The City of Constantinople and Warfare of the Byzantine Empire

1491 Words6 Pages
Constantinople was the newfound Christian capital of the eastern Roman Empire, otherwise known as the Byzantine Empire. Throughout its long history, there have been many different attacks on the religious capital city. Over a period of 1123 years, Constantinople was a solid city controlled by the Byzantines apart some small upsets. Multiple attacks and sieges were attempted to overthrow the city, however, most failed miserably. It wasn’t until 1453 that the city finally fell to the Ottoman Empire. Some victories of the Byzantines may have been caused by a weapon called Greek fire, believed to be invented around the 650’s AD (Groller). The weapon was similar to today’s weapon, napalm. Out of the many sieges against Constantinople, the…show more content…
With the new invention of Greek fire, the Byzantines had a relatively easy time winning the wars. These two failed sieges stopped the expansion of the Arab Empire for more than 30 years. However, if the Arabs won, it could have started a chain reaction causing the Byzantine Empire to dissolve and jump-start the Arab expansion into England 700 years early. The Byzantine Empire fought wars differently then most at the time. Instead of using mass amounts of soldiers to overwhelm the enemy, the Byzantines used strategy and intelligence gathering to find their enemies’ weaknesses and expose them. The genius of Byzantine grand strategy was to turn the very multiplicity of enemies to advantage, by employing diplomacy, deception, payoffs, and religious conversion to induce them to fight one another instead of fighting the empire. ... In the Byzantine scheme of things, military strength was subordinated to diplomacy instead of the other way around, and used mostly to contain, punish, or intimidate rather than to attack or defend in full force. (Luttwak, 2009, p.415)
These strategies, not far off the ones used today, saved the Empire money and soldiers, a vital resource to the Empire. In order to maintain the level of soldiers in their army, commanders were expected to try and find a way to avoid open battles against the enemy’s main attack force. They

More about The City of Constantinople and Warfare of the Byzantine Empire

Get Access