Remembering a Fateful Islamic Siege of Christian City “Constantinople”
One modern historian records: "Atonement, ablutions, prayers and fasting, “under penalty of death,” were ordered for the Ottoman camp the previous day. Fanatics of all sorts were set loose to inspire the men to jihad. Wandering dervishes visited the tents, to instill the desire of martyrdom, the assurance of spending an immortal youth amidst the rivers and gardens of paradise and in the embraces of the black-eyed virgins.”
Criers swept throughout the camp to horn blasts:
“Children of Muhammad, be of good heart, for tomorrow we shall have so many Christians in our hands that we will sell them, two slaves for a ducat, and will have such riches that we will all be of gold, and from the beards of the Greeks we will make leads for our dogs, and their families will be our slaves. So be of good heart and be ready to die cheerfully for the love of our [past and present] Muhammad.”
Finally, appx 2 am on Sunday, May 29, 1453 AD Muhammad unleashed all hell against Constantinople: to blasting sounds of trumpets, cymbals and Islamic war-cries - cannon fire lit the horizon as ball after ball came careening into the wall. Adding to the pandemonium rang church bells and alarms. After the initial wave of cannon fire, the sultan implemented his strategy: he told his generals: “to engage successively and without halt one body of fresh troops after the other, until harassed and worn out the enemy will be unable further to resist.”
On and on, wave after wave, the hordes came, all desirous of booty or paradise. With ladders and hooks, they fought, clawed and clambered onto the wall.
Eyewitnesses recollected: “Who could narrate the voices, the cries of the wounded and the lamentation that arose on both sides? The shouts and din went beyond the boundaries of heaven.”
An eyewitness offers a snapshot:
“[The defenders] fought bravely with lances, axes, pikes, javelins and other weapons of offense. It was a hand-to-hand encounter; they stopped the attackers and prevented them from getting inside the palisade. There was much shouting on both sides—the mingled sounds of blasphemy, insults, threats, attackers, defenders, shooters, those shot at, killers and dying, of those who in anger and wrath did all sorts of terrible things. And it was a sight to see there: a hard fight going on hand-to-hand -->
<-- with great determination and for the greatest rewards, heroes fighting valiantly, the one party [Ottomans] struggling with all their might to force back the defenders, get possession of the wall, enter the city, and fall upon the children and women and the treasures, the other party bravely agonizing to drive them off and guard their possessions, even if they were not to succeed in prevailing and in keeping them. But it was too late; the Muslim army prevailed and a bloodbath of the citizens of Constantinople—many of whom were sadistically tortured, raped and slaughtered—followed."
A contemporary observed the city started with Constantine [the Great], who in 325 AD founded Constantinople, as a Christian “New Rome” and it ended with Constantine XI, who died defending it. Constantine XI ruled Constantinople for appx 4 years. His reign culminating in the Islamic Ottoman siege of a Muslim army numbering appx 10 times theirs and died in the ensuing fighting, May 29, 1453 AD. Following his death, he became a legendary figure in Greek folklore as the Marmaromenos Vasilias, the "Marble Emperor" who would awaken and recover the Empire and Constantinople from the Ottomans.
His death marked the end of the Roman Empire East as the Byzantine Empire for 977 years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476. The Empire had begun with the reign of Augustus in 27 BC, previously 1,479 years. More here
*Excerpted and adapted from the author’s recent book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West. Full report from Raymond Ibrahim, Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center here https://cms.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/04/remembering-fateful-islamic-siege-raymond-ibrahim
** Not to be confused with: Muhammad originator of Islam religion c. 570 AD – 8 June 632 AD)According to Islamic dogma, he was a prophet.
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