Night Attack at Târgoviște
The Night Attack at Târgoviște was a battle fought between forces of Vlad III Basarab the Impaler Prince of Wallachia and Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire on Thursday, June 17, 1462. The conflict started with Vlad's refusal to pay the jizya to the Sultan and intensified when Vlad Țepeș invaded Bulgaria and impaled over 23,000 Turks. Mehmed raised a great army with the objective to conquer Wallachia and annex it to his empire; the two leaders fought a series of skirmishes, the most notable one being the Night Attack where Vlad Țepeș attacked the Turkish camp in the night in an attempt to kill Mehmed. The assassination attempt failed, Mehmed marched to the Wallachian capital of Târgoviște, where he found a few men with cannons. After leaving the capital, he discovered the famous Forest of the Dead; the number is mentioned by Vlad himself in a letter to Matthias Corvinus. The Sultan and his troops sailed to Brăila and burned it to the ground before retreating to Adrianople. Both sides would claim victory, while Mehmed II's forces returned home with many captured slaves and cattle.
After the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453, Mehmed set his sights on other campaigns. In Anatolia, the Greek Empire of Trebizond was still resisting the Ottomans, to the East the White Sheep Turkomans of Uzun Hasan, together with other smaller states, threatened the Ottomans. In the West, Skanderbeg in Albania continued to trouble the Sultan, while Bosnia was sometimes reluctant in paying the jizya. Wallachia controlled the left bank of the Danube, Mehmed wanted to have control over the river, as naval attacks could be launched against his empire all the way from the Holy Roman Empire. On September 26, 1459, Pope Pius II called for a new crusade against the Ottomans and on January 14, 1460, at the Congress of Mantua, the Pope proclaimed the official crusade, to last for three years, his plan, however and the only European leader that showed enthusiasm for the crusade was Vlad Țepeș, whom the Pope held in high regard. Because of a lack of enthusiasm shown by Europeans for the crusade, Mehmed took the opportunity to take an offensive stand.
That same year, he captured the last independent Serbian city, in 1461, he convinced the Greek despot of Morea to give up his stronghold. Vlad Țepeș's only ally, Mihály Szilágyi, was captured in 1460 by the Turks while traversing Bulgaria. Szilágyi's men were tortured to death; that year, Mehmed sent envoys to Vlad to urge him to pay the delayed jizya. Vlad Țepeș provoked Mehmed by having the envoys killed and in a letter dated September 10, 1460, addressed to the Transylvanian Saxons of Kronstadt, he warned them of Mehmed's invasion plans and asked for their support. Vlad Țepeș had not paid the annual jizya of 10,000 ducats since 1459. In addition to this, Mehmed asked him for 1000 boys. Vlad Țepeș refused the demand, the Turks crossed the Danube and started to do their own recruiting, to which Vlad reacted by capturing the Turks and impaling them; the conflict continued until 1461, when Mehmed asked the Prince to come to Constantinople and negotiate with him. At the end of November 1461, Vlad Țepeș wrote to Mehmed that he could not afford to pay the jizya, as his war against the Saxons of Transylvania had emptied his resources, that he could not leave Wallachia and risk having the Hungarian king take over his domains.
He further promised to send the Sultan plenty of gold when he could afford to and that he would go to Constantinople if the Sultan would send him a pasha to rule over Wallachia in his absence. Meanwhile, the Sultan received intelligence reports that revealed Vlad's alliance with Hungarian king, Matthias Corvinus, he sent the bey of Nicopolis, Hamza Pasha, to stage a diplomatic meeting with Vlad at Giurgiu, but with orders to ambush him there. Vlad was planned to set an ambush of his own. Hamza brought with him 1,000 cavalry and when passing through a narrow pass north of Giurgiu, Vlad launched a surprise-attack; the Wallachians had the Turks surrounded and fired with their handgunners until the entire expedition-force was killed. Historians credit Vlad Țepeș as one of the first European crusaders to use gunpowder in a "deadly artistic way". In a letter to Corvinus, dated February 11, 1462, he wrote that Hamza Pasha was captured close to the former Wallachian fortress of Giurgiu, he disguised himself as a Turk and advanced with his cavalry towards the fortress where he ordered the guards in Turkish to have the gates open.
