THIS VOLUME PRESENTS A SECOND EDITION OF JOHN Ball's 1729 English translation of The Four Books of the Antiquities of Constantinople, which was written by Pierre Gilles and published posthumously in 1561. No other edition of an English translation of this work has been available since that time, despite the fact that this is a fundamental text on one of the principal cities of both East and West.
In an attempt to make this work accessible to the modem reader -- as with Italica Press's entire series of Historical Travel Guides -- the editors have followed certain stylistic principles. The language, punctuation, capitalization and spelling of Ball's translation of both the text and Gilles' preface have been modernized. The Latin has been consulted occasionally, but this is neither an attempt at a new translation nor simply a reprint of the Ball translation. Ball's own English preface has been reprinted verbatim with only the capitalization modernized. Ball's translation has its own historical interest and obviously, a life of its own beyond the work of Gilles. Although it is not a perfect translation, apparently not always thorough and complete, we have chosen to work with this text rather than allow the work of Gilles to remain unknown to an English-speaking audience while waiting for another translation.
Several features have been added to this edition. An introduction brings the entire work into perspective for a modern audience, giving the historical background of the city, the period, the book and its author. A series of four new maps are keyed to the four books of the text and a
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Publication information: Book title: The Antiquities of Constantinople. Contributors: Pierre Gilles - Author, John Ball - Translator, Ronald G. Musto - Unknown. Publisher: Italica Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1988. Page number: ix.
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