheirancientnames.