Istambul = Into the TOWN

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by franknagy, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. franknagy Senior Member

    I have read a book about the peoples around the Black Sea.
    There was stated that the Turkish name of Byzantion = Istambul comes from the Greek expression "into the Town" because the Greeks living around it from the Peloponesos to Trapezunt named it simply "THE TOWN".
    I do not remember the exact Greek phase so I write here "eis ton polis".
    Please give me written it Greek letters.

  2. Perseas Senior Member

    εις την πόλιν

  3. franknagy Senior Member

    Thank you, Perseas, for the answer.
    I have related questions better to start them in a new thread.

  4. sotos Senior Member

    The final ι(ν) was not pronounced by many and the same happens today in rural areas. It would sound like "στην πολ' ", pretty close to (i)stanbul.
  5. shawnee

    shawnee Senior Member

    English - Australian
  6. franknagy Senior Member

    The biggest and most famous town of the Eastern Roman Empire was Byzantium. I accept the explanation that the Greek people mentioned it as "The Town", especially when it was the last and only remained town of the Eastern Roman Empire.
    The Turkish people have heard more often "'stinpolin" than to "to Byzantium" in peace times before the conquest.

    The Hungarian name of the Turkish capital in the XVI-XVIIth century was Sztambul which corresponds to 'stinpol'.
  7. shawnee

    shawnee Senior Member

    English - Australian
    Your persistent underrating of the importance of the Byzantine CITY, (not 'town' by any stretch of the imagination!) is beginning to sound a little suspect. What are you implying?
  8. franknagy Senior Member

    Excuse me, CITY means a big town = metropolis, megapolis, not the center of a town?
  9. bearded man

    bearded man Senior Member

    So far, I had believed that 'Istambul' was the turkish version of Konstantinoupolis (pron. Konstandinoupoli), which would explain the presence of the a vowel in Istambul. Is it totally impossible ?
  10. shawnee

    shawnee Senior Member

    English - Australian
    You are excused. But I fail to undestand what is meant here.
  11. bearded man

    bearded man Senior Member

    So far, nobody has replied to my above post # 9 suggesting that 'Istambul' might be a corruption of the Greek name Konstantinoupolis. I would like to point out that this hypothesis is not far-fetched or foolish, since it is also admitted as possible by Wikipedia.
    From you experts I would like to know which one of the two origins is more probable (Konstantinoupolis or istinboli). Thank you and a Happy New Year to all of you.
  12. franknagy Senior Member

    I have started this thread based on Neal Ascherson's book: "The Black Sea".
    The author's father was a young officer on the board of a British warsip helping to flee white Russians army in Novorossiysk when the Red Army encircled the city.
    The author himself returned there when Gorbachev fell.
    He sails in his book around the Black Sea in time and space and shows the history of the nations living and used to live around it. His selection is not complete in my point of view: Poland is included based on the Sarmata myth of the Polish noblesse but the Hungarian tribes wandering on the North side of Black See and Azov Sea were omitted, the Romanian and Bulgarian facts were also neglected.
    He has painted a very dark picture about the pollution, the over-fishing.
    The moral of the story is also sad:
    One ruling nation or dictator is devastating some scapegoat peoples in great empires.
    Every nations are killing each other in a mosaic of small successor states.
  13. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    In Turkish, due to the vowel harmony, there is no way istinbul would ever become istanbul. The previous one (istinbul) just sounds easier on the ear.
    Is it possible that, back in the era, towards the city was pronounced as is-tæn-poli, hence the modern-day name of the city? Do you happen to know since when the letter η has been (being) pronounced as i?
  14. Apollodoros

    Apollodoros Junior Member

    I had always thought Istanbul is just a corruption of Konstantinoúpoli. Then I read about the theory of Istanbul coming from eis tin poli (istimbóli) and ever since I cannot make up my mind and favor one of them :)

    This is why:

    Initial I - similar pattern using a vocalic augment preceding a consonant cluster is used for creation other Turkish names of conquered cities, namely Izmir (Σμύρνη, Smirni) and Üsküp (Skopje), added to match more the phonemic structure of Turkish, which does not seem to like such clusters at the beginning of the words. It has to be noted that the preposition eis in spoken Greek evolved to single s- completely dropping the inital i sound and attaching the following definite article which became mandatory (if the experts in Greek could please supply when?)

    If the above stands back in 14th/15th century then the phrase 'to (towards) Smyrna' would need to be εις τη(ν) Σμύρνη > στη Σμύρνη (pronounced: stismirni or stizmirni) and according to the 'eis tin poli' theory I would expect Istizmir/Istazmir in Turkish

    There is a consistent 'a' in Istanbul which is even accented and as Rallino says above, it does not fit in the Turkish vocal harmony - the original pronunciation of η in την as a closed long 'e' was replaced by 'i' sound by the end of antiquity many centuries before Turkic tribes even appeared in Asia Minor, so the presence of 'a' seems to support the KonSTANtinoupoli theory

    iv. if the preposition εις had not require an article and had not yet developed to a single σ' then the 'eis tin poli' theory seems valid too (omitting the 'a'), supported by examples Izmir (εις Σμύρνην), Iznik (εις Νίκαιαν), Izmit (είς Νικομέδειαν).
  15. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    I'm not personally convinced that the presence of İ in İzmir is not based on Turkish phonemic structure, but the İznik = Εἰς Νίκαιαν, İzmit = Εἰς (Νικο)Μήδειαν support the theory that Εἰς τὴν Πόλιν = İstanbul. İzmir is similar structurally to Σπάρτη = İsparta.
    Hi Rallino, Teodorsson suggests that the process of iotacism of η from /e:/ to /i:/ and then to /i/ is a slow process that begins in the Classical era (Allen claims it's post-classical) as it's demonstrated by the dozens of instances of orthographic variation in Attic epigraphic data where /e:/ tends to close to /i:/ (η is written ι, and vice-versa). By the mid to late 1st c. BCE the iotacism of η is far advanced. You do the math :)
  16. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    Γεια σου, apmoy! :)
    Κατάλαβα :thumbsup: Ευχαριστώ πολύ φίλε μου!

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