The Fall of Constantinople

1453 The Fall of Constantinople.jpgConstantinople was built-in the year 330 by Constantine. It was captured in both the years 1204 and 1261. It lost much of its populations from the black death in the years 1346-1349.

A problem arose when Constantine the Eleventh realized that Mehmed the Second (the Sultan of Ottoman) was preparing for war. He call on Europe for help but because of the papal schism they were still at odds. He gained 7,000 men and 2,000 of them were foreigners. Mehmed had 50,000-80,000 men this making the odds more in his favor (he also had many ships and cannons).

Constantine really tried to defend his city but it still fell. It is believed that the Ottomans still did suffer much from this battle. Mehmed looted the city for three days and then allowed the citizens to continue living their lives. They were now under the power of the Ottoman Empire though. This was the end of the remains of the Roman Empire. It also marks the end of the Middle Ages. Constantinople’s name was changed to Istanbul and became the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

The fall of Constantinople led to many changes. Some of which would be the use of cannons would become more popular or the old religions of the time were pretty much gotten rid of. This event was yet another part of God’s perfect plan and he used it for the glory of Him. Sometimes terrible things like war are used for the best of reasons.

The Black Death

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The black death was an epidemic plague that spread in Europe in the year 1348. It was going around for a while but the recognized date was 1348. This great plague killed 30-60% of Europe’s populations. Due to the numerous amount of deaths working men became scares and this let to less food coming to harvest. Even more deaths came from the famine that was produced from the plague.

Symptoms of the plague were boils, fevers, aches, chills, and vomiting. The boils or spots would turn black and you would have just a few days left after this. Doctors did not have enough knowledge to know how to treat the disease. They tried dangerous things like bloodletting but all was in vain.

Some people believed the plague was judgement from God and they whipped themselves in public. This was their attempt to make it right with God. I believe that it could be very likely that it was God’s judgment. The people did not help themselves at all because they did not respond how God would want them to. God wants them to repent from their sins not try to take punishment into their own hands. It may have been painful and embarrassing to be whipped in public but it is not what God would require. Therefore they embarrassed themselves on their own accord and gained absolutely nothing from it.

You may not have known it but you most likely sang a poem about the plague as a child. The poem Ring Around The Rosy is a poem about the black death. Rosy symbolizes the red spots that would appear when you infected by the plague. Posies symbolize the bundles of flowers that people would carry around to try to help with the smell from the bodies of the dead. Ashes symbolize the bodies that had to be burned to try to control the smell. What may have been a sweet poem to recite is actually telling a story about a terrible plague.

The plague was mostly gone by 1350 but did show up a few times in the 19th century. It took Europe approximately 150 years to regain its numbers. The plague was a major dent in Europe’s history.

Selecting Sharp Stuff for Trekking and Camping

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I did some studies on sharp tools for trekking and camping this week. The three things I learned about were multipurpose tools, knives, and axes.

The multi-tool was my favorite. The multi-tool has many different uses and a very important part is that it is small and does not take up much space. It normally has a plain blade, serrated blade, a saw, and a file. Not as common parts include bits, can openers, scissors, and pliers.

Knives provide ease during trekking and camping. A fixed blade knife could even be used to split wood for fire if needed. You need to know how to use the knife before you go camping/trekking or it might not be the right knife for your needs. Some good rules to follow would be to ovoid tactical knives and odd-shaped blades. You will want a full-tang or narrow-tang knife that has a 4-6 inch blade.

Axes can be used for chopping, limbing, and splitting wood. A 18″ axe is probably the best to bring because it is versatile. Use caution when using axes because they can hurt you if you do not know how to use it.

These are the three sharp things that you may need when camping or trekking. Be sure to learn how to use each one before you begin so that nobody gets hurt.