The Post-Classical Period: 500 - 1450



  • Chichimeca was the name that the Nahua peoples of Mexico
  • Generically applied to a wide range of semi-nomadic peoples who inhabited the north of modern-day Mexico andsouthwestern United States

Carried the same sense as the European term "barbarian". The name was adopted with a pejorative tone by the Spaniards when referring especially to the semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer peoples of northern Mexico. In modern times only one ethnic group is customarily referred to as Chichimecs, namely the Chichimeca Jonaz, although lately this usage is being changed for simply "Jonáz" or their own name for themselves "Úza".

Empress Wu

Ruler of Tang from 690-705 CE. Supported Buddhist establishment, and tried to make it a state religion. Commissioned for many Buddhism works of arts like statues and paintings. The statues would vary in size. Some were very large and made out of bronze. All this attention from Empress Wu gained the religion many supporters. By the mid-19th century there were hundreds of thousands of Buddhism monks and nuns in China, along with many monasteries.

Xuan zong

  • He reigned China from 713 to 755 during the Tang dynasty
  • He got into power by revolting Empress Wei and her fellow supporters
  • He marked one of the high peaks of the Tang power and the Chinese civilizations under one particular dynasty, the Tang dynasty
  • He assigned strong officals that forced and patronized and supported the arts and Xuan Zong’s love for music
  • He had a strong interest in political and economic reforms
  • Expanded the empire greatly

Needless to say, Xuan Zong contributed a great role in the Postclassical Period by expanding and improving the Tang dynasty.


Who was Quetzalcoatl?
He was……….
  • a Toletec god of learning and books, god of wind, symbol of death and rebirth
  • depicted as a Feathered Serpent and Pale skinned man w/ beard
  • or a man with a beard
  • adopted by the Aztecs as a major god
  • to see what he may have looked like in his appearance as a man with a beard click HERE

Cyril and Methodius

Cyril and Methodius were a missionaries sent in 864 B.C.E. by the Byzantine government to convert southern Russia and Balkans to Orthodox Christianity. This venture failed because of the face that Roman Catholic missionaries were more successful. Even though they weren't as successful as they had hoped they would be, thy still continued to minister to the people if Russia and Balkans. They both were very successful at speaking the Slavic language so the two men devised a written script for this language. Even today, the Slavic alphabet is still known as Cyrillic.

Samurai and the Bushi Leaders

Samurai, against common misconception, are not lone wolf guys with katanas running around in a robe. They were originaly heavily aromoured, mounted troops loyal to their respective Bushi, or warrior leader. Often called in to protect the emperor, they were some of the stongest and most feared warriors in the far east area of the world. Because of this lofty reputation, any official who could aford it would hire samurai as personal bodyguards. When sent into battle, the victor of the samurai armies would be decided by whoever's champion fought more honorably. The loser, being stripped of his honor, would flee and perform what is known as seppuku, or disembowlment in order to restore his family's honor. These harsh and violent codes of conduct, or "bushido", meaning "way of the warrior", are probably what made the samurai unpopular in the ages to come.

Justinian, Byzantine Emperor

  • Eastern Emperor of Rome, also known as "The Last of the Romans."
  • He was somber and autocratic
  • he build the Hagia Sophia
  • Married Theodora, an actress
  • At his first attempt, he tried to reclaim the western part of Rome but failed
  • Teamed up with general Belisarius, new gains were captured in Northern Africa, and Italy.
  • Made temporarily capital at Ravenna, Italy
  • Because of his westward’s ambition, it weakened the empire, which allowed the Persian forces to attack in the northern Middle East.
  • He was able to push them back, but Middle Eastern territory was lost
  • the war led to new tax pressure, which contributed in his death
  • Codex of Justinianus was made for the government


  • Charlemagne, the son of Pepin the Short, was born in 742 and was king of the Franks between 768 and 814.
  • When Charlemagne was young he participated in the ceremony where Pepin was appointed king, and also joined his father on many military campaigns.
  • When Pepin died in 768, Charlemagne and his brother Carloman were both to be proclaimed king, and rule together.
  • However, Carloman received a larger and richer portion of the realm.
  • Carloman died in 771, leaving Charlemagne the sole ruler of the whole kingdom.
  • Charlemagne was intent on removing anyone who threatened his power.
  • He defeated King Desiderius of the Lombards, conquered the Saxons, Tassilo, the Duke of Bavaria, and the Avars, or Huns.
  • This opened up opportunities for the eastern expansion of Christianity as well as German colonization.
  • However, the last years of Charlemagne's reign were difficult.
  • Famine and disease increased, and the hope of a new Roman Empire in the West was crushed.
  • Charlemagne died on January 28, 814, and was buried at his palace at Aachen.


