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Valens Aqueduct in Istanbul, Turkey

Updated: May 11, 2020

Valens Aqueduct in Istanbul, originally built in 368 AD, by the Roman Emperor Valens

This is an amazing ancient structure, that was originally much smaller started by the Roman Emperor Hadrian sometime between 117 – 138 AD and then developed by Constantine after 312 AD, in order to supply water to the city of Constantinople. We used to live near this structure in 1993-1995 and it was an amazing site to see when we took a taxi or bus ride through it.

“The construction of a water supply system for the city (then still called Byzantium) had begun already under the Roman emperor Hadrian. Under Constantine I, when the city was rebuilt and increased in size, the system needed to be greatly expanded to meet the needs of the rapidly growing population.” Source

Why do I even mention this? Only that I remembered it while looking at other pictures of Turkey, and I cannot find my own pictures/slides of it (I hope they are not damaged somewhere in the Attic), and it brought back good memories. It is amazing to see ancient buildings and structures that go back to the days of the Roman Empire.

It is even more amazing that the area of Turkey was not Turkey in the New Testament days.  It was called “Asia Minor” in the western end, and in the central part was Galatia and Cappadocia (see 1 Peter 1:1), and Phrygia, and the east was Armenia.  Around the Black Sea was Pontus and Bythynia, and other areas to the south was Pamphylia and Cilicia.  The church was there in the NT and early church history.

The Turkic peoples lived in Central Asia, what is known today as areas such as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kirgiztan, Kazakhstan.  The Arab Muslims converted them to Islam in the 900s AD and they soon became the major fighting force for the Arab Muslim Empire.  Tajikistan was a Persian/Farsi speaking area, not a Turkic speaking area.

But today there is not much left of Christianity in the area now knows as Turkey.  The Seljuk Turks conquered the eastern part at the battle of Manzikurt near Van in 1071 AD.  That was one of the immediate causes of the Crusades, from 1095-1299 AD.  Muslims continued their “Jihad” wars and eventually, the Ottoman Turks conquered the western part of Turkey and the city of Constantinople in 1453, and renamed the city Istanbul.  The Turks have not been touched with the gospel much until today.

See earlier posts on church history in these areas:

The Reformation and Missions

An Evangelical Introduction to Church History (Part 1) 

An Evangelical Introduction to Church History (Part 2) 

An Evangelical Introduction to Church History (Part 3)  

(From the Council of Orange in 529 AD to the Council of Trent in 1545 -1563 AD)

An Evangelical Introduction to Church History (Part 4)  – (Muhammad and the Arabs just did not get a credible and Biblical witess.)

An Evangelical Introduction to Church History (Part 5) – Previously under the title, “how and why did Churches become Mosques in the Middle East?”

To Be Deep in History

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