Trouble appeared to have brewed only once: in early 1439, Constantine wrote to his brother in Italy to remind the Pope that the Byzantines had been promised two warships by the end of spring. His younger brother Demetrios governed Constantine's former appanage around Mesembria in Thrace, and Constantine pondered the possibility that he and Demetrios could switch places, with Constantine regaining the Black Sea appanage and Demetrios being granted Constantine's holdings in the Morea. [50] Many of Constantine's courtiers opposed the idea due to a distrust of the Serbians, causing Constantine to question the viability of the match. When none of them obeyed his command, Constantine threw off his imperial regalia, as to not let himself be distinguished from the other soldiers, and disappeared into the fray, sword in hand. Giustiniani was appointed by Constantine as the general commander for the walls on Constantinople's land side. Constantine resolved to commit himself and the city to the mercy of Christ;[93] if the city fell, it would be God's will. [4], As the empire dwindled, the emperors concluded that the only way to ensure that their remaining territory was kept intact was to grant some of their holdings to their sons, who received the title of despot, as appanages to defend and govern. The emperor then left the church, going to the imperial palace and asking his household there for forgiveness and saying farewell to them before again disappearing into the night, going to make a final inspection of the soldiers manning the city walls.[96]. [119], Andronikos Kallistos, a prominent 15th-century Greek scholar and Byzantine refugee to Italy, wrote a text entitled Monodia in which he laments the fall of Constantinople and mourns Constantine Palaiologos, whom he refers to as "a ruler more perceptive than Themistocles, more fluent than Nestor, wiser than Cyrus, more just than Rhadamanthus and braver than Hercules".[120]. [67], Mehmed began preparations immediately. [9] Aside from stylized and smudged depictions on seals and coins, no contemporary depictions of Constantine survive. [113], A less positive assessment of Constantine was given by Marios Philippides in Constantine XI Dragaš Palaeologus (1404–1453): The Last Emperor of Byzantium (2019). [85] Mehmed's army massively outnumbered the Christian defenders; his forces might have been as many as 80,000 men,[86] including about 5,000 elite janissaries. Constantine XI Paeleologus (AD 1448-1453). In September, he left Lesbos, leaving Caterina with her father on Lesbos, to travel to the Morea. About fifty Ottoman soldiers made it through one of the gates, the Kerkoporta, and were the first of the enemy to enter Constantinople; it had been left unlocked and ajar by a Venetian party the night before. Iagaris was successful, and the agreed-upon truce also included Constantine's brothers in the Morea to secure the province from further Ottoman attacks. The ultimatum was a setback for Constantine, who had done his best to enforce the union without inciting riots in Constantinople. Although emperors were traditionally crowned in the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, there was historical precedent for smaller and local ceremonies: centuries ago, Manuel I Komnenos had been given the title of emperor by his dying father, John II Komnenos, in Cilicia; Constantine's great-grandfather, John VI Kantakouzenos, had been proclaimed emperor at Didymoteicho in Thrace. Hit that like button. [1] On his way there, he came across a band of Turkish marines, and after charging and nearly killing one of them, was decapitated. [130], There is particular confusion in the correct number of Constantines since there are two different Roman emperors commonly numbered as Constantine III: the Western usurper Constantine III (r. 407–411) of the early 5th century and the briefly reigning Byzantine Constantine III (r. 641) of the 7th century. The city's population had declined significantly due to the Latin occupation, the 14th century civil wars, and outbreaks of the Black Death in 1347, 1409 and 1410. Ortodoks Yunani. Some of Constantine's companions and councilors implored him to escape the city, rather than die in its defense: if he escaped unharmed, Constantine could set up an empire-in-exile in the Morea or somewhere else and carry on the war against the Ottomans. 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