The fall of Constantinople in 1453 effectively ended what was left of the Roman Empire and set a major roadblock to trade between Europe and the Far East. Additionally, for centuries the city had held back Muslim invaders from the Middle East from invading Europe.Continue Reading
When Sultan Mehmed II and the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, they changed the name to Islambol, meaning "City of Islam." The famed Hagia Sophia church was converted into a mosque, and much of the city's Christian monuments and heritage was destroyed.
With the city under Turkish control, it became increasingly dangerous and almost impossible for Christian traders to travel the Far East by land. Portugal and Spain took this opportunity to set about sending sailing expeditions around Africa to find a path to India by waterway. This indirectly led to some expeditions sailing too far west and discovering South America and North America, opening up a new age of discovery and colonization.
With the city under Muslim control, Muslim leaders were able to organize military campaigns in Europe. Additionally, the Turks solidified their own powerful empire, the Ottoman Empire, which controlled much of the Middle East for over 450 years until its defeat and collapse during World War I.Learn more about Middle Ages
According to most historians, the Middle Ages began with the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D. and ended with the beginning of the Renaissance in the 13th, 14th or 15th century A.D.Full Answer >
The Middle Ages started in 476 A.D. after the fall of the Roman Empire; however, historians have differing opinions concerning when this time period ended with most placing the date between the 14th and 15th centuries. When the Renaissance period began, this marked the end of the Middle Ages.Full Answer >
After the Roman empire fell, the divine right of kings gave kings in Europe the right to rule. This theory of absolutism, which is based on Roman law, gives a sovereign individual absolute power without checks or balances.Full Answer >
Constantinople was located on an elevated rocky peninsula and was surrounded by the Golden Horn estuary to the North, the Bosporus straits to the East and the Sea of Marmara to the South. Constantinople sat along the land route between Europe and Asia.Full Answer >