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“Response / Reply”: Student MUST “Response or Reply” to at least “TWO” other initial posts from other classmates again using a “central theme / key point” and “historical examples / evidence” for discussion replies /responses. (250 words minimum)Students are required to not just reply by “saying good job” or “really enjoyed your post”. The responses need to applicable to historical ideas presented in forum and provide specific examples

Student #1:

Constantinople [modern day Istanbul, Turkey] was the capital city of the Roman Empire (subsequently the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine), before falling to a siege by the Ottoman army led by Sultan Mehmed II. Constantinople was located centrally between Europe and Asia (hence the moniker “Crossroads of Europe and Asia”). Constantinople was famed for its massive and complex defensive structures and fortifications. The city was surrounded by several massive walls on both land and sea fronts, of which they were considered one of the most formidable defenses during the time. The city sported magnificent palaces, stadiums, temples, markets, and ports– a result of the prosperity it achieved from being the gateway between two continents (Europe and Asia) and two seas (the Mediterranean and the Black Sea). Considering the capital city’s importance, the fall of Constantinople left lasting impacts on the development of Europe, most importantly the spreading of Islam into predominantly Christian areas of the continent, and is also considered as the start of the development of the Renaissance. [1]

After the siege, and the fall of Constantinople, the Sultan, Mehmed II, proclaimed Constantinople his new capital. [2] Mehmed II granted his soldiers three days to plunder the city. Most of the Greek women were raped and enslaved. Widespread persecution of the city’s civilian inhabitants took place, and resulted in thousands of murders and rapes and thousands more civilians being enslaved or forcibly deported. Following the conclusion of the siege, with the new ownership of the city by the Muslim Ottomans, the growth of Islam in Eastern Europe had profound impacts to the area. More people (some forcibly) were covered to Islam, and Muslim culture, architecture, and language were spread throughout Eastern Europe. Important Christian architectures such as the Hagia Sophia, originally a Greek Orthodox Christian church, were converted into Ottoman mosques.

Perhaps the most important lasting effect that the fall of Constantinople (and subsequently the spread of Islam in the area) was its influence on the development of the Renaissance. Many Eastern Europeans including Greeks and other Balkan peoples, fearing death or forced conversion to Islam, migrated west across the Adriatic Sea to Italy. The migration of Byzantine scholars and the aforementioned peoples following the fall of Constantinople in 1453 is considered by many scholars and historians as the key event that led to the revival of Greek and Roman studies which developed into the Renaissance. Those immigrants included a large amount of the groups of people that we consider them the driving forces of the Renaissance– scientists, astronomers, poets, politicians, writers, lecturers, architects, philosophers, artists, and more. [3] These people brought to Western Europe the accumulated knowledge of their civilizations, leading to the cultural and scientific Renaissance.

Bibliography / References:

[1] Byzantines in Renaissance Italy. Archived from the original on 30 September 2003. Retrieved 22 November 2019.

[2] Cole, Joshua, and Carol Symes. Western Civilizations: Their History & Their Culture. W.W. Norton & Company, 2017.

[3] Greeks in Italy. Archived 7 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine Links to an external


Student #2:

The conquest of Constantinople came as a huge shock to many, including the European Christians. But it had little effect on trades, economics, and politics (Cole and Symes 297). The most significant impact on Europe due to the fall of Constantinople was the beginning of the Italian Renaissance.

Once the Ottomans found a way into the city, they killed the Byzantine Emperor and started to take local citizens and sold them into slavery (Cole and Symes 297). As a result, the population that could flee the city found safety in Western Europe. Many scholars found themselves seeking refuge in the Italian peninsula. With them they brought many writings from different Byzantine libraries, including the original works of Plato and Aristotle. This was the first time that many Italians had access to an entire copy of both philosophers’ works, and for quite a few this changed their outlook on humanism (“How Did the Fall of Constantinople Change the Renaissance in Italy?”). This is the spark that Italy needed to begin their Italian Renaissance and help modernize their everyday world.

Once reading and deciphering Plato’s works, many scholars worked together to develop a new school in Florence called the Neo-Platonist school of philosophy. The introduction of Plato and his works brought by the Byzantines helped people have “a greater focus on metaphysical rather than ethical speculations” (“How Did the Fall of Constantinople Change the Renaissance in Italy?”). For the first time, Italian scholars had the opportunity to study under many great Byzantine refugees. This helped open the Italians to many original Greek ideas. Many scholars today argue that this is what introduced Italy to Aristotle’s idea of “Virtu or excellence” (“How Did the Fall of Constantinople Change the Renaissance in Italy?”). One person that took the concept of “vitru” to heart and began to study it immensely with the help of the Byzantine refugees was Niccolò Machiavelli. Although he was considered a realist, he was the most influential philosophers during the Italian Renaissance era. Throughout his career he became a prominent government official and lead many diplomatic missions (Cole and Symes 318).

The Italian Renaissance was the most important effect of the fall of Constantinople because the Byzantine refugees and Italian scholars were able to redefine the idea of humanism by implementing its features into everyday life and culture. It also helped to spark the European Renaissance a few centuries after Europe noticed all of the improvement that resulted from the Italian one. Even throughout the 21st century, many of these ideas find themselves as a prominent part of our everyday lives.

Italian people began to open up and consider the idea of humanism. This included many starting to think about certain actions or instances and wondering why they would happen. Many looked to the church for answers while others would test theories and laws that they created. For example, Galileo Galilei was known to test laws throughout his entire life. One of his most popular was the cannonball experiment. In this experiment, he determined the rate of acceleration was the same by dropping different sized cannonballs off of a large building.

With the natural world being such a prominent thought during this time, many artists and architects began to apply these new humanistic ideas into their works. For example, Leonardo Da Vinci began to create his art pieces with the primary focus being on the natural world.

Due to the fall of Constantinople and later the Italian Renaissance, Italy and Europe would be permanently affected. The paintings, natural laws, inventions, and literature were all extremely new and innovative for their time period and helped to develop a foundation for future European artists, inventors, and authors to look back upon.

Work Cited:

Cole, Joshua, and Carol Symes. Western Civilizations: Their History & Their Culture. W.W. Norton & Company, Editors. “Italian Renaissance.”, A&E Television Networks, 18 Oct. 2010, to an external site..

“How Did the Fall of Constantinople Change the Renaissance in Italy?” How Did the Fall of Constantinople Change the Renaissance in Italy? –, to an external site.?

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