Basilica Cistern, Constantinople

Fundraiser: Mesopotamia Teaching Materials

Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world.

Donate Now


Mark Cartwright
by Rob Hutton
published on 09 April 2013
Send to Google Classroom:

One of two monumental Medusa carvings which hold up columns in the Basilica Cistern of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople). The cistern was constructed in the 6th century BCE reusing the Medusa blocks from an earlier Roman building. One Medusa head is placed on its side whilst the other is upside down, perhaps in an attempt to negate the power of the Gorgon's gaze which could turn men to stone in Greek mythology.

Remove Ads


Cite This Work

APA Style

Hutton, R. (2013, April 09). Basilica Cistern, Constantinople. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Hutton, Rob. "Basilica Cistern, Constantinople." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified April 09, 2013.

MLA Style

Hutton, Rob. "Basilica Cistern, Constantinople." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 09 Apr 2013. Web. 30 Nov 2020.

Remove Ads


Support Us

We are a non-profit organization.

Our mission is to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Please support Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation. Thank you!