Mangana (Greek: Μάγγανα) was one of the quarters of Byzantine-era Constantinople. It was located on the extreme east of the peninsula, directly above the imperial palace district and between the ancient acropolis of Byzantium and the Bosporus strait.
The quarter took its name from a large arsenal for military engines (mangana). The site was closely connected to the nearby Great Palace of Constantinople where several Byzantine emperors constructed buildings there. Emperor Michael I Rhangabe (r. 811–813) owned a mansion there which was converted into a crown domain by Emperor Basil I (r. 867–886) and administered by a kourator. Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos (r. 1042–1055) built a monastery dedicated to Saint George (with cloister and surrounding garden), as well as a hospital, a palace, old-age homes, hostels, poor-houses, and a law school. During his reign, Emperor Monomachos granted the title "pronoia of Mangana" to Constantine (III) Leichoudes who would later become Patriarch of Constantinople. During the 14th century, Emperor John VI Kantakouzenos (r. 1347–1354) lived at Mangana as a monk for a period of time after his abdication in 1354.
Monastery of Saint George
Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos (r. 1042–1055) died after contracting pleurisy while bathing in the pond at the monastery of Saint George in January 1055. He was ultimately buried at the monastery. Years later, the palace that Emperor Monomachos built at Mangana was destroyed by Emperor Isaac II Angelos (r. 1185–1195 and 1203–1204), but the monastery complex of Saint George survived until the fall of Constantinople in May 1453. Since its construction, the Byzantine imperial court made annual visits to the monastery on April 23, which was the feast day of Saint George. This tradition was interrupted during the Fourth Crusade of the 13th century when Latin monks briefly occupied the monastery until it was restored to the Byzantine Greeks by Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos (r. 1259–1261). During the Byzantine civil war of 1341–1347, the Byzantine theologian and statesman Demetrius Cydones retired to an apartment at the monastery of Saint George after having obtained an adelphaton (or the right, granted on payment of a sum of money, to live in a monastery without becoming a monk). The monastery was particularly famous during the 14th century when it contained relics of the Passion of Christ and became a place of pilgrimage for Orthodox faithful from as far away as Russia. After 1453, the monastery complex was occupied for a short time by dervishes, before being demolished by the Ottomans to make way for the Topkapi Palace.
- McGeer, Nesbitt & Oikonomides 2005, p. 59: "The term "Mangana" denotes a district of Constantinople situated on the eastern slope of the Acropolis. Michael I Rangabe (811–13) owned a house in the area that Basil I elevated to the status of an imperial domain administered by a kourator."
- Kazhdan 1991, "Mangana", pp. 1283–1284.
- Dendrinos et al. 2003, p. 155 (including footnote #11).
- Magdalino 2002, p. 115.
- Franzius 1967, p. 281: "In January 1055 Monomachus bathed in the pond at the monastery of Saint George of Mangana, contracted pleurisy, and soon breathed his last."
- Dendrinos, Charalambos; Harris, Jonathan; Harvalia-Crook, Eirene et al., eds. (2003). Porphyrogenita: Essays on the History and Literature of Byzantium and the Latin East in Honour of Julian Chrysostomides. Aldershot, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited. ISBN 978-0-7546-3696-0.
- Franzius, Enno (1967). History of the Byzantine Empire: Mother of Nations. New York, New York: Funk & Wagnalls.
- Kazhdan, Alexander Petrovich, ed. (1991). Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. New York, New York and Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6.
- Magdalino, Paul (2002) . The Empire of Manuel I Komnenos, 1143–1180. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52653-1.
- McGeer, Eric; Nesbitt, John W.; Oikonomides, Nicolas, eds. (2005). Catalogue of Byzantine Seals at Dumbarton Oaks and in the Fogg Museum of Art, Volume 5: The East (continued), Constantinople and Environs, Unknown Locations, Addenda, Uncertain Readings. Washington, District of Columbia: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. ISBN 978-0-88402-309-8.