  • The Dhimmi , or people of the book, were non-muslims in the Ummayad Empire, originally consisting of Christianity and Judaism due to their sharing of the Bible with the Muslims, but was later expanded to include the Hinduism and Zoroastrianism as they began to have conquest in areas that included these people.
  • The Dhimmi were required to pay a jizya, or religious tax, but in return their society was not interfered with and they were allowed to worship as they pleased.


Art and Literature in Western Europe

*Art and architecture was devoted to the Church
*western artists concentrated on religious subjects.
*Medieval architecture developed from Roman models.
*Gothic architecture replaced the Roman style.
*Popular literature emerged in the languages of Europe.
*some reference to religion, earthly concerns as well.


During the Post-Classical period there were many improvements and changes…

  • There was rapid expansion and growth of several civilizations, some old, and some new.
  • This expansion covered areas across Asia, Africa, and Europe.
  • This growth introduced new ideas and beliefs like Islam, for example.
  • There was an increase in communication with the Western world and the Eastern world.

Without these key things later events in history may not have happened, like the isolation of China among other things. If we didn't have this increase in communication between the Europeans and the Chinese, the Europeans may have not been so keen on going over there causing the Chinese to not close off trading routes ect ect.

The Heian Period in Japan

  • was when the refined court society took hold in the upper class.
  • rituals and artistic pursuits became very important.
  • proper etiquette an essential part of life.
  • brought a flood of literacy and poetic works.

*written script simplified.
*most famous work of literature was The Tale Of Genji.
*first novel in any language.
*picture of courtly life.

The Tang Dynasty

The Tang Dynasty was an Imperial Dynasty of China. It lasted from 581-618, and was founded by the Li family. It came to power after the Sui Dynasty and before the Five dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. Religion played a major role in Tang politics. Those who were going into office had Buddhist monks pray for them in exchange for money. Buddhism and Daoism were greatly accepted Emperor Xuanzong 's court. That was up until the ninth century when Buddhism was persecuted. During the Tang Dynasty, the Silk Road was built. The Silk Road was probably the most important Eurasian trade route. The Tang Dynasty fell when Zhu Wen the last of the Tang emperors, Emperor Ai, and took the throne for himself. Then, he created the Liang Dynasty or the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period.

The Declining Position of Women

  • During the Post-classical Period. The Women's position in society and in the family began to decline.
  • Along with sometimes being secluded, wives and concubines of caliphs were restricted to some places in the palace.
  • Many of the women were slaves and could only gain their power or freedom by bearing a healthy son to be the next ruler.
  • Since the Abbasid elite began to increase, the demand of women slaves did also.
  • Women were sold in slave markets and only the prettiest and most intelligent ones sold the fastest.
  • Rich women in the post-classical society were not allowed to have a job outside of their home.
  • Girls were often married at the age of nine.
  • The women's job at home was to serve and respect her husband.

Marriage and Family in Pre-Islamic Arabia

  • These women had greater freedom and higher status than women that lived in the Byzantine and Sasanian empires.
  • Women played big economic roles,fro milking camels and weaving cloth to raising children.
  • In some tribes,both men and women were allowed multiple marriage partners.
  • To seal a marriage contract,the man was required to pay a brideprice to his prospective wifes family, rather than the womans father sending a dowry or git to the prospective husband.
  • Women in pre-Islamic Arabia were not secluded and did not wear veils.
  • Women were not equal to men.
  • They couldnt gain glory as warriors.
  • There status depended on the custom of individual clans and tribes.
  • The more stable family lie of the towns led to the practice of tracing desent through the male line,and while men continued to practice polygramy, woen were expected to be monogamous.

Trade during the post classical period

  • Trade facilitated the spread of technologies
  • First paper then printing and explosives spread to the Middle East and on to Europe.
  • At the end of the post-classical period, key Chinese inventions like printing and explosives moved westward
  • Ideas spread as well
  • Indian mathematics, including the numbering system spread to the Middle East
  • Then Arab mathematics blending earlier Greek and Indian achievments with Arab innovations, reached western Europe.
  • Due to all the trading the spread of disease accelerated as well, in the 14th century an epidemic called the "Black Death" moved from China through the middle east to Europe, killing up to a third of the population in many areas.

