Tuesday, May 29th, 1453 (With Some Thoughts on Tommy Robinson)

Mavri Triti. Black Tuesday.

It was exactly 565 years ago today –on a Tuesday–that Constantinople, the last bastion of the Eastern Roman Empire, fell to the forces of Sultan Mehmet II, the Conqueror.

The Second Rome had fallen, never to rise again.

Still, for all its faults, the Byzantine Empire (as it is now known), had a good run of it.  It was the longest-surviving polity in history.  Founded by Constantine I the Great in AD 312, it survived another 1,128 years when its last emperor, Constantine XI Paleologos died defending it.

If you want to date its founding the way the Byzantines did it, you would have to go back to the legendary founding of the city of Rome itself. After all, we call them Byzantines; they called themselves Romans.

For that, you’d have to add another 753 years (as Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BC.) That would make it 2,192 years. And Rome’s first king was Romulus and its first emperor Augustus. It lasted in the West until AD 476 and its last emperor was Romulus Augustulus. (Equally intriguing, the mothers of both Constantine I and Constantine XI were named Helen. .) Kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Its legacy survived in Orthodoxy, primarily the Slavic lands, where a new Rome –the Third Rome–planted itself on the banks of the Moscow River.  

My concern is not with history per se, or the coincidences that attended its rise and fall, but its legacy.  Can we uphold the idea of the Christian polity, a symphonia between Church and state? Clearly, we live in a post-Christian age; one could say an anti-Christian age. But before we get all week in the knees while we marvel at our secular/Enlightenment attitudes, know this: we’re in the process of jettisoning them lickety-split.

The recent election of Donald Trump to the presidency has only accelerated the end of constitutional rule, not because he’s invested himself with the powers of a Caesar but because the left is doing everything they can to destroy the Constitution in their desire to overturn a valid election.

And it’s not any better across the Pond, where in Great Britain, an ordinary citizen named Tommy Robinson was arrested by the police simply because he was live-streaming outside a courthouse. Inside the courthouse a trial was taking place, the accused being a bunch of Pakistani Moslems who were charged with running rape-gangs. Among the charges were forcing underage girls to become prostitutes.

For that “crime” Robinson was summarily tried without legal counsel and hauled off to prison for 13 months, where he will likely be “executed” because the British prisons are incubators of Islamic hatred.

Yeah, somehow, I don’t see where all this is one of the fruits of the Magna Carta. Maybe we in the Anglosphere should be more humble about how much our “democratic institutions” are so much superior to what obtained in Byzantium? I’m pretty sure that our vaunted devotion to the separation of Church and state will not survive the institution of Sharia law in Britain. Already, thanks to London’s “diversity” it has become the Murder Capital of Europe. Its mayor (Sadiq Kkan) has told the people that they simply have to get used to a certain level of murder and mayhem.

Because reasons. Vibrancy. Multiculturalism. Tolerance. Diversity. Whatever.

Anyway, sorry for the ramble. I could go on and on but I think you get the point. At the end of the day, what I’m saying is that maybe a little humility is in order, after all, Byzantium lasted for a little over a millennium.

That’s saying something. (Below, are my thoughts on the Thompson Affair.)


  1. “For that, you’d have to add another 753 years (as Rome was founded on April 21, 753 BC.) That would make it 1,881 years.”

    Sorry to quibble, George, but would it not be 2,206 years by Roman reckoning? (753 BC to 1453 AD)

    • George Michalopulos says

      Righto. My bad.

      • Which is the crime of calling it The “Byzantine Empire” but completely understandable from a western pejorative perspective. After all, Rome never got over the fact it really wasn’t all that important.

        • Tim R. Mortiss says

          Hardly a crime.
          Everybody recognizes that “Byzantine Empire” is purely a latter-day term used by historians starting a couple of centuries or so ago.
          But it has simply proved to be very convenient; so much so that it long ago passed into general usage.

  2. Anyone who says that we have some obligation to shelter Mohammadans and other hostiles in our own lands should look no further than Constantinople for a reason why that is wrong. And look at the major capitals of Western Europe today. Just because they conquer in relatively peaceful ways does not make it any less a conquest.

    I do not believe Our Lord’s will was for Christendom to fall. He may allow it for our sinfulness, but to oppose and repel the hordes is not un-Christian. Jesus was not a Soy Boy.

  3. You’ve nailed it again, George.

    The Robinson Affair is a travesty. One should bear in mind the difference between a good monarch and an evil one. The Church supports the good ones – Defenders of the Faith – and reviles the evil ones praying and working for their overthrow and/or demise – ex.: Julian the Apostate.

    It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Queen Elizabeth II is not an evil monarch, given the circumstances of the decline in British values and the hopeless decent of the Church of England into all manner of apostasy. In a monarchy, the buck stops with the monarch.

