By Harry J Magoulias
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Additional resources for Doukas. Decline and Fall of Byzantium to the Ottoman Turks
The de35 Introduction scription of Constantine's death in the forefront of battle, abandoned and exhausted, is deeply moving. Thus ended the glorious line of Christian emperors who had reigned for 1129 years. Begotten by one Constantine, Christian Constantinople expired in the embrace of another Constantine; the Cross was replaced by the Crescent, and Christ gave way to Muhammad. The pillage, slaughter, enslavement, and desecration of Hagia Sophia, so poignantly expressed by Doukas, must have seemed like the end of the world to the Byzantines (XXXIX 20, 21, 24, 29; XL 1, 2).
12 Andronikos, called "the Younger," succeeded 59 Doukas Michael and reigned thirteen years [III, 1328-1341]. Andronikos was succeeded by his son, John Palaiologos [V, 13411354; 1355-1376; 1379-1391] who, because of his youth, was under the guidance of Lord John Kantakouzenos [VI, coemperor 1347-13641. 5. During his reign the Turks began to cross the Helles- pont. From Asia came Umur,13 the grandson of Aydin and ruler of the Turks who governed Smyrna, Ephesus, and the surrounding territories, while from Prusa came Orchan, the grandson of Othman.
His descriptions of Bayazid I's lasciviousness (XIV 2), Sophia of Montferrat's shapely figure but, alas, homely face (XX 6), John V's promiscuity (X 4, XII 2), and Temirkhan's macabre sadism (XV 6, XVII 1) are-highly effective. The historian is not so prejudiced that he is unable to praise the virtues of some Ottoman sultans and criticize the vices of erring emperors. Having supported the peace-loving Mehmed I against his rival Musa (XX 1), Manuel II Palaiologos later shifted his support to both Mehmed I's brother and to his son against Murad II, thereby incurring the wrath and rancor of the sultan (XXIII 7, XXVIII 6).