[24][15] Throughout this period, overland raids into Asia Minor continued, and the Arab troops wintered on Byzantine soil. [31][32][33] Thus from the Arab sources it is only known that Abdallah ibn Qays and Fadhala ibn 'Ubayd raided Crete and wintered there in 675, while in the same year Malik ibn Abdallah led a raid into Asia Minor. The conquest of Istanbul [Constantinople] and the conversion of the Hagia Sophia [Greek for "Holy Wisdom"] into a mosque are among the most glorious chapters of Turkish history. Fall of Constantinople, (May 29, 1453), conquest of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire.The dwindling Byzantine Empire came to an end when the Ottomans breached Constantinople’s ancient land wall after besieging the city for 55 days. Armenia and Iberia reverted for a time to Byzantine control, and Cyprus became a condominium between Byzantium and the Caliphate. It became a tradition that Ottoman sultans were girt with the Sword of Osman at the Eyüp mosque upon their accession. [17][15][18] Mu'awiya now began preparing his final assault on the Byzantine capital. Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: The Last Hour would not come until the Romans would land at al-A'maq or in Dabiq. The early Muslim conquests (Arabic: الفتوحات الإسلامية ‎, al-Futūḥāt al-Islāmiyya), also referred to as the Arab conquests and the early Islamic conquests began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. By March 1453 Urban’s cannon had been transported from the Ottoman capital of Edirne to the outskirts of Constantinople. These defeats forced the Arabs to abandon the siege in 678. Mehmed surrounded Constantinople from land and sea while employing cannon to maintain a constant barrage of the city’s formidable walls. The tomb was "rediscovered" after the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 by the dervish Sheikh Ak Shams al-Din, and Sultan Mehmed II (r. 1444–1446, 1451–1481) ordered the construction of a marble tomb and a mosque adjacent to it. Following the disastrous Battle of Yarmouk in 636, the Byzantine Empire withdrew the bulk of its remaining forces from the Levant into Asia Minor, which was shielded from the Muslim expansion by the Taurus Mountains. Now sultan for the second time, Mehmed II intended to complete his father’s mission and conquer Constantinople for the Ottomans. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. In the 15th century, Constantinople’s walls were widely recognized as the most formidable in all of Europe. They used the peninsula of Cyzicus near the city as a base to spend the winter, and returned every spring to launch attacks against the city's fortifications. Hungary refused to assist, and, instead of sending men, Pope Nicholas V saw the precarious situation as an opportunity to push for the reunification of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, a priority of the papacy since 1054. They mounted a frontal assault of the land walls on April 7, but the Byzantines repelled them and were able to repair the defenses. However, Constantine’s capacity to defend his city was hampered by his small fighting force. A small fleet of naval and armed merchant vessels were also stationed in the Golden Horn to defend the chain. – 1643 C.E. The conquest of Istanbul has had such a historical impact on the Turkish and Muslim world to the degree that some historians demarcate the end of the Middle Ages with the city's conquest. [19] The undertaking followed a careful, phased approach: first the Muslims had to secure strongpoints and bases along the coast, and then, with Cyzicus as a base, Constantinople would be blockaded by land and sea and cut off from the agrarian hinterland that supplied its food. Furthermore, with Constantinople having suffered through several devastating sieges, the city’s population had dropped from roughly 400,000 in the 12th century to between 40,000 and 50,000 by the 1450s. This was a far cry from previous centuries. Byzantine relations with the rest of Europe had soured over the last several centuries as well: the Schism of 1054 and the 13th-century Latin occupation of Constantinople entrenched a mutual hatred between the Orthodox Byzantines and Roman Catholic Europe. Had it fallen, the Empire's remaining provinces would have been unlikely to hold together, and would have become easy prey for the Arabs. As a result, the veracity of Theophanes's account was questioned in 2010 by Oxford scholar James Howard-Johnston, and more recently by Marek Jankowiak. A small group reached the top of a tower through another gate but were nearly eliminated by the