This they did and Vlad Țepeș attacked and destroyed the fortress. In his next move, he went on a campaign and slaughtered enemy soldiers and population that might have sympathized with the Turks. While in Bulgaria, he divided his army into several smaller groups and covered "some 800 kilometers in two weeks", as they killed over 23,000 Turks. In a letter to Corvinus, dated February 11, 1462, he stated: I have killed peasants men and women and young, who lived at Oblucitza and Novoselo, where the Danube flows into the sea, up to Rahova, located near Chilia, from the lower Danube up to such places as Samovit and Ghighen. We killed 23,884 Turks without counting those whom we burned in homes or the Turks whose heads were cut by our soldiers... Thus, your highness, you must know; the Chri
Henry VII of England
Henry VII was the King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizure of the crown on 22 August 1485 to his death on 21 April 1509. He was the first monarch of the House of Tudor. Henry attained the throne when his forces defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the culmination of the Wars of the Roses, he was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle. He cemented his claim by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and niece of Richard III. Henry was successful in restoring the power and stability of the English monarchy after the civil war, his supportive stance of the British Isles' wool industry and his standoff with the Low Countries had long-lasting benefits to all of the British economy. However, the capriciousness and lack of due process that indebted many would tarnish his legacy and were soon ended upon Henry VII's death, after a commission revealed widespread abuses. According to the contemporary historian Polydore Vergil, simple "greed" underscored the means by which royal control was over-asserted in Henry's final years.
Henry can be credited with a number of administrative and diplomatic initiatives. He paid close attention to detail, instead of spending lavishly he concentrated on raising new revenues and after a reign of nearly 24 years, he was peacefully succeeded by his son, Henry VIII; the new taxes were unpopular and two days after his coronation, Henry VIII arrested his father's two most unpopular ministers, Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley. They were charged with high treason and were executed in 1510. Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle on 28 January 1457 to Countess of Richmond, his father, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, died three months before his birth. Henry's paternal grandfather, Owen Tudor from the Tudors of Penmynydd, Isle of Anglesey in Wales, had been a page in the court of Henry V, he rose to become one of the "Squires to the Body to the King" after military service at the Battle of Agincourt. Owen is said to have secretly married the widow of Catherine of Valois. One of their sons was Edmund Tudor, father of Henry VII.
Edmund was created Earl of Richmond in 1452, "formally declared legitimate by Parliament". Henry's main claim to the English throne derived from his mother through the House of Beaufort. Henry's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III, his third wife Katherine Swynford. Katherine was Gaunt's mistress for about 25 years, thus Henry's claim was somewhat tenuous: it was from a woman, by illegitimate descent. In theory, the Portuguese and Castilian royal families had a better claim as descendants of Catherine of Lancaster, the daughter of John of Gaunt and his second wife Constance of Castile. Gaunt's nephew Richard II legitimised Gaunt's children by Katherine Swynford by Letters Patent in 1397. In 1407, Henry IV, Gaunt's son by his first wife, issued new Letters Patent confirming the legitimacy of his half-siblings, but declaring them ineligible for the throne. Henry IV's action was of doubtful legality, as the Beauforts were legitimised by an Act of Parliament, but it further weakened Henry's claim.
Nonetheless, by 1483 Henry was the senior male Lancastrian claimant remaining, after the deaths in battle or by murder or execution of Henry VI, his son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, the other Beaufort line of descent through Lady Margaret's uncle, the 2nd Duke of Somerset. Henry made some political capital out of his Welsh ancestry, for example in attracting military support and safeguarding his army's passage through Wales on its way to the Battle of Bosworth, he came from an old, established Anglesey family that claimed descent from Cadwaladr, on occasion Henry displayed the red dragon of Cadwaladr. He took it, as well as the standard of St George, on his procession through London after the victory at Bosworth. A contemporary writer and Henry's biographer, Bernard André made much of Henry's Welsh descent. In reality, his hereditary connections to Welsh aristocracy were not strong, he was descended by the paternal line, through several generations, from Ednyfed Fychan, the seneschal of Gwynedd and through this seneschal's wife from Rhys ap Tewdwr, the King of Deheubarth in South Wales.
