1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West Audiobook, by Roger Crowley Play Audiobook Sample

1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West Audiobook

1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West Audiobook, by Roger Crowley Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Simon Prebble Publisher: Hachette Book Group Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 7.33 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.50 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: August 2016 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781478913962

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

47:28 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

13:44 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

36:29 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Roger Crowley: > View All...

Publisher Description

A gripping exploration of the fall of Constantinople and its connection to the world we live in today, 1453 tells the story of one of the great forgotten events of world history, the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.

For a thousand years Constantinople was quite simply the city: fabulously wealthy, imperial, intimidating—and Christian. Single-handedly it blunted early Arab enthusiasm for Holy War; when a second wave of Islamic warriors swept out of the Asian steppes in the Middle Ages, Constantinople was the ultimate prize: “The Red Apple.” It was a city that had always lived under threat. On average it had survived a siege every forty years for a millenium—until the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, twenty-one years old and hungry for glory, rode up to the walls in April 1453 with a huge army, “numberless as the stars.”

Here is the taut, vivid story of this final struggle for the city told largely through the accounts of eyewitnesses. For fifty-five days a tiny group of defenders defied the huge Ottoman army in a seesawing contest fought on land, at sea, and underground. During the course of events, the largest cannon ever built was directed against the world’s most formidable defensive system, Ottoman ships were hauled overland into the Golden Horn, and the morale of defenders was crucially undermined by unnerving portents. At the center is the contest between two inspirational leaders, Mehmed II and Constantine XI, fighting for empire and religious faith, and an astonishing finale in a few short hours on May 29, 1453—a defining moment for medieval history.

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"A brilliant account of the end of the Roman empire. The researches were so well done that the narration is very smooth, as if Roger had been there, at the time and had witnessed the events. Recommended."

— Monsegu (5 out of 5 stars)


  • “Gripping…Mixes intriguing details of military history with rich references to the religious imagery that influenced both parties.”

    — Economist (London)
  • “Vivid and readable…An excellent traveler’s guide to how and why Istanbul became a Muslim city.”

    — Guardian (London)
  • “Crowley manages to invest his retelling with almost nail-biting drama.”

    — San Francisco Chronicle
  • “A carefully paced, compelling, and ultimately fair narrative, it is firmly grounded in the original Italian, Greek, and (in lesser number) Ottoman accounts.”

    — Times Literary Supplement (London)
  • “A powerful telling of an extraordinary story, presented with a clarity and a confidence that most academic historians would envy.”

    — Sunday Telegraph (London)
  • “The story of an ancient city and its attraction to members of two major religions…Perhaps the author’s most instructive point, made by others as well, is that Mehmet turned the city into one where religious toleration and multiculturalism flourished.”

    — Publishers Weekly
  • “A fluent history of the annus horribilis in which impregnable Constantinople finally fell to Islam, a key moment in a 1,500-year-long clash of civilizations…[A] swiftly paced, useful guide to understanding the long enmity between Islam and Christianity.”

    — Kirkus Reviews
  • “Written in crackling prose…we are treated to narrative history at its most enthralling.”

    — Daily Express (London)

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About Roger Crowley

Roger Crowley is a UK-based writer and historian and a graduate of Cambridge University. As the child of a naval family, his fascination with the Mediterranean world started early, on the island of Malta. He has lived in Istanbul, walked across much of western Turkey, and traveled widely throughout the region. His particular interests are the Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman empires, seafaring, and eyewitness history. He is the author of three books on the empires of the Mediterranean and its surroundings: 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople, Empires of the Sea, and City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Waves.

About Simon Prebble

Simon Prebble, a British-born performer, is a stage and television actor and veteran narrator of some three hundred audiobooks. As one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices, he has received thirty-seven Earphones Awards and won the prestigious Audie in 2010. He lives in New York.