- Constantine XI (1405-1453) was the last Byzantine emperor. A gallant prince, he completed the conquest of the Peloponnesus from the Latins and heroically commanded the futile defense of Constantinople against the Turks. The fourth son of Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus (reigned 1391-1425), Constantine was born on Feb. 8, 1405.
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Constantine XI Dragases Palaiologos or Dragaš Palaeologus ( Greek: Κωνσταντῖνος Δραγάσης Παλαιολόγος, Kōnstantinos Dragasēs Palaiologos; 8 February 1405 – 29 May 1453) was the last Byzantine emperor, reigning from 1449 until his death in battle at the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.
Introduction: Constantine XI – The Final Roman Emperor Back to index On May 29, 1453, the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II launched their successful final assault on Constantinople, ending a 53-day siege and demolishing the last legitimate claimant to the legacy of the Roman Empire.
Constantine XI Palaeologus, Palaeologus also spelled Palaiologos, (born February 9, 1404, Constantinople, Byzantine Empire [now Istanbul, Turkey]—died May 29, 1453, Constantinople), the last Byzantine emperor (1449–53), killed in the final defense of Constantinople against the Ottoman Turks. He is sometimes referred to as Constantine XII, based on the erroneous idea that Constantine Lascaris was crowned in 1204.
- Despot of The Morea
- Reign as Emperor
- Fall of Constantinople and Death
Constantine became the Despotes of the Morea (the medieval name for the Peloponnesus) in October 1443, ruling from the fortress and palace in Mistra. At the time, Mistra, a fortified town also called Sparta or Lacedaemon due to its proximity to the ancient city,was a center of arts and culture rivalling Constantinople. After establishing himself as the Despot, Constantine worked to strengthen the defence of the Morea, including reconstructing a wall across the Isthmus of Corinth called the "Hexamilion" (Six-mile-wall), on the suggestion of the famous scholar and teacher of his, Plethon. In summer 1444, he launched an invasion of the Latin Duchy of Athens from the Morea, swiftly conquering Thebes and Athens and forcing its Florentine duke to pay him tribute. The Duchy was ruled by Nerio II Acciaioli, a vassal of the Ottoman Sultan. The Turks, frustrated by the attempt of the Greeks to expand from the Morea into central Greece started raising an invading army. Two years later, in autu...
Constantine XI married twice: the first time on 1 July 1428 to Theodora Tocco, niece of Carlo I Tocco of Epirus, who died in November 1429; the second time to Caterina Gattilusio, daughter of Dorino of Lesbos, who also died, during childbirth, in 1442. He had no children by either marriage. After his coronation, in 1451, Constantine XI sent a commission under George Sphrantzes asking Mara Branković, daughter of the Serbian Despot Đurađ Branković and Byzantine princess Irene Kantakouzene, by then the widow of Murad II, to marry him (Maria had been allowed to return to her parents in Serbia after the death of Murad). The proposal was welcomed by her father Đurađ Branković, but it foundered on the objection of Maria herself who had vowed that "if God ever released her from the hands of the infidel she would lead a life of celibacy and chastity for the rest of her days". Accordingly, the courtship failed and Sphrantzes took steps to arrange for a marriage with a princess either from Tre...
Despite the foreign and domestic difficulties during his reign, which culminated in the fall of Constantinople and of the Byzantine Empire, contemporary sources generally speak respectfully of the Emperor Constantine. When his brother, Emperor John VIII Palaiologos, died childless, a dispute erupted between Constantine and his brother Demetrios Palaiologos over the throne. Demetrios drew support for his opposition to the union between the Orthodox and Catholic churches. The Empress Helena, acting as regent, supported Constantine. They appealed to the Ottoman Sultan Murad IIto arbitrate the disagreement. Murad decided in favor of Constantine and on 6 January 1449 Constantine was crowned in the cathedral at Mistra by the local bishop. It was rare but not unprecedented for an emperor to be crowned in a provincial city. The founder of the dynasty of Palaiologos had been crowned at Nicaea, Asia Minor, John Cantacuzene at Adrianople, Thrace. But they had been thought proper that a second...
Before the beginning of the siege, Mehmed II made an offer to Constantine XI. In exchange for the surrender of Constantinople, the emperor's life would be spared and he would continue to rule in Mistra, to which, as preserved by G. Sphrantzes, Constantine replied: He led the defence of the city and took an active part in the fighting alongside his troops in the land walls. At the same time, he used his diplomatic skills to maintain the necessary unity between the Genoese, Venetian and the Greek troops. He died on 29 May 1453, the day the city fell. His last recorded words were: "The city is fallen and I am still alive", and then he tore off his imperial ornaments so as to let nothing distinguish him from any other soldier and led his remaining soldiers into a last chargewhere he was killed. Soldiers were sent hastily to search amongst the dead and the first that was believed to be the emperor's, a body that had silk stockings with an eagle embroidered in it, the head was decapitated...
A legend tells that when the Ottomans entered the city, an angel rescued the emperor, turned him into marble and placed him in a cave under the earth near the Golden Gate, where he waits to be brought to life againto conquer the city back for Christians. While serving as ambassador to Russia in February 1834, Ahmed Pasha presented Tsar Nicholaswith a number of gifts, including a jewel-encrusted sword supposedly taken from Constantine XI's corpse. Constantine XI's legacy was used as a rallying cry for Greeks during their war for Independence with the Ottoman Empire. Today the Emperor is considered a national hero in Greece. During the Balkan Wars and the Greco-Turkish War, under the influence of the Megali Idea, the name of the then-Greek king, Constantine, was used in Greece as a popular confirmation of the prophetic myth about the Marble King who would liberate Constantinople and recreate the lost Empire. Constantine Palaiologos' legacy is still a popular theme in Greek culture. Th...
Arian Christianity. Constantine II ( Latin: Flavius Claudius Constantinus; February 316 – 340) was Roman emperor from 337 to 340. Son of Constantine the Great and co-emperor alongside his brothers, his attempt to exert his perceived rights of primogeniture led to his death in a failed invasion of Italy in 340.
Rebellion, nephew of Isaac I Komnenos, appointed Constantine Doukas (a previous co-emperor under Michael VII) as co-emperor in 1081. Replaced Constantine with his own son John II in 1087. 1056 – 15 August 1118 (aged 70)NameReignSuccessionLife detailsPertinax Publius Helvius Pertinax31 December 192 – 28 March 193 (2 month ...Proclaimed emperor after the murder of ...1 August 126 – 28 March 193 (aged 66 ...Didius Julianus Marcus Didius Severus ...28 March – 1 June 193 (2 months and ...Won auction held by the Praetorian Guard ...29 January 137 – 1 June 193 (aged 56 ...Septimius Severus Lucius Septimius ...9 April 193 – 4 February 211 (17 years, ...Proclaimed emperor by the Pannonian ...11 April 145 – 4 February 211 (aged 65 ...Caracalla (formally Antoninus) Marcus ...4 February 211 – 8 April 217 (6 years, ...Son and heir of Septimius Severus, ruled ...4 April 188 – 8 April 217 (aged 29 ...
Constantine XI Today is the anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople. On May 29, 1453 Ottoman Janissaries breached the Theodosian walls and killed everyone in their path. Emperor Constantine XI cast off his purple cloak and made a last stand with his remaining soldiers.
Oct 22, 2019 · Emperor Constantine XI died 29 May 1453 when the capital of the Byzantine empire fell to the Ottomans more than twenty years before either Isabella and Ferdinand became queen and king.
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