defenders until Giustiniani was mortally wounded by Ottoman gunfire while on the ramparts. Muslim raids against the Cilician frontier zone and deep into Asia Minor began as early as 640, and continued under Mu'awiya, then governor of the Levant. [61], The narrative of the siege accepted by modern historians relies largely on Theophanes' account, while the Arab and Syriac sources do not mention any siege, but rather individual campaigns, only a few of which reached as far as Constantinople. [67], Coordinates: 41°00′44″N 28°58′34″E / 41.0122°N 28.9760°E / 41.0122; 28.9760, Major conflict of the Arab–Byzantine Wars, Opening moves: the campaigns of 672 and 673, Arab attacks and related expeditions in 674–678, "East Asian History Sourcebook: Chinese Accounts of Rome, Byzantium and the Middle East, c. 91 B.C.E. [38], Constantinople was the nerve centre of the Byzantine state. [58] In these Chinese sources, Fu lin was directly related to the earlier Daqin,[58] which is now considered by modern sinologists as the Roman Empire. This left the field open for the warriors of the nascent Rashidun Caliphate to complete their conquest of Syria, with Egypt too falling shortly after. [30][29], The details of the clashes around Constantinople are unclear, as Theophanes condenses the siege in his account of the first year, and the Arab chroniclers do not mention the siege at all but merely provide the names of leaders of unspecified expeditions into Byzantine territory. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Myles Hudson was an Editorial Intern at Encyclopædia Britannica. Their analyses have placed more emphasis on the Arabic and Syriac sources, but have drawn different conclusions about the dating and existence of the siege. These were drawn out until 679, giving the Arabs time for a last raid into Asia Minor under 'Amr ibn Murra, perhaps intended to put pressure on the Byzantines. [58] The Chinese histories then explain that the Arabs forced the Byzantines to pay tribute afterwards as part of a peace settlement. It mentions how Constantine IV had ships driven (probably on wheels) across the Thracian Chersonese from the Aegean to the Sea of Marmara, a major undertaking for imperial navy ships and one which only makes sense if the Dardanelles was blocked by the Arabs at Cyzicus. Mehmed repopulated the city with people from a multitude of backgrounds and faiths and relocated his capital from Edirne to Constantinople, ensuring a multicultural seat of power for a multicultural empire. It is probable that the death of admiral Yazid ibn Shagara, reported by Arab chroniclers for 677/678, is related to this defeat. https://www.britannica.com/event/Fall-of-Constantinople-1453. A massive artillery bombardment of Constantinople's triple wall was engineered by mercenaries from the West – a task taking several hundred oxen to move the cannon and about a hundred men working together to load and fire. The fall of the city removed what was once a powerful defense for Christian Europe against Muslim invasion, allowing for uninterrupted Ottoman expansion into eastern Europe. Nevertheless, just as deeply entrenched was the understanding that Byzantine control of Constantinople was a necessary bastion against Muslim control of land and sea in the eastern Mediterranean. The Prophet (Allah’s peace be upon him) had prophesized the downfall of Istanbul at the hands of the Muslims when he said: “You will certainly conquer Constantinople. [8][9] From the next year, Muslim attacks recommenced, with pressure mounting as Muslim armies began wintering on Byzantine soil west of the Taurus range, maximizing the disruption caused to the Byzantine economy. Muhammad ibn Abdallah's fleet wintered at Smyrna, a fleet under a certain Qays (perhaps Abdallah ibn Qais) wintered in Lycia and Cilicia, and a third fleet, under Khalid, joined them later. ", "The Arabs in Asia Minor (641–750), from Arabic Sources", "Les expéditions des Arabes contre Constantinople dans l'histoire et dans la légende", "Two Arabian sieges of Constantinople (674–678; 717/718)", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Siege_of_Constantinople_(674–678)&oldid=971695839, Naval battles involving the Byzantine Empire, Naval battles involving the Umayyad Caliphate, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 7 August 2020, at 17:30. [62][63][64], Constantin Zuckerman believes that an obscure passage in Cosmas of Jerusalem's commentary on Gregory of Nazianzus, written in the early eighth century, can only refer to the Arab blockade of Constantinople. Following the disastrous Battle of Yarmouk in 636, the