560th anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople commemmorated
The Emperor has asked that Austenasians today commemmorate the 560th anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, which marked the end of the Roman Empire and, in the opinion of many historians, of the medieval period.
The Austenasian Star is flying vertically from the Imperial Residence today as a sign of respect – this is the customary equivalent to flying it half mast, as it lacks a flagpole.
The Emperor has also uploaded a video to YouTube which can be seen here, a recording of a chant lamenting the fall of the city, with a more detailed account of the event in the video’s description.
Constantinople was founded as the eastern capital of the Roman Empire in 330 by Constantine I, with the eastern half of the empire (known as the “Byzantine Empire” by later western European historians but still referred to as the “Empire of the Romans” by its citizens and neighbours) surviving the fall of the west in the 470s for almost a thousand years.
The Eastern Roman Empire flourished during the Early Middle Ages but entered terminal decline after 1204 when Constantinople was temporarily taken by western crusaders.
By 1400, the mighty Eastern Roman Empire had declined to the extent that it consisted of little more than Constantinople itself and a few Greek islands. In 1453, the Ottoman (Turkish) Sultan Mehmed II led an attack on Constantinople.
Although heavily outnumbered (7,000:80,000) and facing vastly superior technology, the Romans held out for over a month before the city fell on 29 May. The last Roman Emperor, Constantine XI, threw off his purple regalia and died leading the last remnants of the Roman army in a final charge against the Ottomans after they breached the walls.