Sailing west from Byzantium: Columbus and the fall of Constantinople.

In continuing with March’s theme of the age of discovery, I present to you Sean Munger’s post on the Byzantium and Christopher Columbus.

What does the fall of Constantinople have to do with the Age of Discovery? With the fall of a stable trading ally in the Eastern Mediterranean, trade along the silk road all but dried up for most of Europe. Necessity is the mother of invention. You see where this is going…

columbus byzantium

Five hundred and twenty-one years ago today, as the summer of 1492 turned to fall, Christopher Columbus and his expedition were somewhere on the North Atlantic, several weeks away from the discovery that would make him–and them–famous. Most of us know the story of Columbus’s voyage, his idea to sail west to find a route to India, his difficulty in gaining backing, and the ultimate semi-success of his efforts; I say semi because he failed to find India, although he believed until the end of his life that he had. What fewer people understand is why this epic voyage happened, and it has a lot more to do with the history of Byzantium than most realize.

The Byzantine Empire breathed its last on the morning of May 29, 1453, as Turkish Sultan Memhet II led his troops to sack the city that had so long eluded the Islamic world…

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One thought on “Sailing west from Byzantium: Columbus and the fall of Constantinople.

  1. Princess of Eboli History Masquerade says:

    This is a great post!!!!! 🙂

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