Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cross-section and plan of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople

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This plate shows a complete cross-section and plan of a typical stretch of the Theodosian Walls. The section shows the different layers of defense. On the plan, are the different shapes of the towers.

From Left to Right:

--Moat ( 61 ft. wide, and more that 20 ft. deep);

--Moat Walls (6 ft. 6 in. high);

--Parateichion (terrace between the outer wall and the moat wall, 61 ft. wide, and it's main purpose was to extend the distance between the besiegers and the besieged);

--The Outer Wall (The outer wall is from 2 ft to 6 ft 6 in. thick, and rises 27 ft, 6 in. above the Parateichion);

--Peribolos (terrace between the Inner and Outer Walls which accommodated the soldiers who defended the Outer Wall. It was 50 to 64 ft. wide.);

--The Inner Wall (96 towers were 57 to 60 ft. high, and spaced between 175 ft. to 181 ft. apart. It rises 40 ft. above the city level and varies in thickness from 15 ft. 6 in. near the base to 13 ft. 6 in. at the top.);

The Theodosian Walls were constructed using both stone and brick. In the detail of the wall showing the cross-section of the wall, both materials can be seen. Brick was used more sparingly than stone.


Stephan Turnbull, "The Walls of Constantinople AD 324--1453," Fortress 25, Osprey Pub., London, 2004, pp.10-13.

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