In writing of the mosque and complex of Mehmet II (1463–70), which began to Ottomanize the image of the conquered city of Istanbul, Spiro Kostof considered elements of siting, scale, modular units, and axial composition, then concluded that “all this has the authority of ancient Rome. Nothing so early in the Western Renaissance has this grandeur.”1 Mehmet II's mosque was followed by a succession of monumental, multifunctional, royally funded projects, including Sinan's magnificent mid-sixteenth-century Süleymaniye complex. Built with the spoils of conquest, these structures echoed in spirit the Roman imperial forums: like ancient Rome, Ottoman Istanbul displayed an indexical connection between its monumental development and the expanding...

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