Constantinople in the Luttrell Psalter

c.1325 - 1335

City walls


  • Intro

    Medieval towns were normally enclosed by protective walls, and outsiders could only access them through guarded gates. Successful towns were often located on major roads or waterways, helping the flow of trade and transport. This image is based on an English town, although it is meant to represent Constantinople. Surrounded with a curtain wall dotted with towers and arrow slits, the city is crowded with buildings. The glamour of the town is suggested by the dancers emerging from one of its gates, watched by admiring ladies.


    The image is from the Luttrell Psalter which, due to its rich illustrations of everyday life in the 14th century, is one of the most famous medieval manuscripts in the British Library.


    Shelfmark: Add. 42130 f.164v

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