ABSTRACT

Why the Golden Horn should be called the Golden Horn is a question that has agitated many serious pens. A less serious pen is therefore free to declare itself for an explanation that does not explain. The Greeks always seem to have been fond of the word gold. In their language as in ours it has a pleasant sound, and it has pleasant implications — the philosophers to the contrary. At any rate, the Greeks of Constantinople made much use of it. The state entrance to the city was through the Golden Gate. One of the most famous parts of the Great Palace was the Golden Hall. The suburb of Scutari was anciently known as the City of Gold. There were in different parts of the town a Golden Milestone, a Golden Arch, a Golden Roof, and a Golden Stream, while the Greek church abounds in golden springs and golden caves. I have even known a Greek serving-maid to address her mistress in moments of expansion as “my golden one”! The Golden Horn, then, was probably named so for even less reason than the orange valley behind Palermo — because some one a long time ago liked the sound of the words.