The city’s defenders continued to repair the walls at night and reinforced areas at the damaged Gate of St. Romanus and the Blachernae sector. Emperor Constantine XI named Giustiniani commander of his land defenses and spent the rest of the winter strengthening the city for a siege. In the evening, a solemn last ceremony was held in the Hagia Sophia, in which the Emperor with representatives and nobility of both the Latin and Greek churches partook. When combined with a large metal chain that had been drawn across the Golden Horn, Constantine was confident that the city’s defenses could repel a naval assault and withstand Mehmed’s land forces until relief came from Christian Europe. Battle of Constantinople.pdf. In 1453, the armies of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II attacked and captured the Byzantine capital of Constantinople. Islambol (اسلامبول, Full of Islam) or Islambul (find Islam) or Islam(b)ol (old Turkic: be Islam), both in Turkish Language, were folk-etymological adaptations of Istanbul created after the Ottoman conquest of 1453 to express the city's new role as the capital of the Islamic Ottoman Empire. When most of Constantinople was secure, Mehmed himself rode through the streets of the city to the great cathedral of Hagia Sophia, the largest in all of Christendom, and converted it into the mosque Ayasofya. But they all failed. [11]:374[21]:77–78 There was another large bombard, independently built by Turkish engineer Saruca, that was also used in the battle.[42][43]. [65][66], The fall of Constantinople shocked many Europeans, who viewed it as a catastrophic event for their civilization. Giustiniani was stationed to the north of the emperor, at the Charisian Gate (Myriandrion); later during the siege, he was shifted to the Mesoteichion to join Constantine, leaving the Myriandrion to the charge of the Bocchiardi brothers. In Rome, Thomas and his family received some monetary support from the Pope and other Western rulers as Byzantine emperor in exile, until 1503. The fall of Constantinople has a profound impact on the ancient Pentarchy of the Orthodox Church. He founded a political system that survived until 1922 with the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. Omissions? [11]:373[23][24][25][26][27][28], Fearing a possible naval attack along the shores of the Golden Horn, Emperor Constantine XI ordered that a defensive chain be placed at the mouth of the harbour. However, on May 29, 1453, Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks. 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. Emperor Constantine deemed it necessary to ensure that the Blachernae district's wall was the most fortified because that section of the wall protruded northwards. [15] The city was further depopulated by the general economic and territorial decline of the empire, and by 1453, it consisted of a series of walled villages separated by vast fields encircled by the fifth-century Theodosian Walls. Mehmed then tasked the Hungarian gunsmith Urban with both arming Rumelihisarı and building cannon powerful enough to bring down the walls of Constantinople. [67][75] However, Vlad the Impaler was the only Christian ruler who showed enthusiasm for this suggestion. The short lived Crusade immediately came to an end and as Western Europe entered the 16th century, the age of Crusading began to come to an end. Constantinople itself became an Ottoman vassal during this period. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? 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. Luckily for the occupants of the city, the Ottomans were not interested in killing potentially valuable slaves, but rather in the loot they could get from raiding the city's houses, so they decided to attack the city instead. Whoops! This calculation was boosted by Mehmed's friendly overtures to the European envoys at his new court. The Turkmen mercenaries managed to breach this section of walls and entered the city, but they were just as quickly pushed back by the defenders. This section was considered the weakest spot in the walls and an attack was feared here most. The Battle of New Constantinople was an engagement on New Constantinople between the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant, during the Human-Covenant War in early 2537. Constantine and his Greek troops guarded the Mesoteichion, the middle section of the land walls, where they were crossed by the river Lycus. A small few lucky civilians managed to escape. [21]:150–51 Byzantine historian George Sphrantzes, an eyewitness to the fall of Constantinople, described the Sultan's actions:[63][64]. Sack of Constantinople, (April 1204).The diversion of the Fourth Crusade from the Holy Land to attack, capture, and pillage the Byzantine city of Constantinople divided and dissipated the efforts of the Christians to maintain the war against the Muslims. These Turks kept loyal to the Emperor and perished in the ensuing battle. Minotto and his Venetians were stationed in the Blachernae Palace, together with Teodoro Caristo, the Langasco brothers, and Archbishop Leonardo of Chios. He asserted this claim with a