ΜYTHS AND LEGENDS CONCERNING THE FALL OF CONSTANTINOPLE
MYTHS AND LEGENDS CONCERNING THE FALL OF CONSTANTINOPLE
The fall of Constantinople on 29 May 1453 is one of the most memorable and significant periods of the world history. The conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans lasted 53 days. The fall of the byzantine capital meant also the end of the Byzantine Empire after 1500 years. During the centuries, people tried through legends and myths to keep the hope alive.
The most known are the followings:
- The legent of “Marble King”
Before the siege, the sultan Mehmet II met with the byzantine King, Constantine Palaiologos and offered him to surrender the city and for him to rule the city of Mystras under his supervision. The answer of Palaiologos was worthy of his position and the heritage of his ancestors;
“To surrender the city to you is beyond my authority or anyone else’s who lives in it, for all of us, after taking the mutual decision, shall die out of free will without sparing our lives.”
A Greek legend says that when the Ottomans entered the city an angel appeared, rescued the King and turned him into a marble statue. After he placed it into a cave from where he waits to be brought to life again and reestablished the Byzantium.
- The legent of Hagia Sophia
Another story concerns the Greek Patriarch. When the conquerors entered the temple, he was praying. Immediately, he slipped out a side door and he will return when the building becomes a church again so he could finish his praying.
- The area of Marmara
During the byzantine time, above the Bema of Hagia Sophia, the Patriarchs placed the emperor’s crowns. By the time Constantinople was conquered 30 crowns were hanging as the Jude’s 30 pieces of silver.
During the siege, the Emperor Constantine ordered all the ecclesiastical heirlooms to be transferred. Three boats start fulfilled with the treasures of Hagia Sophia’s but the third which transferred the Communion Table sank in the area of Marmara.
Since then the waters are always calm regardless of the weather conditions prevailing in the wider area.
- The river that stopped flowing
After the fall of Constantinople, a bird delivered the message in the area of Epirus. The river stopped flowing as a group of shepherds read message. Even nature thought that the Fall was something unheard of and that’s why according to the myth the river will start to flow again after the release.
- The monk’s fishes
When the monk heard the news of the city’s conquest, he was frying fishes. Immediately, the half- cooked fishes jumped out of the pan and returned again to the sea. They will stay there until the moment of liberation where they will return to the pan to continue the frying.
- The Cretan warriors
In one of the towers of the walls, three brothers from Crete continued to fight even after the Fall of Constantinople by the Ottomans and didn’t manage to conquer this spot. When Sultan Mehmet heard it and being impressed by their bravery, he proposed to them to leave safely. The brothers accepted his proposal with the thought that they would have to fight again for the re- occupation of the byzantine capital. As they began to return to their island, the legend refers that the ship has never arrived and it’s still wandering to the sea until the battle for the recapture of the city will start again.