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 Roman Empire, an empire which had lasted for over 2,200 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 ...view middle of the document...
Further advances into Hungary and the principalities bordering the two kingdoms would have been difficult, if not impossible, without the harbors of Constantinople bringing in supplies and serving as a fortified center from which to administer the empire and strategy.
Far from being in its heyday, by then, Constantinople was severely depopulated as a result of the general economic and territorial decline of the empire following its partial recovery from the disaster of the Fourth Crusade inflicted on it by the Christian army two centuries before. Therefore, the city in 1453 was a series of walled villages separated by vast fields encircled in whole by the fifth-century Theodosian walls. When the Ottoman troops first broke through the defenses, many of the leading citizens of these little townlets submitted their surrender to Mehmed's generals. These villages, specifically along the land walls, were allowed to keep their citizens and churches and were protected by Mehmed's special contingents of Janissaries. It was these people who formed what the Ottomans called a Millet, a self-governing community in the multi-national Ottoman Empire of which Constantinople was to become the capital. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque, although the Greek Orthodox Church remained intact, and Gennadius Scholarius was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople.
Ottoman casualties are unknown; the Venetian surgeon Barbaro describes the sea around the capital floating with the bodies of the Turks and Christians "like melons out to canal". Whatever the Ottoman casualties, the Empire had to recover its strength; to the East lay the strong Turkish principality Karamanids, and to the North the Hungarians and numerous smaller states, such as the Despotate of Morea and the many Slavic territories in the Balkans contested by Hungary.
It is widely believed that the city was renamed to "Istanbul" in the aftermath of the conquest. In actuality, Ottomans used the Arabic translation of the city, "Kostantiniyye," as can be seen in numerous Ottoman documents.
However, as Western Europe entered the 15th century, the age of Crusading began to come to an end. Initially, the fall of the city seemed to cause a stir of crusading zeal in the West, where, apart from religious sentiments, Renaissance humanism had for about a century been fueling an interest in the cultural and intellectual heritage of classical antiquity, and the role that Byzantium had played in preserving that heritage
In the early 11th century, Mahmud of Ghazni launched seventeen expeditions into the Indian sub-continent. In 1001, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi defeated Raja Jayapala of the Hindu Shahi Dynasty of Gandhara and marched further into Peshawar and, in 1005, made it the center for his forces.
The Ghaznavid conquests were initially directed against the Ismaili Fatimids in on-going struggle of the Abbassid Caliphate elsewhere. However, once...