The wind continued in our favor, and we reached the Dardanelles in eight or ten days; the Turkish barges met us there to carry us to Constantinople.The sight offered by that city at the distance of a league is truly wonderful; and I believe that a more magnificent panorama cannot be found in any part of the world. It was that splendid view which was the cause of the fall of the Roman, and of the rise of the Greek empire. Constantine the Great, arriving at Byzantium by sea, was so much struck with the wonderful beauty of its position, that he exclaimed, “Here is the proper seat of the empire of the whole world!” and in order to secure the fulfillment of his prediction, he left Rome for Byzantium. If he had known the prophecy of Horace, or rather if he had believed in it, he would not have been guilty of such folly. The poet had said that the downfall of the Roman Empire would begin only when one of the successors of Augustus bethought him removing the capital of the empire to where it had originated. The Troad is not far distant from Thrace.
(Volume II - Chapter IV)