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The fall of Constantinople ( grc-x-byzant, Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως , translit=Hálōsis tē̂s Kōnstantīnoupóleōs ; tr, İstanbul'un Fethi, lit=Conquest of Istanbul ) was the capture of the
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...

capital
of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
by the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
. The city fell on 29 May 1453, the culmination of a 53-day
siege A siege is a military blockade of a city, or fortress, with the intent of conquering by attrition, or a well-prepared assault. This derives from la, sedere, lit=to sit. Siege warfare is a form of constant, low-intensity conflict characteri ...

siege
which had begun on 6 April 1453. The attacking
Ottoman Army The history of the military of the Ottoman Empire can be divided in five main periods. The foundation era covers the years between 1300 (Byzantine expedition) and 1453 (Conquest of Constantinople The fall of Constantinople ( grc-x-byzant, Ἅ ...
, which significantly outnumbered Constantinople's defenders, was commanded by the 21-year-old
Sultan Sultan (; ar, سلطان ', ) is a position with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic abstract noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phone ...
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
(later called "Mehmed the Conqueror"), while the
Byzantine army The Byzantine army was the primary military body of the Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity an ...
was led by
Emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to command'. It was originally employed as a title roughly equivalent to ''commander'' under the Roma ...
Constantine XI Palaiologos Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos or Dragaš Palaeologus ( el, Κωνσταντῖνος Δραγάσης Παλαιολόγος, ''Kōnstantînos Dragásēs Palaiológos''; 8 February 1405 – 29 May 1453) was the last List of Byzantine emp ...
. After conquering the city, Mehmed II made Constantinople the new Ottoman capital, replacing
Adrianople Edirne (, ), formerly known as Adrianople or Hadrianopolis (), is a city in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the ...
. The fall of Constantinople marked the end of the Byzantine Empire and the end of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, a state which dated back to 27 BC and lasted nearly 1,500 years. The capture of Constantinople, a city which marked the divide between Europe and
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...
, also allowed the Ottomans more effectively to invade mainland Europe, eventually leading to Ottoman control of much of the
Balkan peninsula The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe with various definitions and meanings, including geopolitical and historical. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch ...

Balkan peninsula
. The conquest of Constantinople and the fall of the Byzantine Empire was a watershed of the
Late Middle Ages The Late Middle Ages or Late Medieval Period was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical com ...
and is considered the end of the
medieval period In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
. The city's fall also stood as a turning point in
military history Military history is a humanities Humanities are List of academic disciplines, academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with Divinity (academic discipline), divinity and r ...
. Since ancient times, cities and castles had depended upon ramparts and walls to repel invaders. The
Walls of Constantinople The Walls of Constantinople are a series of defensive stone walls that have surrounded and protected the city of Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New ...

Walls of Constantinople
, especially the Theodosian Walls, were some of the most advanced defensive systems in the world. These fortifications were overcome with the use of
gunpowder Gunpowder, also commonly known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder, is the earliest known chemical explosive. It consists of a mixture of sulfur, carbon (in the form of charcoal) and potassium nitrate (saltpeter). The ...
, specifically in the form of large cannons and bombards, heralding a change in siege warfare.


State of the Byzantine Empire

Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
had been an imperial capital since its consecration in 330 under Roman emperor
Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ...

Constantine the Great
. In the following eleven centuries, the city had been besieged many times but was captured only once before: the
Sack of Constantinople The sack of Constantinople occurred in April 1204 and marked the culmination of the Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition wa ...
during the
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Roman Catholic Church, Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Islam, Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first defeating th ...
in 1204. The crusaders established an unstable in and around Constantinople while the remainder of the Byzantine Empire splintered into a number of successor states, notably
Nicaea Nicaea or Nicea (; el, wikt:Νίκαια, Νίκαια, ''Níkaia'') was an ancient Greek city in northwestern Anatolia and is primarily known as the site of the First Council of Nicaea, First and Second Council of Nicaea, Second Councils of Nic ...

Nicaea
,
Epirus sq, Epiri rup, Epiru , native_name_lang = , settlement_type = Historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geography, geographical areas which at some point in time had a culture, cultural, ethnic group, ethn ...
and Trebizond. They fought as allies against the Latin establishments, but also fought among themselves for the Byzantine throne. The Nicaeans eventually reconquered Constantinople from the Latins in 1261, reestablishing the Byzantine Empire under the
Palaiologos dynasty The Palaiologos ( Palaiologoi; grc-gre, Παλαιολόγος, pl. , female version Palaiologina; grc-gre, Παλαιολογίνα), also found in English-language literature as Palaeologus or Palaeologue, was a Byzantine Greek Mediev ...
. Thereafter, there was little peace for the much-weakened empire as it fended off successive attacks by the Latins,
Serbs Serbs ( sr-Cyr, Срби, Srbi, ) are a South Slavic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from ...
,
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
ns and
Ottoman Turks The Ottoman Turks (or Osmanlı Turks, tr, Osmanlı Türkleri) were the Turkish language , Turkish-speaking people of the Ottoman Empire ( 1299–1922/1923). Reliable information about the early history of Ottoman Turks remains scarce, but the ...
. Between 1346 and 1349 the
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a bubonic plague Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague caused by the plague bacterium Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bact ...

Black Death
killed almost half of the inhabitants of Constantinople. The city was further depopulated by the general economic and territorial decline of the empire, and by 1453, it consisted of a series of walled villages separated by vast fields encircled by the fifth-century
Theodosian Walls The Walls of Constantinople are a series of defensive stone walls that have surrounded and protected the city of Constantinople la, Constantinopolis , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklag ...
. By 1450, the empire was exhausted and had shrunk to a few square kilometers outside the city of Constantinople itself, the
Princes' Islands The Princes' Islands ( el, Πριγκηπονήσια, ''Pringiponisia'', tr, Prens Adaları; the word "princes" is plural, because the name means "Islands of the Princes"), officially just Adalar ( en, Islands); alternatively the Princes' Arch ...
in the and the
Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula and geographic regions of Greece, geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the ...
with its cultural center at
Mystras Mystras or Mistras ( el, Μυστρᾶς/Μιστρᾶς), also known as Myzithras (Μυζηθρᾶς) in the ''Chronicle of the Morea The ''Chronicle of the Morea'' ( el, Το χρονικόν του Μορέως) is a long 14th-century history t ...

Mystras
. The
Empire of Trebizond The Empire of Trebizond, or Trapezuntine Empire, was a monarchy A monarchy is a form of government in which a person, the monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001 ...
, an independent
successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Successor'' (film), a 1996 film including Laura Girling * ''The Successor'' (TV program), a 2007 Israeli television program Mu ...
that formed in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, was also present at the time on the coast of the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
.


Preparations

When
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
succeeded his father in 1451, he was just nineteen years old. Many European courts assumed that the young Ottoman ruler would not seriously challenge Christian hegemony in the
Balkans The Balkans ( ), also known as the Balkan Peninsula, are a geographic area in southeastern Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rathe ...

Balkans
and the Aegean. In fact, Europe celebrated Mehmed coming to the throne and hoped his inexperience would lead the Ottomans astray. This calculation was boosted by Mehmed's friendly overtures to the European envoys at his new court. But Mehmed's mild words were not matched by his actions. By early 1452, work began on the construction of a second
fortress A fortification is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, gov ...

fortress
('' Rumeli hisarı'') on the European side of the
Bosphorus File:Bosphorus aerial view.jpg, Aerial view of the Bosporus taken from its northern end near the Black Sea (bottom), looking south (top) toward the Marmara Sea, with the city center of Istanbul visible along the strait's hilly banks. The Bosp ...

Bosphorus
, several miles north of Constantinople. The new fortress sat directly across the strait from the ''
Anadolu HisarıAnadolu is the Turkish form of Anatolia, which refers to a region of the world that is now part of the nation of Turkey, also known as Asia Minor (Medieval Greek, Medieval and Modern Greek). It also refers to: Education *Anadolu University, Turki ...

Anadolu Hisarı
'' fortress, built by Mehmed's great-grandfather
Bayezid I Bayezid I ( ota, بايزيد اول, tr, I. Bayezid, nicknamed Yıldırım, ota, یلدیرم, "Lightning, Thunderbolt", often "Bajazet"; – 8 March 1403) was the List of sultans of the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Sultan from 1389 to 1402. He was ...
. This pair of fortresses ensured complete control of sea traffic on the Bosphorus and defended against attack by the
Genoese Genoese may refer to: * a person from Genoa * Genoese dialect, a dialect of the Ligurian language * Republic of Genoa (–1805), a former state in Liguria See also

* Genovese, a surname * Genovesi, a surname * * * * * Genova (disambiguati ...

Genoese
colonies on the Black Sea coast to the north. In fact, the new fortress was called ''Boğazkesen'', which means "strait-blocker" or "throat-cutter". The wordplay emphasizes its strategic position: in Turkish ''boğaz'' means both "strait" and "throat". In October 1452, Mehmed ordered
Turakhan Beg Turahan Bey or Turakhan Beg ( tr, Turahan Bey/Beğ; sq, Turhan Bej; el, Τουραχάνης, Τουραχάν μπέης or Τουραχάμπεης;PLP 29165 died in 1456) was a prominent Ottoman military commander and governor of Thessaly ...
to station a large garrison force in the
Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula and geographic regions of Greece, geographic region in southern Greece. It is connected to the central part of the country by the ...
to block
Thomas Thomas may refer to: People * List of people with given name Thomas * Thomas (name) * Thomas (surname) * Saint Thomas (disambiguation) * Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, and Doctor of the Church * Thomas the Apo ...

