Doukas approximately approximately Overview. Publication Timeline. Most widely held works about Doukas. Most widely held works by Doukas. Decline and fall of Byzantium to the Ottoman Turks by Doukas Book 53 editions published between and in 6 languages and held by WorldCat member libraries worldwide The author of this history was a member of the Byzantine Doukas family, a grandson of Michael Doukas, who had come to prominence in the civil wars of the fourteenth century, and possibly a remote descendant of the eleventh-century emperor Michael VII. His own first name and dates of birth and death are not known, but he seemed to have worked for a Genoese family or business, and after the fall of Constantinople took refuge on the island of Lesbos, then controlled by the Genoese Gattilusi dynasty.
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Despite the serious oppositions, the year was accepted as the end of Medieval Age. That is, in addition to their academic connotations, these terms have also been used as ideological concepts reflecting the long- lasting competition between the Christian and the Islamic world. The other Ottoman chronicles were produced in later centuries.
It is pointless to examine why the chroniclers created conflicting stories on the same story. Different perspectives that they had is not a proper explanation. In the Byzantine perception, Constantinople was unprecedented. She was the center of a life style. On the other hand, the conquest of Constantinople was a dream for the Muslim rulers for eight centuries. They wanted to be the conqueror praised in the phrase in which the Prophet Mohammad said: "You will conquer Constantinople. Its commander is the best and its army that will conquer it is the best.
There had been many attempts of the Muslim rulers to conquer it beginning from , but none had succeeded before Mehmed II. A number of her names used by the Ottomans and Arabs refer to her beauty, uniqueness and superiority over the others.
The paper does not aim to cover the whole story of conquest, but it intends to focus on the points on which the available chronicles tell disputing stories. Thus we committed all our hopes to Divine Providence. Riggs, Princeton, Princeton University Press, , p. Caratzas, , p. The Ottoman chronicles of the age are poor in this regard.
Nor the later accounts give reliable numbers. For example, Abdurahman Bey, the Ottoman historian, claims the Byzantine defenders to be around Amounted to in many sources, these warriors commanded by Giovanni Giustinianni, the Italian gentleman who was appointed by the Emperor as chief commander of the war. The chronicles almost agree that his navy roughly comprised of four hundred ships including the transports or those engaged in some other necessary service.
Now Queen of Cities was defenseless against thousands of the Ottoman soldiers who had been promised her richness by the Sultan just before the final attack of the armies.
In the case of the conquest of Constantinople, this principle of pillage was also decisive as it was made use of by Mehmed II in order to finalize with success the lasting besiege. In his speech before the final attack, Mehmed II called all his soldiers to fight bravely and promised them that they would be rewarded with only if they fought courageously.
So you will gain in many ways, in enjoyment, and service, and wealth. Ahmet Muhtar, Feth-i Celil-i Kostantiniyye, p. Further, you will enjoy the beauty of churches and public buildings and splendid houses and gardens, and many such things, suited to look at and enjoy and take pleasure in and profit by. But I I must not waste time listing all these.
A great and populous city, the capital of the ancient Romans, which has attained the very pinnacle of good fortune and luck and glory, being indeed the head of the whole inhabited globe —I give it now to you for spoil and plunder—unlimited wealth, men, women, children, all the other adornments and arrangements.
He provides a summary of his narration: When they had enough of murder, and the City was reduced to slavery, some of the troops turned to the mansions of the mighty, by bands and companies and divisions, for plunder and spoil. Others went to the robbing of churches, and others dispersed to the simple homes of the common people, stealing, robbing, plundering, killing, insulting, taking and enslaving men, women and children, old and young priests, monks —in short every age and class—.
But he writes that his wife and children who had passed into the possession of some elderly Turks were not treated badly. He writes that the Ottoman soldiers killed two thousand Byzantine soldiers for their misassumption that fifty thousand soldiers there were within the city. Ducas says that, Turks love money very much. They would release even the murderer of their father in return for money.
Thus, how they can mistreat to those who did not behave them badly. The prize goods captured from the palaces of Emperor and notables and from the houses of rich infidels were so abundant that … precious metals such as silver and ruby were sold at the given price.
Gold and silver were bought at the price of copper and tin. In this way, a number of poor came to wealth. Gold, silver, jewelries and every kind of fabrics were offered for sale in markets. They began to sell them. They took captive the inhabitants. They killed the Emperor. The ghazis embraced the beautiful ladies [of Constantinople]. Actually, both sides agree that the number of dead in all the fighting and in the capture itself including Romans and foreigners, and men, women and children were around four thousand.
What was regarded as a gain by the Ottomans was a lost for the Byzantines. For Kritovoulos, it was not easy to describe what the churches of Constantinople had experienced: Some things [they] threw in dishonor on the ground— icons and reliquaries and other objects from the churches.
The crowd snatched some of these and some were given over to the fire… The last resting-places of the blessed men of old were opened, and their remains were taken out and disgracefully torn to pieces… And holy and divine books, and others mainly of profane literature and philosophy were either given to the flames or dishonorably trampled under foot… The walls of sanctuaries and cloisters were explored, and the holy places of shrines were dug and overthrown in the search for gold.
Even during the Latin occupation the city, Kritovoulos asserts, loss and suffering were limited. I, ed. At the end of the efforts of Sultan Mehmed, unsuitable bell voice of the infidels was replaced by [azan].
The churches in the city were cleared of dirtiness and deformity. Although she had been known as a city where ill-fated men had gathered, with the help of God, she became destination for the Muslim people. Conclusion 29 Kritovoulos, History of Mehmed the Conqueror, p. Actually, the difference between them did not emanate from the fact that they witnessed different aspects of the same event. But, it was due to the fact that, the chroniclers were not indifferent to the events that they were narrating.
On the contrary, they were entirely related with the destiny of their subject, the most valuable city of the Middle Ages. It can be easily argued that, the Byzantine chroniclers are more inclined to exaggerate the events happened in the course of the siege and conquest. Of course they had concrete reasons to do that, that is, they were about to lose their most valuable, the Queen of the Cities, and their Empire. It is interesting to see in the chronicles that, both the Ottoman and Byzantine chroniclers narrate the same events through attributing different meanings to them.
More clearly, in the Byzantine chronicles, pillage of Constantinople with her people, buildings, monuments etc. On the other hand, the Ottoman chronicles uses the same stories to appraise how they defeated or took captive the infidels of the lovely city, how they replaced all signs of infidelity with that of their true religion and saved it from the tyranny of owls.
Riggs, Princeton, Princeton University Press, Related Papers. By Kate Fleet. By Heath Lowry. By Zeynep Yelce.
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Doukas approximately 1400-approximately 1470