Fall of Constantinople

conquest of Constantinoplesiege of ConstantinopleConstantinopleconquered ConstantinopleConstantinople fellfallİstanbul'un Fethicapture of ConstantinopleOttoman conquestconquered
The Fall of Constantinople (Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως; undefined) was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire by an invading Ottoman army on 29 May 1453.wikipedia
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Ottoman Empire

OttomanOttomansTurks
The Fall of Constantinople (Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως; undefined) was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire by an invading Ottoman army on 29 May 1453.
The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

List of sultans of the Ottoman Empire

SultanOttoman SultanSultans
The attackers were commanded by the 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II, who defeated an army commanded by Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos and took control of the imperial capital, ending a 53-day siege that began on 6 April 1453.
Administered at first from the city of Bursa, the empire's capital was moved to Edirne in 1363 following its conquest by Murad I, and then to Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) in 1453 following its conquest by Mehmed II.

Roman Empire

RomanRomansEmpire
The capture of the city (and two other Byzantine splinter territories soon thereafter) marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, a continuation of the Roman Empire, an imperial state dating to 27 BC, which had lasted for nearly 1,500 years.
The Eastern Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453.

Constantinople

ConstantinopolitanIstanbulcapital
The Fall of Constantinople (Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως; undefined) was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire by an invading Ottoman army on 29 May 1453.
By the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, making it an enclave inside the Ottoman Empire; after a 53-day siege the city eventually fell to the Ottomans, led by Sultan Mehmed II, on 29 May 1453, whereafter it replaced Edirne (Adrianople) as the new capital of the Ottoman Empire.

Edirne

AdrianopleHadrianopolisAdrianopolis
After conquering the city, Sultan Mehmed transferred the capital of his Empire from Edirne to Constantinople and established his court there.
Edirne served as the third capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1369 to 1453, before Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) became the empire's fourth and final capital between 1453 and 1922.

Late Middle Ages

late medievallate medieval periodlate mediaeval
The conquest of the city of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire was a key event in the Late Middle Ages which also marks, for some historians, the end of the Medieval period.
The absorption of Latin texts had started before the Renaissance of the 12th century through contact with Arabs during the Crusades, but the availability of important Greek texts accelerated with the Capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks, when many Byzantine scholars had to seek refuge in the West, particularly Italy.

Mehmed the Conqueror

Mehmed IIMehmed II, the ConquerorMehmet the Conqueror
The attackers were commanded by the 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II, who defeated an army commanded by Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos and took control of the imperial capital, ending a 53-day siege that began on 6 April 1453.
At the age of 21, he conquered Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) and brought an end to the Byzantine Empire.

Decline of the Byzantine Empire

declineend of the Byzantine Empirefall of the Byzantine Empire
The capture of the city (and two other Byzantine splinter territories soon thereafter) marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, a continuation of the Roman Empire, an imperial state dating to 27 BC, which had lasted for nearly 1,500 years.
Even after Byzantine rule was restored in 1261, the empire was now a shadow of its former self, and after the end of the Crusades, the empire had little to set against the rise of the Ottoman Empire during the late medieval period, and was eventually conquered with the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.

List of Byzantine emperors

Byzantine EmperorEmperorEmperor and Autocrat of the Romans
The attackers were commanded by the 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II, who defeated an army commanded by Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos and took control of the imperial capital, ending a 53-day siege that began on 6 April 1453.
This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople in 330 AD, which marks the conventional start of the Byzantine Empire (or the Eastern Roman Empire), to its fall to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 AD. Only the emperors who were recognized as legitimate rulers and exercised sovereign authority are included, to the exclusion of junior co-emperors (symbasileis) who never attained the status of sole or senior ruler, as well as of the various usurpers or rebels who claimed the imperial title.

Constantine XI Palaiologos

Constantine XIConstantine PalaiologosConstantine
The attackers were commanded by the 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II, who defeated an army commanded by Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos and took control of the imperial capital, ending a 53-day siege that began on 6 April 1453.
Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos, Latinized as Palaeologus (Κωνσταντῖνος ΙΑ' Δραγάσης Παλαιολόγος, Kōnstantinos XI Dragasēs Palaiologos; 8 February 1405 – 29 May 1453) was the last reigning Roman and Byzantine Emperor, ruling as a member of the Palaiologos dynasty from 1449 to his death in battle at the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Empire of Trebizond

TrebizondEmperor of TrebizondTrapezuntine
The crusaders established an unstable Latin state in and around Constantinople while the remaining empire splintered into a number of Byzantine successor states, notably Nicaea, Epirus and Trebizond.
Whilst the Empire of Nicaea had restored the Byzantine Empire through restoring control of the capital, it ended in 1453 with the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans.

Pope Nicholas V

Nicholas VTommaso ParentucelliNicolas V
Finally, the attempted Union failed, greatly annoying Pope Nicholas V and the hierarchy of the Roman church.
The Pontificate of Nicholas saw the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks and the end of the Hundred Years War.

Rumelihisarı

Rumeli HisarıRumeli FortressRumelia Fortress
By early 1452, work began on the construction of a second fortress (Rumeli hisarı) on the Bosphorus, on the European side several miles north of Constantinople, set directly across the strait on the Asian side from the Anadolu Hisarı fortress, built by his great-grandfather Bayezid I.
Its older sister structure, Anadoluhisari ("Anatolian Fortress"), sits on the opposite banks of the Bosporus, and the two fortresses worked in tandem during the final siege to throttle all naval traffic along the Bosphorus, thus helping the Ottomans achieve their goal of making the city of Constantinople (later renamed Istanbul) their new imperial capital in 1453.