Thomas
and
Demetrios Demetrius is the Latinization of names, Latinized form of the Ancient Greek male name, male Greek given names, given name ''Dēmḗtrios'' (), meaning “Demetris” - "devoted to goddes Demeter". Alternate forms include Demetrios, Dimitrios, D ...
(
despotes Despot or ''despotes'' ( el, δεσπότης, despótēs, "lord", "master") was a senior Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern pr ...
in Southern Greece) from providing aid to their brother
Constantine XI Palaiologos Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos or Dragaš Palaeologus ( el, Κωνσταντῖνος Δραγάσης Παλαιολόγος, ''Kōnstantînos Dragásēs Palaiológos''; 8 February 1405 – 29 May 1453) was the last List of Byzantine emp ...
during the impending siege of Constantinople.
Karaca Pasha Karaca Pasha, who was born in Bursa (ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into ...
, the
beylerbey ''Beylerbey'' or ''Beylerbeyi'' ( ota, بكلربكی; "Bey "Bey" ( ota, بك “''Beik''”, chg, بك “''Bek''”, tk, beg, uz, bek, kz, бек, tt, bäk, sq, beu, bs, beg, fa, بیگ “''Beigh''” or “''Beg''”, tg, бе, ...
i of
Rumelia Rumelia ( ota, روم ايلى, Rum İli; tr, Rumeli; el, Ρωμυλία), etymologically "Land of the Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder ...
, sent men to prepare the roads from
Adrianople Edirne (, ), formerly known as Adrianople or Hadrianopolis (), is a city in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the ...
to Constantinople so that bridges could cope with massive cannon. Fifty carpenters and 200 artisans also strengthened the roads where necessary. The Greek historian Michael Critobulus quotes Mehmed II's speech to his soldiers before the siege:


European support

Byzantine Emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse ...
Constantine XI Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos or Dragaš Palaeologus ( el, Κωνσταντῖνος Δραγάσης Παλαιολόγος, ''Kōnstantinos Dragasēs Palaiologos''; 8 February 1405 – 29 May 1453) was the last Byzantine emperor, reign ...

Constantine XI
swiftly understood Mehmed's true intentions and turned to
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
for help; but now the price of centuries of war and enmity between the
eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in Shanghai *Eastern Air, former name of Zambia Skyways *Eastern Air Lines, a defunct American airline that operated from 1926 to 1991 *Eastern Air Lin ...
and
western churches 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the largest church building in the world today. Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic relig ...
had to be paid. Since the mutual excommunications of 1054, the
Pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

Pope
in Rome was committed to establishing authority over the eastern church. The union was agreed by the Byzantine Emperor
Michael VIII Palaiologos Michael VIII Palaiologos or Palaeologus ( el, Μιχαὴλ Δούκας Ἄγγελος Κομνηνὸς Παλαιολόγος, Mikhaēl Doukas Angelos Komnēnos Palaiologos; 1223 – 11 December 1282) reigned as the co-emperor of the Empire ...

Michael VIII Palaiologos
in 1274, at the
Second Council of Lyon:''The First Council of Lyon, the Thirteenth Ecumenical Council, took place in 1245.'' The Second Council of Lyon was the fourteenth ecumenical council of the Catholic Church, convoked on 31 March 1272 and convened in Lyon, Kingdom of Arles (in mo ...
, and indeed, some Palaiologoi emperors had since been received into the
Latin Church , native_name_lang = la , image = San Giovanni in Laterano - Rome.jpg , imagewidth = 250px , alt = Façade of the Archbasilica of St. John in Lateran , caption = Archbasilica of Saint Joh ...
. Emperor
John VIII Palaiologos John VIII Palaiologos or Palaeologus ( gr, Ἰωάννης Παλαιολόγος, Iōannēs Palaiologos; 18 December 1392 – 31 October 1448) was the penultimate Byzantine Emperor, ruling from 1425 to 1448. Biography John VIII Palaiolo ...
had also recently negotiated union with
Pope Eugene IV Pope Eugene IV ( la, Eugenius IV; 1383 – 23 February 1447), born Gabriele Condulmer, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Catholics . As the wo ...

Pope Eugene IV
, with the
Council of Florence The Council of Florence is the seventeenth ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matt ...
of 1439 proclaiming a ''Bull of Union''. The imperial efforts to impose union were met with strong resistance in Constantinople. A propaganda initiative was stimulated by anti-unionist
Orthodox Orthodox, Orthodoxy, or Orthodoxism may refer to: Religion * Orthodoxy, adherence to accepted norms, more specifically adherence to creeds, especially within Christianity and Judaism, but also less commonly in non-Abrahamic religions like Neo-paga ...

Orthodox
partisans in Constantinople; the population, as well as the laity and leadership of the Byzantine Church, became bitterly divided. Latent
ethnic hatred Ethnic hatred, inter-ethnic hatred, racial hatred, or ethnic tension refers to feelings and acts of prejudice Prejudice can be an affective feeling towards a person based on their perceived group membership. The word is often used to refer to ...
between Greeks and Italians, stemming from the events of the
Massacre of the Latins The Massacre of the Latins ( it, Massacro dei Latini; el, Σφαγὴ τῶν Λατίνων) was a large-scale massacre of the Latin Church, Roman Catholic (called "Latin") inhabitants of Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, ...
in 1182 by the Greeks and the
Sack of Constantinople The sack of Constantinople occurred in April 1204 and marked the culmination of the Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition wa ...
in 1204 by the Latins, played a significant role. Ultimately, the attempted union between east and west failed, greatly annoying
Pope Nicholas V Pope Nicholas V ( la, Nicholaus V; 13 November 1397 – 24 March 1455), born Tommaso Parentucelli, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 ...

Pope Nicholas V
and the hierarchy of the Roman church. In the summer of 1452, when Rumelı Hisari was completed and the threat of the Ottomans had become imminent, Constantine wrote to the Pope, promising to implement the union, which was declared valid by a half-hearted imperial court on 12 December 1452. Although he was eager for an advantage, Pope Nicholas V did not have the influence the Byzantines thought he had over the Western kings and princes, some of whom were wary of increasing papal control. Furthermore, these Western rulers did not have the wherewithal to contribute to the effort, especially in light of the weakened state of France and England from the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
, Spain's involvement in the
Reconquista The ' (Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portug ...

Reconquista
, the internecine fighting in the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
, and Hungary and Poland's defeat at the
Battle of Varna The Battle of Varna took place on 10 November 1444 near Varna, Bulgaria, Varna in eastern Bulgaria. The Military of the Ottoman Empire, Ottoman Army under Murad II, Sultan Murad II (who did not actually rule the sultanate at the time) defeated th ...

Battle of Varna
of 1444. Although some troops did arrive from the mercantile city-states in northern Italy, the Western contribution was not adequate to counterbalance Ottoman strength. Some Western individuals, however, came to help defend the city on their own account. , funded by the Pope, arrived in 1452 with 200 archers. An accomplished soldier from
Genoa Genoa ( ; it, Genova ; locally ; lij, Zêna ; English, historically, and la, Genua) is the capital of the Regions of Italy, Italian region of Liguria and the List of cities in Italy, sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived ...

Genoa
,
Giovanni Giustiniani Giovanni Giustiniani Longo ( el, , ''Iōánnēs Lóngos Ioustiniánēs''; la, Ioannes Iustinianus Longus; 1418 – 1 June 1453) was a Genoese captain, a member of one of the greatest families of the Republic of Genoa A republic ( la, res p ...
, arrived in January 1453 with 400 men from Genoa and 300 men from Genoese
Chios Chios (; el, Χίος, Khíos ) is the fifth largest of the Greece, Greek list of islands of Greece, islands, situated in the northern Aegean Sea. The island is separated from Turkey by the Chios Strait. Chios is notable for its exports of Mast ...

Chios
. As a specialist in defending walled cities, Giustiniani was immediately given the overall command of the defence of the land walls by the Emperor. The Byzantines knew him by the Latin spelling of his name, "John Justinian", named after the famous 6th century Byzantine emperor
Justinian the Great Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός, Ioustinianós; 11 May 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565. His reign is marked by the ...
. Around the same time, the captains of the Venetian ships that happened to be present in the
Golden Horn 300px, The Golden Horn as seen from Galata Bridge The Golden Horn ( tr, Altın Boynuz or ''Haliç''; grc, Χρυσόκερας, ''Chrysókeras''; la, Sinus Ceratinus) is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus F ...

Golden Horn
offered their services to the Emperor, barring contrary orders from
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...

Venice
, and Pope Nicholas undertook to send three ships laden with provisions, which set sail near the end of March. Meanwhile, in Venice, deliberations were taking place concerning the kind of assistance the Republic would lend to Constantinople. The
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...
decided upon sending a fleet in February 1453, but the fleet's departure was delayed until April, when it was already too late for ships to assist in battle. Further undermining Byzantine morale, seven Italian ships with around 700 men, despite having sworn to defend Constantinople, slipped out of the capital the moment Giustiniani arrived. At the same time, Constantine's attempts to appease the Sultan with gifts ended with the execution of the Emperor's ambassadors. Fearing a possible naval attack along the shores of the Golden Horn, Emperor Constantine XI ordered that a defensive chain be placed at the mouth of the harbour. This chain, which floated on logs, was strong enough to prevent any Turkish ship from entering the harbour. This device was one of two that gave the Byzantines some hope of extending the siege until the possible arrival of foreign help. This strategy was enforced because in 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade successfully circumvented Constantinople's land defences by breaching the Golden Horn Wall. Another strategy employed by the Byzantines was the repair and fortification of the Land Wall (Theodosian Walls). Emperor Constantine deemed it necessary to ensure that the
BlachernaeBlachernae ( gkm, Βλαχέρναι) was a suburb in the northwestern section of Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Nor ...
district's wall was the most fortified because that section of the wall protruded northwards. The land fortifications consisted of a wide moat fronting inner and outer crenellated walls studded with towers every 45–55 metres.


Strength

The army defending Constantinople was relatively small, totalling about 7,000 men, 2,000 of whom were foreigners. At the onset of the siege, probably fewer than 50,000 people were living within the walls, including the refugees from the surrounding area. Turkish commander Dorgano, who was in Constantinople working for the Emperor, was also guarding one of the quarters of the city on the seaward side with the Turks in his pay. These Turks kept loyal to the Emperor and perished in the ensuing battle. The defending army's Genoese corps were well trained and equipped, while the rest of the army consisted of small numbers of well-trained soldiers, armed civilians, sailors and volunteer forces from foreign communities, and finally
monks A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, ...

monks
. The garrison used a few small-calibre artillery pieces, which in the end proved ineffective. The rest of the citizens repaired walls, stood guard on observation posts, collected and distributed food provisions, and collected gold and silver objects from churches to melt down into coins to pay the foreign soldiers. The Ottomans had a much larger force. Recent studies and Ottoman archival data state that there were some 50,000–80,000 Ottoman soldiers, including between 5,000 and 10,000
Janissaries A Janissary ( ota, يڭيچرى, yeŋiçeri, , ) was a member of the elite infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and ar ...