series of campaigns that thoroughly subjugated both the Balkans and Greece by the late 15th century. Just before dawn, the sultan launched a coordinated artillery, infantry, and naval assault on Constantinople. [21]:83–84 As a specialist in defending walled cities, Giustiniani was immediately given the overall command of the defence of the land walls by the Emperor. [22]:380 This strategy was enforced because in 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade successfully circumvented Constantinople's land defences by breaching the Golden Horn Wall. When the fog lifted that evening, a strange light was seen playing about the dome of the Hagia Sophia, which some interpreted as the Holy Spirit departing from the city. The Byzantine force was placed under the command of two generals, Prosouch and Basil Tzikandyles. He angled one of his cannons such that it could strike the defenders of the chain and then began to construct an oiled wooden ramp upon which he intended to portage his smaller vessels from the Bosporus to the Golden Horn. Pere Julià was stationed at the Great Palace with Genoese and Catalan troops; Cardinal Isidore of Kiev guarded the tip of the peninsula near the boom. Other troops under Zagan Pasha were employed north of the Golden Horn. The Fourth Crusade was corrupted from its purpose early on. The account of the cannon's collapse is disputed,[31][page needed] given that it was only reported in the letter of Archbishop Leonardo di Chio[38] and in the later, and often unreliable, Russian chronicle of Nestor Iskander. In the meantime, Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaeologus entreated major powers in Christendom to aid him in the impending siege. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. [7] The capture of Constantinople, a city which marked the divide between Europe and Asia Minor, also allowed the Ottomans to more effectively invade mainland Europe, eventually leading to Ottoman control of much of the Balkan peninsula. Danforth Whitcomb distinguished himself in the battles for New Constantinople. In Mehmed's view, he was the successor to the Roman Emperor, declaring himself Kayser-i Rum, literally "Caesar of Rome", that is, of the Roman Empire, though he was remembered as "the Conqueror". and that "the Turks made a great slaughter of Christians through the city". It was said that the partial lunar eclipse that occurred on 22 May 1453 represented a fulfilment of a prophecy of the city's demise. The Ottoman cannon created several breaches, but most were too narrow to send troops through. The Ottoman galleys were too short to capture the tall European warships, and, with the help of the Golden Horn fleet, the warships safely sailed past the chain. Nevertheless, just as deeply entrenched was the understanding that Byzantine control of Constantinople was a necessary bastion against Muslim control of land and sea in the eastern Mediterranean. These were the three Genoese ships sent by the Pope, joined by a large Imperial transport ship which had been sent on a foraging mission to Sicily previous to the siege and was on its way back to Constantinople. The Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque, but the Greek Orthodox Church was allowed to remain intact and Gennadius Scholarius was appointed Patriarch of Constantinople. In 1444 he lost an important battle to a Christian alliance in the Balkans and abdicated the throne to his son, Mehmed II. In fact, the new fortress was called Boğazkesen, which means "strait-blocker" or "throat-cutter". The Ottoman besiegers vastly outnumbered the Byzantines and their allies. Thereafter, there was little peace for the much-weakened empire as it fended off successive attacks by the Latins, Serbs, Bulgarians and Ottoman Turks. However, he returned to power two years later after defeating the Christians and remained sultan until his death in 1451. Given abundant funds and materials, the Hungarian engineer built the gun within three months at Edirne. It marked the main outcome of the Fourth Crusade. After the doors were breached, the troops separated the congregation according to what price they might bring in the slave markets. [note 11]. [note 8]. On 2 June, the Sultan would find the city largely deserted and half in ruins; churches had been desecrated and stripped, houses were no longer habitable, and stores and shops were emptied. The Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara were taken by Admiral Baltoghlu's fleet. [11]:378 For 36 hours after the war council decided to attack, the Ottomans extensively mobilized their manpower in order to prepare for the general offensive. The only individual he spared was his cousin Julian, only five years old at the time and not considered a viable threat; however, the young man would surprise his older cousin and one day becomes an emperor himself, Julian the Apostate. Mehmed planned to attack the Theodosian Walls, the intricate series of walls and ditches protecting Constantinople from an attack from the West and the only part of the city not surrounded by water. [20] An accomplished soldier from Genoa, Giovanni Giustiniani, arrived in