Friday, May 29, 2009

The Fall of Constantinople

Today May 29 is the 556th anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople and the End of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Constantinople had been besieged by an Ottoman force under the command of Sultan Mehmed II. His force counted 80,000 troops. And they were opposed by 8,000 Byzantine Greeks and Italian Genoese. The last Emperor of Byzantium, Constantine XI, died in battle defending the City.

The Byzantine empire had been much weakend by the taking of the Balkans by the Ottomans. Moreover the Crusaders did damage to the City's defenses and the Blachernae neighbourhood when they took the City in 1204.

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