74 CONSTANTINOPLE AND ITS ENVIRONS ;
Brusa, they made Adrianople their capital, and called it Ederne. It so continued for more
than a century, till Mahomed destroyed the empire of the Greeks, and there established
his seat of government in the imperial city of Constantinople.
The city stands at the confluence of the rivers Toondja and Arda with the Marizza,
the modern name for the Hebrus. After this union, the river becomes a noble stream,
flowing down to the Archipelago, where it debouches into the Sea, amongst a group of
Islands, near to the town of Enos, which is considered the port of Adrianople, and the
outlet of its scanty trade. Various streams, flowing through the rich country around
the capital, fertilize it to the highest capability of produce, but such advantages are totally
neglected. No corn is raised on these exuberant plains, even for their own consumption.
When the Russians in 1830 descended from the Balkans, they expected to find well-filled
magazines ready for the supply of the army. They found nothing. No stores had ever
been laid up, and 8000 men, are said to have perished at Adrianople by want and subsequent sickness. Their advance on Constantinople was suspended, and the indolence
and improvidence of the Turks, without intending it, saved their capital.
The present city iseightmiles in circumference, and contains aboutl00,000 inhabitants.
It is adorned with many public edifices, and splendid mosques, among which is that of
Sultan Selim, supposed to rival that of Solimanie, or any other in the capital. Its aerial
dome is twenty feet higher than that of Santa Sophia, and its symmetrical and beautiful
proportions are the admiration of all strangers. On the porch is read one line only from
the Koran, as simple as it is noble, " Allah is the light of heaven, which illumines the darkness of the earth."
THE FORT AND TOWN OF SILIVRIA.
THE ANCIENT SELYMBRIA.
This maritime town of Thrace is of great antiquity. Not like the former, erected at
a comparatively recent period, and by a well-known founder, Silivria was one of the
towns of the Thracian or Scythian aborigines, and is mentioned by Herodotus as existing,
and ancient in his time, 450 years before the Christian era. It is about twenty miles from
Constantinople, and stands on a promontory which forms one extremity of an extensive bay,
while the ancient town of Erekli stands on the other. Like all ancient cities, where such
a thing was possible, it was built on the summit of a hill, forming what the Greeks call an
acropolis. Three sides were of easy approach, and protected by fortified walls; but the fourth,
facing the sea, was an inaccessible precipice, as perpendicular as the face of Dover Cliff,
so that no wall was necessary. The summit of the hill is a perfect level, and the town
forms a quadrangular area open to the sea; and perhaps no other in the world can present
so fine and magnificent a platform. It commands the most extensive view along the winding coast, and across the Sea of Marmora, having the beautiful archipelago of the Princes