ROMANCE and the HISTORY of walled cities are inseparable. Who has not felt this to be so at the sight of hoary ruins lichen-clad and ivy-mantled, that proudly rear their battered crests despite the ravages of time and man’s destructive instincts. It is within walled cities that the life of civilized man began: the walls guarded him against barbarian foes, behind their shelter he found the security necessary to his cultural development, in their defence he showed his finest qualities. And such a city—and such a history is that of Ancient Byzantium, the City of Constantine, the Castle of Cæsar.
What wonder then that man should endeavour to express by pen and pencil his sense of the greatness and beauty, the Romance of a Walled City such as Constantinople. The more so that a movement is on foot to remove these ancient landmarks of the history of Europe and Asia.
True there are other works on this same subject, works by men deeply learned in the history of this fair city, works that bid fair to outlive the city walls if the fell intent of destroying them is carried into execution, and from these men and their works I derived inspiration and information, and so wish to chronicle my gratitude to them—Sir Edwin Pears and Professor van Millingen of Robert College, Constantinople. There are many others too in Constantinople to whom my thanks are due—His Majesty’s Vice-Consul, my host, his colleagues, now my friends, and many others too numerous to mention. They all have helped me in this work, and I am grateful for the opportunity offered me of here recording my thankfulness for their kind offices.
B. Granville Baker.