His more immediate ancestor, Tudur ap Goronwy, had aristocratic land rights, but his sons, who were first cousins to Owain Glyndŵr, sided with Owain in his revolt. One son was executed and the family land was forfeited. Another son, Henry's great-grandfather, became a butler to the Bishop of Bangor. Owen Tudor, the son of the butler, like the children of other rebels, was provided for by Henry V, a circumstance that precipitated his access to Queen Catherine of Valois. Notwithstanding this lineage, to the bards of Wales, Henry was a candidate for Y Mab Darogan – "The Son of Prophecy" who would free the Welsh from oppression. In 1456, Henry's father Edmund Tudor was captured while fighting for Henry VI in South Wales against the Yorkists, he died in three months before Henry was born. Henry's uncle Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke and Edmund's younger brother, undertook to protect the young widow, 13 years old when she gave birth to Henry; when Edward IV became King in 1461, Jasper Tudor went into exile abroad.
Pembroke Castle, the Earldom of Pembroke, were granted to the Yorkist William Herbert, who assumed the guardianship of Margaret Beaufort and the young Henry. Henry lived in the Herbert household
Disputation of Paris
The Disputation of Paris known as the Trial of the Talmud, took place in 1240 at the court of the King Louis IX of France. It followed the work of Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity who translated the Talmud and pressed 35 charges against it to Pope Gregory IX by quoting a series of blasphemous passages about Jesus, Mary, or Christianity. Four rabbis defended the Talmud against Donin's accusations; as part of its evangelistic efforts, the Catholic Church sought to win the beliefs of the Jews through debate. Western Christianity in the 13th century was developing its intellectual acumen and had assimilated the challenges of Aristotle through the works of Thomas Aquinas. In order to flex its intellectual muscle, the Church sought to engage the Jews in debate, hoping that they would see what it considered the intellectual superiority of Christianity. Paul Johnson cites a significant difference between the Christian sides of the debate. Christianity had developed a detailed theological system.
Judaism had a relative absence of dogmatic theology. "The Jews had a way of concentrating on life and pushing death—and its dogmas—into the background." The debate started on the 12 June 1240. Nicholas Donin represented the Christian side, a member of the Franciscan Order and a Jewish convert to Christianity, he had translated statements by Talmudic sages and pressed 35 charges against the Talmud as a whole to Pope Gregory IX by quoting a series of blasphemous passages about Christianity. He selected what he claimed were injunctions of Talmudic sages permitting Jews to kill non-Jews, to deceive Christians, to break promises made to them without scruples; the Catholic Church had shown little interest in the Talmud until Donin presented his translation to Gregory IX. The Pope was surprised that the Jews relied on texts other than the Torah which contained alleged blasphemies against Christianity; this lack of interest characterized the French monarchy which chiefly considered the Jews as a potential source of income before 1230.
Rabbis Yechiel of Paris, Moses of Coucy, Judah of Melun, Samuel ben Solomon of Château-Thierry represented the Jewish side of the debate, four of the most distinguished rabbis of France. The terms of the disputation demanded that the four rabbis defend the Talmud against Donin's accusations that it contained blasphemies against the Christian religion, attacks on Christians themselves, blasphemies against God, obscene folklore; the attacks on Christianity were from passages referring to Mary. There is a passage, for example, of someone named Jesus, sent to hell to be boiled in excrement for eternity; the Jews denied that this is the Jesus of the New Testament, stating "not every Louis born in France is king."Among the obscene folklore is a story that Adam copulated with each of the animals before finding Eve. Noah, according to the Talmudic legends, was castrated by his son Ham, it was common for Christians to equate the religion of the Jews with the Mosaic faith of the Old Testament, so the Church was surprised to realize that the Jews had developed an authoritative Talmud to complement their understanding of the Bible.