Western European Dark Ages

The Dark Ages were a period of widespread intellectual darkness in Western Europe that began after the Roman Empire fell. During this time, Europe fell far behind the rest of Afroeurasia. There was a broad lack of literacy during this time. Many of the innovations that had developed during the Roman era faded away. However, the decline is often exaggerated. Though it was not a period comparable to the Renaissance or Roman era, it was not a time of complete loss and so most scholars today use the term "Middle Ages"


The Crusades was one of the most dramatic expansion efforts made by the West.

*Called by Urban 2
*Thought to be used to get back the holy lands from the Muslims

  • Those who fought in the wars thought they could atone for their sin by fighting
  • actually used for getting the untouchables out of society
  • failed because all land taken by the Europeans was eventually taken back again
  • after the Crusades Europeans found themselves wanting new foods
  • the trade routes were expanded

The Crusades,

  • expanded the trade route between Europe and Asia
  • was successful in reclaiming Jerusalem but eventually lost it to the Muslim leader, Saladin.

Some of the main motives of the Crusades were that it
*removed the "undesirables" from society
*guranteed all your sins would be forgiven and that you would have a spot in heaven.
Some of the main effects of it were that the powers of the church were decreased while the power of the kings increased. It also led to an increase of persecution of Jews in Europe.

The Black Death

The black death, consisted of three differnt types of pleagues, the bubonic plague, was the most common, killing the most people. The second being, the pneumonic plague, killing the second most. finally the septicemic, killing the least. these plagues were the main cause to population decrease during the Post-Classical Period. The Plague originated in Mongolia,who launched the contagious bodies at the Chinese, then it spread throughout Europe killing hundreds of thousands of people a day. In the 14th century, the Plague first reached Europe through trading ports which carried dead bodies and rats who had germs of the plague. The plague effected all of Europe decreasing the population by at least 35%.

Explosive Powder

Explosive powder was invented in China sometime around 1100 CE. At first it was used for fireworks, but then was used for weapons. This invention was very important. If the Chinese had not invented gunpowder, there would be no gun power (or it would have been invented much later) and therefore no guns. Without guns, empires like the Ottomans and the Western Europeans would not have been able to grow as quickly or as large.

The Three Major Religions of The Post-Classical Period

+Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam
+The Post-Classical Period was only about expandinding and creating new political and cultural borders for these three religions from 500-1450.
+While Buddhism and Christianity started well before this time and their classical empires fell, Islam was greatly expanding with a growing empire.
+Islam also had the largest expansion area, followed by Christianity with Buddhism closely behind that.

The Aztec Religious Life

*Religion was very important to the Aztecs

  • Throughout the civilizations there were temples and religious structures
  • The had many gods: to be exact 1000 Gods
  • The Aztecs also practiced human sacrifice
  • Thousands of people were sacrificed a year to the Huitzilopochtli


This act may have originated in Islam when a Tang emperor took in the tiny feet of his favorite dancing girl. But, whatever it’s era, in the later Song era, upper-class men developed a preference for women with smaller feet. This preference later spread to the lower-class men and even to the peasantry. So in response to male demand, which most marriages were in favor of, mothers would begin to bind the feet of their daughters around the age of five or six. The child’s toes were turned under and wrapped with silk, which was wound more tightly as she grew. By the time she was at the age of marriage, her foot had changed into a “lotus petal” or “golden lily” shape that was preferred by potential husband.

Family roles in the Song and Tang Eras

Family roles in the Song and Tang era differed from class and gender roles. Woman’s role which always seems to be the one changing showed significant improvements under the Tang and earlier Song era. Woman’s role then later deteriorated under the Song later on. Within in the family and society women remained minor to men. But in some cases some women from the urban upper classes had more personal say in the Song and early Tang era. Tang women had considerable amount of power in Chinese society. They had great opportunities, freedom of personal expression, careers and activities. Both eras were a male dominated hierarchy strongly promoted by Confucius thinkers. In the Tang period male dominance and authority of elders within the family was supported by law such as; if a child made their parents or grandparents angry they would get punishment and if a younger brother or sister hit their older sibling, they would get punished by getting two and one-half years of hard labor. Both Tang and Song era allowed for divorce by decision of both the male and female. There were laws prohibiting husbands not leaving the wife if the wives parents had died.

