Constantinople, Fall of


Constantinople, Fall of
   In the year 330, the first Christian emperor of Rome, Constantine the Great (306-337), dedicated a new capital of the Roman Empire on the site of the Greek town of Byzantium. After his death, it came to be known as Constantinople, "the city of Constantine." By the sixth century, though the western empire at Rome had ceased to exist, his successors had reorganized the eastern provinces into a powerful and fervently Christian state that became a bulwark of Christendom against the expansion of the Muslim Arabs and Turks into Europe. This empire always referred to itself as "Roman," but modern scholars generally call it "Byzantine."
   After a disastrous military defeat by the Seljuk Turks in 1087 cost the empire control over the Anatolian peninsula, the empire became increasingly weak. The Western crusades from the 11th through the 14th centuries never tilted the balance of power back in favor of the Byzantines, and the misdirected Fourth Crusade (1203-1204) ended by attacking and plundering Constantinople itself. From 1204 to 1261, a puppet regime installed by the crusaders ruled at Constantinople. This foreign domination was overthrown in 1261, but the enfeebled empire gradually lost control of its Balkan, Greek, and island territories, some to the Turks and some to Italian cities like Venice.
   By mid-15th century the emperors controlled only the immediate environs of the capital city and a few scattered outposts in Greece and the islands. In 1453 the Turkish sultan Muhammad II (1451-1481) made a final attack on the city, which fell to the Turks on 29 May 1453 and, renamed Istanbul, became the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453 has sometimes been misinterpreted as the cause of the Renaissance, which supposedly was begun by Greek scholars who fled with their books and their knowledge to western Europe. It would be more accurate to say that the fall of Constantinople marks the beginning of the end for direct influence of Byzantine scholars on the development of Renaissance civilization. The establishment of Greek studies by the teaching of Manuel Chrysoloras at Florence from 1397, followed by a flow of scholars, diplomats, churchmen, and teachers, had by 1453 made the Westerners largely self-sustaining in terms of access to Greek literature.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Constantinople — • Capital, formerly of the Byzantine, now of the Ottoman, Empire (As of 1908, when the article was written.) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Constantinople     Constantinople …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • CONSTANTINOPLE — (Byzantium; Heb. קושטנטיני, קושטנטינא, קושטאנדינא, קושטא), former capital of the byzantine and ottoman empires; now istanbul , Turkey. Under the Byzantine empire Jews were settled in various areas of Constantinople. In the fourth and fifth… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Fall Konstantinopels — Geschichte Istanbuls Byzantion Chalcedon Chrysopolis Hiereia Konstantinopel Pera Istanbul …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fall of Constantinople — This article is about the 1453 siege. For earlier attacks on the city, see List of sieges of Constantinople. Conquest of Constantinople Part of the Byzantine–Ottoman Wars and Ottoman wars in Europe …   Wikipedia

  • Constantinople — This article is about the city before the Fall of Constantinople (1453). For a more detailed approach after 1453, see History of Istanbul. For other uses, see Constantinople (disambiguation). Map of Byzantine Constantinople …   Wikipedia

  • Fall of the Ottoman Empire — issues cleanup=Sep 2008 refimprove=Sep 2008 wikify=Sep 2008 Republic of Turkey (superimposed upon modern borders). Some scholars argue the power of the Caliphate began waning by 1683, and without the acquisition of significant new wealth the… …   Wikipedia

  • Constantinople — Founded in 330 by the Emperor Constantine, it was built on the site of a Greek town called Byzantium, and this gave its name to Constantine s empire, which was to weather the fall of Rome intact until the late 15th century …   Medieval glossary

  • Walls of Constantinople — Istanbul, Turkey Map showing Constantinople and its walls du …   Wikipedia

  • Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople — This article is about the institution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. For the office of the patriarch, see Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople Founder Apostle Andrew …   Wikipedia

  • Chute de Constantinople — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Siège de Constantinople. Chute de Constantinople …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.