The James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Shelfmark O.17.2
Manuscript Title

The Freshfield Album

Alternative Title

The Freshfield Album

James Number n/a
Date 1574
Century 16th
Physical Description

21 sketches, in watercolour and ink, of public buildings and monuments in Constantinople, bound in vellum.


Edwin Hanson Freshfield, member of the College, 17 June 1935.

Drawn by a German-speaking artist in 1574 with captions in Latin referring to Pierre Gilles, De topographia Constantinopoleos. Possibly the work of the Flemish artist Lambert de Vos; an earlier suggestion was Stefan Gerlach, chaplain to David Ungnad, imperial envoy of the Emperor Maximilan II to Constantinople (see Freshfield, ‘Notes on a Vellum Album’). Acquired in the nineteenth century by Edwin Freshfield, father of the donor.

Donor Freshfield, Edwin Hanson (1864-1962), Alumnus Of Trinity (Matric 1881)
Size (cm) 41 x 28
Folio 21 ff.
Material Paper
Language Latin


IIIF Manifest URL
Online Since 09/12/2015


f. 1. The column of Constantine
ff. 2-5. Four views of the obelisk of Thothmes in the Hippodrome
f. 6. The bronze serpent column from Delphi, also in the Hippodrome
f. 7. The obelisk of stones (colossus structilis), also in the Hippodrome
ff. 8-10. Three views of the interior of St Sofia
ff. 11-13. Three views of the column erected by the Emperor Arcadius in honour of his father the Emperor Theodosius the Great
f. 14. The Mosque of Sultan Suleiman
f. 15. The tomb of Sultan Suleiman
f. 16. The lighthouse at the northern mouth of the Bosphurus
f. 17. 'Pompey's Pillar' on the Cyanean Rocks at the northern mouth of the Bosphorus near the European coast.
ff. 18-19. Two pictures of a grey and a black Abyssinian rhinoceros
f. 20. General view of St Sofia, adjacent buildings, and the three monuments in the Hippodrome
f. 21. The tomb of Sultan Selim and five of his sons who were put to death by their brother, Sultan Murad, at his accession
A draft table of contents is attached to the back cover


Views of Constantinople: The Freshfield Album online, Library Blog (2015)

Freshfield, E. H., ‘Notes on a Vellum Album containing some original sketches of public buildings and monuments, drawn by a German artist who visited Constantinople in 1574’, Archaeologia, 71 (1922), 87-104, plates xv-xxiii.

Freshfield, E. H., ‘Some Sketches made in Constantinople in 1574’, Byzantinische Zeitschrift, 30 (1930), 519-22, plate ii.

Becatti, G, La colonna coclide istoriata, Rome (1960), pp. 151-288

Weitzmann, Kurt (ed.), Age of Spirituality, New York (1979), pp. 79-81

Pitarakis, Brigitte (ed.), Hippodrom / Atmeydani : ─░stanbul'un Tarih Sahnesi (Istanbul, 2010), vol. 1, pp. 275-7

Mango C., 'Constantinopolitana', Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, 80 (1965), pp. 305-15; reprinted in Studies on Constantinople (Aldershot, 1993), part II.

Türkische Kunst und Kulture aus osmanischer Zeit, exhibition catalogue (Recklinghausen, 1985), no. I/48

Soliman le Magnifique, exhibition catalogue (Paris, 1990), no. 319

Madden, T. F., 'The Serpent Column of Delphi in Constantinople: Placement, Purposes, and Mutilations', Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 16 (1992), pp. 132-135

Bardill, J., 'The Palace of Lausus and Nearby Monuments in Constantinople: A Topographical Study', American Journal of Archaeology, 101/1 (January 1997), pp. 90-95

Stichel, R. H. W, 'Die Schlangensäule im Hippodrom von Istanbul: Zum spat-und-nachantiken Schicksal des Delphischen Votivs der Schlacht von Plataiai' Istanbuler Mitteilungen 47 (1997), p. 337

Hoffman, V. (ed,), De Hagia Sophia in Istanbul: 'Bilder aus sechs Jahrhunderten' und Gaspare Fossatis Restaurierung der Jahre 1847-49, exhibition catalogue (Bern 1999), 160, no 6

Asutay-Effenberger, N. and Effenburger, A, 'Zur Kirche auf einem Kupferstich von Gugas Inciciyan und zum Standort der Chalke-Kirche', Byzantinische Zeitschrift 97 (2004), pp. 69-73

Guidobaldi, A. Guglia and Barsanti, C., Santa Sofia di Constantinoupoli: L'arredo marmoreo della grande chiesa guistinianea , Vatican City (2004), pp. 743-45

Stephenson, P. The Serpent Column: A Cultural Biography, New York, NY: Oxford University Press (2016)

Matthews, J., "Viewing the Column of Arcadius at Constantinople", ed. David Brakke and Deborah Deliyannis, Shifting Cultural Frontiers in Late Antiquity, Franham: Ashgate (2012), pp. 211-224.

Bassett, S., "The Topography of Triumph in Late-Antique Constantinople", ed. Fabian Goldbeck, and Johannes Wienand, Der römische Triumph in Prinzipat und Spätantike, De Gruyter (2016), pp. 511-554

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