Fall of Constantinople

Conquest of Constantinople
Part of the Byzantine–Ottoman Wars and Ottoman wars in Europe
Constantinople 1453.jpg
The last siege of Constantinople, contemporary 15th century French miniature
Date6 April – 29 May 1453 (53 days)
LocationConstantinople (present-day Istanbul)

Decisive Ottoman victory

Commanders and leaders


Land forces: [e] 50,000–80,000[6]:101
[7]:49[8]:52[9]:618[10][page needed][11][page needed]

[f]100,000[12]:755160,000[13][page needed][14][page needed]–200,000[3][page needed]

Naval forces:

Land forces:

Naval forces:

Casualties and losses
Unknown but not heavy[24][4][page needed]
  • 4,000 killed in total (including combatants and civilians)[10]:37–8
  • 30,000 enslaved [24][25]
  1. ^ More specifically, the Byzantine Empire under the Palaiologos dynasty
  2. ^ The Venetians decided to make a peace treaty with the Ottomans in September 1451, because they were on good terms already with the Ottomans and they did not want to ruin a relationship. They also did not want the Ottomans to interfere with their trade in the Black Sea and Mediterranean. The Venetians' efforts mainly included giving Constantine XI ships and a total of 800 soldiers in February 1453. The Venetians also promised that a larger fleet would arrive to save Constantine, this fleet would be full of ammunition, fresh soldiers and supplies. This fleet arrived too late.
  3. ^ The Kingdom of Sicily mainly donated ships and a few soldiers, it was not official however, and was done by several Cardinals.
  4. ^ The Genoese captain Giovanni Giustiniani Longo was wounded in battle, but managed to escape, he died during the early days of June 1453.[3][page needed]
  5. ^ Figures according to recent estimates and Ottoman archival data. The Ottoman Empire, for demographic reasons, would not have been able to put more than 80,000 men into the field at the time.[5]:215
  6. ^ Figures according to contemporaneous Western/Christian estimates[5]:215
  7. ^ By nationality, there were 5,000 Greeks and 2,000 foreigners, mostly of Genoese and Venetian origin.[23]

The Fall of Constantinople (Greek: Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, Halōsis tēs Kōnstantinoupoleōs; Turkish: İstanbul'un Fethi Conquest of Istanbul) was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire by an invading Ottoman army on 29 May 1453. The attackers were commanded by the then 21-year-old Sultan Mehmed II, who defeated an army commanded by Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos and took control of the imperial capital, ending a 53-day siege that had begun on 6 April 1453. After conquering the city, Sultan Mehmed transferred the capital of his Empire from Edirne to Constantinople, and established his court there.

The capture of the city (and two other Byzantine splinter territories soon thereafter) marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, a continuation of the Roman Empire, an imperial state dating to 27 BC, which had lasted for nearly 1,500 years.[26] The conquest of Constantinople also dealt a massive blow to Christendom, as the Muslim Ottoman armies thereafter were left unchecked to advance into Europe without an adversary to their rear.

It was also a watershed moment in military history. Since ancient times, cities had used ramparts and city walls to protect themselves from invaders, and Constantinople's substantial fortifications had been a model followed by cities throughout the Mediterranean region and Europe. The Ottomans ultimately prevailed due to the use of gunpowder (which powered formidable cannons).[27]

The conquest of the city of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire[2] was a key event in the Late Middle Ages which also marks, for some historians, the end of the Medieval period.[28]

State of the Byzantine Empire

Constantinople had been an imperial capital since its consecration in 330 under Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great. In the following eleven centuries, the city had been besieged many times but was captured only once: during the Fourth Crusade in 1204.[29]:304 The crusaders established an unstable Latin state in and around Constantinople while the remaining empire splintered into a number of Byzantine successor states, notably Nicaea, Epirus and Trebizond. They fought as allies against the Latin establishments, but also fought among themselves for the Byzantine throne.

The Nicaeans eventually reconquered Constantinople from the Latins in 1261. Thereafter there was little peace for the much-weakened empire as it fended off successive attacks by the Latins, the Serbians, the Bulgarians, and, most importantly, the Ottoman Turks.[29][page needed] [30][31][32][page needed] The Black Plague between 1346 and 1349 killed almost half of the inhabitants of Constantinople.[33] The city was severely depopulated due to the general economic and territorial decline of the empire, and by 1453 consisted of a series of walled villages separated by vast fields encircled by the fifth-century Theodosian walls.

By 1450 the empire was exhausted and had shrunk to a few square miles outside the city of Constantinople itself, the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, and the Peloponnese with its cultural center at Mystras. The Empire of Trebizond, an independent successor state that formed in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, also survived on the coast of the Black Sea.

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Падзеньне Канстантынопалю
hrvatski: Pad Carigrada
Bahasa Indonesia: Kejatuhan Konstantinopel
Simple English: Fall of Constantinople
српски / srpski: Пад Цариграда (1453)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Pad Carigrada (1453)