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Did the Crusaders led to the Fall of Constantinople?

Discussion in 'Christian History' started by mathinspiration, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. mathinspiration

    mathinspiration Active Member

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    Is there proof?
     
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  2. Jude1:3Contendforthefaith

    Jude1:3Contendforthefaith Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sack of Constantinople (1204) - Wikipedia


    "The Crusaders looted, terrorized, and vandalized Constantinople for three days, during which many ancient and medieval Roman and Greek works were either stolen or destroyed.


    Despite their oaths and the threat of excommunication, the Crusaders systematically violated the city's holy sanctuaries, destroying or stealing all they could lay hands on; nothing was spared, not even the tombs of the emperors inside the St Apostles church. The civilian population of Constantinople were subject to the Crusaders' ruthless lust for spoils and glory; thousands of them were killed in cold blood.
    Women, Including Nuns, Were Raped By The Crusader Army, Which Also Sacked Churches, Monasteries And Convents."



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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2019
  3. Radagast

    Radagast has left CF Supporter

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    Well, Constantinople fell in 1453 due to attack by Ottoman armies.

    Crusader armies partly helped defend Constantinople, but there were other effects. Following the massacre of thousands of Roman Catholics by Emperor Andronikos Komnenos, Crusaders got involved in what was essentially a civil war, leading to the Sack of Constantinople in 1204. This weakened Constantinople (although it continued to exist for 250 years).
     
  4. Ignatius the Kiwi

    Ignatius the Kiwi Newbie

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    From what I understand the sacking of Constantinople and the disintegration of the empire after that (when the Capitol of the Byzantine Empire was in Nicaea till they recaptured Constantinople) severely weakened the strength of the Empire to resist the Turkish invasion centuries later and probably undid the gains made in the Komnenian restoration. Overall it was one of the contributing factors that lead to the downfall of the East Roman Empire. That and allowing the Ottomans to get a foothold in Greece.
     
  5. Bob Crowley

    Bob Crowley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was aware of the Fourth Crusade, and the purported fall of Constantinople as a result (usually with a twist of Catholic bashing thrown in for good measure) but the name "Emperor Andronikos Komnenos" as cited by Radagast above, was completely unknown to me. I'm not familiar with Byzantine or Orthodox Church history, and the massacre of the Latin citizens in Constantinople was news to me.

    Andronikos I Komnenos - Wikipedia

    However after reading the above Wikipedia article, the general flavor of Byzantine politics left a lot to be desired. I think they'd have fallen anyway, with or without the Fourth Crusade. There was far too much skulduggery in high places, and the clock was already ticking.

    It reminds me of the hand writing on the wall in Daniel 5:25-26 in a different time and place -
    Incidentally the Pope excommunicated the entire Crusader army after the siege of Zara, which preceded the sacking of Constantinople.

    Fourth Crusade - Wikipedia

    The time of kingdoms and earthly powers is in God's hands when its all said and done.
     
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  6. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    I doubt the Empire would never have fallen, and so defeat at the hands of the Ottomans was probably inevitable eventually. But the Fourth Crusade almost certainly left things in a state that the Empire was never able to completely recover from, and so it's possible that without the Fourth Crusade the Empire could have resisted an Ottoman attack longer.

    Ultimately the Ottomans won because they had superior military technology (gunpowder cannons), and that wouldn't have changed with or without the Fourth Crusade.

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  7. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    If you REALLY enjoy history, I highly recommend this podcast

    The History of Byzantium

    The Sack of Constantinople exacerbated the decline of the Byzantine Empire. It was already weakened by the Seljuk Turks in the 11th century after the battle of Manzikert and the subsequent loss of Anatolia (the central highlands of Turkey) so that the Byzantine empire was contained to the western and northern coasts of Turkey by the time the Fourth Crusade reached Constantinople 120 years later.
     
  8. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Is a little right of Atilla the Hun Supporter

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    Good post. I have read quite a bit about the history of the Byzantine Empire. Most christians are completely unaware of the great service in defense of the Church the Empire did thorughout the centuries. That said, the Battle of Manzikert probably sealed the fate of the Empire more than anything. With the loss of Antolia or Asia Minor the Byzantine Empire was soon regulated to a secondary power next to the Turks (Seljuk then Ottoman with Timerlane having savaged the later). Anatolia was the heartland of the Empire and with its loss the Empire began to rely on more and more mercenaries. It was a waiting game for the Turks to regain their strength in the face of Byzantine political instability and incompetence of the era. Essentially the migration of the Turks into Asia Minor went unopposed for almost 30 years as a direct result of the political instability in Constantinople resulting from the fallout of Manzikert. By the time the fourth crusade came around the Byzantine Empire was a shell of former self. What the Fourth Crusade did manage was to cement the rift between East and West that still exists to this day.
     