Janissaries
, 70
cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Long Rifle, 22 LR cartridges for comparison In gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launc ...

cannon
s, and an elite infantry corps, and thousands of Christian troops, notably 1,500 Serbian cavalry that
Đurađ Branković Đurađ Branković (; sr-cyr, Ђурађ Бранковић; hu, Brankovics György; 1377 – 24 December 1456) was the Serbian Despot from 1427 to 1456. He was one of the last Serbian medieval rulers. He was a participant in the Battle of Ankara ...
was forced to supply as part of his obligation to the Ottoman sultan —just a few months before, Branković had supplied the money for the reconstruction of the walls of Constantinople. Contemporaneous Western witnesses of the siege, who tend to exaggerate the military power of the Sultan, provide disparate and higher numbers ranging from 160,000 to 300,000 ( Niccolò Barbaro: 160,000; the Florentine merchant Jacopo Tedaldi and the Great Logothete
George SphrantzesGeorge Sphrantzes, also Phrantzes or Phrantza ( el, Γεώργιος Σφραντζής or Φραντζής; 1401 – c. 1478), was a late Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) is the stage of the Greek l ...
: 200,000; the Cardinal
Isidore of Kiev Isidore of Kiev, also known as Isidore of Thessalonica or Isidore, the Apostate ( el, ; russian: Исидор; uk, Ісидор; 1385 – 27 April 1463), was a Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) ...

Isidore of Kiev
and the Archbishop of
Mytilene Mytilene (; el, Μυτιλήνη, Mytilíni ) is the capital city, capital of the Greece, Greek island of Lesbos, and its port. It is also the capital and administrative center of the North Aegean Region, and hosts the headquarters of the Unive ...

Mytilene
Leonardo di Chio: 300,000).


Ottoman dispositions and strategies

Mehmed built a fleet (crewed partially by Spanish sailors from
Gallipoli The Gallipoli peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical bod ...

Gallipoli
) to besiege the city from the sea. Contemporary estimates of the strength of the Ottoman fleet span from 110 ships to 430 (Tedaldi: 110; Barbaro: 145; Ubertino Pusculo: 160, Isidore of Kiev and Leonardo di Chio: 200–250; (Sphrantzes): 430). A more realistic modern estimate predicts a fleet strength of 110 ships comprising 70 large
galley A galley is a type of ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying goods or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fis ...

galley
s, 5 ordinary galleys, 10 smaller galleys, 25 large rowing boats, and 75 horse-transports. Before the siege of Constantinople, it was known that the Ottomans had the ability to cast medium-sized
cannon A cannon is a large-caliber A 45 ACP hollowpoint (Federal Cartridge, Federal HST) with two .22 Long Rifle, 22 LR cartridges for comparison In gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launc ...

cannon
s, but the range of some pieces they were able to field far surpassed the defenders' expectations. The Ottomans deployed a number of cannons, anywhere from 12 to 62 cannons. They were built at
foundries A foundry is a factory A factory, manufacturing plant or a production plant is an industrial site, often a complex consisting of several buildings filled with machinery A machine is a man-made device that uses power to apply forces an ...
that employed Turkish cannon founders and technicians, most notably Saruca, in addition to at least one foreign cannon founder,
OrbanOrban, also known as Urban ( hu, Orbán; died 1453), was an iron founderAn iron founder (also iron-founder or ironfounder) in its more general sense is a worker in molten ferrous In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with ...

Orban
(also called Urban). Most of the cannons at the siege were built by Turkish engineers, including a large bombard by Saruca, while one cannon was built by Orban, who also contributed a large bombard. Orban, a Hungarian (though some suggest he was German), was a somewhat mysterious figure. His long cannon was named "
Basilica In Ancient Roman architecture, a basilica is a large public building with multiple functions, typically built alongside the town's Forum (Roman), forum. The basilica was in the Latin West equivalent to a stoa in the Greek East. The building ...
" and was able to hurl a stone ball over a mile (1.6 km). Orban initially tried to sell his services to the Byzantines, but they were unable to secure the funds needed to hire him. Orban then left Constantinople and approached Mehmed II, claiming that his weapon could blast "the walls of
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' *Kassite The Kassites ...

Babylon
itself". Given abundant funds and materials, the Hungarian engineer built the gun within three months at
Edirne Edirne (, ), formerly known as Adrianople or Hadrianopolis (), is a city in Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the ...
. However, this was the only cannon that Orban built for the Ottoman forces at Constantinople, and it had several drawbacks: it took three hours to reload; cannonballs were in very short supply; and the cannon is said to have collapsed under its own recoil after six weeks. The account of the cannon's collapse is disputed, given that it was only reported in the letter of Archbishop Leonardo di Chio and in the later, and often unreliable, Russian chronicle of Nestor Iskander. Having previously established a large foundry about away, Mehmed now had to undertake the painstaking process of transporting his massive artillery pieces. In preparation for the final assault, Mehmed had an artillery train of 70 large pieces dragged from his headquarters at Edirne, in addition to the bombards cast on the spot. This train included Orban's enormous cannon, which was said to have been dragged from Edirne by a crew of 60 oxen and over 400 men. There was another large bombard, independently built by Turkish engineer Saruca, that was also used in the battle. Mehmed planned to attack the Theodosian Walls, the intricate series of walls and ditches protecting Constantinople from an attack from the West and the only part of the city not surrounded by water. His army encamped outside the city on 2 April 1453, the Monday after
Easter Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'' and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samuel Pe ...

Easter
. The bulk of the Ottoman army was encamped south of the Golden Horn. The regular European troops, stretched out along the entire length of the walls, were commanded by Karadja Pasha. The regular troops from
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
under Ishak Pasha were stationed south of the Lycus down to the . Mehmed himself erected his red-and-gold tent near the ''Mesoteichion'', where the guns and the elite Janissary regiments were positioned. The
Bashi-bazouk A bashi-bazouk ( ota, باشی بوزوق , , , roughly "leaderless" or "disorderly") was an irregular military, irregular soldier of the Ottoman army, raised in times of war. The army chiefly recruited Albanians and Circassians as bashi-bazo ...
s were spread out behind the front lines. Other troops under Zagan Pasha were employed north of the Golden Horn. Communication was maintained by a road that had been destroyed over the marshy head of the Horn. The Ottomans were experts in laying siege to cities. They knew that in order to prevent diseases they had to burn corpses, sanitarily dispose of excrement, and pay close attention to their sources of water.


Byzantine dispositions and tactics

The city had about 20 km of walls ( land walls: 5.5 km; sea walls along the Golden Horn: 7 km; sea walls along the Sea of Marmara: 7.5 km), one of the strongest sets of fortified walls in existence. The walls had recently been repaired (under John VIII) and were in fairly good shape, giving the defenders sufficient reason to believe that they could hold out until help from the West arrived. In addition, the defenders were relatively well-equipped with a fleet of 26 ships: 5 from
Genoa Genoa ( ; it, Genova ; locally ; lij, Zêna ; English, historically, and la, Genua) is the capital of the Regions of Italy, Italian region of Liguria and the List of cities in Italy, sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived ...

Genoa
, 5 from
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...

Venice
, 3 from Venetian
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, Modern Modern may refer to: History *Modern history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology ...

Crete
, 1 from
Ancona Ancona (, also , ; ) is a city and a seaport in the Marche region in central Italy, with a population of around 101,997 . Ancona is the capital of the province of Ancona and of the region. The city is located northeast of Rome, on the Adriatic ...

Ancona
, 1 from
Aragon Aragon ( or , Spanish and an, Aragón , ca, Aragó ) is an autonomous community eu, autonomia erkidegoa ca, comunitat autònoma gl, comunidade autónoma oc, comunautat autonòma an, comunidat autonoma ast, comunidá autónoma , alt_n ...

Aragon
, 1 from France, and about 10 from the empire itself. On 5 April, the Sultan himself arrived with his last troops, and the defenders took up their positions. As Byzantine numbers were insufficient to occupy the walls in their entirety, it had been decided that only the outer walls would be guarded. Constantine and his Greek troops guarded the ''Mesoteichion'', the middle section of the land walls, where they were crossed by the river Lycus. This section was considered the weakest spot in the walls and an attack was feared here most. Giustiniani was stationed to the north of the emperor, at the (''Myriandrion''); later during the siege, he was shifted to the ''Mesoteichion'' to join Constantine, leaving the ''Myriandrion'' to the charge of the Bocchiardi brothers. Minotto and his Venetians were stationed in the
Blachernae Palace The Palace of Blachernae ( el, ). was an imperial Byzantine Empire, Byzantine residence in the suburb of Blachernae, located in the northwestern section of Constantinople (today located in the quarter of Ayvansaray in Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey). The ...
, together with Teodoro Caristo, the Langasco brothers, and Archbishop Leonardo of Chios. To the left of the emperor, further south, were the commanders Cataneo, who led Genoese troops, and Theophilus Palaeologus, who guarded the Pegae Gate with Greek soldiers. The section of the land walls from the Pegae Gate to the Golden Gate (itself guarded by a Genoese called Manuel) was defended by the Venetian Filippo Contarini, while Demetrius Cantacuzenus had taken position on the southernmost part of the Theodosian wall. The sea walls were guarded more sparsely, with Jacobo Contarini at
Stoudion depicting the Stoudios Monastery and the Propontis (Sea of Marmara), from the Menologion of Basil II (c. 1000). The Monastery of Stoudios, more fully Monastery of Saint John the Forerunner "at Stoudios" (Greek (language), Greek Μονή του Α ...
, a makeshift defence force of Greek monks to his left hand, and Prince Orhan at the Harbour of Eleutherios. Pere Julià was stationed at the Great Palace with Genoese and Catalan troops; Cardinal Isidore of Kiev guarded the tip of the peninsula near the boom. Finally, the sea walls at the southern shore of the
Golden Horn 300px, The Golden Horn as seen from Galata Bridge The Golden Horn ( tr, Altın Boynuz or ''Haliç''; grc, Χρυσόκερας, ''Chrysókeras''; la, Sinus Ceratinus) is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus F ...