January 1453 with 400 men from Genoa and 300 men from Genoese Chios. Avvakum and other "Old Believers" saw these reforms as a corruption of the Russian Church, which they considered to be the "true" Church of God. [citation needed] The Venetian Barbaro observed that blood flowed in the city "like rainwater in the gutters after a sudden storm" and that bodies of Turks and Christians floated in the sea "like melons along a canal". There was a problem previewing Battle of Constantinople.pdf. Another legend holds that two priests saying divine liturgy over the crowd disappeared into the cathedral's walls as the first Turkish soldiers entered. A more realistic modern estimate predicts a fleet strength of 110 ships comprising 70 large galleys, 5 ordinary galleys, 10 smaller galleys, 25 large rowing boats, and 75 horse-transports. Having encircled Constantinople in full, Mehmed continued his artillery barrage of the land walls through May 29. Philippides, Marios and Walter K. Hanak, The Siege and the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, Ashgate, Farnham and Burlington 2011. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The defenders attempted to attack the remainder of the Ottoman fleet in the Bosporus, but they were defeated. [citation needed]. [83], Ottomans used the Arabic transliteration of the city's name "Qosṭanṭīniyye," (القسطنطينية, more commonly known as "Kostantiniyye"), as can be seen in numerous Ottoman documents. According to Sphrantzes, whom Constantine had ordered to make a census, the Emperor was appalled when the number of native men capable of bearing arms turned out to be only 4,983. Meanwhile, Janissary soldiers, led by Ulubatlı Hasan, pressed forward. The oldest boy, renamed to Murad, became a personal favourite of Mehmed and served as Beylerbey (Governor-General) of Rumeli (the Balkans). Constantinople stood as the seat of the Byzantine Empire for the next 1,100 years, enduring periods of great fortune and horrific sieges, until … His army encamped outside the city on 2 April 1453, the Monday after Easter. Zagan Pasha argued against Halil Pasha and insisted on an immediate attack. By April 22 the ships had circumvented the chain in this way and, barring the chain itself, seized control of all the waters surrounding the city. Fifty carpenters and 200 artisans also strengthened the roads where necessary. Two possible responses emerged amongst the humanists and churchmen of that era: Crusade or dialogue. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Mehmed ordered a third attack on the gate, this time with one of his own palace regiments of 3,000 Janissaries. It is said that Constantine, throwing aside his purple regalia, led the final charge against the incoming Ottomans, perishing in the ensuing battle in the streets alongside his soldiers. He issued a proclamation: the citizens of all ages who had managed to escape detection were to leave their hiding places throughout the city and come out into the open, as they were to remain free and no question would be asked. Vast open fields constituted much of the land within the walls. Constantius II defeated his brothers (and any other challengers) and became the empire’s sole emperor. and "The first army that goes on expedition to Constantinople will be forgiven. An Ottoman attack on a Venetian ship in the Bosporus prompted the Venetian Senate to send 800 troops and 15 galleys to the Byzantine capital, and many Venetians presently in Constantinople also chose to support the war effort, but the bulk of the Venetian forces were delayed for too long to be of any help. A propaganda initiative was stimulated by anti-unionist Orthodox partisans in Constantinople; the population, as well as the laity and leadership of the Byzantine Church, became bitterly divided. Many of the sappers were miners of Serbian origin sent from Novo Brdo[50] and were under the command of Zagan Pasha. The battle was part of the Byzantine-Ottoman Wars (1265-1453). Hungary was the primary European threat to the Ottomans on land, and Venice and Genoa controlled much of the Aegean and Black seas. They are not such very ancient events nor of such a sort as to be forgotten through the lapse of time. This device was one of two that gave the Byzantines some hope of extending the siege until the possible arrival of foreign help. Finally, the last wave consisting of elite Janissaries, attacked the city walls. He eventually served twice as Grand Vizier under Mehmed's son, Bayezid II.