  9. bougti

    bougti New Member

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    Of course it could, the empire was revived several times from the brink of destruction.

    But 1453 could IMHO only be avoided if 1204 did not happen. It took too many resources to take back the city. But even when they retook it around 1260, a string of bad emperors and the emergence of the Selsjuk Turks werent helpfull. And when the mongols destroyed the Selsjuks, the Ottomans came, by then the empire could not stop them anymore.






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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  10. A Shield of Turquoise

    A Shield of Turquoise New Member

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    The Hungarian engineer who designed the Ottoman guns used against Constantinople actually approached the Byzantines first. They did not have the money to pay him so he moved on to the Turks.

    The empire could very conceivably recover from the defeat at Manzikert, as it had eventually recovered from the crisis of the Arab invasions. Of course no empire lasts forever but I don't think the collapse was inevitable until the Fourth Crusade.
     
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  11. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

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    The Ottoman Empire and the militant spread of Islam led to its fall. The Crusades were a response to Islamic expansion which had already been going on, and they would have attacked Constantinople with or without the Crusades.
     
  12. A Shield of Turquoise

    A Shield of Turquoise New Member

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    The Ottoman Empire didn't exist at the time of the first crusade...

    The first crusade was responding to the growing incursions of the Seljuks. Wait, what? How did Turks, not Arabs, become the vanguard of Islam? To understand that you have to not only look at internal politics of the Islamic caliphates but much further east to central Asia and the fringes of China. Studying the history of Arab-Islamic empire(s) is kind of like looking at the Roman empire on fast forward. They expand very quickly, and then start to fragment, and then the "barbarians" they used as slaves and mercenaries started learning their tricks and taking over. In this case the Turks are roughly comparable to the Germans. But just like the Arab states declined, so too the Seljuks had plenty of problems, a lot of them internal.

    So simply explaining the fall of Constantinople as the result of "the militant spread of Islam" doesn't really explain anything.
     
  13. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Is a little right of Atilla the Hun Supporter

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    Wut?
     
  14. A Shield of Turquoise

    A Shield of Turquoise New Member

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    My point is that the Islamic world was highly fragmented at the time of the First Crusade. The Seljuks were even divided amongst themselves. It's not like there was a concerted jihad against the Byzantine empire. Before the Turks ever reached Byzantine territory they were gobbling up Iranian and Arab states, and the Arabs viewed them as upstart barbarians and invaders. Just because they shared the same religion did not unite them politically. The Seljuks were simply waging another one of many wars of expansion against the Byzantines. Muslim rulers at the time regarded the concept of jihad as belonging to the glorious early days of Islam, as well as the end times. In the present they were concerned with simply preserving their states; the idea of jihad came to be regarded as anachronistic and a dangerous and destabilizing diversion of men and resources. Only after the first crusade did a serious idea of Islamic unity against the Christian world gradually begin to form and even then it was pretty shaky.

    So the idea that there was this unstoppable tide of Islamic invasion necessitating the crusades doesn't make any sense.
     
  15. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Is a little right of Atilla the Hun Supporter

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    The thread is primarily about the Sack of Constantinople in 1204 though the OP did not explicitly state as much. The First Crusade I would agree with you. The Fourth I would not. I would also agree that pointing to one event as to being the sole cause (the sack of Constantinople) of the effect (collapse of the Byzantine or Eastern Roman Empire) is pretty suspect indeed. It didn’t have to happen the way it did. That sense of inevitability is because we are looking backwards in time with the benefit of foreknowledge of what will take place. Add to that almost romanticizing of the Byzantine Empire by modern believers one gets to such conclusions. I can understand why since I have stood in the nave of the Hagia Sophia in absolute awe. Even with all the scaffolding.

    P.S. If you ever get to travel abroad and can’t get to the Holy Land Istanbul and Turkey is a pretty close second choice. I wasn’t able to go to all the sites in Turkey since travel to some because there were restrictions on travel as I recall. The people their were great and nothing like what I expected.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  16. A Shield of Turquoise

    A Shield of Turquoise New Member

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    Yeah I’ve been to Istanbul, 9 years ago. The people were very, very friendly. I would still recommend it to anyone- even if the Turkish government is pretty horrible people in Istanbul don’t seem to generally have the same attitude.
     
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