Golden Horn
were defended by Venetian and Genoese sailors under
Gabriele TrevisanoGabriele Trevisano was a Republic of Venice, Venetian commander, who participated on the losing side of the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, having joined the Byzantine Empire in its defence of its capital city against the Ottoman Empire. Alongside h ...
. Two tactical reserves were kept behind in the city: one in the Petra district just behind the land walls and one near the
Church of the Holy Apostles The Church of the Holy Apostles ( el, , ''Agioi Apostoloi''; tr, Havariyyun Kilisesi), also known as the ''Imperial Polyándreion'' (imperial cemetery), was a Greek Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Ortho ...

Church of the Holy Apostles
, under the command of
Loukas NotarasLoukas Notaras ( el, Λουκᾶς Νοταρᾶς; 5 April 1402 – 3 June 1453) was a Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinc ...
and Nicephorus Palaeologus, respectively. The Venetian Alviso Diedo commanded the ships in the harbour. Although the Byzantines also had cannons, the weapons were much smaller than those of the Ottomans, and the
recoil Recoil (often called knockback, kickback or simply kick) is the rearward thrust Thrust is a described quantitatively by . When a system expels or in one direction, the accelerated mass will cause a force of equal but opposite directi ...

recoil
tended to damage their own walls. According to
David Nicolle David C. Nicolle (born 4 April 1944) is a British historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and writes about the ...
, despite many odds, the idea that Constantinople was inevitably doomed is incorrect and the situation was not as one-sided as a simple glance at a map might suggest. It has also been claimed that Constantinople was "the best-defended city in Europe" at that time.


Siege

At the beginning of the siege, Mehmed sent out some of his best troops to reduce the remaining Byzantine strongholds outside the city of Constantinople. The fortress of Therapia on the Bosphorus and a smaller castle at the village of Studius near the Sea of Marmara were taken within a few days. The
Princes' Islands The Princes' Islands ( el, Πριγκηπονήσια, ''Pringiponisia'', tr, Prens Adaları; the word "princes" is plural, because the name means "Islands of the Princes"), officially just Adalar ( en, Islands); alternatively the Princes' Arch ...
in the Sea of Marmara were taken by Admiral Baltoghlu's fleet. Mehmed's massive cannons fired on the walls for weeks but due to their imprecision and extremely slow rate of fire, the Byzantines were able to repair most of the damage after each shot, mitigating the effect of the Ottoman artillery. Despite some probing attacks, the Ottoman fleet under Baltoghlu could not enter the Golden Horn due to the chain across the entrance. Although one of the fleet's main tasks was to prevent any foreign ships from entering the Golden Horn, on 20 April, a small flotilla of four Christian ships managed to get in after some heavy fighting, an event which strengthened the morale of the defenders and caused embarrassment to the Sultan. Baltoghlu's life was spared after his subordinates testified to his bravery during the conflict. He was most likely injured in the eye during the skirmish. Mehmed stripped Baltoghlu of his wealth and property and gave it to the janissaries and ordered he be whipped 100 times. Mehmed ordered the construction of a road of greased logs across
Galata Galata is the former name of the Karaköy neighbourhood in Istanbul, which is located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn. The district is connected to the historic Fatih district by several bridges that cross the Golden Horn, most notably ...

Galata
on the north side of the Golden Horn and dragged his ships over the hill, directly into the Golden Horn on 22 April, bypassing the chain barrier. This action seriously threatened the flow of supplies from Genoese ships from the nominally neutral colony of
PeraPera may refer to: Places * Pera (Beyoğlu), a district in Istanbul formerly called Pera, now called Beyoğlu ** Galata, a neighbourhood of Beyoğlu, often referred to as Pera in the past * Pêra (Caparica), a Portuguese locality in the district of ...
and it demoralized the Byzantine defenders. On the night of 28 April, an attempt was made to destroy the Ottoman ships already in the Golden Horn using
fire ship A fire ship or fireship, used in the days of wooden rowed or sailing ship A sailing ship is a sea-going vessel that uses sail A sail is a tensile structure—made from fabric or other membrane materials—that uses wind power to propel ...
s but the Ottomans forced the Christians to retreat with many casualties. Forty Italians escaped their sinking ships and swam to the northern shore. On orders of Mehmed, they were impaled on stakes, in sight of the city's defenders on the sea walls across the Golden Horn. In retaliation, the defenders brought their Ottoman prisoners, 260 in all, to the walls, where they were executed, one by one, before the eyes of the Ottomans. With the failure of their attack on the Ottoman vessels, the defenders were forced to disperse part of their forces to defend the sea walls along the Golden Horn. The Ottoman army had made several frontal assaults on the land wall of Constantinople, but they were costly failures. Venetian surgeon Niccolò Barbaro, describing in his diary one such land attack by the Janissaries, wrote After these inconclusive attacks, the Ottomans sought to break through the walls by constructing tunnels to mine them from mid-May to 25 May. Many of the
sapper A sapper, also called pioneer Pioneer commonly refers to a settler who migrates to previously uninhabited or sparsely inhabited land. In the United States pioneer commonly refers to an American pioneer, a person in American history who migrate ...
s were miners of Serbian origin sent from
Novo Brdo Novo Brdo ( sr-Cyrl, Ново Брдо) or Novobërda and Artana ( sq, Novobërdë or ''Artanë''), is a municipality located in the Pristina district of Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; s ...

Novo Brdo
under the command of Zagan Pasha. An engineer named Johannes Grant, a German who came with the Genoese contingent, had counter-mines dug, allowing Byzantine troops to enter the mines and kill the miners. The Byzantines intercepted the first tunnel on the night of 16 May. Subsequent tunnels were interrupted on 21, 23 and 25 May, and destroyed with
Greek fire #REDIRECT Greek fire #REDIRECT Greek fire#REDIRECT Greek fire Greek fire was an incendiary weapon used by the Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Ro ...
and vigorous combat. On 23 May, the Byzantines captured and
torture Torture is the deliberate infliction of severe pain or suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering i ...

torture
d two Turkish officers, who revealed the location of all the Turkish tunnels, which were destroyed. On 21 May, Mehmed sent an ambassador to Constantinople and offered to lift the siege if they gave him the city. He promised he would allow the Emperor and any other inhabitants to leave with their possessions. He would recognize the Emperor as governor of the Peloponnese. Lastly, he guaranteed the safety of the population that might choose to remain in the city. Constantine XI only agreed to pay higher tributes to the sultan and recognized the status of all the conquered castles and lands in the hands of the Turks as Ottoman possession. The Emperor was not willing to leave the city without a fight Around this time, Mehmed had a final council with his senior officers. Here he encountered some resistance; one of his Viziers, the veteran
Halil Pasha Halil Pasha (also known as Bostancı Halil Pasha) was an Ottoman Empire, Ottoman statesman who served as the List of Ottoman governors of Egypt, governor of Egypt Eyalet, Ottoman Egypt from 1631 to 1633. He was known for his "gentle, impartial, and ...
, who had always disapproved of Mehmed's plans to conquer the city, now admonished him to abandon the siege in the face of recent adversity. Zagan Pasha argued against Halil Pasha and insisted on an immediate attack. Believing that the Byzantine defence was already weakened sufficiently, Mehmed planned to overpower the walls by sheer force and started preparations for a final all-out offensive.


Final assault

Preparations for the final assault began in the evening of 26 May and continued to the next day. For 36 hours after the war council decided to attack, the Ottomans extensively mobilized their manpower for the general offensive. Prayer and resting was then granted to the soldiers on 28 May before the final assault would be launched. On the Byzantine side, a small Venetian fleet of 12 ships, after having searched the Aegean, reached the Capital on 27 May and reported to the Emperor that no large Venetian relief fleet was on its way. On Saturday 28 May his appears to be incorrect - in the Julian Calendar then in use, the city fell on a Tuesday so this was a Monday. see www.dayoftheweek.org and also Runciman "The Fall of Constantinople" as the Ottoman army prepared for the final assault, mass religious processions were held in the city. In the evening, a solemn last ceremony of Vespers before Pentecost was held in the
Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia (; ; la, Sancta Sophia, lit=Holy Wisdom Holy Wisdom (Greek: , la, Sancta Sapientia, russian: Святая София Премудрость Божия, translit=Svyataya Sofiya Premudrost' Bozhiya "Holy Sophia, Divine Wisdom") ...

Hagia Sophia
, in which the Emperor with representatives and nobility of both the Latin and Greek churches partook. Up until this point, the Ottomans had fired 5,000 shots from their cannons using 55,000 pounds of gunpowder. Shortly after midnight on 29 May, on the Greek Orthodox feast of
Pentecost The Christian holiday of Pentecost is celebrated on the 50th day (the seventh Sunday) from Easter Sunday Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for rec ...
, the offensive began. The Christian troops of the Ottoman Empire attacked first, followed by successive waves of the irregular
azap Azebs, azabs or azaps ( ota, عزب, from Arabic, literally ''unmarried'', meaning ''bachelor''), also known as Asappes or Asappi, were irrgular soldiers, originally made up of unmarried youths. They were consripted among reayas and served in vari ...
s, who were poorly trained and equipped and Anatolian Turkmen beylik forces who focused on a section of the damaged
BlachernaeBlachernae ( gkm, Βλαχέρναι) was a suburb in the northwestern section of Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Nor ...
walls in the north-west part of the city. This section of the walls had been built earlier, in the 11th century, and was much weaker. The Turkmen mercenaries managed to breach this section of walls and entered the city but they were just as quickly pushed back by the defenders. Finally, the last wave consisting of elite
Janissaries A Janissary ( ota, يڭيچرى, yeŋiçeri, , ) was a member of the elite infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and ar ...

Janissaries
, attacked the city walls. The
Genoese Genoese may refer to: * a person from Genoa * Genoese dialect, a dialect of the Ligurian language * Republic of Genoa (–1805), a former state in Liguria See also

* Genovese, a surname * Genovesi, a surname * * * * * Genova (disambiguati ...

