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Happy (?) Fall of Constantinople Day

May 29, 2015



Just a little reminder that 562 years ago today, the Byzantine Empire finally snuffed it – for once not with a whimper but with a bang.  Constantine “You’ll Never Take Me Alive” XI Palaiologos tore of his imperial regalia and declared his refusal to be ransomed and his determination to go out in a blaze of glory.  Forget The Alamo.  This was a biggie.

People who  like putting ludicrously precise dates on broad sweeping historical trends will say that “Medieval Times” ended 562 years ago today. Some will point out that today is also the anniversary of the introduction of Greek learning to Italy in refugee boats and the consequent rediscovery of Plato as a belated challenger to the dominant Latinized Aristotle.  In fact, Greek learning had been seeping into Italy for decades, carried by Byzantine scholars who could see which way the wind was blowing.

Nevertheless, it’s always nice…

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