The Sunni-Shi’a Split

•Sunni: Backed up the Umayyads
•Shi’a: Followers of Ali
•Sunni: Believed that leaders didn’t have to be related to Muhammad
•Shi’a: Believed that leaders had to be related to Muhammad
•When Muhammad’s son died the two groups split up causing two different groups of the Muslim religion.


What is feudalism?
-A system of governing and landowning based on specific rights and obligations.

  • Lord= landowner
  • Fief= piece of land owned by lord
  • vassal= received a fief in exchange foe protection and services to lord
  • Serfs= peasants who could not lawfully leave the place where they were born

- Not slaves
- What they produced on the lan belonged to the lord

Epic Fails in the Post-Classical Period: Racism and Ignorance in Medevial Europe

During the complete utter fiasco that was the Church's reaction to the Bubonic Plague(commonly known as Black Death), the most atrocious to at least our modern civilized eyes was the blaming of the Jews. Boy do they get blamed for everything or what? Some idiot at the Catholic Church and/or some government offical in response to the masses' fears of difference, claimed that the jews somehow caused the plague. They even burned them alive. It's madness!!!!!!

Chinese Writing System

This writing was one of the first writings systems in the world. Just like the people who invented cuneiform, they were symbols that meant phrases,words or letters. At this time, Chinese language was to East Asian civilization. It was written and read by educated elites in China, Japan, Korea, and what is Vietnam today.They still use the same writing system today in those same areas.

Aztec Women and Men

Good Fathers
Fathers are supposed to be a source of lineage. He should be sincere, diligent, solictious, compassionate, sympathetic,and a careful administrator of his household. He rears, teaches others,he advises, he admonishes one. he is exemplary and leads a model life.
Bad Father
A bad father is incompassionate, negligent, unreliable. He is unfeeling, a shirker, a loafer, a sullen worker.
Good Mothers
An Aztec mother has children. She suckles them. she is to be sincere, vigilant, agile, and is an energetic worker- to this she is very diligent, watchful, solicitous, and full of anxiety.
Bad Mother
A bad mother is evil, dull, stupid, sleepy, and lazy. she is is a squanderer, a petty thief, a deceiver, a fraud, unreliable. She is one who loses things through neglect or anger, and who heeds to no one.
Good Ruler
A good ruler is a protector. Someone who carries his subjects in his arms, who unites them, who brings then together. He rules and takes responsibility, and doesn't abuse his power.
Bad Ruler
A bad ruler is a wild beast, a demom of the air, an ocelot, a wolf- very infamous, avoided, detested as a respector of nothing. He is also some one who abuses his power.
Good Mature Woman
A good mature woman is candid. she is resolute, firm of heart, constant-not to be dismayed. She is to be brave like a man, vigorous, resolute, perservering-not one to falter.
Bad Mature Woman
A bad woman is thin, tottering, weak-an inconstant companion, unfrriendly, and annoying to others. She becomes impatient, she loses hope, and becomes embarrassed.
My Comment
It seems like even though men are suppose to provide for the family, work, and ruler women have it harder. Women do more than men. Women are suppose to wait on people and can't show signs of being sleepy. Women are mothers, mature women, weaver of designs, nobles. and physicians. men are fathers, nobles,and rulers. They basically live a life of luxury and women are basically maids and slaves.

Indian Ocean trade

•Slaves, ivory, gold, and iron from Africa; porcelain from China; pottery from Burma; cloth from India. Major route between East Africa and Asia, made possible by the monsoons; traded with China through many places
•Arabs, Indians, Malayans, and Indonesians; lasted until 1400s when direct trade began with others
•Brought prosperity to East Africa through the development of trading networks into the interior of the continent; set stage for the rise of African trading cities such as Sofala and Kilwa; Swahili, mix of Arabic and Bantu languages.

Impact of Christian Crusades
The Christian Crusades were a direct threat to the Islamic way of life in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Christians invaded the Muslims to regain the holy land, but the Christians were more effected because the Muslims were able to fend them off. The Seljuk Turks faced a challenge when Christian knights from western Europe invaded. They were determined to capture portions of the Islamic world that made up the Holy Land. The Muslims were caught by suprise and the first attack of the Crusaders was the most successful. The European's maintained their control of the eastern Mediterranean, but in the end of the 12th century the Muslims reconquered most of the Crusader outposts. The Christians control of the eastern Mediterranean did not last long because the Muslims were more powerful and united under a strong leader named Saladin.


