This classic account shows how the fall of Constantinople in May 1453, after a siege of several weeks, came as a bitter shock to Western Christendom. The city's plight had been neglected and negligible help was sent in this crisis. To the Turks, victory not only brought a new imperial capital, but guaranteed that their empire would last. To the Greeks, the conquest meant the end of the civilisation of Byzantium and led to the exodus of scholars stimulating the tremendous expansion of Greek studies in the European Renaissance.
Sir Steven Runciman (1903- 2000) was a leading expert on the history of the Byzantine Empire and the Crusades. His three-volume work, A History of the Crusades, was published in 1951–54 to wide acclaim and was followed by The Fall of Constantinople, 1453 (1965), another highly praised work. Runciman served as a lecturer at the University of Cambridge from 1932 to 1938 and as a professor of Byzantine art and history at the University of Istanbul from 1942 to 1945, but for most of his life he was an independent scholar.
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