Last modified on September 9, 2021, at 19:15

Constantine XI

Constantine XI (1405-1453) was the last Emperor of the East Roman (also known as the Byzantine) Empire. He was born in Constantinople in 1405. He was crowned Emperor in 1449 A.D. ruling over a mere shell of what was once a great empire. In 1453 A.D. the Muslim Turkish Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II laid siege to Constantinople. The Christian defenders were outnumbered by more than ten to one, but they held off all attacks for many weeks. In late May, 1453 A.D. the Turks broke down the city walls with cannons and poured into the city. Thousands of Christians were slaughtered and huge numbers of women and boys were carried into slavery. The huge Church of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia), renowned across several continents, was desecrated and later turned into a mosque for Islamic worship. Constantine refused to flee from the Muslims and died fighting. He is venerated as a Saint and Martyr by Eastern Orthodox Christians. Going back to Augustus and the ancient Roman Empire, he was the 138th and last Roman Emperor.