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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
29th May 1453: The fall of Constantinople to the Turks
In 330, the city of Byzantium had been the renamed Constantinople and made the capital of the Roman Empire. While the Western Roman Empire had ended in 476, the Eastern Roman Empire continued. By the end of the 6th Century however, the Empire had become predominantly Greek in language and culture, with a structure retaining Roman law.
Constantinople remained the capital of this Empire throughout, ideally positioned to control both land and sea trade and with formidable fortifications. In 1204 it had finally fallen to western crusaders and was sacked, but by 1261 it was retaken by Greeks, and the Empire, though very diminished and weakened, had been restored.
By 1453, due to civil war and external aggression, The Empire had been reduced to little more than Constantinople itself. All surrounding territory and empires had been conquered the the rising power in the region, the Ottoman Empire.
In 1451, the Ottoman Sultan Mohammed II had resolved to eliminate Constantinople as a threatening enclave in the centre of his empire. In preparation he built Rumelihisan, a formidable fortress outside Constantinople, giving him complete control of the sea route into Constantinople and levying a toll on all ships going to the city.
By 1453 the sultan was ready to take the city. Beginning in April, after a 57-day siege, the overwhelming numbers and firepower of the Ottomans overwhelmed the defences and the city fell on May 29. Constantinople was made the new capital of the empire.
There were numerous consequences of the fall of Constantinople. The Ottoman Empire now had no serious opponents in the Balkans and conquered the entire subcontinent by 1526. The flight of Greek scholars and preserved ancient writings triggered the Renaissance in Europe. The Ottoman control of the trade from China prompted the European search for an alternative sea route, leading to European world-colonisation. Russia claimed to be the successor state to the Byzantine Empire, claiming the title "Third Rome" and adopting the Byzantine double-headed eagle in its coat of arms and founding the Russian Orthodox Church.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
The milk run
Twitter Followers = 2,246 (down 2)
Never-followed unfollowers eliminated = 2
Followed unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 0-
Spammers not followed back = 0
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
A smooth run of events came to an abrupt halt on Saturday with a double-whammy of encountering an aggressive drunk at the Weekend Job and receiving a fine over prescription-charge avoidance from the NHS, which I now have to set about contesting on Tuesday when everyone's available again.
Neither of these two events are particularly serious in long-term consequence, but they did upset my equilibrium, disturb/shorten Saturday night's sleep and prompt some inner reflection. In both cases a lack of experience meant that I didn't make the best decisions. I consequently won't be too harsh on myself but will learn the lessons.
Being a sensitive person, these sort of events cause significant mind malfunction, and to manage it is hard work, as my default is for thought to go into all manner of dark places. I now have the techniques and tools to do this, but it still takes days to regain full internal composure. Bottom line is always the Discipline Of Acceptance, letting go of the resentment of what isn't, allowing me to make the best of what still is.
The hardest part of this is FOCUS, putting attention on the positive - it calls for considerable mental effort when my particular focus has the traits of a puppy with a deathwish.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Are you fully in control of yourself?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Mild and dry with sunny periods
1016 millibars and rising slightly
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
“Latte” is Latin for: You paid too much for that coffee. :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
John Oliver on Fanta
A balanced diet for humans is almost the same for rats
9. ZEN WISDOM
Ideal love is fostered only between two sincere, mature and independent people. Real love is not two people clinging to each other; it can only be fostered between two strong people secure in their individuality.