*West African Iron Age*
*Nok-earliest known western African culture
-500 B.C.E. -200 C.E. in modern day Nigeria
- evidence of iron production from 500 B.C.E.
*cities began to develope between 600-200 B.C.E.
- Djenne - Jjeno- ancient city, oldest known south of the Sahara
*50,000 residents at one time
*Trading center on Niger River
*In the period from 1400 to 1600, iron technology appears to have been one of a series of fundamental social assets that facilitated the growth of significant centralized kingdoms in the western Sudan and along the Guinea coast of West Africa. The fabrication of iron tools and weapons allowed for the kind of extensive systematized agriculture, efficient hunting, and successful warfare necessary to sustain large urban centers.

Source: The Age of Iron in West Africa | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Hagia Sophia

  • huge Christian church built under Justinian's rule of the Byzantine Empire
  • architecture added domes to classical Roman styles
  • strong display of Byzantine culture—mosaics and pillars
  • ties into Justinian's acceptance of Christianity and willingness to spread the religion
  • later turned into mosque by the Ottomans, who added the minarets

Genghis Khan's Empire

* Genghis Kahn was born Temujin, which means ironworker
* He took the name Genghis Kahn in 1206 *He founded the Mongol state by bringing the tribes together.
* The Mongols took Beijing in 1215.
* Entire army was made up of calvary units.
* Their most devastating weapon was the short bow.
* They could fire with deadly accuracy from 350 yards away.
* The empire conquested continuously until Genghis Khan's death in 1227.
* At it's height, the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan stretched from the Black Sea to the Pacific Ocean.


Once, there was born a lad named Temujin, within the land of Mongolia. This Mongol was the son of a chief, and was destined for greatness. At this time, the nomadic tribes of Mongolia lived in a constant state of feuding and internal warfare, with temporary alliances created with marriages.

Seeking to ally with another faction, the father of Temujin brought him to the tribe of his mother, the Olkhunut, to choose a bride. There he chose a small female by the name of Borte, who was to become his primary wife (there were others, but not as important)

Temujin remained with the Olkhunut, as was custom, while his father zoomed upon his valiant steed to resume command of his mighty tribe. Upon this journey it was, however, that he was poisoned by the evil Tartars while he was at an oasis, a place of peace. After this treachery, Temujin quickly returned home to lead the tribe, but they refused to be led by one so young. So it was that Temujin, his siblings, and his mother lived in poverty, forced to fend for themselves by the cruel, malicious tribal people.

Then it came to pass that, while foraging, Temujin's brother attempted to murder Temujin, only to be met by Temujin's great strength and valour, and was himself killed, thus making Temujin the head of the household. But ever the Darkness grows in the hearts of Men, and all good things are attempted to be unmade. Due to the forces of Darkness, his father's former allies, the Bjartskular, marshalled their forces, and went on a raid and kidnapped Temujin, who could not defend himself against so many. But still there remains a portion of the Light in the hearts of all, and with the aid of a sympathetic male, Temujin escaped.

It was around this time that Jelme and Arslan, two of Temujin's future generals, joined forces with him. By this time, none of the tribes were united politicaly, and alliances were needed to unite Mongolia. But it was not Temujin's time yet to rise to the greatness that he was destinied to possess.

He returned to the Olkhunut, now 16, to marry Borte, as arranged by his father ere his death. Yet happiness was not to be theirs, yet, for no sooner was she married then Borte was kidnapped by the Merkits, a vile band of Demonic spirits. Temujin rescued her with the aid of Jakurma, his blood brother, future rival, and leader of the Jadaran, and Ong Khan, who pledged Temujin 20,000 warriors to aid his cause. With such a force, the Merkit Demons were utterly defeated, never to rise their foul heads again, and Borte was recused. Then Temujin set about creating his empire.

He united the Mongol tribes, assigned posts based on merit, promised his followers a share of the plunder, and created the Yassa code. He also took under his protection the civilians of the tribes that he conquered, thus adding to his own, and making him stronger with each victory. So it was that envy stirred in Temujin's rival's hearts, and the closest of bonds would be unmade.

