The Byzantine Empire

Caesare

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What's perhaps more impressive is that even during the era of Gunpowder cannons which were rapidly making such walls obsolete elsewhere, the walls of Constantinople were able to stand against such things.

Even the Dardanelles Gun could not crack the city's walls.

It actually took a lazy guardsman leaving a gate unlocked for the city to fall.

It's pretty interesting how fortifications changed over the years based on the evolution of gunpowder, cannon, and tactics. The Europeans started converting medieval fortresses into star-shapes composed of many triangles rather than the circular shapes of the medieval period so the attackers wouldn't be able to get into blind spots where the defenders couldn't shoot at them. But still, those walls of Constantinople were legendary.
 

Vitriol

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What's perhaps more impressive is that even during the era of Gunpowder cannons which were rapidly making such walls obsolete elsewhere, the walls of Constantinople were able to stand against such things.

Even the Dardanelles Gun could not crack the city's walls.

It actually took a lazy guardsman leaving a gate unlocked for the city to fall.
The walls were breached by the ottomans anatolian christian auxilia storming the 11cen portion of the walls. The lazy guardsman thing is a myth- the Blacherna walls were already taken and the italians evacuating when the greeks supposedly noticed that postern as being open. It did cause the greek rout, but with the loss of the walls and the italians in retreat, the battle was already over.

Of course if you want amazing byzantine legends there is the one about how Justinian snet two monks as secret agents to china to steal silkworm eggs from their emperor and establish the byzantine silk industry- something which lasted in constantinople until the fourth crusade and in parts of morea until the present day!
 
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Caesare

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Of course if you want amazing byzantine legends there is the one about how Justinian snet two monks as secret agents to china to steal silkworm eggs from their emperor and establish the byzantine silk industry- something which lasted in constantinople until the fourth crusade and in parts of morea until the present day!

Lol, Secret Agent Christian Monks sounds like the plot to a Harry Turtledove novel.
 

Lorento

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Of course if you want amazing byzantine legends there is the one about how Justinian snet two monks as secret agents to china to steal silkworm eggs from their emperor and establish the byzantine silk industry- something which lasted in constantinople until the fourth crusade and in parts of morea until the present day!

I imagine the Mission Impossible theme being played on traditional Chinese instruments now and I'm laughing lol.
 

Slowboat to China

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There's also the story of how a claimant to the Byzantine throne sent two spies, a priest and a prostitute, into the city to spread the word. The priest got caught, but the prostitute apparently did her work so well that the claimant won the day. :biggrin: I'm trying to find the relevant passage in Norwich, but alas, it's eluding me.

Byzantium is what I point to whenever someone says history is boring. Emperors, concubines, assassinations, plots, fanatics, crazy hermits on pillars, sports factions that became political movements, and my personal favorite, rival Popes and Patriarchs. Like the time the Patriarch of Constantinople had the notice of excommunication pinned to the back of his robes by a rival during Mass, and upon discovering the document, promptly--per Norwich--"excommunicated him back." I love that. Excommunication as schoolyard squabble.
 

Heimdallr

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I do wish it survived. Although Greek (instead of Latin) It would be a living breathing remnant of the Roman empire in a way even Italy is not today
 

millais

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I do wish it survived. Although Greek (instead of Latin) It would be a living breathing remnant of the Roman empire in a way even Italy is not today
Yeah, but then you wouldn't be able to jack off to Victorian-era Turkish harem erotica because a surviving Byzantium would have stifled Ottoman supremacy of the eastern Mediterranean.
 

ICametoLurk

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*Ships full of Crusaders teleport behind your walls * Nothing personal, kid.
 

Darndirty

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I swear the game of thrones has nothing on real life byzantium, eunuchs being the power behind the throne, castrations, blindings, sons betraying fathers. Atilla the hun invaded because an emperors sister didn't like her marriage and offered him her hand, and he wanted half the empire as her dowry.

There was a chariot race that broke into a riot which almost destroyed the whole city. Fucking cray