Fall of Constantinople
Scene from the battle defending Constantinople, Paris 1499
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern part of the Roman empire, a remnant of the breakup of the Western Empire in the 5th Century A.D. The Capital of the Byzantine Empire was Constantinople, now known as Istanbul, Turkey.
Constantinople became a capital of the Roman Empire in 330 after Constantine the Great renamed the city of Byzantanium, naming it after himself. At the time, the Byzantine empire was known as simply Roman, with Roman subjects. Scholars have named it the Byzantine Empire after its ancient capital name Byzantanium. Greek was the predominant Language spoken there, even a selection of its populations spoke Latin, Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, and other languages.
The Byzantine empire had survived many Germanic and Hunnic tribal raids and migrations in the 5th and 6th centuries, but could not recover, hold, and govern the entire Mediterranean world. Constantinople itself weathered major Arab sieges in the 620's. The Arab invasions occurring in the 6th and 7th centuries declined city life and commerce in most of the empire except Thessalonika and Constantinople. Warfare inhibited agriculture and education, and the empire could no longer maintain the complexity of the late Roman empire; yet, it managed to endure and adapt for a while longer.
During the 9th and 10th centuries, renconquest and recovery took place in the Byzantine Empire, taking different forms. Byzantanium regained territory in South East Asia Minor, Greece, Macedonia, and Thrace. The many sciences were also revived among the interests of the people, with learning returning to Classical models in art and literature.
Eventually, the Byzantines lost their last foothold in Italy and were alienated from the Christian West by the Great Schism of 1054 between the Orthodox Church and the papacy. Byzantine Asia Minor was also taken over by Seljuk Turks in 1071.
The Decline of the Byzantine Empire was said to have been hastened by the Crusades , even though they did recover some lands of Asia minor during that time period. During the 12th Century, the political and military power declined steadily, and the Crusaders allied with Venice seized and plundered Constantinople in 1204, establishing their own empire of Constantinople. Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus recaptured Constantinople from the Latins in 1261, and ruled there until 1453. The new Palaeologan empire barely survived for a short period, and the emergent Ottoman Turks conquered remnants of Byzantine Asia Minor, overran the Balkans, and eventually took Constantinople. The Byzantine Empire, in 1453, was brought to an end.
Site for further Information
Hellenism in the Middle Ages"
http://www.greece.org/Romiosini/ Note: This page includes a lot of topics cercerning important events in Greek History.
"The Constantinople Home
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