First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

it was ravaged by the Turkish Sultan, Mohammed (Machometes) Ottoman (Ottommanus). And so this most noble city fell into the hands of the infidels about 1130 years after it was built; and it had stood longer than Rome. Athalaricus ravaged Rome in the year from the founding of the city (i.e., Rome) 1164; yet he forbade the destruction of the churches of the saints; but the rage and beastly ignorance of the Turks left nothing holy or pure intact within this city, and they subjected the temples to foul abuses. We read of the wonderful celebrated and mighty deeds of the Thebans, Lacedaemonians, Athenians and Corinthians, and many venerable countries that have left no trace of their location on earth; but this city alone excels all others by reason of its great age, its wonderful buildings, its weapons, its literature, its glory and honors, to such an extent that its loss is equal to that of all the other cities. And although when the empire fell into the hands of the French, this city passed to the enemy, yet the churches of the holy ones were never destroyed, nor the library burned, nor the monasteries entirely plundered; for the ancient wisdom remained at Constantinople up to this year. No Latin was looked upon as sufficiently learned unless he had studied at Constantinople for some time. From this city Plato was given us, and from this city came to us the writings and teachings of Aristotle, Demosthenes, Xenophon, Thucidydes, Basilius, Dionysius, Origen, and many others up to our own times. But now it is otherwise under the empire of the Turks, that most savage people, the enemies of good morals and teachings. Now the rivers of learning are dammed up and its spring of wisdom sealed. I admit that there are universities among the Latins in many places, as at Rome, Paris, Bologna, Padua, Siena, Paris, Cologne, Vienna, Salamanca, Oxford, Pavia, Leipzig, Erfurt[The universities of Salamanca, Oxford, and Pavia are not listed in the German edition of the .] , and excellent universities elsewhere; but these are mere brooks flowing from the springs of Greece. How this city fell into the power of the Turkish sultan through war and siege, which occurred later under the emperor Frederick the Third, will be told later.

Constantinople: Ancient Byzantium was situated on the first of the seven hills, upon which, rising one above another, the modern city of Istanbul (a corruption of the Greek phase 'to the city') stands. Upon this gently sloping promontory, which serves as a connecting link between the Eastern and Western world, Constantine, after determining to remove the seat of empire from the banks of the Tiber, decided to fix the city that bore his name as its founder. Like the ancient mistress of the world, its foundations were laid on seven hills, and the emperor called it the New Rome. However, it never acquired the title of the Eternal City. The foundations were laid according to an imperial edict in obedience to the commands of heaven, as it is said. On foot, a lance in his hand, the emperor headed the stately procession to mark the boundaries of Constantinople. At the later period the honor of having inspired the choice of a founder was attributed to the Virgin Mother, who became the tutelary guardian of the city. The dedication of the city exhibited that strange compound of religions of which Constantine himself was a type. After a splendid exhibition of chariot games, the emperor, in a magnificent chariot was carried through the public part of the city, surrounded by guards in the attire of some religious ceremonial, with torches in their hands. The emperor bore a golden statue of the Fortune of the city in his hands. The rites lasted 40 days, though the 11th day of May is considered the birthday of the city.

The walls of Constantinople, across the enlarged breadth of the triangle, stretched from the port to the Propontis and enclosed five of the seven hills; but these were not finished before the reign of Constantius. The wall was flanked at short intervals by towers, mostly rectangular. Until 1204 CE Constantinople remained the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. In that year it was captured by the "blind old Dandolo" (Doge of the city-state of Venice) and the French. From 1204 to 1261 it became the seat of the Latin Empire, and on July 25, 1261, it reverted to the undisputed possession of the Greeks. On Ma 29, 1453, Constantius XIII, the last of the Palaeologi, fell upon the walls of his capital. Since then it has been looked upon by the people of the East as the seat of the supreme temporal and spiritual power, and the Sultan has become the heir of the Caesars. It was in 1453 that the city fell before the conquering sword of Mohammed II.