    I dare suggest it is no coincidence that she is a female monarch without the commitment to the patriarchal values of Christianity of her predecessors.

    Yet the UK is a constitutional monarchy. Its elites are to blame. But the Right is on the rise. Glory to God for the “Far Right” rise in Western Europe. Would that such at thing could occur here in the US.

    Robinson’s situation has inspired protests around the world:


    • Misha,
      Would a “good” monarch allow free speech, free press, free elections, and a gun under every pillow, in today’s society? When I think of “good” monarchs, like your beloved Putin, I think of friendly bears. They never remain good, nor friendly, for long.

      The right is on the rise, because the left has finally become fully exposed, but which direction will the masses flock to? This is the question, and answer to all the riddles we face.

      God’s speed my brother.

      • The problem, Dino my brother, is that sometimes you get relatively good monarchs and sometimes “bad” ones in the sense they don’t do what we might wish them to do. However, the only real reason to label a monarch “bad” is that they do not defend the Church and its values (very old, patristic, politically utterly incorrect values). Just because a modern minded American does not like what Putin has been or is becoming doesn’t mean that the Fathers wouldn’t be fine with him – or even criticize him for not holding a national referendum on elevating him to tsar status.

        But, here’s the problem with democracy: It always and infallibly leads to moral bankruptcy. If you know of a Western style democracy that has escaped this fate, please share it with me.

        That is to say that the choice is between mostly good and occasionally bad monarchs vs. infallibly bad democracies (that is, by traditional Orthodox standards, not those of the modern, secular humanist West).

        • Misha,

          Nothing in your response is untrue, in fact I would prefer an Orthodox Monarchy over what we have here in the USA. Problem is, the modern age, and current state we find ourselves in is the real problem and realty. Todays mind-set, even in Russia would not accept, nor support any type of monarchy, even if the majority thought they could.

          It’s not even a question if a monarch is good or bad, so much. It’s us. We are nothing like our ancestors were in so many ways, and it’s not individualism entirely. It’s almost as if Adam and Eve have taken a second bite in this new millennium and what we are witnessed, exposed, and inflicted with and by is paralyzing for most, especially without Orthodoxy. A new hybrid of humanity has been born.

          We don’t even have to go too far. The world war 2 generation is a completely different breed of human than today. The collective mindset then fought and died without question, voluntarily, for God and country. Now we taught no borders, and God the reason for all the wars. Kingdoms worked in the closed off societies of the past. The past, not now.

          Pandora’s box is wide open, we are now exposed to more than we can handle. Our sinful state is so much more compounded in this digital and wired world we are in. Kingdoms are obsolete. There is no more common good, because the majority of new humanity does not believe or trust any one or anything, any longer. A monarch would not last long in today’s society. Unless a monarch would “fix the problem” like Stalin or Mao.

  4. Bashful82 says

    You are defending Tommy Robinson of all people?
    An ordinary person?
    The co-founder of the extremely racist and vile English Defence League?
    Someone found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud?
    Frankly, he was in idiot for what he did and he was rightly called up for it.

    With all due respect, you don’t live in the UK and you don’t seem to have the foggiest about what you are pontificating about.

    Read this articles from Guido Fawkes (a conservative news/story site) for more information on this story:


  5. Bashful82 says

    You are defending Tommy Robinson of all people? An ordinary person? The co-founder of the extremely racist and vile English Defence League? Someone found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud?

    Robinson was warned he would be sent to jail if he took on contempt of court laws and did anything that could prejudice a trial ever again. He did so anyway. Tommy Robinson is an idiot.

    As summarised by Guido Fawkes (hardly a bastion of socialism, liberalism and what-not):


    Executing in prison and incubators of Islamic hatred?

    With all due respect, you don’t live in the UK and you don’t seem to have the foggiest about what you are pontificating about.

  6. You would actually have to add another 311 years (The 311 AD years until Constantine became sole emperor of the West) on top of that for a grand total of 2,192 years.

  7. Your video didn’t embed. I had to copy and paste the url into another tab. I think I might’ve sprained a finger. Anybody have Avenatti’s phone number?

  8. Ask anyone who hates Christianity why they feel this way, and among the top answers they’ll give is that the Church (or what they think is the Church) had the inquisition, crusades etc. Ask them, then, why they’re so willing to forgive the Muslim religion, which even right now is carrying out its very own crusade (to say nothing of its past), but not Christianity (or what they think is Christianity), which gave up its crusading long ago, and the answers run dry.

    There’s, of course, always the other tragedy of paedophilia within Roman Catholicism, but then ISIS is also known for child trafficking.

    It doesn’t matter, though. In this case, the person proves extremely capable of separating between the majority of non-crusading/non-child trafficking Muslims and their minority counterparts, yet perfectly incapable of extending the same courtesy to Christianity (or what they think is Christianity).

    It’s easy enough to see something of why this is, but it can be annoying all the same