October 6, 2010

John Cananus: On the Siege of Constantinople in 1422

Doctoral Thesis from the University of Western Australia

By Margaret Helen Purdie


Abstract: The purpose of this thesis has been to provide an English translation of "The account of the siege of Constantinople in 1422," written in mediaeval Byzantine Greek by an eye-witness of the event, John Cananus. Many eye-witness accounts were written about the final siege of Constantinople in 1453, the year in which that city was captured by the Ottoman Turks, who then made it their capital. This siege of 1422, the penultimate of four attempts on the city by the Ottomans, has received far less attention than that of 1453, yet it merits attention, as it forms a significant part of the history of the Ottoman absorption of the territories of the once great Byzantine Empire. While there exists a seventeenth century Latin translation and there are two twentieth century Italian translations, this account by Cananus has not as yet been translated in full into English. This is a parallel translation, that is the Greek text and the English translation are on facing pages. Accompanying this is an introduction to provide a historical context, to discuss differences in information and presentation by other historians, contemporary with Cananus, and to offer reasons why the author may have chosen this style of presentation and this selection of material. Notes concerning various topics, items and issues found in the text of Cananus follow the translation.

Read the thesis here.