Sunday, March 14, 2010

Turks, Eastern Orthodoxy and the Fourth Crusade

This exactly wasn't the first topic I wanted to write about, my core interest being history of the Malabar. I stumbled upon this topic, when a discussion in the opensuse list on using the list as a platform to spread one's hatred about other's beliefs etc got heated up. One of the replies in there caught my attention.

btw Fred, I personnally am a Greek Orthodox Christian. In Eastern Christian culture, there has been a saying for a few hundreds of years:

"It is better to suffer under the sword of "Muhammad" than live thru the blessing of the pope." That was first said *BEFORE* the fall of Constantinoupoli in 1453 AD and has remained true until very recently.

This was something new to me. Although I was aware of the Eastern Orthodox Church being separate from the Roman Catholics, itself different from the Anglican and Protestants, an attitude of this sort was something interesting.I remember Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) once told us in Doha about his childhood that he hated Islam because being of Greek ancestry, they hated everything Turkish and Islam was one such thing. So why did the Eastern Orthodox church have such an intense rivalry with the Romans? Is this something real and historically documented? Well yes it seems so.

Ducas or (Wikipedia:Doukas_(historian)) is quoted to have remarked on the scene inside Hagia Sofia during siege of Constantinople in 1453,

“If at that moment," writes Ducas, “an angel had really descended from heaven and cried out, ‘Accept church union and I will drive your enemies from the
city,’ they would still have refused to profess union and would rather have surrendered to the Turks than to the Roman church?"
- "Pg 93, Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time. Babinger,Hickman Princeton University Press 2nd Ed"
The Greek admiral and commander Lucas Notaras is also quoted to have said,
"Rather the Turkish turbans than the Roman miter."Pg 96 Ibid

The reasons for this mostly trace back to the sack of Constantinople by the Romans in the Fourth Crusade, a destructive invasion like that of Baghdad by Mongols.More on that later.

My historical readings...

I've been a student of history for a long time. It's been a passion for me since my younger days. Occasionally I read articles, books etc. online or elsewhere and then when I might need to recall them for any purpose I wouldn't find them. So I'm gonna put them here (just like why I created my other Linux blog.Often I'd get commands or tools that would help me solve an issue and then forget it after some time).
Yeah so thats the first post. Onto to the topics now. Happy reading :)