29 May 1453


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29 May 1453

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May 29, 2007, 3:56pm

On this day the siege ended and Constantine XI is said to have thrown aside his purple and led his men one last time against the enemy.

May 29, 2007, 8:29pm

A re-perusal of The fall of Constantinople, 1453 is thus in order.

May 13, 2008, 8:25am

As the 555th anniversary of the catastrophe approaches, perhaps the prophetized resumption of the service in Hagia Sophia interrupted by the Sultan's troops also approaches. It is a good opportunity to recommend The Immortal Emperor by Donald Nicol.

Aug 4, 2008, 8:51pm

The only account I have read of the fall of Constantinople is from Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. What I found most amazing was the number of men who held the walls in that battle. If my reading was correct there were only between eight and ten thousand Byzantines holding off the Turks. If I am wrong I would be glad to know it because that seems unreal. I really do need to read something on that battle to get a better understanding of how it was fought.
I will check out the Runciman book on the battle in 1453 to make sure I have my facts straight.
When people ask why did the Roman Empire fall my reply is why did it last so long. From the beginning of the Republic to the fall of the empire in the west was over one thousand years. Even though Imperial Chinese civilization lasted about two thousand years the longest dynasty was about four hundred years.

Aug 5, 2008, 2:18am

Part of the answer to the question "why did Constantinople fall in 1453" lies in the conquest and devastating sack of that city by the Franks in 1204. Constantinople never restored itself to its former strength.
A magnificent book about this conquest, that evoked much angry ado among byzantologists, is The fourth crusade. Author Queller touched a respectable bias about the role of the Venetians. At this moment, 30 years after publication, his views are widely shared.