Byzantine Empire withdrew the bulk of its remaining forces from the Levant into Asia Minor, which was shielded from the Muslim expansion by the Taurus Mountains. The conquest of Constantinople and the fall of the Byzantine Empire was a key event of the Late Middle Ages and is sometimes considered the end of the Medieval period. [13][12], In spring 669, after receiving additional troops, Fadhala entered Asia Minor and advanced as far as Chalcedon, on the Asian shore of the Bosporus across from the Byzantine capital, Constantinople. In 324 the ancient city of Byzantium became the new capital … Constantinople in 1453 was a heavily declined city state. Several important personalities of early Islam are mentioned as taking part, such as Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar and Ibn al-Zubayr. Arab sources on the other hand report that the Muslims crossed over into Europe and launched an unsuccessful attack on Constantinople itself, before returning to Syria. The latter, midway between Syria and Constantinople, was converted into a forward supply base and centre for Muslim naval raids. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) prophesied that Muslims would one day conquer Constantinople. In the early hours of May 29, Ottoman labourers filled the moat surrounding the city. For centuries, it seemed like an impossible task. [36][37], Finally, in autumn 677 or early 678 Constantine IV resolved to confront the Arab besiegers in a head-on engagement. For Christendom, Mehmed’s victory at Constantinople represented a serious shift in its dealings with the East. Ignorance is bliss, but more so among jihadists with a pen, not necessarily an automatic rifle. This allowed the sultan to send in another Janissary regiment and take the inner wall at the Gate of St. Romanus. He stopped to pray and then demanded that all further looting cease immediately. Just before dawn, the sultan launched a coordinated artillery, infantry, and naval assault on Constantinople. Finally, the young Muslim navy scored a crushing victory over its Byzantine counterpart in the Battle of Phoenix in 655. This was the first time the Arabs tried to hold a captured fortress in the interior of Asia Minor beyond the campaigning season, and probably meant that the Arabs intended to return next year and use the town as their base, but Amorium was retaken by the Byzantines during the subsequent winter. [46][47]In the Muslim world, after the death of Mu'awiya in 680, the various forces of opposition within the Caliphate manifested themselves. The Byzantine victory was of major importance for the survival of the Byzantine state, as the Arab threat receded for a time. [29] Both Byzantine and Arab chroniclers record the siege as lasting for seven years instead of five. [26][32][36][33], The essential outline of Theophanes' account may be corroborated by the only near-contemporary Byzantine reference to the siege, a celebratory poem by the otherwise unknown Theodosius Grammaticus, which was earlier believed to refer to the second Arab siege of 717–718. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. Omissions? He was given the task of preparing the last great assault. This set the pattern that continued throughout the siege: each spring, the Arabs crossed the Marmara and assaulted Constantinople, withdrawing to Cyzicus for the winter. [41], The failure of the Arabs before Constantinople coincided with the increased activity of the Mardaites, a Christian group living in the mountains of Syria that resisted Muslim control and raided the lowlands. On May 29, 1453, [Ottoman] Sultan Muhammad II entered the city after … The Syriac chroniclers also disagree with Theophanes in placing the decisive battle and destruction of the Arab fleet by Greek fire in 674 during an Arab expedition against the coasts of Lycia and Cilicia, rather than Constantinople. [39] At the same time, the failure of the Arab attack on Constantinople was a momentous event in itself. At about the same time, the Muslim army in Asia Minor, under the command of Sufyan ibn 'Awf, was defeated by the Byzantine army under the generals Phloros, Petron and Cyprian, losing 30,000 men according to Theophanes. On April 12 the sultan dispatched a contingent of troops to subdue two nearby Byzantine forts and ordered Baltaoğlu to rush the chain. [26] The subsequent peace also gave a much-needed respite from constant raiding to Asia Minor, and allowed the Byzantine state to recover its balance and consolidate itself following the cataclysmic changes of the previous decades. [53][54] The most prominent among them in later