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A: Valdealgorfa, Aragón, Spain

The Ottoman Turks Capture Constantinople, Resulting in the Transfer of Invaluable Manuscripts to Venice and the West

5/29/1453 to 6/1453
Painting of Mehmed II by Gentile Bellini
Painting of Mehmed II by Gentile Bellini

On May 29, 1453 a 70,000 man Ottoman Turkish army, under the leadership of Mehmed II (Mahomet II,) using European artillery experts and European artillery, broke Constantinople's fabled defensive walls, captured Constantinople and killed the Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos. With the death of Constantine XI, the Byzantine Empire, which had lasted for one thousand years, came to an end. The conquest of Constantinople finally completed the destruction of the Roman Empire.

As a result of the fall of Constantinople, around June 1453 numerous Byzantine Greek scholars travelled westward to Europe, bringing with them Greek manuscripts of the highest cultural value—source material for Renaissance study of classical texts.


Timeline Themes