Let's Sue Them All!!!

The Byzantine Disaster

Constantine's Final Speech to Constantinople's Defenders

"Gentlemen, illustrious captains of the army, and our most Christian comrades in arms: we now see the hour of battle approaching. I have therefore elected to assemble you here to make it clear that you must stand together with firmer resolution than ever. You have always fought with glory against the enemies of Christ. Now the defense of your fatherland and of the city known the world over, which the infidel and evil Turks have been besieging for two and fifty days, is committed to your lofty spirits. Be not afraid because the walls have been worn down by the enemy's battering. For your strength lies in the protection of God....

You are aware that the impious and infidel enemy has disturbed the peace unjustly. He has violated the oath and treaty that he made with us; he has slaughtered our farmers at harvest time; he has erected a fortress on the Propontis as it were to devour the Christians; he has encircled Galata under a pretense of peace. Now he threatens to capture the city of Constantine the Great, your fatherland, the place of ready refuge for all Christians, the guardian of all Greeks....

Lift high your spirits now for battle. You, my comrades in arms, obey the commands of your leaders in the knowledge that this is the day of your glory--a day in which, if you shed but a drop of blood, you will win for yourselves crowns of martyrdom and eternal fame."

Quoted in The Immortal Emperor by Donald Nicol as quoted by E. Gibbons in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, London: 1900, as witnessed by George Sphrantzes and quoted as part of Sphrantzes' memoirs in Melissenos


Back