Mar 15, 2011

Nikos Deja Vu - Historical Trilogy - Constantinople (Part 3 of 3)

Nikos Deja Vu - Historical Trilogy - Constantinople (Part 3 of 3)

Constantinople was founded by the Roman emperor Constantine I on the site of an already-existing city, Byzantium, settled in the early days of Greek colonial expansion, probably around 671-662 BC. The site lay astride the land route from Europe to Asia and the seaway from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, and had in the Golden Horn an excellent and spacious harbour.

Constantine had altogether more colorful plans. Having restored the unity of the Empire, and, being in course of major governmental reforms as well as of sponsoring the consolidation of the Christian church, he was well aware that Rome was an unsatisfactory capital. Rome was too far from the frontiers, and hence from the armies and the Imperial courts, and it offered an undesirable playground for disaffected politicians. Yet it had been the capital of the state for over a thousand years, and it might have seemed unthinkable to suggest that the capital be moved to a different location. Nevertheless, he identified the site of Byzantium as the right place: a place where an emperor could sit, readily defended, with easy access to the Danube or the Euphrates frontiers, his court supplied from the rich gardens and sophisticated workshops of Roman Asia, his treasuries filled by the wealthiest provinces of the Empire.

The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which occurred after a siege by the Ottoman Empire, under the command of Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Emperor Constantine XI. The siege lasted from Friday, 6 April 1453 until Tuesday, 29 May 1453 (according to the Julian Calendar), when the city was conquered by the Ottomans.

The Fall of Constantinople marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, an empire which had lasted for over 1,100 years, and was a massive blow for Christendom. After the conquest Mehmed made Constantinople the Ottoman Empire's new capital. Several Greek and non-Greek intellectuals fled the city before and after the siege, migrating particularly to Italy. It is argued that they helped fuel the Renaissance. Some mark the end of the Middle Ages by the fall of the city and empire..

But the worst has not came yet...

Nikos Deja Vu

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