tradition is Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, one of the early companions (Anṣār) and standard-bearer of Muhammad, who died of illness before the city walls during the siege and was buried there. The Byzantine-Arab Wars were between the Byzantine Empire and at first the Rashidun and then the Umayyad caliphates.. Between 60,000 and 80,000 soldiers fought on land, accompanied by 69 cannon. This land was conquered in the year 857 A.H (1453), about 565 years ago, and to Its garrison of 12,000 men was regularly rotated back to Syria, a small fleet was attached to it for defence and raiding, and the Arabs even sowed wheat and brought along animals to graze on the island. These land expeditions were sometimes coupled with naval raids against the coasts of southern Asia Minor. The Muslim in those early times knew the importance of the city and its excellent location as well as the prophet’s, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam the prophecy. Fall of Constantinople, (May 29, 1453), conquest of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire. Mehmet the conquerer's conquest of Constantinople. The commander in chief, Mehmed…. [40] Conversely, Byzantine prestige reached new heights, especially in the West: Constantine IV received envoys from the Avars and the Balkan Slavs, bearing gifts and congratulations and acknowledging Byzantine supremacy. Mehmed then tasked the Hungarian gunsmith Urban with both arming Rumelihisarı and building cannon powerful enough to bring down the walls of Constantinople. Unlike the latter, which, from a Muslim point of view, was first and foremost a campaign dedicated to rapine and plunder, not conquest — evinced by the fact that, after the initial battle, the Muslims fled — the siege of Constantinople was devoted to a longtime goal, had the full backing of the caliphate, and consisted of far greater manpower. He asserted this claim with a series of campaigns that thoroughly subjugated both the Balkans and Greece by the late 15th century. [59][60] Henry Yule remarked with some surprise the accuracy of the account in Chinese sources, which even named the negotiator of the peace settlement as "Yenyo", or Ioannes Pitzigaudes, the unnamed envoy sent to Damascus in Edward Gibbon's account in which he mentions an augmentation of tributary payments a few years later due to the Umayyads facing some financial troubles. The Arab garrisons were withdrawn from their bases on the Byzantine coastlands, including Rhodes, in 679–680. No … Sultan Mehmed II transformed Hagia Sophia into an mosque, and the few partisans of the union fled to Italy.…, The fall of Constantinople in 1453 provided humanism with a major boost, for many eastern scholars fled to Italy, bringing with them important books and manuscripts and a tradition of Greek scholarship.…, …the enterprise and during the siege of Constantinople (April 6–May 29, 1453), the opposing views were voiced in two war councils convened at critical moments. For a while Sultan Mehmet actually tried to call himself the Roman Emperor but no one really bought into it. [58] They record that the large, well-fortified capital city of Fu lin (拂菻, i.e. [65], Based on a re-evaluation of the original sources used by the medieval historians, the Oxford scholar James Howard-Johnston, in his 2010 book Witnesses to a World Crisis: Historians and Histories of the Middle East in the Seventh Century, rejects the traditional interpretation of events, based on Theophanes, in favour of the Syriac chroniclers' version. The Arab troops under Fadhala ibn 'Ubayd arrived too late to assist Saborios, who had died after falling from his horse, and they spent the winter in the Hexapolis around Melitene awaiting reinforcements. Mu'awiya dispatched another army, led by his son (and future Caliph) Yazid, to Fadhala's aid. Constantinople’s defenders once again held their ground, however, and Baltaoğlu’s success at the islands was irreparably marred by the revelation that three relief ships from the pope and one large Byzantine vessel had nearly reached the city unhindered. On the other hand, echoes of a large-scale siege of Constantinople and a subsequent peace treaty reached China, where they were recorded in later histories of the Tang dynasty. The Byzantines attempted to obstruct the Arab plans with a naval attack on Egypt, but it was unsuccessful. What drives Muslim animus for Israel: brotherly love for “oppressed” Palestinians or religious hatred for “infidel” Jews? [34][15][35], At the same time, the preoccupation with the Arab threat had reduced Byzantium's ability to respond to