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originally posted by: markosity1973
Turkey has been instrumental in fuelling the Islamic uproar over it's border. How could we expect anything less in its homeland?
Byzantium had experienced first hand the brutality of the western crusaders who, goaded on by Catholic priests in 1203 had sacked the city in one of the greatest atrocities in history, magnified several-fold by the immense cultural and intellectual loss in what was one of the great centres of world civilization.
This shocking act of delinquency way surpassed the sacking of Rome by the Goths or the, relatively humane, subsequent sacking of Byzantium by the Turks.
Here is how it was recorded by one Byzantine historian:
“No one was without a share in the grief. In the alleys, in the streets, in the temples, complaints, weeping, lamentations, grief, the groaning of men, the shrieks of women, wounds, rape, captivity, the separation of those most closely united. Nobles wandered about ignominiously, those of venerable age in tears, the rich in poverty.
Thus it was in the streets, on the corners, in the temple, in the dens, for no place remained unassailed or defended the suppliants. All places everywhere were filled full of all kinds of crime.
Oh, immortal God, how great the afflictions of the men, how great the distress!” The Byzantine historian Nicetas Koniates wrote: “even the Muslims are human and well-disposed, reported to[compared to] those people who carrie the cross of Christ on the shoulders” Manual II Paleologos ( the emperor who Benedict quoted) had reason to fear the Muslims since Byzantium was perpetually on the verge of falling to them, as indeed it did in 1453.
But even in the midst of that final siege one of the city’s last great statesmen was heard to say
“Better the Sultan’s turban than the cardinal’s hat”