Niccolò Barbaro

Nicolo Barbaro
Contemporaneous Western witnesses of the siege, who tend to exaggerate the military power of the Sultan, provide disparate and higher numbers ranging from 160,000 to 200,000 and to 300,000 (Niccolò Barbaro: 160,000; the Florentine merchant Jacopo Tedaldi and the Great Logothete George Sphrantzes: 200,000; the Cardinal Isidore of Kiev and the Archbishop of Mytilene Leonardo di Chio: 300,000).
Niccolò Barbaro was a Venetian physician, and author of an eyewitness account of the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Nestor Iskander's Tale on the Taking of Tsargrad

Orban's cannon had several drawbacks: it took three hours to reload; cannonballs were in very short supply; and the cannon is said to have collapsed under its own recoil after six weeks (this is disputed, however, given that it was only reported in the letter of Archbishop Leonardo di Chio and in the later and often unreliable Russian chronicle of Nestor Iskander).
Nestor Iskander's Tale on the Taking of Tsargrad (Russian: Повесть o взятии Царьграда) is a late 15th - early 16th-century Russian tale on the fall of Constantinople.

Venice

VenetianVenetiansVenezia
Around the same time, the captains of the Venetian ships that happened to be present in the Golden Horn offered their services to the Emperor, barring contrary orders from Venice, and Pope Nicholas undertook to send three ships laden with provisions, which set sail near the end of March.
Although the Byzantines recovered control of the ravaged city a half-century later, the Byzantine Empire was terminally weakened, and existed as a ghost of its old self until Sultan Mehmet The Conqueror took the city in 1453.

Michael Critobulus

CritobulusCritobulus of ImbrosKritobulos
Michael Critobulus says about the speech of Mehmed II to his soldiers: "My friends and men of my empire! You all know very well that our forefathers secured this kingdom that we now hold at the cost of many struggles and very great dangers and that, having passed it along in succession from their fathers, from father to son, they handed it down to me. For some of the oldest of you were sharers in many of the exploits carried through by them—those at least of you who are of maturer years—and the younger of you have heard of these deeds from your fathers. They are not such very ancient events nor of such a sort as to be forgotten through the lapse of time. Still, the eyewitness of those who have seen testifies better than does the hearing of deeds that happened but yesterday or the day before."
Steven Runciman included Critobulus' work, along with the writings of Doukas, Laonicus Chalcondyles and George Sphrantzes, as one of the principal Greek sources for the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Walls of Constantinople

Golden Gatecity wallswalled
The city was severely depopulated due to the general economic and territorial decline of the empire, and by 1453 consisted of a series of walled villages separated by vast fields encircled by the fifth-century Theodosian walls.
Ultimately, the city fell from the sheer weight of numbers of the Ottoman forces on 29 May 1453 after a six-week siege.

George Sphrantzes

Sphrantzes
Contemporaneous Western witnesses of the siege, who tend to exaggerate the military power of the Sultan, provide disparate and higher numbers ranging from 160,000 to 200,000 and to 300,000 (Niccolò Barbaro: 160,000; the Florentine merchant Jacopo Tedaldi and the Great Logothete George Sphrantzes: 200,000; the Cardinal Isidore of Kiev and the Archbishop of Mytilene Leonardo di Chio: 300,000).
He was an eyewitness of the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, made a slave by the victorious Turks, but ransomed shortly afterwards.

Church of the Holy Apostles

Apostles' Church in ConstantinopleChurch of the ApostlesHoly Apostles
Two tactical reserves were kept behind in the city, one in the Petra district just behind the land walls and one near the Church of the Holy Apostles, under the command of Loukas Notaras and Nicephorus Palaeologus, respectively.
When Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453, the Holy Apostles briefly became the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Bosporus

Bosphorus StraitBosphorusBosphorus Straits
By early 1452, work began on the construction of a second fortress (Rumeli hisarı) on the Bosphorus, on the European side several miles north of Constantinople, set directly across the strait on the Asian side from the Anadolu Hisarı fortress, built by his great-grandfather Bayezid I.
On 29 May 1453, the then-emergent Ottoman Empire conquered the city of Constantinople following a lengthy campaign wherein the Ottomans constructed fortifications on each side of the strait, the Anadoluhisarı (1393) and the Rumelihisarı (1451), in preparation for not only the primary battle but to assert long-term control over the Bosporus and surrounding waterways.

Pope

papacypapalbishop of Rome
Since the mutual excommunications of 1054, the Pope in Rome was committed to establishing authority over the eastern church.
In the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire captured Constantinople.

Council of Florence

Council of BaselCouncil of Basel-Ferrara-FlorenceFlorence
Emperor John VIII Palaiologos had also recently negotiated union with Pope Eugene IV, with the Council of Florence of 1439 proclaiming a Bull of Union.
Despite the religious union, Western military assistance to Byzantium was ultimately insufficient, and the fall of Constantinople occurred in May 1453.

Orban

Urban
Instrumental to this Ottoman advancement in arms production was a somewhat mysterious figure by the name of Orban (Urban), a Hungarian (though some suggest he was German).
Orban, also known as Urban (died 1453), was an iron founder and engineer from Brassó, Transylvania, in the Kingdom of Hungary (today Brașov, Romania), who cast superguns for the Ottoman siege of Constantinople in 1453.

Gabriele Trevisano

The sea walls at the southern shore of the Golden Horn were defended by Venetian and Genoese sailors under Gabriele Trevisano.
Gabriele Trevisano was a Venetian commander, who participated on the losing side of the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, having joined the Byzantine Empire in its defence of its capital city against the Ottoman Empire.