The End Of Byzantium Analysis

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The End of Byzantium, by Jonathan Harris, seeks to argue against popular thought that the Ottomans and the Byzantines fought due to their different religions, but that the two were often trading partners that adopted some of each other 's culture. Furthering that the real cause of the down fall of the Byzantine Empire were policies of power grabbing on both sides with the Byzantine trying to meddle in Ottoman policies and made several unwise alliances while the Ottoman 's sultans needed victories to promote themselves as viable leaders (xxi). Harris looks at Europe from 1354 to 1502, looking mostly at the local politics of the Byzantium, as well as the Ottoman Empire (xi-xii). The small empire of Byzantium had seen brighter days. This Greek …show more content…
John VIII tried to push the Ottomans back by raising taxes to afford more military power and started to tax wine, but with little success (106). He also still tried to meddle in Ottoman politics by protecting Mustafa, a young brother of Murad II and then sending him and attendants to claim the throne away from Murad II ending in the child 's death (107). The situation grew even worse for the Byzantines when Thessalonia surrendered peaceful in 1423 (107). Eventually in 1424, John VIII had to surrender to the Ottomans. The terms of the surrender had the emperor becoming a vassal once again to the sultan, had to pay 100,000 ducats, and give up so coastline gained by the Byzantines from the Ottomans from 1403 (110). John VIII however was rebellious against these conditions and began to plan against the Ottomans by rebuilding fortifications especially Constantinople 's land wall and accepted foreign aid from Serbia (112). John VIII also attempted to fix the schism between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church so that he could ask for more military and monetary resources to defend Constantinople. He sent envoys to Rome to ask the Pope to open a discussion on reuniting the two churches in the hopes that if the Catholic Church would declare a crusade against the Ottoman Empire (129). The Catholic Church eventually agreed with a delegation of Bryantiz religious scholars, laymen, and government officials in Italy and after some compromises, the largest being declaring the Pope as the head of all churches with the Patriarch of Constantinople as second in command, agreed to be reunited with the Eastern Orthodox which was celebrated only July 6, 1439 (143). In the fall of 1439, Pope Eugenius IV raised a crusade to fight against the Ottoman Empire (148). At first the crusade was a success, raising a huge army that

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