The Fall of Constantinople

From the Series Pivotal Moments in History

  • Interest Level: Grade 9 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 9

How did the loss of one city change the history of Europe? In the Middle Ages, Constantinople’s perfect geographic location—positioned along a land trade route between Europe and Asia as well as on a strategic seaway from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean— made the city extremely desirous, and as a result, prone to attack. Under the control of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, Constantinople became known as “the Eye of the World,” a center of government, trade, art, religion, and learning, and was even more desirous. Rulers built three sets of walls to protect Constantinople from attacks by Asiatic tribes. But the city’s fall to the Turkish Ottomans in 1453 marked the official end of the Byzantine Empire—and the end of the Middle Ages. Learn how the fall of Constantinople became one of history’s most pivotal moments.

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Interest Level Grade 9 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 9
Genre Social Studies, Young Adult
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Publication Date 2008-01-01
Dewey 949.5'04
Graphics 1-color illustrations, Full-color illustrations
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Bibliography/further reading, Endnote, Glossary, Index, Maps, Primary source quotations/images, Pronunciation guide, Reviewed, Source notes, Table of contents, Timeline, and Websites


School Library Journal

Iranian Revolution is the stronger of these two books. It begins with background on the role of Islam in Iranian history and describes the 20th-century conflict between the Iranian Shahs who wanted to embrace Western culture and the ultraconservative clerics, such as Khomeni, who wanted a society based upon Islamic law. January then objectively discusses U.S. meddling in and influence on Iranian affairs, the overthrow of the Shah, and the hostage crisis that brought the country into conflict with the West and left it open to attack by neighboring Iraq. He also analyzes the revolution’s descent into a ruthless regime that has left the country isolated and its people disenchanted. Feldman opens with a discussion of the city’s important strategic location. She then traces its history from Greek outpost to its fall to the Ottoman Turks, describing both the civilizations that controlled it and the endless battles fought to conquer it, and closes with a look at the city today. The somewhat dry discussion of its history is overly focused on the leaders and the battles they directed and is short on analysis of why its control was so important to so many empires. The maps are inadequate to help students locate the city and follow battle action. James A. Corrick’s The Byzantine Empire (Gale, 2006) is a more clearly written examination of Constantinople’s role as strategic gateway between East and West, and is a better choice. Both books have full-color and black-and-white photos and illustrations throughout.”
School Library Journal

The Horn Book Guide

“Sure to satisfy history buffs, the book not only relates military facts but also delves into the events leading up to Constantinople’s defeat as well as exploring its effects throughout history.”
The Horn Book Guide