Hyam Maccoby believes that the purpose of the Paris disputation was to rid the Jews of their supposed "belief in the Talmud", in order that they might return to Old Testament Judaism and embrace Christianity. He claims that the hostility of the Church during this disputation had less to do with the Church's attitude and more to do with Nicholas Donin. Donin’s argumentation exploited controversies that were debated within Judaism at the time, according to Maccoby. Maccoby suggests that the disputation may have been motivated by Donin’s previous affiliations with the Karaite Jews, that his motivations for joining the Church involved his desire to attack rabbinic tradition. Donin's translation of statements taken from the Talmud into French changed the Christian perception about Jews. Christians had viewed the Jews as the followers of the Old Testament who honored the law of Moses and the prophets, but the alleged "blasphemies" included among the Talmudic texts indicated that Jewish understandings of the Old Testament differed from the Christian understanding.
Louis IX stated that only skilled clerics could conduct a disputation with Jews, but that laymen should plunge a sword into those who speak ill of the Christ. Criticism of Judaism Disputation of Barcelona Disputation of Tortosa
Vlad the Impaler
Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracula, was voivode of Wallachia three times between 1448 and his death. He is considered one of the most important rulers Wallachia had and a national hero of Romania, he was the second son of Vlad Dracul, who became the ruler of Wallachia in 1436. Vlad and his younger brother, were held as hostages in the Ottoman Empire in 1442 to secure their father's loyalty. Vlad's father and eldest brother, were murdered after John Hunyadi, regent-governor of Hungary, invaded Wallachia in 1447. Hunyadi installed Vladislav II, as the new voivode. Hunyadi launched a military campaign against the Ottomans in the autumn of 1448, Vladislav accompanied him. Vlad broke into Wallachia with Ottoman support in October, but Vladislav returned and Vlad sought refuge in the Ottoman Empire before the end of the year. Vlad went to Moldavia in 1449 or 1450, to Hungary. Relations between Hungary and Vladislav deteriorated, in 1456 Vlad invaded Wallachia with Hungarian support. Vladislav died fighting against him.
Vlad began a purge among the Wallachian boyars to strengthen his position. He came into conflict with the Transylvanian Saxons, who supported his opponents and Basarab Laiotă, Vlad's illegitimate half-brother, Vlad the Monk. Vlad plundered the Saxon villages, taking the captured people to Wallachia where he had them impaled. Peace was restored in 1460; the Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed II, ordered Vlad to pay homage to him but Vlad had the Sultan's two envoys captured and impaled. In February 1462, he attacked Ottoman territory, massacring tens of thousands of Turks and Bulgarians. Mehmed launched a campaign against Wallachia to replace Vlad with Radu. Vlad attempted to capture the sultan at Târgoviște during the night of 16–17 June 1462; the sultan and the main Ottoman army left Wallachia. Vlad went to Transylvania to seek assistance from Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, in late 1462, but Corvinus had him imprisoned. Vlad was held in captivity in Visegrád from 1463 to 1475. During this period, anecdotes about his cruelty started to spread in Italy.
He was released at the request of Stephen III of Moldavia in the summer of 1475. He fought in Corvinus's army against the Ottomans in Bosnia in early 1476. Hungarian and Moldavian troops helped him to force Basarab Laiotă to flee from Wallachia in November. Basarab returned with Ottoman support before the end of the year. Vlad was killed in battle before 10 January 1477. Books describing Vlad's cruel acts were among the first bestsellers in the German-speaking territories. In Russia, popular stories suggested that Vlad was able to strengthen central government only through applying brutal punishments, a similar view was adopted by most Romanian historians in the 19th century. Vlad's reputation for cruelty and his patronymic inspired the name of the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula; the expression Dracula, now known as the name of a fictional vampire, was for centuries known as the sobriquet of Vlad III. Diplomatic reports and popular stories referred to him as Dracula, Dracuglia, or Drakula in the 15th century.
