1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West

1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West

by Roger Crowley
4.5 19

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1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West by Roger Crowley

For over a thousand years, Constantinople had been the center of the Western world and the defense of Christianity against Islam. Thanks to its strategic location and massive fortifications, it had withstood repeated attacks from the east. But in 1453, Mehmet II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, rallied the forces of Islam against the bastion, determined to take the city by siege.

Armed with new weaponry, including gunpowder and a 27-foot-long cannon called the Basilica, 80,000 Muslims in April 1453 began their strike against a mere 8,000 Christian troops led by Constantine XI, the 57th emperor of Byzantium. It was to be a contest between the great gun and the great wall-miraculously, for seven weeks the city held out.

1453 is a vivid, intense tale of courage and cruelty, of technological ingenuity, endurance, and luck that is brought to life by the contrasting characters of the two ambitious leaders. Impeccably researched and incorporating many contemporary accounts of the events, this real-life adventure explores not only what happened, but who provided the drama and why. On May 29-after weeks of constant bombardment-the city fell and the world changed. It was the end of Byzantium, the end of the medieval world. 1453 is the story of this moment and the crucial link it provides in the chain of events that connects the historic confrontations of the Mideast to the modern world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781401308506
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 08/15/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 328
Sales rank: 415,889
Product dimensions: 7.96(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Roger Crowley was born in England and studied English at Cambridge University. After university, he taught English in Istanbul where he developed his interest in the city and its history. He has traveled widely throughout Turkey, including three journeys on foot across Western Anatolia, and has a working knowledge of Turkish. For the past fifteen years he has worked as a successful educational publisher for Nelson Thornes in Cheltenham, England.

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1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read 1453 immediately after I finished reading 1421, a novel that documents the discovery of America by Chinese sailors. 1453 is a wonderful and timely work that comes out at a time when the world is again faced with another period of religious zealotry fomented by the descendants of Puritans and Hester Prynne of Scarlet Letter fame. No matter how many wannabe world conquerors we have endured in history, there is always another ready in the wings. I think the most damning part of the book is reserved for the Catholic Church and its fixation on Papal infallibility and authority. The two arrogant quotes from Popes Nicolas 1 and Gregory VII are amazing. Had the Catholic Church sent more troops to Constantinople on time, the result of the battle would have been different, and Mehmet would not have carried the day. Jesus would be shocked at the arrogance of the popes who sometimes believe they are God. Now I understand the deep seated dislike of Muslims for Christians and Christians for Muslims much better. I would rather love all men as Jesus said to do.
ljbirns More than 1 year ago
A VG history but not up to his more excellent book Empires of the Sea
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book. With an interest in christian and middle eastern topics, the title and topic intrigued me. While the story telling is good, and the writing style is good, the details tend to get repeated in various chapters and this makes the reading a little boring at times, but the sense of impending tragedy for an ancient city and the level of detail of the battles and how the rivals ConstantineXI and Mehmet managed and inspired their troops was imformative. The information on the unfortunate rivalries and disputes between the Catholics and Orthodox and Venetians and Genoans and the Muslims was very educational and has some relevance to today's concerns. Overall it was a good read for someone with an interest in historical events.
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Suhan More than 1 year ago
This is a nice read about the conquering of Constantinople. Even as a native myself, I've not known some of the facts and details that have been mentioned here with great effort. The creation of the timeline for the events would be extremely hard since the accounts telling the event was limited. I'm looking forward to reading his new book as well.
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1453 is an extremely well-written account of the finals days of perhaps the most overlooked and interesting empire that ever existed.
sgtderry More than 1 year ago
I feel as thought I lived through this great siege and epic event.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Roger Crowley's amazing feat truly stands as a modern testament to great historical writing. Many of the other reviewers have already emphasized the lucid, insightful, and verily entertaining writing. Crowley handles his source material not just even-handedly and scientifically (like a historian should), but even artistically, making this not just great history but a great read as well! As Crowley himself puts it, his aim was 'to capture the sound of human voices - to reproduce the words, prejudices, hopes, and fears of the protagonists firsthand - and to tell something of 'the story of the story'' (page 263 in the hardcover edition). Sharing 'the story of the story' with their readers is something that, alas, many scholars omit in favor of dry lists of facts and analysis. Crowley transports the reader into a lost, forgotten world, resurrecting the past from the dust and ashes of time and space to speak vividly and directly for new generations. I warmly recommned this book to anyone it will certainly always hold a special place on my shelf. If only I could give it an infinite number of stars!!! ...