Thursday, June 25, 2009
Today in 1453 the 1,000-year-old city of Constantinople -- most powerful and spectacular city in the history of mankind -- fell to militant Islam:
"...The Emperor and his commanders were trying frantically to rally their troops and push back the enemy. It was too late. Waves of Janissaries, followed by other regular units of the Ottoman army, were crashing through the open Gates, mixed with fleeing and slaughtered Christian soldiers.
Then the Emperor, realizing that everything was lost, removed his Imperial insignia, and followed by his cousin Theophilus Palaeologus, the lord Branas, the Castilian Don Francisco of Toledo, Katakouzinos, Mathaios Sgouromalis and John Dalmatus, all seven holding their swords, charged into the sea of the enemy soldiers, hitting left and right in a final act of defiance.
They were never seen again...
". . . the great church of Hagia Sophia was filled to capacity. Thousands of people were moving towards the church. Inside, Orthodox and Catholic priests were holding liturgy, the last Christian service after almost 1,000 years. People were singing hymns . . . .
"Bands of Ottoman soldiers began now looting. Doors were broken, private homes were looted, their tenants were massacred. Shops in the city markets were looted. Monasteries and Convents were broken in. Their tenants were killed, nuns were raped; many, to avoid dishonor, killed themselves. Killing, raping, looting, burning, enslaving, went on and on . . . .
"The great doors of Hagia Sophia were forced open, and crowds of angry soldiers came in and fell upon the unfortunate worshipers. Pillaging and killing in the holy place went on for hours. Similar was the fate of worshipers in most churches in the city . . . .
"Thousands of civilians were enslaved, soldiers fought over young boys and young women . . . the invaders broke the heads of those women who resisted on the floor of the churches and they raped them dead. The famous icon of Apostole Loukas was totally destroyed.
"The sultan asked for the young sons of Duke Loukas Notaras. Their father refused and Mehmed was ready to take their heads. Notaras asked him to kill him after his sons so that he was sure that they were dead and not disgraced from the perverted sultan."
If this massive, advanced civilization fell to the same enemy we face today, what makes us think it can't happen to us?
(Hat tip, ACM)
Posted by Splash at 7:27 PM