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Book cover of 1453: The Holy War For Constantinople And The Clash Of Islam And The West

1453: The Holy War For Constantinople And The Clash Of Islam And The West

by Roger Crowley

Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 320
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781401301910






Available to Buy

Overview of 1453: The Holy War For Constantinople And The Clash Of Islam And The West

A gripping exploration of the fall of Constantinople and its connection to the world we live in today.

The fall of Constantinople in 1453 signaled a shift in history and the end of the Byzantium Empire. Roger Crowley's readable and comprehensive account of the battle between Mehmet II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantine XI, the 57th emperor of Byzantium, illuminates the period in history that was a precursor to the current conflict between the West and the Middle East.

Synopsis of 1453: The Holy War For Constantinople And The Clash Of Islam And The West

A complete and compelling account of the fall of Constantinople, the siege that gave rise to today's jihad.

When Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, a remarkable era in world history ended. Constantinople, the "city of the world's desire," was a wealthy, imperial, intimidating, and Christian city, influencing world opinion for a thousand years. The fall of Constantinople marked the end of the Byzantium Empire and the end of the medieval era. Thereafter, two worlds would rise -- that of the West and that of the Middle East.

1453 is brought to life by the stories of its two ambitious battling leaders-Mehmed II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantine XI, the 57th emperor of Byzantium. It is a vivid, intense tale of courage and cruelty, of technological ingenuity, of endurance and luck. Impeccably researched and told as a real-life adventure, the book explores the issues that led up to and resulted from the fall of Constantinople in a way that is easily grasped and jumps from the pages into the headlines of world news. 1453 is the story of a moment of change that has new relevance today -- a crucial link in the chain of events that besets the modern world.

Roger Crowley works in publishing in England. A former teacher, he has lived and worked in Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) and is fluent in Turkish. He lives in Cheltenham, England.

Publishers Weekly

On May 29, 1453, Ottoman forces, under the leadership of Mehmet II, concluded their long and bloody siege of Constantinople by storming the city and overtaking it. According to Crowley, who works in publishing in England; the Ottoman conquest of the city brought to an end centuries of conflict between the Byzantine Empire and Islam. In overwhelming detail and colorless prose, Crowley chronicles the story of an ancient city and its attraction to members of two major religions. Before Mehmet's conquest, Constantinople had faced various unsuccessful sieges, and Crowley faithfully records them. The most destructive events came between 1341 and 1371, when earthquakes and the Black Death devastated the city, turning it into a forlorn series of villages. Although the Byzantine capital recovered enough of its former glory to entice Mehmet to its walls, even he felt tremendous disappointment, finding the city didn't live up to its reputation. Crowley drones through the day-by-day events of Mehmet's siege and the results of the conquest. Perhaps the author's most instructive point, made by others as well, is that Mehmet turned the city into one where religious toleration and multiculturalism flourished. (Aug. 10) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Editorials

Publishers Weekly

On May 29, 1453, Ottoman forces, under the leadership of Mehmet II, concluded their long and bloody siege of Constantinople by storming the city and overtaking it. According to Crowley, who works in publishing in England; the Ottoman conquest of the city brought to an end centuries of conflict between the Byzantine Empire and Islam. In overwhelming detail and colorless prose, Crowley chronicles the story of an ancient city and its attraction to members of two major religions. Before Mehmet's conquest, Constantinople had faced various unsuccessful sieges, and Crowley faithfully records them. The most destructive events came between 1341 and 1371, when earthquakes and the Black Death devastated the city, turning it into a forlorn series of villages. Although the Byzantine capital recovered enough of its former glory to entice Mehmet to its walls, even he felt tremendous disappointment, finding the city didn't live up to its reputation. Crowley drones through the day-by-day events of Mehmet's siege and the results of the conquest. Perhaps the author's most instructive point, made by others as well, is that Mehmet turned the city into one where religious toleration and multiculturalism flourished. (Aug. 10) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews

A fluent history of the annus horribilis in which impregnable Constantinople finally fell to Islam, a key moment in a 1,500-year-long clash of civilizations. Constantinople was a multinational, multiethnic city at a great cultural crossroads. Its army and that of the threatening Turks were similarly various: as British writer Crowley, a sometime resident of Istanbul, remarks, the Ottoman Empire's "crack troops were Slavs, its leading general Greek, its admiral Bulgarian, its sultan probably half Serbian or Macedonian." Both sides were intent upon destroying each other. The Ottomans were further driven by the knowledge that Byzantium was the first Christian nation, psychologically important to the rest of Christendom, and they took a calculated risk that by attacking it-and this marked the first time Muslim armies had moved against the city in generations-they would not stir up all of Europe to come to its defense. At the dawn of the Renaissance and with religious and civil strife aplenty at home, the Europeans could not be bothered; as a disappointed Byzantine noted, "We received as much aid from Rome as had been sent to us by the sultan of Cairo." The Ottoman sultan, Mehmet II, brought something new to the field: a 27-foot-long cannon that hurled wall-crushing shots against the city, backing his great fleets and ground forces. A six-day bombardment such as the world had not seen ensued, even as Muslims and Christians committed reciprocal atrocities on the prisoners in their hold. Because, by the Emperor Constantine XI's order, the city would not yield, Mehmet tempted his troops with the promise of a good plundering of the city-though, as Crowley notes, there wasn't much left to be hauledoff, Constantinople having been pretty well picked over in centuries past. Still, the city fell, Constantine was killed and all of Europe mourned the loss of the Eastern Empire, which ushered in two centuries of Islamic warfare on European soil. Swiftly paced, useful guide to understanding the long enmity between Islam and Christianity.

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