He himself signed his two letters as "Dragulya" or "Drakulya" in the late 1470s. His name had its origin in the sobriquet of his father, Vlad Dracul, who received it after he became a member of the Order of the Dragon. Dracula is the Slavonic genitive form of Dracul, meaning " of Dracul". In modern Romanian, dracul means "the devil". Vlad III is known as Vlad Țepeș in Romanian historiography; this sobriquet is connected to the impalement, his favorite method of execution. The Ottoman writer Tursun Beg referred to him as Kazıklı Voyvoda around 1500. Mircea the Shepherd, Voivode of Wallachia, used this sobriquet when referring to Vlad III in a letter of grant on 1 April 1551. Vlad was the second legitimate son of Vlad II Dracul, an illegitimate son of Mircea I of Wallachia. Vlad II had won the moniker "Dracul" for his membership in the Order of the Dragon, a militant fraternity founded by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund; the Order of the Dragon was dedicated to halting the Ottoman advance into Europe.
As he was old enough to be a candidate to the throne of Wallachia in 1448, his time of birth would have been between 1428 and 1431. Vlad was most born after his father settled in Transylvania in 1429. Historian Radu Florescu writes that Vlad was born in the Transylvanian Saxon town of Sighișoara, where his father lived in a three-storey stone house from 1431 to 1435. Modern historians identify Vlad's mother either as a daughter or a kinswoman of Alexander I of Moldavia, or as his father's unknown first wife. Vlad II Dracul seized Wallachia after the death of his half-brother Alexander I Aldea in 1436. One of his charters preserved the first reference to Vlad III and his elder brother, mentioning them as their father's "first born sons", they were mentioned in four further documents between 1437 and 1439. The last of the four charters referred to their younger brother, Radu. After a meeting with John Hunyadi, Voivode of Transylvania, Vlad II Dracul did not support an Ottoman invasion of Transylvania in March 1442.
The Ottoman Sultan, Murad II, ordered him to come
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion and the arts; the City of Paris is the centre and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2019 population of 12,213,364, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €681 billion in 2016, accounting for 31 percent of the GDP of France, was the 5th largest region by GDP in the world. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong-Kong, in 2018; the city is a major rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports: Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the city's subway system, the Paris Métro, serves 5.23 million passengers daily, is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro. Gare du Nord is the 24th busiest railway station in the world, the first located outside Japan, with 262 million passengers in 2015. Paris is known for its museums and architectural landmarks: the Louvre was the most visited art museum in the world in 2018, with 10.2 million visitors. The Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie are noted for their collections of French Impressionist art, the Pompidou Centre Musée National d'Art Moderne has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe; the historical district along the Seine in the city centre is classified as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Popular landmarks in the centre of the city include the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris and the Gothic royal chapel of Sainte-Chapelle, both on the Île de la Cité. Paris received 23 million visitors in 2017, measured by hotel stays, with the largest numbers of foreign visitors coming from the United States, the UK, Germany and China.
It was ranked as the third most visited travel destination in the world in 2017, after Bangkok and London. The football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris; the 80,000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros. Paris will host the 2024 Summer Olympics; the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 2007 Rugby World Cup, the 1960, 1984, 2016 UEFA European Championships were held in the city and, every July, the Tour de France bicycle race finishes there. The name "Paris" is derived from the Celtic Parisii tribe; the city's name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. Paris is referred to as the City of Light, both because of its leading role during the Age of Enlightenment and more because Paris was one of the first large European cities to use gas street lighting on a grand scale on its boulevards and monuments.
Gas lights were installed on the Place du Carousel, Rue de Rivoli and Place Vendome in 1829. By 1857, the Grand boulevards were lit. By the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps. Since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang. Inhabitants are known in French as Parisiens, they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the area's major north–south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité; the Parisii minted their own coins for that purpose. The Romans began their settlement on Paris' Left Bank; the Roman town was called Lutetia. It became a prosperous city with a forum, temples, an amphitheatre. By the end of the Western Roman Empire, the town was known as Parisius, a Latin name that would become Paris in French. Christianity was introduced in the middle of the 3rd century AD by Saint Denis, the first Bishop of Paris: according to legend, when he refused to renounce his faith before the Roman occupiers, he was beheaded on the hill which became known as Mons Martyrum "Montmartre", from where he walked headless to the north of the city.
Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. As the Frankish domination of Gaul began, there was a gradual immigration by the Franks to Paris and the Parisian Francien dialects were born. Fortification of the Île-de-la-Citie failed to avert sacking by Vikings in 845, but Paris' strategic importance—with its bridges prevent
Mehmed the Conqueror
Mehmed II known as Mehmed the Conqueror, was an Ottoman Sultan who ruled from August 1444 to September 1446, later from February 1451 to May 1481. In Mehmed II's first reign, he defeated the crusade led by John Hunyadi after the Hungarian incursions into his country broke the conditions of the truce Peace of Szeged; when Mehmed II ascended the throne again in 1451 he strengthened the Ottoman navy and made preparations to attack Constantinople. At the age of 21, he brought an end to the Byzantine Empire. After the conquest Mehmed claimed the title "Caesar" of the Roman Empire, based on the assertion that Constantinople had been the seat and capital of the Roman Empire; the claim was only recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Mehmed continued his conquests in Anatolia with its reunification and in Southeast Europe as far west as Bosnia. At home he made many political and social reforms, encouraged the arts and sciences, by the end of his reign his rebuilding program had changed the city into a thriving imperial capital.
He is considered parts of the wider Muslim world. Among other things, Istanbul's Fatih district, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Fatih Mosque are named after him. Mehmed II was born on 30 March 1432, in Edirne the capital city of the Ottoman state, his father was Sultan Murad II and his mother Hüma Valide Hatun, born in the town of Devrekani, Kastamonu. When Mehmed II was eleven years old he was sent to Amasya to govern and thus gain experience, per the custom of Ottoman rulers before his time. Sultan Murad II sent a number of teachers for him to study under; this Islamic education had a great impact in molding Mehmed's mindset and reinforcing his Muslim beliefs. He was influenced in his practice of Islamic epistemology by practitioners of science by his mentor, Molla Gürani, he followed their approach; the influence of Akshamsaddin in Mehmed's life became predominant from a young age in the imperative of fulfilling his Islamic duty to overthrow the Byzantine empire by conquering Constantinople.
After Murad II made peace with the Karamanids in Anatolia in August 1444, he abdicated the throne to his 12-year-old son Mehmed II. In Mehmed II's first reign, he defeated the crusade led by John Hunyadi after the Hungarian incursions into his country broke the conditions of the truce Peace of Szeged. Cardinal Julian Cesarini, the representative of the Pope, had convinced the king of Hungary that breaking the truce with Muslims was not a betrayal. At this time Mehmed II asked his father Murad II to reclaim the throne. Angry at his father, who had long since retired to a contemplative life in southwestern Anatolia, Mehmed II wrote, "If you are the Sultan and lead your armies. If I am the Sultan I hereby order you to come and lead my armies." It was only after receiving this letter that Murad II led the Ottoman army and won the Battle of Varna in 1444. Murad II's return to the throne was forced by Çandarlı Halil Paşa, the grand vizier at the time, not fond of Mehmed II's rule, because Mehmed II's influential lala, had a rivalry with Çandarlı.
When Mehmed II ascended the throne again in 1451 he devoted himself to strengthening the Ottoman navy and made preparations for an attack on Constantinople. In the narrow Bosphorus Straits, the fortress Anadoluhisarı had been built by his great-grandfather Bayezid I on the Asian side. Having completed his fortresses, Mehmed proceeded to levy a toll on ships passing within reach of their cannon. A Venetian vessel ignoring signals to stop was sunk with a single shot and all the surviving sailors beheaded, except for the captain, impaled and mounted as a human scarecrow as a warning to further sailors on the strait. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, the companion and standard bearer of Muhammad, had died during the first Siege of Constantinople; as Mehmed II's army approached Constantinople, Mehmed's sheikh Akshamsaddin discovered the tomb of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. After the conquest, Mehmed built Eyüp Sultan Mosque at the site to emphasize the importance of the conquest to the Islamic world and highlight his role as ghazi.
