Byzantine Empire Will Fall To Turks, Historian Warns

Top Headlines

International

Shoddy Chinese-Made Stock Market Collapses

SHANGHAI—Proving to be just as flimsy and precarious as many observers had previously warned, the Chinese-made Shanghai Composite index completely collapsed Monday, sources confirmed.

Why Westerners Join ISIS

With more than 150 Americans accused of attempting to fight alongside ISIS in Syria and countless young Europeans allegedly joining or supporting the terrorist group, many are left wondering what a population of extremists has to offer Westerners a world away. Here are some reasons these people might want to ally with ISIS

Nicaraguan Diplomat Drops Deadly Spider Onto John Kerry’s Blanket

ISLA GRANDE DEL MAÍZ, NICARAGUA—Creeping stealthily into the bungalow where John Kerry lay sleeping after a trade summit Thursday, Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Santos López, illuminated only by a sliver of moon, reportedly slid open the lid of a small pine box and released a deadly Brazilian wandering spider onto the blanket of his American counterpart.

What’s Next For U.S.-Cuban Relations

After 54 years of closure, the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. each began flying their flags once more this week, a symbol of the restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Here is what we can expect from the relationship going forward

U.S. Soothes Upset Netanyahu With Shipment Of Ballistic Missiles

WASHINGTON—Following Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s heated objections to the nuclear deal struck between the United States and Iran, American officials announced Tuesday that they were calming the upset head of government by treating him to a nice, big shipment of ballistic missiles.

World Begins Another Day At Mercy Of 19-Year-Old Estonian Hacker

TALLINN, ESTONIA—With the private data of national governments and entire global industries at his fingertips, sources confirmed this morning that yet another day had begun with the whole world helplessly at the mercy of 19-year-old Estonian computer hacker Jüri Pevkur.

FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

Global Soccer Tournament To Kick Off In America Later This Afternoon

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

Items Found In Bin Laden’s Compound

On Wednesday, the U.S. government declassified more than 400 documents and other material seized from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout during the 2011 raid that resulted in his death. Here are some of the items found in the former al-Qaeda leader’s compound

U.S. Worried About Living Up To Netanyahu Campaign Promises

WASHINGTON—Saying the Likud Party leader had set Israeli citizens’ expectations extremely high in the run up to his reelection Tuesday, top-level sources expressed their worry Wednesday about whether the United States would actually be able to...

A Timeline Of U.S.-Israel Relations

A congressional visit from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that has reportedly rankled President Obama is the latest issue in what have often been strained diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Mankind Tired Of Having To Remind Itself Of Good In World

PARIS—In the wake of this week’s terrorist attacks on French newspaper Charlie Hebdo and two ensuing armed standoffs that together left over a dozen innocent civilians dead, humankind admitted Friday that it is sick and tired of having ...

Schlubs From U.S., China Meet In Lowest-Level Talks

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA—In an effort to strengthen diplomatic ties between the global superpowers’ most oafish representatives, sources confirmed Thursday that schlubs from the United States and China met in Australia this week for a series of low...

Iranian Team Openly Working On Bomb In Negotiating Room

VIENNA—Asserting the Middle Eastern nation’s right to a safe, peaceful energy program, members of the Iranian diplomatic team attempted to seek more favorable terms of a deal with the P5+1 global powers while openly assembling a nuclear weapon...

Where Is Kim Jong-Un?

North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public since September 3. Here is the latest speculation on his whereabouts

How China Stifles Dissent

Recent clashes with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have refocused international scrutiny on the Chinese government’s efforts to quell social unrest and silence demonstrators.

Nation Admits It Could Probably Be Talked Into Another War

WASHINGTON—While they acknowledged that getting behind such a plan might take a little convincing, the American populace admitted this week that they could, in all likelihood, be talked into another war. Citizens across the nation told reporters tha...

Ugly Custody Battle Over Ian McKellen Narrowly Avoided

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—Following Scotland’s referendum Thursday rejecting independence from the United Kingdom, sources confirmed that a protracted and ugly custody battle over celebrated actor Sir Ian McKellen had been narrowly avoided.

Tips For Achieving Peace In The Middle East

With the Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalating, sectarian violence boiling over in Iraq, and Syria mired in a civil war that’s now more than three years old, the Middle East continues to be plagued by bloodshed and unrest.