[70]. The younger son, renamed Mesih Pasha, became Admiral of the Ottoman fleet and Sancak Beg (Governor) of the Province of Gallipoli. The Senate decided upon sending a fleet in February 1453, but the fleet's departure was delayed until April, when it was already too late for ships to assist in battle. [39], Mehmed built a fleet (partially manned by Spanish sailors from Gallipoli) to besiege the city from the sea. [note 9], With Giustiniani's Genoese troops retreating into the city and towards the harbour, Constantine and his men, now left to their own devices, continued to hold their ground against the Janissaries. Constantinople had been an imperial capital since its consecration in 330 under Roman emperor Constantine the Great. Finally, the sea walls at the southern shore of the Golden Horn were defended by Venetian and Genoese sailors under Gabriele Trevisano. Retrying. Here he encountered some resistance; one of his Viziers, the veteran Halil Pasha, who had always disapproved of Mehmed's plans to conquer the city, now admonished him to abandon the siege in the face of recent adversity. Battle of Constantinople.pdf. The wordplay emphasizes its strategic position: in Turkish boğaz means both "strait" and "throat". Shortly after the Venetians left, a few Genoese ships and even the Emperor's ships followed them out of the Golden Horn. The union was agreed by the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos in 1274, at the Second Council of Lyon, and indeed, some Palaiologoi emperors had since been received into the Latin Church. He hoped to breach them or otherwise force a surrender before a Christian relief force could arrive. Mehmed was determined to take the Golden Horn and pressure the Byzantines into submission. Another expert who was employed by the Ottomans was. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica: "Many modern scholars also agree that the exodus of Greeks to Italy as a result of this event marked the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance". [67] Many feared other European Christian kingdoms would suffer the same fate as Constantinople. [11]:304 The crusaders established an unstable Latin state in and around Constantinople while the remainder of the Byzantine Empire splintered into a number of successor states, notably Nicaea, Epirus and Trebizond. [21]:92, To the left of the emperor, further south, were the commanders Cataneo, who led Genoese troops, and Theophilus Palaeologus, who guarded the Pegae Gate with Greek soldiers. The new fortress sat directly across the strait from the Anadolu Hisarı fortress, built by Mehmed's great-grandfather Bayezid I. For some time Greek scholars had gone to Italian city-states, a cultural exchange begun in 1396 by Coluccio Salutati, chancellor of Florence, who had invited Manuel Chrysoloras, a Byzantine scholar to lecture at the University of Florence. Barbaro added the description of the emperor's heroic last moments to his diary based on information he received afterward. The western powers had agreed to back Alexios IV Angelos, the son of the deposed Byzantine emperor Isaac Angelos II (r. 1185-1195 CE) and promised to return his father (then imprisoned in Constantinople) to the throne if he promised to help the Crusaders with money, soldiers, and supplies. The Phanariotes, as they were called, provided many capable advisers to the Ottoman rulers. 5,000–10,000 Janissaries On the third day after the fall of our city, the Sultan celebrated his victory with a great, joyful triumph. This chain, which floated on logs, was strong enough to prevent any Turkish ship from entering the harbour. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Now devoid of both a long-standing buffer against the Ottomans and access to the Black Sea, Christian kingdoms relied on Hungary to halt any further westward expansion. constantinople Myles Hudson was an Editorial Intern at Encyclopædia Britannica. They were instructed to make a stand confronting the Germans, and by their presence provoke an attack. The regular European troops, stretched out along the entire length of the walls, were commanded by Karadja Pasha. They largely refrained from slaughtering commoners and nobility, instead choosing to ransom them to their home states and primarily executing only those who fought after the surrender. In April, having quickly seized Byzantine coastal settlements along the Black Sea and Sea of Marmara, Ottoman regiments in Rumelia and Anatolia assembled outside the Byzantine capital. Between 1346 and 1349 the Black Death killed almost half of the inhabitants of Constantinople. [30]:39 In addition, the defenders were relatively well-equipped with a fleet of 26 ships: 5 from Genoa, 5 from Venice, 3 from Venetian Crete, 1 from Ancona, 1 from Aragon, 1 from France, and about 10 from the empire itself. Other potential claimants, such as the Republic of Venice and the Holy Roman Empire have disintegrated into history.[74]. Believing that the beleaguered Byzantine defence was already weakened sufficiently, Mehmed planned to overpower the walls by sheer force and started preparations for a final all-out offensive. The Nicaeans eventually reconquered Constantinople from the Latins in 1261, reestablishing the Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty. For Genoa’s part, the city-state sent 700 soldiers to Constantinople, all of whom arrived in January 1453 with Giovanni Giustiniani Longo at their head. Upon hearing of his navy’s defeat, Mehmed stripped Baltaoğlu of his rank and arranged for his replacement. The Battle of Constantinople was a Gothic attack on Constantinople in 378 following the Gothic victory at the Battle of Adrianople.The emperor Valens's widow prepared the defence, and also reinforced the city with Saracens, which performed excellently in combat.