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Tags Constantinople , crusades , istanbul

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Old 12th August 2022, 09:37 PM   #1
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Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

Bringing here a thread I started elsewhere, partly because I'm interested if my research is faulty.

The history of this city, and the Byzantines in general (entwined with the late Roman Empire) has become a fascination for me, partly from my enthusiasm for Civ games. So, a thread.

Part of my interest began as an extension of realizing that the "Byzantine" empire was really just the Eastern Roman Empire, and basically what was left of the Roman Empire after the Western side fell. From there I found out that the emperor Justinian I actually managed to bring Rome back within the empire's borders for a time. This theme of a last holdout managing to persist, and sometimes thrive, appeals to me in some way. A city built so strong it seemed to hold back the inevitable tide of history.

Upon encountering a tidbit about it online I went looking for whether there were any Roman holdouts after Constantinople fell, and there were! The last of these seem to be the Principality of Theodoro, which like Constantinople fell to the Ottomans, but in 1475, which was another 22 years afterwards.

Pictured: artist rendering of Byzantine Constantinople from vividmaps.com (imgur host)

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Old 12th August 2022, 09:38 PM   #2
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Continuing with more slapdash Constantinople history from a C+ history student.

I believe most people think of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantines) as having slowly been ground down by its neighboring Muslim enemies, despite noted waxing and waning. Not quite so. In the the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204) to recapture Jerusalem from the Muslims, the Crusader army's first target was the Egyptian Ayyubid Sultanate. The Pope (Innocent III) had a deal with Venice for warships and transport ships across the Narrow SeaMediterranean. However, the crusade leaders struggled to raise the promised amount, only having just over half the total. Venice said, "Fine, go ahead and pay us what you've got on you, but now go sack these Zadar ******** first."

"But that's a Catholic city," said the crusaders. Venice said, "How bad do you want your ships?"

A lot, it turned out. Some of the crusaders refused to participate. The Pope forbade the attack. The rest of the crusaders said "screw it." and invaded anyway. The city of Zara went to the Venetian empire, and the crusader army was excommunicated by the Pope. "Well hell, what do we do now?" said the crusaders.

Alexios IV Angelos of Constantinople came out of the shadows dramatically and said "Hey--pssst--you guys! My uncle just deposed my father as the Emperor. Come help me kick his ass and we'll send you straight on to Jersusalem with Imperial support."

(insert medieval themed facepalm of choice here)

And so it was that crusaders sent to give the Muslims what-for wound up instead attacking the stronghold of the Greek Catholics, the world's largest Christian city, the capital of what remained of the Roman Empire. They won the city in 1204 and decided after a bit of looting that they liked it there just fine and didn't really need to have Jerusalem after all. Instead they started dividing up pieces of the Eastern Roman Empire amongst themselves. Some portions, including the New RepublicEmpire of Nicaea, were tougher nuts to crack, and managed to nominally restore Byzantine rule after about sixty years.

It was this weakened Byzantine Empire with its savaged capital that ultimately could not stand up to Mehmed II, and so Constantinople got the works.

Edited by Agatha:  Edit for rule 10. Please do not mask curse-words; spell them in full so the autocensor can act.
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Old 13th August 2022, 07:22 AM   #3
Filippo Lippi
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This week's The Rest is History podcast is a multi-parter about Justinian and Theodora, the episode before that spoke about the Justinian plague
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Old 16th August 2022, 10:42 AM   #4
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Constantinople almost got the works about 900 years before its actual end. The Nika Riots in 532 started with a fight over a chariot race, but went on to destroy half the city and kill over 30,000 people.
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Old 17th August 2022, 03:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
Constantinople almost got the works about 900 years before its actual end. The Nika Riots in 532 started with a fight over a chariot race, but went on to destroy half the city and kill over 30,000 people.
Made the infamous British Soccer Riots pale in comparasion.
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Old 18th August 2022, 07:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Made the infamous British Soccer Riots pale in comparasion.
Wait till it turns out Elon Musk is REALLY taking over Man U.
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Old 18th August 2022, 01:00 PM   #7
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And from what I have read, Theodora, not the emperor was calling the shots.....
Theodora was a remarkable women, you could make one hell of a good movie about her.
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