Today in European history: the Martyrs of Otranto (1480)

and that's the way it was

When Mehmed the Conqueror earned his nickname by conquering Constantinople in 1453, he also took another title: Caesar (Kaysar-i Rum, in Persian). Although today we think of 1453 as the end of the Roman Empire (and, to be fair, later Ottomans certainly thought of it that way as well), at the time Mehmed very much identified as simply the new Roman Emperor. The Ottomans were always happy to add a new royal title, in part because they had a hard time making the ideological case for their own reign. They clearly weren’t caliphs, and even later when they assumed that title it’s not at all clear that anybody really bought it. They couldn’t trace their descent from Genghis Khan or Timur, the two great conquerors of the age. They didn’t have a spiritual claim to power like the Safavids would later assume. And until they captured Constantinople they…

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Author: DWD

writer, blogger, lover, fighter

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