The Fall of Constantinople: How the Renaissance was caused (4 of 5)

Istanbul not Constantinople! now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople!

Ok who or what is Constantinople?!!

Do you remember a certain Roman Emperor called Constantine I or Constantine the Great as he was also known as? Yes that guy! The fella that had a vision of a Christian cross which convinced him he would win a battle and made Christianity the official religion of Rome!

Before Constantine rose up to defeat all challengers to the Emperor’s seat, Rome was split into 4. This was done because Diocletian (previous Emperor) felt the Empire was too big for 1 ruler to manage! Constantine took power and moved the capital from Rome to a city in the Byzantine Empire, modern day Turkey. This city would eventually bear the name “Constantinople” after Constantine. Today, we call this city Istanbul.

istanbul

As you may know, the Barbarians invaded and sacked Rome..bringing about the Dark Ages and the end of the Roman Empire. That was only the end of the “Western Roman Empire”! In the east, Constantinople was the capital of what we would term the “Eastern Roman Empire”. This city did not fall until 1453.

In 1453 the Ottomans (a tribe from Asia Minor) successfully attacked the walled city of Constantinople. This was a crushing blow for Christianity as the Ottomans were an Islamic tribe who turned this Christian Bastion into their Islamic capital.

walls constantinople
Roman walls of Constantinople

Constantinople housed many great pieces of Greek and Roman literature. During the attacks on Constantinople and the time before them, many learned scholars fled the city for Italy with their manuscripts. These scholars contributed to the study of these manuscripts in Italy, spurring many to learn about ancient ideas.

I may just have ruined your weekend! But this song is soooooo catchy

For more on Constantine I: www.ancient.eu/Constantine_I/

For more on the Fall of Constantinople: http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/battleswars14011600/p/Byzantine-Ottoman-Wars-Fall-Of-Constantinople.htm

For more on The Ottomans: http://www.britannica.com/place/Ottoman-Empire

For everything else…keep it here!

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