Many at the time, may have thought good riddance. Publicly though this collapse was regarded with outrage but not action. Revisionists may wrong their hands and point to the long war between Islam and the West. There is evidence of a longer war between Mediterranean neighbors, religion just makes it sexier.
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Many at the time, may have thought good riddance. Publicly though this collapse was regarded with outrage but not action. Revisionists may wrong their hands and point to the long war between Islam and the West. There is evidence of a longer war between Mediterranean neighbors, religion just makes it sexier. Constantinople was in a steady decline since Christian crusaders This is an often harrowing account of the bitter end of the Byzantine empire, that eastward extension of the Roman Imperium.
Constantinople was in a steady decline since Christian crusaders sacked it years before. The Ottomans conversely were progressing, utilizing technology and a mighty military to make enroads across the map. Runciman is an excellent auditor, one who never bends to sentiment or stereotype.
Mehmed II was a renaissance badass who spoke a half dozen languages, loved science and poetry but was still sufficiently despotic to impale all his enemies when so peeved. The gallant West--here I jest--argued amongst themselves to zero hour and after a six week siege stormed the city and four thousand fell of the remaining 50k. Many churches were pillaged and then destroyed, others were converted to mosques.
So it goes. Runciman believed in the art of turning history into readable narrative--something he does with remarkable skill--and the result is a book that is powerful and engrossing, but which, by necessity, must elide, simplify, and generally stick to a single narrative perspective. If you are a serious scholar, you already know that Runciman is more of a starting point than the final word, and recent work can tell you a A beautiful book, and extremely valuable as long as you are aware of its limitations.
His history of the Crusades is a bit better in this respect. However, for the layperson of which I count myself one , this text is the definitive account of this moving, heroic, and earth shakingly significant episode in history. Americans and Western Europeans who think of Christianity as the story of Catholics and Protestants will learn a great deal about the rich history of the Orthodox Church and medieval Greek culture as opposed to the Latin Middle Ages with which most of us are familiar.
Beautifully written account of fall of what was left of Byzantium, despite gallant defense by Greeks, Italians and a lone Scot. Excellent preface, appendices, notes, bibliography, index, with some interesting plates and drawings. Runciman notices that the Byzantines were at their "cultural" height meaning the liberal arts even as their "civilization" their existence as a coherent civil state and polity was about to end.
Spengler identifies this paradox as precisely the definition of the civilizational viz, the final stage - one expects a flourishing of the arts as a culture is about to die. A disturbing background factor in this narrative is the depopulation of the Byzantine empire.
If demography is Some thoughts The fall of Constantinople is also a crisis of the One Kingdom outlook. In both Constantinople and the capitals of Europe, the conflicting interests of church and state were entangled. This confusion hobbled the Byzantine government so that it could neither preserve an ordered polity nor fulfill its duty to the people.
In civil terms, Constantinople badly needed allies against the Turks. But in cultic terms, the Orthodox church of the empire could not possibly compromise with the Western heretics. Religion cannot betray conviction, but statecraft cannot afford to be ideological - thus the Byzantine ambassadors could not seriously pursue a vital civil accord with the West because of irreconcilable differences of religion.
Runciman is excellent with vivid images and final sentences. There is romance in a siege and catharsis in collapse after long decline. On these points, Runciman will retain an appeal as long as there are uneasy readers in the West.
Beautifully written that it makes the complex history of Byzantine so easy to understand as the words flow fluidly. Runciman brings the history alive before the eyes and nowhere it falls into traps of partiality or ambiguity. I have always had a fascination for this part of European history and my knowledge was severely limited and impeded by the complexity of Byzantium as well as of Europe that was in sorry disarray itself. History gives us many lessons and "what-ifs".
Every word in the book pulsated. Constantine becomes your Hero too, the Emperor who fought alongside his men till the last moment to save his beloved city. Mehmet II is the regular invader, who just could not rest till he got Constantinople tucked in his growing Ottoman Empire.
Once under his thumb, he did try his best to bring semblance of peace and order within his empire by allowing Christians to maintain their identity to some extent. It may even mark the tussle and conflicts between Islam and Christianity, which continues to this day.
I have started a new book but I am still tugging on to and have read the last four pages three times already. I am just not ready to send it to the obscurity of the bookshelf.
Cayida de Constantinopla
El Imperio bizantino alrededor de En tanto, el reino creado por los cruzados fue perdiendo territorios. Preparativos[ editar ] Ambos bandos se prepararon para la guerra. Al comienzo del cerco, los bizantinos consiguieron dos victorias alentadoras. Los bizantinos, entonces, decapitaron a turcos cautivos y arrojaron sus cuerpos sobre las murallas del puerto. Bombardeados diariamente en dos frentes, los bizantinos raramente eran atacados por los soldados turcos.
La caida de Constantinopla