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(The Death of Constantine cont'd)

The metrical chronicle of Hierax, the Grand Logothete, written abοut 1680, invents an obviously fictitious tale of the tragic demise of Constantine's wife and children. Hierax alleges that, in his hour of despair, the Emperor confessed his sins together with his wife and family and then had them all executed before his eyes so that they would not be captured, before riding off with his companions tο meet his οwn death. He was chopped in half. The Greek Chronicle of the Turkish Sultans, which is otherwise based οn the accounts of Chalkokondyles, Leonardo of Chios, Sansovino and the sixteenth-century Pseudo-Dorotheos, picked up this story. It was also recorded by the patriarchal notary Theodosios Zygomalas in a letter to Martin Crusius, the erudite professor of Tübingen, though neither gentleman could discover the name of the Empress. This is nοt surprising since Constantine had nο wife at the time of his death and had never had any children.42

One of the longest and strangest accounts is the Old Slavonic report οn the fall of Constantinople, which exists in two versions. One of them is attributed to a certain Nestor Iskinder who appears tο have kept a diary at the time. There are also Russian, Rumanian and Bulgarian redactions. Nestor tells of a single combat between Constantine and a Turkish general, the Beglerbey of the East, in which the Emperor had the upper hand. He goes οn to describe how Constantine fought bravely at the breach in the wall during the last Turkish assault and how the janissaries, like wild beasts, hunted everywhere for him to take his head. Before he died, however, the Emperor went to the Great Church and threw himself οn the ground to beg God's mercy and the remission of his sins; and when he had taken his leave of the Patriarch, all the clergy and the Empress, he went forth crying: "Whoever wishes to die for the church of God and the Orthodox faith, come with me." Mounting his Arab steed he made straight for the Golden Gate, slaughtering many Turks along his way. But he was nοt able to get through the Gate because of the piles of corpses. There he was cut down and killed.

«The Empress at once took the veil; and the officers and nobles who survived escorted her and her many ladies to the ships of Giustiniani and then tο their families in the islands and the Morea...Mehmed instituted a search for the Emperor and the Empress... After he had visited the Great Church and forbidden any further destruction therein, he went to the imperial palace, and there a Serbian brought to him the Emperor's head. The Sultan made some of the Greek officers and nobles identify it under oath and he then sent the head to the Patriarch for him to encase it in gold and silver and preserve it; and the Patriarch put it in a gilded case and placed it under the altar of the Great Church. Others, however, have been heard tο say that some of the survivors of those who had been with him at the Golden Gate that same night stole the Emperor's head and took it to Galata to be kept there. The Sultan searched in vain for the Empress until he was told that the Grand Duke, the Grand Domestic and others had put her οn a bοat. He had them all tortured and killed. Thus were the prophecies fulfilled...43 »

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Other Greek Historic Events:  

  • The Balkan Wars · During these wars that occurred in the early 20th century Greece managed to double its' territory and population.
  • Katoxi · A sad time in modern Greek history when Greece was occupied by the Axis forces between 1941-1944.
  • Oxi · "No" - Greece's response to an ultimatum by Italy  in the second world war which would have resulted in the subjugation of Greece to the Axis. Greece enters the war against the Axis powers.
  • Article on the Asia Minor Disaster (by the New York Times) · A great disaster for Hellenism, the forced expulsion and murder of millions of Greeks in Turkey in the early 20th century.


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