Skip to comments.The Siege of Byzantium
Posted on 08/21/2013 7:08:10 PM PDT by marshmallow
In 71718, Western civilization was hanging by a thread.
Today, August 15, marks the anniversary of Constantinoples victory over Muslim invaders in what historians commonly call the Second Siege of Byzantium, 71718. Prior to this massive onslaught, the Muslims had been hacking away at the domains of the Byzantine empire for nearly a century. The Muslims ultimate goal was the conquest of Constantinople for both political and religious reasons.
Politically, Islam had no rival but the hated Christians of Byzantium, known by various appellations including al-Rum (the Romans), al-Nassara (the Nazarenes), and, most notoriously, al-Kilab (the dogs). The eastern Sasanian Empire had already been vanquished, and Persia subsumed into the caliphate. Only the worshippers of the cross as they were, and still are, disparagingly known were left as contenders over the eastern Mediterranean basin.
More important, Constantinople from a theological perspective simply had to fall. From the start, Islam and jihad were inextricably linked. The jihad, or holy war, which took over Arabia and Persia, followed by Syria, Egypt, and all of North Africa all formerly Byzantine territory was considered a religious obligation, or, as later codified in sharia law, a fard kifaya: a communal obligation on the body of believers, to be adhered to and fulfilled no less than the Five Pillars of Islam. As the famous 14th-century Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun put it: In the Muslim community, the jihad is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force. . . . Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.
This concept of jihad as institutionalized holy war was first articulated and codified into Islams worldview by warrior-theologians (mujahidin-fuqaha) living and fighting along the....
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The siege of Constantinople in 717-718 is often overlooked. Although it was much less significant, it seems that the Battle of Tours in 732 is better remembered.
And Islam has not changed its goals or its methods.
The West could use another leader like Emperor Leo III, the hero of Constantinople in 717-718.
I can’t help but feel a great opportunity was lost in 1918 with the defeat of the Ottomans to re-establish a Western-oriented, Christian Government in Turkey. Perhaps even bring back the Byzantine rulers.
I suppose it was a few centuries since the Turks were at the gates of Vienna, so the need for such was seen as quite preposterous at the time....
Delivery for Constantinople came from the least expected source: the Egyptian crew manning the Alexandrian ships, the Christian Copts. Because the vast majority of the caliphates fighting men, the mujahidin, were already engaging the enemy, the caliph had no choice but to rely on Christian dhimmi (second-class) conscripts for reinforcements. Much to the caliphs chagrin, however, the Copts all fled at nighttime to Constantinople, and acclaimed the Christian emperor.
they may not have much on the ball but they are very adept at long term planning,,,,
Leo III was a heretic. The West can do better.
Actually, the need to establish a Christian government in what is now Turkey was well understood by at least one of the Allied powers: Russia. Unfortunately, the German use of Lenin as a weapon of mass destruction had removed Tsar Nicholas II from power by the time it mattered.
There had been an agreement to give Constantinople and the region around it to Russia, and it was The Holy Royal Passion-Bearer Nicholas’s intention to reestablish a Christian Empire with its capital at Constantinople.
The opportunity was lost again when the Western powers refused to support the Greeks in the Second Greco-Turkish War.
The fall of the Tsar was a great calamity. In Orthodox Christian thought, the Christian claimants to the throne of Caesar — the Emperors at Rome and Constantinople and the Tsars of Russia after them — are “the one who restrains” who must be set aside before “the man of lawlessness” (the Antichrist) is revealed. Actually in a few years from 1918 to 1922 every conceivable claimant to the throne of Caesar — the Orthodox Tsar, the Lutheran Kaiser, and the Muslim Sultan (the Ottomans when it suited them regarded themselves as Muslim Roman Emperors) were overthrown. We are living in the end-times, the only question is how long they will last.
Russia could have taken Constantinople in the 1800s...
Orthodox Russia in fact prepared for WWI with the aim to take Constantinople
Any reading of Muscovite history shows that it has had 2 obsessions: the first from 1240ish until 1791 was 'the gathering of the Rus' when Muscowy believed that it was divinely ordained to gather together the various Rusyn peoples (remember that the Tsar was crowned "Tsar of ALL THE Russias")
The next obsession from 1490s onwards was "the gathering of the Orthodox" -- a divine mission to re-capture Byzantium
That latter mission fueled Russia through countless wars with the Ottomans and the Iranis
In fact it so permeated them that Tukachevsky, an avowed anti-Christian felt that Russia needed to capture Istanbul...
And where, do you believe, is Russia on this topic now? And what of Putin's reconciliation with and promotion of the Orthodox Church?
My feeling is that the gathering is now changed to a "let's get a warm-weather Meditteranean port". But that's just my feeling.
Putin's reconciliation is smart. The Russian Orthodox Church defines Russia -- that's why they fought hard to make the Ukrainian Church non-Autocephalous.