Experts: Ebola Vaccine At Least 50 White People Away

CONAKRY, GUINEA—With the death toll in West Africa continuing to rise amid a new outbreak of the Ebola virus, leading medical experts announced Wednesday that a vaccine for the deadly disease is still at least 50 white people from being developed.

Who Is Vladimir Putin?

After troops from his country forcibly seized Crimea earlier this year, Russian president Vladimir Putin is back in the news for allegedly arming separatists in eastern Ukraine with the missiles that are believed to have taken down Malaysia Airlines Fl...

Understanding The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Tensions have quickly escalated in Gaza following the recent collapse of peace talks and the subsequent kidnappings and murders of Israeli and Palestinian teens, with Israeli citizens now threatened by daily rocket fire from Hamas while Gaza residents ...

What Is ISIS?

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a formerly al-Qaeda–aligned organization known by the acronym ISIS, has been seizing cities in Iraq, carrying out mass killings, and marching toward Baghdad.

Understanding The Situation In Iraq

Violence has escalated in Iraq in recent weeks as the Sunni Islamist militant group ISIS has seized control of numerous cities and continued its advance toward the capital, Baghdad.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Business

Entertainment

  • How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

    The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

Byzantine Empire Will Fall To Turks, Historian Warns

ITHACA, NY—The Byzantine Empire, the Eastern continuation of the Roman Empire, is in grave danger and will soon fall to united armies of Ottoman Turks, Cornell University history professor Wallace Schroeder warned Monday.

In a speech delivered to more than 300 students, Schroeder said that the Empire, having never fully recovered its unity and strength following the violent sacking of Constantinople by Christian crusaders in 1204, remains a severely truncated shadow of its former self. Once a powerful bulwark against the Muslim armies of the Middle East and Anatolia, the Byzantine Empire now faces its most formidable threat yet, the Ottoman Turks.

"It is clear that this situation is very grave indeed for the Byzantines," Schroeder said during the one-hour address in Room 101 of Uris Hall. "By this point, their army consists entirely of mercenaries and inexperienced would-be landholders who are serving temporary stints in the military, merely in the hopes of being granted huge amounts of farmland in the central Anatolian plain under the greatly unprofitable 'feudal levy' system. This rather ragtag bunch is altogether no match for the extraordinarily well-trained janissaries of the upstart Ottoman clans."

The U.S., long interested in the Byzantine Empire for its strategic location and close proximity to Eastern spice and silk markets, is following the developments closely.

"The stability of Byzantium is extremely important to the United States," said U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-RI), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "Certainly we're concerned about the Ottomans' ambitions and the threat they pose to the security of the spice routes. Rest assured we'll be in close contact with the Venetian city-state and the Frankish duchies on this matter."

Cornell University history professor Wallace Schroeder.

Despite a pledge of full military support from President Clinton and the threat of severe U.S. economic sanctions against the Ottomans, many seriously question the Byzantines' ability to withstand a Turkish siege.

"Even if the United States were to deploy 20,000 of its finest horse-mounted warriors to the Near East and cut off all opium exports to the Turks, it is still unlikely that that would be enough to stem the tide of history," said Arthur V. Wills, a Duke University professor of Near Eastern Studies and noted Byzantine scholar. "The reality is, U.S. aid or not, the once-great Byzantine Empire will in all likelihood not survive the 1290s."

Philip A. Brannock, visiting professor of Near Eastern Studies from Cambridge University, agreed. "I must concur with my esteemed colleague," Brannock said. "How easily we forget what an imposing force the Ottoman Turks are. Even an extremely capable and prestigious ruler like Holy Roman Emperor Charles V bent to their will, eventually ceding much of his Hungarian possessions to them."

While the volatile Byzantine situation is drawing the attention of scholars and government officials, perhaps no one is monitoring the developing crisis more closely than Kathleen Altman, a Cornell sophomore majoring in English.

"Professor Schroeder said that everything through the end of the Hundred Years War is going to be on the midterm," the 19-year-old from Syosset, NY, said, "so I guess we'll definitely have to know all the stuff about the Ottomans. Oh, my God, I have to pass that test."

Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI could not be reached for comment.