threats elsewhere: in Italy, the Lombards used the opportunity to conquer most of Calabria, including Tarentum and Brundisium, while in the Balkans, a coalition of Slavic tribes attacked the city of Thessalonica and launched seaborne raids in the Aegean, even penetrating into the Sea of Marmara. There were many attempts to conquer it. "After the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, Rome became the 'Red Apple,' the ultimate objective of the Muslim Ottomans and the symbol of the triumph of Islam over Christianity. The Muslim conquest of the Maghreb (Arabic: الفَتْحُ الإسْلَامِيُّ لِلمَغْرِبِ ‎) continued the century of rapid Muslim conquests following the death of Muhammad in 632 and into the Byzantine-controlled territories of Northern Africa. Emperor Constantine XI is reported to have been killed while either fighting near the breach or fleeing to an escape boat. Under the Rashidun there were the conquests of Syria (637), Armenia (639), Egypt (639) and North Africa (652). Constantinople itself became an Ottoman vassal during this period. The land walls spanned 4 miles (6.5 km) and consisted of a double line of ramparts with a moat on the outside; the higher of the two stood as high as 40 feet (12 metres) with a base as much as 16 feet (5 metres) thick. As the Byzantine chronicler reports, "Every day there was a military engagement from morning until evening, between the outworks of the Golden Gate and the Kyklobion, with thrust and counter-thrust". The Second Arab Siege of Constantinople in 717–718 was a combined land and sea offensive by the Muslim Arabs of the Umayyad Caliphate against the capital city of the Byzantine Empire, Constantinople. Mehmed’s strategy was straightforward: he would use his fleet and siege lines to blockade Constantinople on all sides while relentlessly battering the walls of the city with cannon. However, he returned to power two years later after defeating the Christians and remained sultan until his death in 1451. In April, having quickly seized Byzantine coastal settlements along the Black Sea and Sea of Marmara, Ottoman regiments in Rumelia and Anatolia assembled outside the Byzantine capital. On April 6 the Ottomans began their artillery barrage and brought down a section of the wall. He also began to view himself as Kayser-i Rûm (“Caesar of Rome”), the inheritor of the Roman Empire and all its historical lands. Instead, he believes that the reference to a siege was a later interpolation, influenced by the events of the second Arab siege of 717–718, by an anonymous source that was then used by Theophanes. Vast open fields constituted much of the land within the walls. Military support came from Venice and Genoa. The city’s defenders continued to repair the walls at night and reinforced areas at the damaged Gate of St. Romanus and the Blachernae sector. It marked the culmination of Mu'awiya's campaign of attrition, pursued steadily since 661. Immense resources were poured into the undertaking, including the creation of a huge fleet. Giustiniani intended to concentrate most of these men at the land walls to the north and west, the centre of which he observed to be the most vulnerable section of the city. He angled one of his cannons such that it could strike the defenders of the chain and then began to construct an oiled wooden ramp upon which he intended to portage his smaller vessels from the Bosporus to the Golden Horn. The Ottoman galleys were too short to capture the tall European warships, and, with the help of the Golden Horn fleet, the warships safely sailed past the chain. Howard-Johnston asserts that no siege actually took place, based not only on its absence in the eastern sources, but also on the logistical impossibility of such an undertaking for the duration reported. In May 1453, the Ottomans, led by Mehmed II, defeated the Byzantine Empire and took control of Constantinople, the capital of the Empire. Conquest of Constantinople 1453 - Istanbul. Emperor Constantine XI named Giustiniani commander of his land defenses and spent the rest of the winter strengthening the city for a siege. [20][21], Accordingly, in 672 three great Muslim fleets were dispatched to secure the sea lanes and establish bases between Syria and the Aegean. His fleet, equipped with Greek fire, routed the Arab fleet. The Crusade army left Nicaea for Antioch on June 26 and found crossing the arid and mountainous Anatolia difficult. The preparations for this conquest started at the time of the khalifah … An Ottoman attack on a Venetian ship in the Bosporus prompted the Venetian Senate to send 800 troops and 15 galleys