Senggum, son of Ong Khan, planned to assassinate Temujin, jelous of Temujin's closeness with his father. Said attempt was unsucessful, and Senggum urged his father to break ties with his vassal. Even though his his life had been saved many times, Ong Khan agreed. He refused to marry his daughter to Temujin's eldest son by Borte, a sign of disrespect amongst the Mongols. Temujin learned of Senggum's unfriendliness, and he defeated Senggum and his loyalists. Ong Khan allied himself to Jakurma, as Jakurma already was at war with Temujin. But these two men quarreled amongst themselves, and many of their men defected to Temujin. Thus were they defeated, and the Kerait tribe fell, and Jakurma fled to the Naimans, who did not surrender to Temujin.

Jakurma took the title "universal ruler", and formed a coalition of tribes to oppose our hero. Ere the battle, however, many of Jakurma's generals switched sides to Temujin. After being defeated in many battles, Jakurma was turned over to Temujin by his own men, who were then promptly killed by Temujin, who despised disloyalty. Temujin offered Jakurma reunion and friendship, but Jakurma scorned this offer, and instead asked to be executed in the traditional bloodless way of breaking the back, dispite having boiled enemy generals alive during his Dark regime.

After this victory, Temujin became the sole ruler of the Mongol plains. He quickly mastered the plains of the other tribes, due to his extensive spying, adoption of seige warfare, and quick learning of different tactics used by various groups.

Now all of the tribes were united under one banner, and Temujin set about the conquest… of the world. Using the principle of divide and conquer, Temujin assulted the Tangut's Western Xia dynasty, which quickly subcumbed to the awesome might of Temujin after they were flatly refused aid by the more powerful Jin dynasty.

After the Tangut's defeat, the Jin's army commander sent a great host to lie in wait for the Mongol hordes, but rather than attacking first, he sent a messenger to the Mongols. This messenger defected, and told Temujin about the army awaiting him at the place known as Badger's pass. Said army was destroyed.

Temujin hoped to establish peace with the Khwarezmian Empire to the West, but his caravan was anniliated and his ambassadors maltreated. Furious, Temujin mustered a force of 200,000 Mongols and marched on the offensive. The Empire made a crucial mistake as it decided not to consilidate it's army, but instead divided it up into easily-defeated units garrisoning various cities. The Shah died on a remote island, and his heir battled in vain, ere he fled the empire, thus was the Khwarezmian empire added to Mongol holdings. Most of the army returned to Mongolia, but Temujin sent 20,000 men under two of his generals around the Caspian sea, in a reconassiance mission, defeating almost all armies as they went. Meanwhile, the Tangut dynasty had revolted, but Temujin reconquered it, and destroyed the Tangut dynasty once and for all time to come.

Temujin now became the leader of the most vast nation that has ever been. Lands from China to Russia were under his sway, and, had he so wished, he could have invaded Europe, and Europe might now have developed the Guns, Germs, and Steel with which it conquered India. soon after conquering the Tanguts, however, Temujin died. He was killed either when he fell off his horse during a pursuit, pneumonia, a Tangut princess that killed him with a small pair of pliers that she had hidden in her vagina, or killed by the Tanguts in battle. Temujin was buried without markings, as was the custom of his tribe, and none now live who recall his burial site. After his death, his empire was divided amongst his sons. He is today remembered as one of the greatest, of not the greatest, leaders of all time, save Barack Obama alone.

The Ottomans take Constantinople
During almost all of the post-classical period, the Byzantine Empire,which had once been called the Eastern Roman empire or New Rome, was the last long reigning super power in Europe and a major force on the world stage. However, as Bob Dylan would say, "The times they are a changin'". The emperors of "New Rome" never heard this song, mainly because Bob Dylan wasn't alive yet. So even though over time their empire was whittled down to only the city of Constantinople itself, no one was prepared for what was to come. Now if you don't know or don't remember who was coming, I'll tell you. The amazing force was the Ottoman Empire. The amazing seige was led by Mehmed the Conqueror. He had conquerored most of the holyland and eastern Roman empire. The only unconquered place seperating the two spots was Constantinople. Mehmed didn't wish to destroy the city. He thought of of it as a jewel to be had. He and most early muslims believed the Christians and Jews to be brothers in a way. They called them dhimmi, or people of the book. So in that way, the muslims were relatively fair to the Christians (not completely fair, but no one ever is). After that, Constantinople became the capital of the Ottoman empire. Now it is the capital of Turkey and is named Istanbul.

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