Wed Jun 19 07:27:01 PDT 2002

On Wednesday, June 19, 2002, at 01:54 AM, Michael S. Schiffer wrote:

>> <snipped>
> I second the recommendation for the book-- one of the best and most 
> entertaining narrative histories I've ever read.  But IMHO, 
> Constantinople wasn't going to survive the gunpowder age for centuries 
> more without substantial outside help.  (They'd already gotten an extra 
> fifty years out of Tamerlane's attacks on the Turks' opposite 
> frontier.)  To really give them much more staying power, you probably 
> have to reverse Manzikert, or at least the Fourth Crusade.  (As it was, 
> there aren't a lot of empires that can beat their run, whether it's 
> measured from the beginnings of Rome, from Augustus, or from 
> Constantine I.)
Probably the Fourth Crusade really did them in. Even at the very end, 
the Turks were ready to give up when they found the open sally gate. 
They would have porbbaly been back next year, but you never know,

Constantinople lasted about a 1,000 years, picking up almost where the 
old Roman Empire left off. A remarkable run indeed. Arrogance in both 
Constantinople and in the West prevented aid from coming in time.
>> Also interesting is the last Emperor, Constantine, was the right man 
>> for the job--he was just born about 250 years too late.
> You have to feel sorry for him.  He did everything right, to the limits 
> of his ability, and he even died well.

Ya, The book painted a fair portrait of a man who faced incredible odds 
with great fortitude and character.
> Mike
Chris Turkel
Guru, Dragaera Readalong List