Genoese
general in charge of the defenders on land,
Giovanni Giustiniani Giovanni Giustiniani Longo ( el, , ''Iōánnēs Lóngos Ioustiniánēs''; la, Ioannes Iustinianus Longus; 1418 – 1 June 1453) was a Genoese captain, a member of one of the greatest families of the Republic of Genoa A republic ( la, res p ...
, was grievously wounded during the attack, and his evacuation from the ramparts caused a panic in the ranks of the defenders. With Giustiniani's Genoese troops retreating into the city and towards the harbour, Constantine and his men, now left to their own devices, continued to hold their ground against the Janissaries. Constantine's men eventually could not prevent the Ottomans from entering the city and the defenders were overwhelmed at several points along the wall. When Turkish flags were seen flying above the Kerkoporta, a small postern gate that was left open, panic ensued and the defence collapsed. Janissaries, led by Ulubatlı Hasan, pressed forward. Many Greek soldiers ran back home to protect their families, the Venetians retreated to their ships and a few of the Genoese escaped to Galata. The rest surrendered or committed suicide by jumping off the city walls. The Greek houses nearest to the walls were the first to suffer from the Ottomans. It is said that Constantine, throwing aside his purple imperial regalia, led the final charge against the incoming Ottomans, perishing in the ensuing battle in the streets alongside his soldiers. The Venetian Nicolò Barbaro claimed in his diary that Constantine hanged himself at the moment when the Turks broke in at the San Romano gate. Ultimately, his fate remains unknown. After the initial assault, the Ottoman army fanned out along the main thoroughfare of the city, the Mese, past the great forums and the
Church of the Holy Apostles The Church of the Holy Apostles ( el, , ''Agioi Apostoloi''; tr, Havariyyun Kilisesi), also known as the ''Imperial Polyándreion'' (imperial cemetery), was a Greek Eastern Orthodox The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Ortho ...

Church of the Holy Apostles
, which Mehmed II wanted to provide a seat for his newly appointed patriarch to better control his Christian subjects. Mehmed II had sent an advance guard to protect these key buildings. A few lucky civilians managed to escape. When the Venetians retreated over to their ships, the Ottomans had already taken the walls of the Golden Horn. Luckily for the occupants of the city, the Ottomans were not interested in killing potentially valuable slaves but rather in the loot they could get from raiding the city's houses, so they decided to attack the city instead. The Venetian captain ordered his men to break open the gate of the Golden Horn. Having done so, the Venetians left in ships filled with soldiers and refugees. Shortly after the Venetians left, a few Genoese ships and even the Emperor's ships followed them out of the Golden Horn. This fleet narrowly escaped prior to the Ottoman navy assuming control over the Golden Horn, which was accomplished by midday. The army converged upon the
Augusteum An Augusteum (plural ''Augustea'') was originally a site of imperial cult ian pharaohs were worshipped as god-kings An imperial cult is a form of state religion in which an emperor or a dynasty of emperors (or rulers of another title) are worshi ...
, the vast square that fronted the great church of Hagia Sophia whose bronze gates were barred by a huge throng of civilians inside the building, hoping for divine protection. After the doors were breached, the troops separated the congregation according to what price they might bring in the slave markets. Ottoman casualties are unknown but they are believed by most historians to be severe due to several unsuccessful Ottoman attacks made during the siege and final assault. The Venetian Barbaro observed that blood flowed in the city "like rainwater in the gutters after a sudden storm" and that bodies of Turks and Christians floated in the sea "like melons along a canal".


Atrocities

Leonard of Chios witnessed the horrible atrocities that followed the fall of Constantinople. The Ottoman invaders pillaged the city, murdered or enslaved tens of thousands of people, and raped women and children. Even nuns were subjected to sexual assault by the Ottomans: During three days of pillaging, the Ottoman invaders captured children and took them away to their tents, and became rich by plundering the imperial palace and the houses of Constantinople. The Ottoman official Tursun Beg wrote: If any citizens of Constantinople tried to resist, they were slaughtered. According to Niccolò Barbaro, "all through the day the Turks made a great slaughter of Christians through the city". According to
Makarios MelissenosMakarios Melissenos ( el, Μακάριος Μελισσηνός), born Makarios Melissourgos (Μακάριος Μελισσουργός), was a Greeks, Greek scholar and metropolitan bishop of Monemvasia. He died in 1585. Life Born Makarios Melissou ...
: Much of the Ottoman persecution of the city's citizens had overt religious overtones or undertones. The Ottoman soldiers were reported to have engaged in vileness within all the churches; the Grand Duke Lucas Notaras's daughter was forced to lie on the Hagia Sophia's altar with a crucifix under her head and gang raped by several Ottomans. Ottoman soldiers also paraded the main crucifix around their camp, jeering and spitting on it. The women of Constantinople suffered from rape at the hands of Ottoman forces. According to historian Philip Mansel, widespread persecution of the city's civilian inhabitants took place, resulting in thousands of murders and rapes, and 30,000 civilians being enslaved or forcibly deported.{{cite news , last1=Mansel , first1=Philip , title=Constantinople: City of the World's Desire 1453–1924 , url=https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/constantinople.htm , newspaper=Washington Post , access-date=7 August 2020 , archive-date=24 July 2019 , archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20190724153239/http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/constantinople.htm , url-status=live The vast majority of the citizens of Constantinople were forced to become slaves.{{cite book, author=Roger Crowley, title=Constantinople: The Last Great Siege, 1453, url=https://books.google.com/books?id=ftOp1cR7VK8C&pg=PT226, date=6 August 2009, publisher=Faber & Faber, isbn=978-0-571-25079-0, page=226, quote=The vast majority of the ordinary citizens - about 30,000 - were marched off to the slave markets of Edirne, Bursa and Ankara.{{cite book, author=Jim Bradbury, title=The Medieval Siege, url=https://books.google.com/books?id=xVCRpsfwkiUC&pg=PA322, year=1992, publisher=Boydell & Brewer, isbn=978-0-85115-312-4, page=322 According to Nicolas de Nicolay, slaves were displayed naked at the city's slave market, and young girls could be purchased.{{cite book , last1=Fisher , first1=Alan , title=A Precarious Balance , date=2010 , publisher=Gorgias Press , location=Piscataway, NJ, USA , page=151 , chapter=The Sale of Slaves in the Ottoman Empire: Markets and State Taxes on Slave Sales, Some Preliminary Considerations The elder refugees in the Hagia Sophia were slaughtered and the women raped.
George SphrantzesGeorge Sphrantzes, also Phrantzes or Phrantza ( el, Γεώργιος Σφραντζής or Φραντζής; 1401 – c. 1478), was a late Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) is the stage of the Greek l ...
says that people of both genders were raped inside
Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia (; ; la, Sancta Sophia, lit=Holy Wisdom Holy Wisdom (Greek: , la, Sancta Sapientia, russian: Святая София Премудрость Божия, translit=Svyataya Sofiya Premudrost' Bozhiya "Holy Sophia, Divine Wisdom") ...

Hagia Sophia
. According to
Steven Runciman Sir James Cochran Stevenson Runciman (7 July 1903 – 1 November 2000), known as Steven Runciman, was an English historian best known for his three-volume ''A History of the Crusades ''A History of the Crusades'' by Steven Runciman, published ...
most of the elderly and the infirm/wounded and sick who were refugees inside the churches were killed, and the remainder were chained up and sold into slavery.{{Cite book, last=Runciman, first=Steven, url=https://books.google.com/books?id=BAzntP0lg58C, title=The Fall of Constantinople 1453, publisher=Cambridge University Press, year=1965, isbn=978-0-521-39832-9, pages=147, language=en, access-date=23 September 2020, archive-date=3 September 2020, archive-url=https://web.archive.org/web/20200903035408/https://books.google.com/books?id=BAzntP0lg58C, url-status=live Several primary sources attest that
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
engaged himself in pillaging Constantinople and the murder or enslavement of its citizens, knocking over the altar of the Hagia Sophia and ordering the "wretched citizens of Constantinople" to be dragged before his men during evening festivities and "many of them to be hacked to pieces, for the sake of entertainment." {{cite book, author=Raymond Ibrahim, title=Sword and Scimitar, publisher=De Capo Press, isbn=978-0306825552, page=Chapter 7 Byzantine historian Doukas and Leonard of Chios stated after the fall that Mehmed II ordered the 14-year old son of the Grand Duke Lucas Notaras brought to him "for his pleasure". When the father refused to deliver his son to such a fate he had them both decapitated on the spot. {{cite book, author=Raymond Ibrahim, title=Sword and Scimitar, publisher=De Capo Press, isbn=978-0306825552, page=Chapter 7 According to the ''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin for "British Encyclopaedia") is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia which is now published exclusively as an online encyclopedia, online encyclopaedia. It was formerly published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., a ...
''
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
"permitted an initial period of looting that saw the destruction of many Orthodox churches", but tried to prevent a complete sack of the city. The looting was extremely thorough in certain parts of the city. On 2 June, the Sultan found the city largely deserted and half in ruins; churches had been desecrated and stripped, houses were no longer habitable, and stores and shops were emptied. He is famously reported to have been moved to tears by this, saying, "What a city we have given over to plunder and destruction."{{rp, 152 Looting was carried out on a massive scale by sailors and marines who entered the city via other walls before they had been suppressed by regular troops, who were beyond the main gate. According to
David Nicolle David C. Nicolle (born 4 April 1944) is a British historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and writes about the ...
, the ordinary people were treated better by their Ottoman conquerors than their ancestors had been by Crusaders back in 1204, stating that only about 4,000 Greeks died in the siege, while according to a
Senate The Curia Julia in the Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" ;"title="Curia Julia in the Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the Roman Forum A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or Debating chamber, chamber of a bicameral legislatu ...

Senate
report, 50 Venetian noblemen and over 500 other Venetian civilians died during the siege.{{Sfn, Nicolle, 2000, p=, pp=81–84 Many of the riches of the city were already looted in
1204 Year 1204 ( MCCIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday A leap year starting on Thursday is any year with 366 days (i.e. it includes 29 February) that begins on Thursday Thursday is the day of the week between Wednesday Wednesday is the d ...
, leaving only limited loot to the Ottomans.


