TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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The Fall of Constantinople according to Gennadius Scholarios

TEODOROS ZISIS, The Fall of Constantinople according to Gennadius Scholarios
The article presents the dramatic events before and during the fall of Constantinople into the hands
of the Turks, from the perspective of Gennadius Scholarios, the fi rst Ecumenical Patriarch after the
fall of the Byzantine Empire. First, the author tries to depict the historico-political and religious
context of Constantinople in that period of confl ict between the two main factions: the pro-Western
and pro-Catholic one which promoted church union with Rome as a way of saving the Empire from
the Turks and the other one which considered the union with Rome as betrayal of Orthodoxy, taking
Westerners promises as empty words and promoting resistance by themselves in front of the
Turkish danger. Leader of the latter (according to its teachers, Joseph Vriennios and St. Marcus
Eugenicus), Gennadius Scholarios becomes the victim of a systematic campaign of defamation by
the Western historiographers and by the writers swayed by it. In this regard, the article tries to
answer the accusations brought to this important ecclesial fi gure, Gennadius Scholarios, especially
regarding his attitude of passivity and dissuasion of the people in the fi ght against the Turks. To do
this, the author uses - in addition to several secondary sources - especially stories and testimonies
from the writings of Gennadius himself, writings that put into dramatic and eloquent words that
tragic period in the history of the Greek people and of Orthodoxy in general.
KEYWORDS: Gennadius Scholarios, Ecumenical Patriarch, the Ottoman Empire, The Fall of Constantinople