Fall of Constantinople (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The fall of Constantinople signifies the collapse of the Byzantine Empire and the rise of the Ottoman Empire, considered by some to mark the close of the Middle Ages.
Summary of Event
By 1453, relations between the Greek East and the Latin West were near the breaking point. The mass of the Greeks remembered with bitterness the capture of Constantinople in 1204 at the hands of Western crusaders. This led to a struggle between the Greeks and Latins to control Constantinople after 1261, with control eventually going to the Greeks. By the fifteenth century, the failure of the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church to reconcile their differences and present a united front against the encroaching Turks left Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire vulnerable to invasion. The young sultan of the Turks, Mehmed II, saw in this division within Christendom the chance to crush the might of the Byzantine Empire. He had decided early in his reign that one of his principal objectives would be the seizure of the “God-protected city,” and by the spring of 1453 he had determined his plan of attack. When the Greeks awoke on the morning of April 5, 1453, they were amazed at the sight of more than one hundred thousand Turkish troops outside the high walls of Constantinople, stretching in a formidable line from the Sea of Marmora to the Golden Horn. The city had withstood sieges from all the migratory barbarians of the...
(The entire section is 1387 words.)
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