Aftermath

Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
granted his soldiers three days to plunder the city, as he had promised them and in accordance with the custom of the time.{{rp, 145 Soldiers fought over the possession of some of the spoils of war.{{rp, 283 On the third day of the conquest,
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
ordered all
looting Looting is the act of stealing, or the taking of goods by force, typically in the midst of a military, political, or other social crisis, such as war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government i ...
to stop and issued a proclamation that all Christians who had avoided capture or who had been ransomed could return to their homes without further molestation, although many had no homes to return to, and many more had been taken captive and not ransomed.{{rp, 150–51 Byzantine historian
George SphrantzesGeorge Sphrantzes, also Phrantzes or Phrantza ( el, Γεώργιος Σφραντζής or Φραντζής; 1401 – c. 1478), was a late Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) is the stage of the Greek l ...
, an eyewitness to the fall of Constantinople, described the Sultan's actions: {{quote , On the third day after the fall of our city, the Sultan celebrated his victory with a great, joyful triumph. He issued a proclamation: the citizens of all ages who had managed to escape detection were to leave their hiding places throughout the city and come out into the open, as they were to remain free and no question would be asked. He further declared the restoration of houses and property to those who had abandoned our city before the siege. If they returned home, they would be treated according to their rank and religion, as if nothing had changed. , George Sphrantzes The ''Hagia Sophia'' was converted into a mosque, but the
Greek Orthodox Church The Greek Orthodox Church (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population ...
was allowed to remain intact and
Gennadius Scholarius Gennadius II (Greek language, Greek Γεννάδιος Βʹ; lay name Γεώργιος Κουρτέσιος Σχολάριος, ''Georgios Kourtesios Scholarios''; c. 1400 – c. 1473) was a Byzantine philosopher and theologian, and Ecumenical P ...

Gennadius Scholarius
was appointed
Patriarch of Constantinople The highest-ranking bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Or ...
. This was once thought to be the origin of the Ottoman ''millet'' system; however, it is now considered a myth and no such system existed in the fifteenth century. The fall of Constantinople shocked many Europeans, who viewed it as a catastrophic event for their civilization. Many feared other European Christian kingdoms would suffer the same fate as Constantinople. Two possible responses emerged amongst the
humanists Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or some ...
and churchmen of that era:
Crusade The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...
or dialogue.
Pope Pius II Pope Pius II ( la, Pius PP. II, it, Pio II), born Enea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini ( la, Aeneas Silvius Bartholomeus; 18 October 1405 – 14 August 1464), was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the R ...

Pope Pius II
strongly advocated for another Crusade, while the German
Nicholas of Cusa Nicholas of Cusa (1401 – 11 August 1464), also referred to as Nicholas of Kues and Nicolaus Cusanus (), was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσο ...

Nicholas of Cusa
supported engaging in a dialogue with the Ottomans. The
Morea The Morea ( el, Μορέας or ) was the name of the Peloponnese The Peloponnese (), Peloponnesia, or Peloponnesus (; el, Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos, ) is a peninsula and geographic regions of Greece, geographic region in sout ...

Morea
n (Peloponnesian) fortress of
Mystras Mystras or Mistras ( el, Μυστρᾶς/Μιστρᾶς), also known as Myzithras (Μυζηθρᾶς) in the ''Chronicle of the Morea The ''Chronicle of the Morea'' ( el, Το χρονικόν του Μορέως) is a long 14th-century history t ...

Mystras
, where Constantine's brothers
Thomas Thomas may refer to: People * List of people with given name Thomas * Thomas (name) * Thomas (surname) * Saint Thomas (disambiguation) * Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, and Doctor of the Church * Thomas the Apo ...

Thomas
and
Demetrius Demetrius is the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided in ...
ruled, constantly in conflict with each other and knowing that Mehmed would eventually invade them as well, held out until 1460. Long before the fall of Constantinople, Demetrius had fought for the throne with Thomas, Constantine, and their other brothers
John John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) John is a common English name and surname: * John (given name) * John (surname), including a list of people who have the name John John may also refer to: New Testament Works ...
and
TheodoreTheodore may refer to: Places * Theodore, Alabama, United States * Theodore, Australian Capital Territory * Theodore, Queensland, a town in the Shire of Banana, Australia * Theodore, Saskatchewan, Canada People * Theodore (name), includes th ...
.{{rp, 446 Thomas escaped to Rome when the Ottomans invaded Morea while Demetrius expected to rule a puppet state, but instead was imprisoned and remained there for the rest of his life. In Rome, Thomas and his family received some monetary support from the Pope and other Western rulers as Byzantine emperor in exile, until 1503. In 1461 the independent Byzantine state in Trebizond fell to Mehmed.{{rp, 446
Constantine XI Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos or Dragaš Palaeologus ( el, Κωνσταντῖνος Δραγάσης Παλαιολόγος, ''Kōnstantinos Dragasēs Palaiologos''; 8 February 1405 – 29 May 1453) was the last Byzantine emperor, reign ...

Constantine XI
had died without producing an heir, and had Constantinople not fallen he likely would have been succeeded by the sons of his deceased elder brother, who were taken into the palace service of Mehmed after the fall of Constantinople. The oldest boy, renamed Murad, became a personal favourite of Mehmed and served as
Beylerbey ''Beylerbey'' or ''Beylerbeyi'' ( ota, بكلربكی; "Bey "Bey" ( ota, بك “''Beik''”, chg, بك “''Bek''”, tk, beg, uz, bek, kz, бек, tt, bäk, sq, beu, bs, beg, fa, بیگ “''Beigh''” or “''Beg''”, tg, бе, ...
(Governor-General) of
Rumeli Rumelia ( ota, روم ايلى, Rum İli; tr, Rumeli; el, Ρωμυλία), etymologically "Land of the ", was the name of a in that was administered by the , corresponding to the . In its wider sense, it was used to refer to all Ottoman po ...

Rumeli
(the Balkans). The younger son, renamed
Mesih Pasha In Abrahamic religions The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic people, Semitic-originated religions that claim descent from the Judaism of the ancient Is ...
, became Admiral of the Ottoman fleet and Sancak Beg (Governor) of the Province of Gallipoli. He eventually served twice as Grand Vizier under Mehmed's son,
Bayezid II Bayezid II ( ota, بايزيد ثانى, Bāyezīd-i s̱ānī, December 1447 – 26 May 1512, Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southe ...

Bayezid II
. With the capture of Constantinople, Mehmed II had acquired the future capital of his kingdom, albeit one in decline due to years of war. The loss of the city was a crippling blow to Christendom, and it exposed the Christian West to a vigorous and aggressive foe in the East. The Christian reconquest of Constantinople remained a goal in Western Europe for many years after its fall to the Ottoman Empire. Rumours of Constantine XI's survival and subsequent rescue by an angel led many to hope that the city would one day return to Christian hands.
Pope Nicholas V Pope Nicholas V ( la, Nicholaus V; 13 November 1397 – 24 March 1455), born Tommaso Parentucelli, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 ...

Pope Nicholas V
called for an immediate counter-attack in the form of a crusade,{{citation needed, date=May 2017 however no European powers wished to participate, and the Pope resorted to sending a small fleet of 10 ships to defend the city. The short lived Crusade immediately came to an end and as Western Europe entered the 16th century, the began to come to an end. For some time Greek scholars had gone to
Italian city-states The Italian city-states were numerous political and independent territorial entities that existed in the Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of ...
, a cultural exchange begun in 1396 by
Coluccio Salutati Coluccio Salutati (16 February 1331 – 4 May 1406) was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian langu ...
, chancellor of Florence, who had invited
Manuel Chrysoloras Manuel (or Emmanuel) Chrysoloras ( el, Μανουὴλ Χρυσολωρᾶς; c. 1355 – 15 April 1415) was a pioneer in the introduction of Greek language, Greek literature to Western Europe during the Late Middle Ages. Biography Chrysoloras ...
, to lecture at the
University of Florence The University of Florence (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Re ...
. After the conquest many Greeks, such as
John Argyropoulos John Argyropoulos ( el, Ἰωάννης Ἀργυρόπουλος ''Ioannis Argyropoulos''; it, Giovanni Argiropulo; surname also spelt ''Argyropulus'', or ''Argyropulos'', or ''Argyropulo''; c. 1415 – 26 June 1487) was a lecturer, philosopher a ...

John Argyropoulos
and
Constantine Lascaris Constantine Lascaris ( el, Κωνσταντῖνος Λάσκαρις ''Kostantinos Láskaris''; 1434 – 15 August 1501) was a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offici ...
, fled the city and found refuge in the Latin West, bringing with them knowledge and documents from the Greco-Roman tradition to Italy and other regions that further propelled the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
. Those Greeks who stayed behind in Constantinople mostly lived in the
Phanar Fener (; historically in Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ...
and
Galata Galata is the former name of the Karaköy neighbourhood in Istanbul, which is located at the northern shore of the Golden Horn. The district is connected to the historic Fatih district by several bridges that cross the Golden Horn, most notably ...

Galata
districts of the city. The
Phanariotes Phanariots, Phanariotes, or Fanariots ( el, Φαναριώτες, ro, Fanarioți, tr, Fenerliler) were members of prominent Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδ ...
, as they were called, provided many capable advisers to the Ottoman rulers.


Third Rome

{{Main, Third Rome
Byzantium Byzantium () or Byzantion ( grc-gre, Βυζάντιον) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark A ...

Byzantium
is a term used by modern historians to refer to the later Roman Empire. In its own time, the Empire ruled from Constantinople (or "New Rome" as some people call it, although this was a laudatory expression that was never an official title) was considered simply as "the Roman Empire." The fall of Constantinople led competing factions to lay claim to being the inheritors of the Imperial mantle. Russian claims to Byzantine heritage clashed with those of the Ottoman Empire's own claim. In Mehmed's view, he was the successor to the
Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Politica ...
, declaring himself ''Kayser-i Rum'', literally " Caesar of Rome", that is, of the Roman Empire, though he was remembered as "the Conqueror". He founded a political system that survived until 1922 with the establishment of the
Republic of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and ...
.
Stefan Dušan Stephen (honorific), Stefan Uroš IV Dušan ( sr-Cyrl, Стефан Урош IV Душан, ), known as Dušan the Mighty ( sr, Душан Силни, Dušan Silni; circa 1308 – 20 December 1355), was the King of Serbia from 8 September 1331 and ...
, Tsar of
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
, and , Tsar of
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
, both made similar claims, regarding themselves as legitimate heirs to the Roman Empire. Other potential claimants, such as the
Republic of Venice The Republic of Venice ( it, Repubblica di Venezia; vec, Repùblega de Venèsia) or Venetian Republic ( it, Repubblica Veneta; vec, Repùblega Vèneta), traditionally known as La Serenissima ( en, Most Serene Republic Most Serene Republic ( ...
and the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town i ...
have disintegrated into history.