to the Byzantine capital, and many Venetians presently in Constantinople also chose to support the war effort, but the bulk of the Venetian forces were delayed for too long to be of any help. Under the Umayyads the continuing conquest of North Africa (665), the second Arab siege of Constantinople (717-718) and the conquest of Tbilisi (736). Mehmed II and his army were remarkably restrained in their handling of affairs after the fall of Constantinople. For Genoa’s part, the city-state sent 700 soldiers to Constantinople, all of whom arrived in January 1453 with Giovanni Giustiniani Longo at their head. According to the report of Theophanes, the Emperor Constantine IV (r. 661–685), upon learning of the Arab fleets' approach, began equipping his own fleet for war. When most of Constantinople was secure, Mehmed himself rode through the streets of the city to the great cathedral of Hagia Sophia, the largest in all of Christendom, and converted it into the mosque Ayasofya. If there will be no second conquest of Constantinople, what then is the meaning of those narrations that speak of the ’emergence of dajjal’ shortly after this conquest. the Umayyad Arabs) and their commander "Mo-yi" (Chinese: 摩拽伐之, Pinyin: Mó zhuāi fá zhī), who Friedrich Hirth has identified as Mu'awiya. Faced with this new threat, and after the immense losses suffered against the Byzantines, Mu'awiya began negotiations for a truce, with embassies exchanged between the two courts. A peace treaty was signed soon after, and following the outbreak of another Muslim civil war, the Byzantines even experienced a period of ascendancy over the Caliphate. The Arab conquests: 7th century: One of the most dramatic and sudden movements of any people in history is the expansion, by conquest, of the Arabs in the 7th century (only the example of the Mongols in the 13th century can match it). The Eastern Roman Empire was under constant Ottoman pressure ever since the new conquerors appeared in the Anatolia. He hoped to breach them or otherwise force a surrender before a Christian relief force could arrive. According to Muslim tradition, Constantine IV threatened to destroy his tomb, but the Caliph warned that if he did so, the Christians under Muslim rule would suffer. Constantinople had also been weakened economically. When Muslim forces failed again in the Second Arab Siege of Constantinople (717-718), conquering the ancient Christian capital became something of an obsession for a succession of caliphates and sultanates. [44][45] Following the conclusion of peace, he moved against the mounting Bulgar menace in the Balkans, but his huge army, comprising all the available forces of the Empire, was decisively beaten, opening the way for the establishment of a Bulgar state in the northeastern Balkans. According to the account of Theophanes, they landed on the Thracian shore near Hebdomon in April, and until September were engaged in constant clashes with the Byzantine troops. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion. An army consisting of the best (soldiers) of the people of the earth at that time will come from Medina (to counteract them). [48][49] The peace lasted until Constantine IV's son and successor, Justinian II (r. 685–695, 705–711), broke it in 693, with devastating consequences: the Byzantines were defeated, Justinian was deposed and a twenty-year period of anarchy followed. With the siege of Istanbul , the Ottomans proceeded to establish hegemony over numerous independent Turkish states (Beylik) within Anatolia . [25], In 674, the Arab fleet sailed from its bases in the eastern Aegean and entered the Sea of Marmara. They renamed the city Istanbul. The Ar… These walls had never been breached in the thousand years since their construction. A chain of fortress towns ran across th… The Testimony of an Ex-Muslim from Iran - My Journey to the Prince of Peace - Duration: 1:28:04. An adjoining sea wall ran along the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara, the latter section being 20 feet (6 metres) high and 5 miles (8 km) long. In contrast to the Byzantines, the Ottoman Turks had extended their control over virtually all of the Balkans and most of Anatolia, having conquered several Byzantine cities west of Constantinople in the latter half of the 14th century. Mehmed was determined to take the Golden Horn and pressure the Byzantines into submission. Now devoid of both a long-standing buffer against the Ottomans and access to the Black Sea, Christian kingdoms relied on Hungary to halt any further westward expansion.
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