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The Fall of Constantinople 1453 (Canto) Paperback – 13 Sep 1990

5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; New Ed edition (13 Sept. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521398320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521398329
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 362,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

'Once again Sir Steven Runciman demonstrates his mastery of historical narrative … an excellent tale, full of suspense and pathos … He tells the story and, as always, tells it very elegantly.' History

'Runciman [is] eminently accessible and readable.' Evangelicals Now

Book Description

This classic account shows how the fall of Constantinople in 1453 came as a bitter shock to Western Christendom. To the Turks, victory not only brought a new imperial capital, but guaranteed that their empire would last. To the Greeks, the conquest meant the end of the civilisation of Byzantium and led to the exodus of scholars stimulating the tremendous expansion of Greek studies in the European Renaissance.


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Format: Paperback
This is an example of history written as a thriller; Runciman has masterfully woven the tales of the two sides into a brilliant narrative of the events leading up to and the main reasons for the fall/conquest of of Constantinople (or Istanbul, depending on your point of view). He very cleverly structures the book so that, even though you know what's coming, the suspense about how it will happen just builds. I cannot praise this book highly enough.
I should also mention John Julius's trilogy on Byzantium which is an extremely readable and entertaining book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A well written account of a key landmark in modern civilisation - the end of the Byzantine empire. In 1453 the Turks finally extinguished the Byzantine empire (barring Trebizond, which followed soon after) created by the emperor Constantine in around 330AD in his new capital of Constantinople (modern day Istanbul). The Byzantines always thought of themselves as Romans, despite being essentially Greek,as their empire was effectively that of the Romans, displaced to the East before the fall of Rome in about 450AD. By the end in 1453, Byzantium was little more than a city state. A fascinating story. Byzantium survived for over a thousand years and perpetuated art and learning through many centuries in which the West was effectively run by warlike tribes.
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By A Customer on 17 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
An excellent read! The first few chapters go into a lot of detail about the years preceeding the final seige - the rise of the Ottomans and the decline of the Byzantines, and the last chapters talk about its aftermath and legacy. However, the middle chapters read like a fantastic adventure story. The author really makes it all come to life. I was lucky enough to read his accounts of the seige and description of the walls from the remains of the actual city walls in Istanbul and being able to look out and see where the events took place was a fantastic experience.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Another triumph for Runciman, quickly becoming a favourite author of mine. The book is easy to read, and informative, setting the scene and explaining what had happenend to the once great Byzantine Empire, to leave its capital besieged. The attention to detail is excellent, giving the reader a real idea of what it was like in the cities last weeks of freedom. Its introduction explaining the middle eastern and Balkans Situation around that time, further helps those not familiar with that era of history. Useful to the scholar, expert, or just casual reader alike, this book remains the firm authority (in my eyes) on the Fall of Constantinople.
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Format: Paperback
Whatever your interest (or lack of interest) in the Byzantine civilization its end was as great as its power had been. The chapters on the last days and the fall are one of the best stories I have ever read. If someone had put that on a novel should have been Byron at least. In the other hand the book is mainly focused on political analysis of the situation so that you have an idea of the overall picture and so avoiding an excess of romanticism for the doomed Empire. But sure that you will remember forever who was the last Emperor of Byzantium and the way he died after reading this book. Do you know who was the last Roman Emperor and the way he died? I read it time ago, and no way to recall it. Then follow with "The two sieges of Rhodes" by Brockman and "The great siege, Malta 1565" by Bradford and you will have a nice action-history trilogy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This and beautifully written little book is the definitive account of the fall of Constantinople. None have matched it since it first appeared in 1965. It remains essential reading for anyone interested in relations between the West and Islam.
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