Impact on the Churches

Pope Pius II believed that the Ottomans would persecute
Greek Orthodox The Greek Orthodox Church (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population ...
Christians and advocated for another crusade at the Council of Mantua in 1459. However,
Vlad the Impaler Vlad III, commonly known as Vlad the Impaler ( ro, Vlad Țepeș ) or Vlad Dracula (; ro, Vlad Drăculea ; 1428/311476/77), was Voivode of Wallachia This is a list of rulers of Wallachia Wallachia or Walachia ( ro, Țara Românească , lite ...

Vlad the Impaler
was the only Christian ruler who showed enthusiasm for this suggestion. In 17th-century Russia, the fall of Constantinople had a role in the fierce theological and political controversy between adherents and opponents of the
reforms Reform ( lat, reformo) means the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory, etc. The use of the word in this way emerges in the late 18th century and is believed to originate from Christopher Wyvill#The Yorkshire Associatio ...
in the
Russian Orthodox Church , native_name_lang = ru , image = Moscow July 2011-7a.jpg , imagewidth = , alt = , caption = Cathedral of Christ the Saviour The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour ( rus, Храм Хр ...

Russian Orthodox Church
carried out by
Patriarch Nikon Nikon ( ru , Ни́кон, Old Russian: ''Нїконъ''), born Nikita Minin (''Никита Минин''; 7 May 1605 – 17 August 1681) was the seventh Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus' The Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus' (russian: Патри ...
, which he intended to bring the Russian Church closer to the norms and practices of other Orthodox churches.
Avvakum Avvakum Petrov (russian: link=no, Аввакум Петров; 20 November 1620/21 – 14 April 1682) was a Russian protopope of the Kazan Cathedral, Moscow, Kazan Cathedral on Red Square who led the opposition to Patriarch Nikon's reforms of ...

Avvakum
and other "
Old Believers In Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members ...
" saw these reforms as a
corruption Corruption is a form of dishonesty Dishonesty is to act without honesty. It is used to describe a lack of probity, cheating, lying, or deliberately withholding information, or being deliberately deceptive or a lack in integrity, knavishness, ...
of the Russian Church, which they considered to be the "true" Church of God. As the other Churches were more closely related to Constantinople in their liturgies, Avvakum argued that Constantinople fell to the Turks because of these
heretical Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. The term is usually used in reference to violations of important religi ...
beliefs and practices. The fall of Constantinople has a profound impact on the ancient
Pentarchy Pentarchy (from the Greek , ''Pentarchía'', from πέντε ''pénte'', "five", and ἄρχειν ''archein'', "to rule") is a model of Church organization historically championed in the Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Chu ...
of the Orthodox Church. Today, the four ancient sees of Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople have relatively few followers and believers locally, because of Islamization and the ''
Dhimma ' ( ar, ذمي ', , collectively ''/'' "the people of the covenant") or Mu'ahid is a historical term for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state An Islamic state is a form of government based on Islamic law. As a term, it has been used to de ...
'' system to which Christians have been subjected since the earliest days of Islam, although migration has created a body of followers in Western Europe and the United States, {{Citation needed, date=January 2020. As a result of this process, the centre of influence in the Orthodox Church changed and migrated to Eastern Europe (e.g.,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
) rather than remaining in the former Byzantine Near East.{{Citation needed, date=January 2020


Legacy


Legends

There are many legends in Greece surrounding the Fall of Constantinople. It was said that the partial lunar eclipse that occurred on 22 May 1453 represented a fulfilment of a prophecy of the city's demise. Four days later, the whole city was blotted out by a thick
fog Fog is a visible aerosol consisting of tiny water drop (liquid), droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. Reprint from Fog can be considered a type of low-lying cloud usually resembling stratus cloud, s ...

fog
, a condition unknown in that part of the world in May. When the fog lifted that evening, a strange light was seen playing about the dome of the Hagia Sophia, which some interpreted as the
Holy Spirit In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God in Abrahamic religions, God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. In Judaism, it refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of God over the ...

Holy Spirit
departing from the city. "This evidently indicated the departure of the Divine Presence, and its leaving the City in total abandonment and desertion, for the Divinity conceals itself in cloud and appears and again disappears."{{rp, 59 For others, there was still a distant hope that the lights were the campfires of the troops of
John Hunyadi John Hunyadi ( hu, Hunyadi János, sr, / , ro, Ioan de Hunedoara; 1406 – 11 August 1456) was a leading HungarianHungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 100 ...
who had come to relieve the city. It is possible that all these phenomena were local effects of the cataclysmic
Kuwae Kuwae is a submarine caldera A caldera is a large cauldron A cauldron (or caldron) is a large cast iron Cast iron is a group of iron-carbon alloys with a carbon content more than 2%. Its usefulness derives from its relatively low mel ...
volcanic eruption in the Pacific Ocean which occurred around the time of the siege. The "fire" seen may have been an optical illusion due to the reflection of intensely red twilight glow by clouds of volcanic ash high in the atmosphere. Another legend holds that two priests saying
divine liturgy Icon of Ss. Basil the Great (left) and John Chrysostom, ascribed authors of the two most frequently used Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgies, c. 1150 (mosaic in the Cappella Palatina, Palatine Chapel, Palermo). Divine Liturgy ( grc-gre, Θεία Λ ...
over the crowd disappeared into the cathedral's walls as the first Turkish soldiers entered. According to the legend, the priests will appear again on the day that Constantinople returns to Christian hands.{{rp, 147 Another legend refers to the ''Marble Emperor'' (Constantine XI), holding that an angel rescued the emperor when the Ottomans entered the city, turning him into marble and placing him in a cave under the earth near the Golden Gate, where he waits to be brought to life again (a variant of the sleeping hero legend). However many of the myths surrounding the disappearance of Constantine were developed later and little evidence can be found to support them even in friendly primary accounts of the siege.


Cultural impact

Guillaume Dufay Guillaume Du Fay ( , ; also Dufay, Du Fayt; 5 August 1397(?) – 27 November 1474) was a French composer and music theorist of the early Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. was a period in European history ...

Guillaume Dufay
composed several songs lamenting the fall of the Eastern church, and the duke of Burgundy,
Philip the Good Philip III (french: Philippe le Bon; nl, Filips de Goede; 31 July 1396 – 15 June 1467) was Duke of Burgundy Duke of Burgundy (french: duc de Bourgogne) was a title used by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy The Duchy of Burgundy (; la, ...

Philip the Good
, avowed to take up arms against the Turks. However, as the growing Ottoman power from this date on coincided with the
Protestant Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity File:Petersdom von Engelsburg gesehen.jpg, 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the larges ...
and subsequent
Counter-Reformation The Counter-Reformation (), also called the Catholic Reformation () or the Catholic Revival, was the period of Catholic Church, Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation, also known as the Protestant Revol ...
, the recapture of Constantinople became an ever-distant dream. Even France, once a fervent participant in the Crusades, became an ally of the Ottomans. Nonetheless, depictions of Christian coalitions taking the city and of the late Emperor's resurrection by Leo the Wise persisted.{{rp, 280 29 May 1453, the day of the fall of Constantinople, fell on a Tuesday, and since then Tuesday has been considered an unlucky day by Greeks generally.


Impact on the Renaissance

{{Main, Greek scholars in the Renaissance The migration waves of
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...
scholars and émigrés in the period following the and the fall of Constantinople in 1453 is considered by many scholars key to the revival of
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
and
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the New Testament of the Christian Bible Roman ...
studies that led to the development of the
Renaissance humanism Renaissance humanism was a revival in the study of classical antiquity Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 6th century AD cent ...
{{dead link, date=November 2016{{better source, reason=Tall claim requires high-quality academic citation, not a website, date=November 2016 and
science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of ...
. These émigrés were grammarians, humanists, poets, writers, printers, lecturers, musicians, astronomers, architects, academics, artists, scribes, philosophers, scientists, politicians and theologians.{{better source, date=November 2016 They brought to Western Europe the far greater preserved and accumulated knowledge of Byzantine civilization. According to the ''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin for "British Encyclopaedia") is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia which is now published exclusively as an online encyclopedia, online encyclopaedia. It was formerly published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., a ...
'': "Many modern scholars also agree that the exodus of Greeks to Italy as a result of this event marked the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance".


Renaming of the city

Ottomans used the Arabic transliteration of the city's name "Qosṭanṭīniyye" (القسطنطينية) or "Kostantiniyye", as can be seen in numerous Ottoman documents. ''Islambol'' ({{lang, ota, اسلامبول, ''Full of Islam'') or ''Islambul'' (''find Islam'') or ''Islam(b)ol'' (''old
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...

Turkic
: be Islam''), both in
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
, were folk-etymological adaptations of ''Istanbul'' created after the Ottoman conquest of 1453 to express the city's new role as the capital of the Islamic Ottoman Empire. It is first attested shortly after the conquest, and its invention was ascribed by some contemporary writers to
Mehmed II Mehmed II ( ota, محمد ثانى, translit=Meḥmed-i s̱ānī; tr, II. Mehmed, ; 30 March 14323 May 1481), commonly known as Mehmed the Conqueror ( ota, ابو الفتح, Ebū'l-Fetḥ, lit=the Father of Conquest, links=no; tr, Fatih Sul ...