In 1453 Mehmed commenced the siege of Constantinople with an army between 80,000 and 200,000 troops, an artillery train of over seventy large field pieces, a navy of 320 vessels, the bulk of them transports and storeships. The city was surrounded by land. In early April, the Siege of Constantinople began. At first, the city's walls held off the Turks though Mehmed's army used the new bombard designed by Orban, a giant cannon similar to the Dardanelles Gun; the harbor of the Golden Horn was defended by twenty-eight warships. On 22 April, Mehmed transported his lighter warships overland, around the Genoese colony of Galata, into the Golden Horn's northern shore, thus the Byzantines stretched their troops over a longer portion of the walls. About a month Constantinople fell, on 29 May, following a fifty-seven-day siege. After this conquest, Mehmed moved the Ottoman capital from Adrianople to Constantinople; when Sultan Mehmed II stepped into the ruins of
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire, of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire, until falling to the Ottoman Empire. It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, dedicated on 11 May 330; the city was located in what is now the core of modern Istanbul. From the mid-5th century to the early 13th century, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe; the city was famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, the Golden Gate of the Land Walls, the opulent aristocratic palaces lining the arcaded avenues and squares. The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453, including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandria and had over 100,000 volumes of ancient texts.
It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom's holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross. Constantinople was famed for its complex defences; the first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, surrounded the city on both land and sea fronts. In the 5th century, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius under the child emperor Theodosius II undertook the construction of the Theodosian Walls, which consisted of a double wall lying about 2 kilometres to the west of the first wall and a moat with palisades in front; this formidable complex of defences was one of the most sophisticated of Antiquity. The city was built intentionally to rival Rome, it was claimed that several elevations within its walls matched the'seven hills' of Rome; because it was located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara the land area that needed defensive walls was reduced, this helped it to present an impregnable fortress enclosing magnificent palaces and towers, the result of the prosperity it achieved from being the gateway between two continents and two seas.
Although besieged on numerous occasions by various armies, the defences of Constantinople proved impregnable for nearly nine hundred years. In 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade took and devastated the city, its inhabitants lived several decades under Latin misrule. In 1261 the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos liberated the city, after the restoration under the Palaiologos dynasty, enjoyed a partial recovery. With the advent of the Ottoman Empire in 1299, the Byzantine Empire began to lose territories and the city began to lose population. By the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, making it an enclave inside the Ottoman Empire. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, the first known name of a settlement on the site of Constantinople was Lygos, a settlement of Thracian origin founded between the 13th and 11th centuries BC; the site, according to the founding myth of the city, was abandoned by the time Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara founded Byzantium in around 657 BC, across from the town of Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus.
The origins of the name of Byzantion, more known by the Latin Byzantium, are not clear, though some suggest it is of Thraco-Illyrian origin. The founding myth of the city has it told that the settlement was named after the leader of the Megarian colonists, Byzas; the Byzantines of Constantinople themselves would maintain that the city was named in honour of two men and Antes, though this was more just a play on the word Byzantion. The city was renamed Augusta Antonina in the early 3rd century AD by the Emperor Septimius Severus, who razed the city to the ground in 196 for supporting a rival contender in the civil war and had it rebuilt in honour of his son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, popularly known as Caracalla; the name appears to have been forgotten and abandoned, the city reverted to Byzantium/Byzantion after either the assassination of Caracalla in 217 or, at the latest, the fall of the Severan dynasty in 235. Byzantium took on the name of Kōnstantinoupolis after its refoundation under Roman emperor Constantine I, who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium in 330 and designated his new capital as Nova Roma'New Rome'.
During this time, the city was called'Second Rome','Eastern Rome', Roma Constantinopolitana. As the city became the sole remaining capital of the Roman Empire after the fall of the West, its wealth and influence grew, the city came to have a multitude of nicknames; as the largest and wealthiest city in Europe during the 4th–13th centuries and a centre of culture and education of the Mediterranean basin, Constantinople came to be known by prestigious titles such as Basileuousa and Megalopol