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1453: The Fall of Constantinople
Article by Mark Cartwright

1453: The Fall of Constantinople

The city of Constantinople (modern Istanbul) was founded by Roman emperor Constantine I in 324 CE and it acted as the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantine Empire as it has later become known, for well over 1,000 years. Although...
1204: The Sack of Constantinople
Article by Mark Cartwright

1204: The Sack of Constantinople

In 1204 CE the unthinkable happened and Constantinople, after nine centuries of withstanding all comers, was brutally sacked. Even more startling was the fact that the perpetrators were not any of the traditional enemies of the Byzantine...
Capitals of the Roman Empire: Constantinople & RomeĀ 
Article by Greg Woolf / Oxford University Press

Capitals of the Roman Empire: Constantinople & RomeĀ 

Constantinople at first had much in common with the temporary capitals of the 2nd and 3rd century CE and the tetrarchic capitals. It was an existing city of medium size, well located on the road network, and unlike most of them, it was also...
Constantinople
Definition by Donald L. Wasson

Constantinople

Built in the seventh century BCE, the ancient city of Byzantium proved to be a valuable city for both the Greeks and Romans. Because it lay on the European side of the Strait of Bosporus, the Emperor Constantine understood its strategic importance...
Fall of the Western Roman Empire
Article by Donald L. Wasson

Fall of the Western Roman Empire

To many historians, the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century CE has always been viewed as the end of the ancient world and the onset of the Middle Ages, often improperly called the Dark Ages, despite Petrarch's assertion. Since...
Empire of Nicaea
Definition by Michael Goodyear

Empire of Nicaea

The Empire of Nicaea was a successor state to the Byzantine Empire, or rather a Byzantine Empire in exile lasting from 1204 to 1261 CE. The Empire of Nicaea was founded in the aftermath of the sacking of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade...
Helena of Constantinople
Definition by Jessica da Costa Minati Moraes

Helena of Constantinople

Saint Helena of Constantinople (248/250-328 CE) was the mother of Roman emperor Constantine I (r. 306-337 CE). She famously made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem where tradition claims found Christ's true cross and built the Basilica of the Holy...
Europe Before the Fall of Constantinople, c. 1450
Image by Simeon Netchev

Europe Before the Fall of Constantinople, c. 1450

A map illustrating the political situation in Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa around 1450, just before the fall of Constantinople, the expansion of the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed II, the Conqueror, and the transformation...
The Great Palace of Constantinople
Article by Mark Cartwright

The Great Palace of Constantinople

The Great Palace of Constantinople was the magnificent residence of Byzantine emperors and their court officials which included a golden throne room with wondrous mechanical devices, reception halls, chapels, treasury, and gardens. In use...
The Hippodrome of Constantinople
Article by Mark Cartwright

The Hippodrome of Constantinople

The Hippodrome of Constantinople was an arena used for chariot racing throughout the Byzantine period. First built during the reign of Roman emperor Septimius Severus in the early 3rd century CE, the structure was made more grandiose by emperor...
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