This major study is a comprehensive scholarly work on a key moment in the history of Europe, the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. The result of years of research, it presents all available sources along with critical evaluations of these narratives. The authors have consulted texts in all relevant languages, both those that remain only in manuscript and others that have been printed, often in careless and inferior editions. Attention is also given to "folk history" as it evolved over centuries, producing prominent myths and folktales in Greek, medieval Russian, Italian, and Turkish folklore. Part I, The Pen, addresses the complex questions introduced by this myriad of original literature and secondary sources. Part II, The Sword, applies the results of these researches, first to the topography of the wall areas and adjacent structures, surveying key areas that played a part in the defense of the imperial city. These investigations have resulted in new conclusions, compelling the acceptance of consequences that previous studies failed to consider. There then follows a fresh study of the land and sea operations during the siege, with particular attention given to Ottoman offensive strategies and methods, and to the defensive operations of the besieged. This work is detailed in its evaluation of and presentation of sources, and it fills a gap in scholarship, as there is no comprehensive guide to these events. In addition, as a reference work, it will be essential as a starting point for any future studies of the siege and fall of Constantinople.
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