Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

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gnome
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Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

Post by gnome »

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.

Image
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
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Re: Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

Post by ed »

Can we try to keep this thread on track and not engage in petty bullshit?
Last edited by ed on Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

Post by gnome »

Can we not? The SJW thread is that way -->
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
--Soldier, TF2
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Re: Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

Post by Witness »

You'll tell us more, I hope.

Another period I find fascinating is the fallout of Alexander's conquests:

Image

There were small Greek-ish (and Buddhist) kingdoms all the way to Afghanistan (if I remember correctly a Stoic text has been found engraved in a wall there), the "Egyptian" rulers, the Ptolemids, were Greeks, &c.

And then the Romans gobbled everybody up, including Greece. :mrgreen:
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Re: Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

Post by gnome »

ed wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:37 pm Can we try to keep this thread on track and not engage in petty bullshit?
I saw what you did there.

Dipshit :D
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
--Soldier, TF2
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Re: Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

Post by ed »

gnome wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:13 am
ed wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:37 pm Can we try to keep this thread on track and not engage in petty bullshit?
I saw what you did there.

Dipshit :D
I should know better than to think I could put something past a Floridian.

Went to a gun show in your neighborhood, Hernando.

:shock:

"interesting"
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Re: Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

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Alright, 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 assholes 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 "Fuck it." and invaded anyway. Zara went to the Venetian empire, and the crusader army was excommunicated by the Pope. "Well fuck, 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."

MedievalFacepalm.png

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.
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Last edited by gnome on Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:51 pm, edited 5 times in total.
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
--Soldier, TF2
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Re: Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

Post by gnome »

ed wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:19 am
gnome wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:13 am
ed wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:37 pm Can we try to keep this thread on track and not engage in petty bullshit?
I saw what you did there.

Dipshit :D
I should know better than to think I could put something past a Floridian.

Went to a gun show in your neighborhood, Hernando.

:shock:

"interesting"
Yeah Hernando exists so that Pasco county has someone to look down on.

But that's ok, Hernando has Polk county to look down on.
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
--Soldier, TF2
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Re: Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

Post by ed »

As I recall from my reading, the Byzantines had this habit of blinding deposed emperors.
If you are interested in this era (Crusades I mean) you should read Runciman's three volume history. It is very readable and authoritative. Avoid more modern treatments until you have read him.
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Re: Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

Post by gnome »

I'll look for it!

How bad did I fuck up in my summary, BTW?
"If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight! Sun Tzu said that, and I'd say he knows a little bit more about fighting than you do, pal, because he invented it, and then he perfected it so that no living man could best him in the ring of honor. Then, he used his fight money to buy two of every animal on earth, and then he herded them onto a boat, and then he beat the crap out of every single one. And from that day forward any time a bunch of animals are together in one place it's called a zoo! (Beat) Unless it's a farm!"
--Soldier, TF2
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Re: Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

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It's nobody's business but the Turks!
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Re: Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

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Shemp still has fond memories of his time in that Turkish prison
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Re: Constantinople (Not Istanbul)

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gnome wrote: Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:43 pm I'll look for it!

How bad did I fuck up in my summary, BTW?
Byzantine summary sounds like an oxymoron