Mehmed II
himself. The name of Istanbul is thought to be derived from the Greek phrase ''īs tīmbolī(n)'' ( el, εἰς τὴν πόλιν,
translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:littera#Latin, liter-'') in predictable ways, such as Greek → , Cyr ...

translit.
''eis tēn pólin'', "to the City"), and it is claimed that it had already spread among the Turkish populace of the Ottoman Empire before the conquest. However, Istanbul only became the official name of the city in 1930 by the revised Turkish Postal Law as part of 's reforms.


In historical fiction

*
Lew Wallace Lewis Wallace (April 10, 1827February 15, 1905) was an American lawyer, Union general in the American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by Names of the American Civil War, other names) was a civil war in the United States ...

Lew Wallace
, ''The Prince of India; or, Why Constantinople Fell''. New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1893. 2 volumes *
Mika Waltari Mika Toimi Waltari (; 19 September 1908 – 26 August 1979) was a Finnish writer, best known for his best-selling novel ''The Egyptian ''The Egyptian'' (''Sinuhe egyptiläinen'', Sinuhe the Egyptian) is a historical novel by Mika Waltari. It wa ...

Mika Waltari
, ''The Dark Angel'' (Original title ''Johannes Angelos'') 1952. Translated from the Finnish by Naomi Walford and pub. in English edition, New York: Putnam, 1953 * Peter Sandham, ''Porphyry and Ash''. Hong Kong: Johnston Fleming, 2019 * Muharem Bazdulj, ''The Bridge on Landz'' from The Second Book, 2000. Translated from Bosnian by Oleg Andric and Andrew Wachtel and pub. in English edition, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2005 * Andrew Novo, ''Queen of Cities'', Seattle: Coffeetown Press, 2009 * Jack Hight,'' Siege''. London: John Murray Publisher Ltd, 2010 * James Shipman, ''Constantinopolis'', Amazon Digital Services, 2013 * C.C. Humphreys, ''A Place called Armageddon''. London: Orion, 2011 * Emanuele Rizzardi, ''L'ultimo Paleologo''. PubMe Editore, 2018 * John Bellairs, ''The Trolley to Yesterday'' Dial, 1989 * Kiersten White, "The Conqueror's Saga", 2016 * Stefan Zweig, "Die Eroberung von Byzanz (Conquest of Byzantium)" in "Sternstunden der Menschheit (Decisive Moments in History)", 1927 * Anthony Doerr, ''Cloud Cuckoo Land'', 2021


Primary sources

For the fall of Constantinople, Marios Philippides and Walter Hanak list 15 eyewitness accounts (13 Christian and 2 Turkish) and 20 contemporary non-eyewitness accounts (13 Italian).Marios Philippides and Walter K. Hanak, ''The Siege and the Fall of Constantinople in 1453: Historiography, Topography, and Military Studies'' (Ashgate, 2011), pp. 10–46 (eyewitnesses), 46 (Greeks) and 88–91 (Turks).


Eyewitness accounts

# Mehmed Şems el-Mille ve'd Din, Sufi holy man who gives an account in a letter # Tursun Beg, wrote a history entitled ''Tarih-i Abu'l Fath'' #
George SphrantzesGeorge Sphrantzes, also Phrantzes or Phrantza ( el, Γεώργιος Σφραντζής or Φραντζής; 1401 – c. 1478), was a late Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) is the stage of the Greek l ...
, the only Greek eyewitness who wrote about it, but his laconic account is almost entirely lacking in narrative # Leonard of Chios, wrote a report to Pope Nicholas V # Nicolò Barbaro, physician on a Venetian galley who kept a journal # Angelino Giovanni Lomellini, Venetian ''podestà'' of Pera who wrote a report dated 24 June 1453 # Jacopo Tetaldi, Florentine merchant #
Isidore of Kiev Isidore of Kiev, also known as Isidore of Thessalonica or Isidore, the Apostate ( el, ; russian: Исидор; uk, Ісидор; 1385 – 27 April 1463), was a Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) ...

Isidore of Kiev
, Orthodox churchman who wrote eight letters to Italy # Benvenuto (Anconitan consul), Benvenuto, Anconitan consul in Constantinople # Ubertino Puscolo, Italian poet learning Greek in the city, wrote an epic poem # Eparkhos and Diplovatatzes, two refugees whose accounts has become garbled through multiple translations # Nestor Iskander, youthful eyewitness who wrote a Slavonic account # Samile the Vladik, bishop who, like Eparkhos and Diplovatatzes, fled as a refugee to Wallachia # Konstantin Mihailović, Serbian who fought on the Ottoman side # a report by some Franciscans, Franciscan prisoners of war who later came to Bologna


Non-eyewitness accounts

# Doukas (historian), Doukas, a Byzantine Greek historian, one of the most important sources for the last decades and eventual fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottomans # Laonikos Chalkokondyles, a Byzantine Greek historian # Michael Critobulus, Michael Kritoboulos, a Byzantine Greek historian # Makarios Melissourgos, 16th-century historian who augmented the account of Sphrantzes, not very reliably # Paolo Dotti, Venetian official on Crete whose account is based on oral reports # Fra Girolamo's letter from Crete to Domenico Capranica # Lauro Quirini, wrote a report to Pope Nicholas V from Crete based on oral reports # Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II), wrote an account based on written sources # Henry of Soemmern, wrote a letter dated 11 September 1453 in which he cites his sources of information # Niccola della Tuccia, whose ''Cronaca di Viterbo'' written in the autumn of 1453 contains unique information # Niccolò Tignosi da Foligno, ''Expugnatio Constantinopolitana'', part of a letter to a friend # Filippo da Rimini, ''Excidium Constantinopolitanae urbis quae quondam Bizantium ferebatur'' # Antonio Ivani da Sarzana, ''Expugnatio Constantinopolitana'', part of a letter to the duke of Urbino # Nikolaos Sekoundinos, read a report before the Venetian Senate, the Pope and the Neapolitan court # Giacomo Languschi, whose account is embedded in the Venetian chronicle of Zorzi Dolfin, had access to eyewitnesses # John Moskhos (15th century), John Moskhos, wrote a poem in honour of Loukas Notaras # Adamo di Montaldo, ''De Constantinopolitano excidio ad nobilissimum iuvenem Melladucam Cicadam'', which contains unique information # Ashikpashazade, included a chapter on the conquest in his ''Tarih-i al-i Osman'' # Neshri, included a chapter on the conquest in his universal history # Evliya Çelebi, 17th-century traveller who collected local traditions of the conquest


Notes

{{NoteFoot


References

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Pope Nicholas V Pope Nicholas V ( la, Nicholaus V; 13 November 1397 – 24 March 1455), born Tommaso Parentucelli, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 ...

Pope Nicholas V
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Bibliography

* {{cite book, last=Crowley , first=Roger , year=2005 , title=1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West, publisher=Hyperion, isbn=978-1-4013-0558-1 * {{cite book , last1=Crowley , first1=Roger , title=Constantinople , date=2013 , publisher=Faber & Faber , isbn=978-0-571-29820-4 , url=https://books.google.com/books?id=3XuskQEACAAJ , access-date=2 March 2021 , language=en


Further reading

* Franz Babinger, Babinger, Franz (1992): ''Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time''. Princeton University Press. {{ISBN, 0-691-01078-1. * Richard A. Fletcher, Fletcher, Richard A.: ''The Cross and the Crescent'' (2005) Penguin Group {{ISBN, 0-14-303481-2. * Harris, Jonathan (2007): ''Constantinople: Capital of Byzantium''. Hambledon/Continuum. {{ISBN, 978-1-84725-179-4. * Harris, Jonathan (2010): ''The End of Byzantium''. Yale University Press. {{ISBN, 978-0-300-11786-8. * {{cite book , last1=Melville-Jones , first1=John R. , title=The Siege of Constantinople 1453: Seven Contemporary Accounts , date=1972 , publisher=Adolf M. Hakkert , location=Amsterdam , isbn=90-256-0626-1 * {{Cite book , last1=Momigliano , first1=Arnaldo , title=Storia di Roma, 1 , last2=Schiavone , first2=Aldo , publisher=Einaudi , year=1997 , isbn=88-06-11396-8 , location=Turin , language=it , author-link=Arnaldo Momigliano * {{Cite book , last=Murr Nehme , first=Lina , title=1453: The Conquest of Constantinople , publisher=Aleph Et Taw , year=2003 , isbn=2-86839-816-2 , author-link=Lina Murr Nehme * {{Cite book , title=La Caduta di Costantinopoli, II: L'eco nel mondo , publisher=Fondazione Lorenzo Valla , year=1976 , editor-last=Pertusi , editor-first=Agostino , volume=II , location=Verona , language=it , trans-title=The Fall of Constantinople, II: The Echo in the World * Philippides, Marios and Walter K. Hanak, The Siege and the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, Ashgate, Farnham and Burlington 2011. * Smith, Michael Llewellyn, "The Fall of Constantinople", in ''History Makers magazine'' No. 5 (London, Marshall Cavendish, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1969) p. 192. * Wheatcroft, Andrew (2003): ''The Infidels: The Conflict Between Christendom and Islam, 638–2002''. Viking Publishing {{ISBN, 0-670-86942-2. * Justin Wintle, Wintle, Justin (2003): ''The Rough Guide History of Islam''. Rough Guides. {{ISBN, 1-84353-018-X.


External links

{{Library resources box , by=no , onlinebooks=yes , others=yes , about=yes , label=Fall of Constantinople , viaf= , lcheading= , wikititle= {{Commons category
''The Siege of Constantinople'' As The Islamic World Sees it

World History Encyclopedia – 1453: The Fall of Constantinople

Constantinople Siege & Fall
BBC Radio 4 discussion with Roger Crowley, Judith Herrin & Colin Imber (''In Our Time'', 28 Dec. 2006) {{- {{Byzantine Empire topics {{Major Ottoman sieges {{Authority control Fall of Constantinople, 1453 in the Ottoman Empire 1450s in the Byzantine Empire Battles of the Byzantine–Ottoman wars, Constantinople 1453 Conflicts in 1453 15th-century massacres East–West Schism Sieges involving the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople 1453 Sieges involving the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople 1453 Sieges of Constantinople, 1453 Battles of Mehmed the Conqueror, Constantinople 15th century in Istanbul Massacres in the Byzantine Empire Last stands, Constantinople Looting Massacres committed by the Ottoman Empire