More on Critoboulos of Imbros

Looking at the introduction to the German edition of Critoboulos’ history, I find that a German translation is promised.  And it was so:

Das Geschichtswerk des Kritobulos von Imbros, Reihe ‘Byzantinische Geschichtsschreiber’, Bd. XVII, hg. von J. Koder, übersetzt, eingeleitet und erklärt von Dieter Roderich Reinsch, Graz, Wien, Köln 1986.

Useful to know, anyway.


4 thoughts on “More on Critoboulos of Imbros

  1. Critoboulos is one of the 4 major Historians of the Fall of Constantinople. Most important of the 4 was Frantzis, personal friend of Constantine XI who actually was inside the City and gave a first hand account. Critoboulos was telling the tale (in Greek) from a pro-Turkish point of view, he was not an eye-witness except that he saw the preparations for the siege by Mehmet II at Adrianople. The other 2 (Greek) historians I do not remember their names but wrote the story from a pro Western point of view.

    Critoboulos was the personal historian of Mehmet II. He notes how gracious Mehmet was in allowing the looting to take place for only 3 days, how he proceeded to call upon the Orthodox church to elect a new Patriarch of Constantinople since the throne was empty at the time of the Fall (which elected Gennadios Scholarios, a very prominent anti-Western cleric) so that he could legitimize his conquest and, most famously, how after the fall Mehmet went to try and declared that by sacking Constantinople he had avenged the sacking of Troy in the Trojan War

  2. Thank you very much for these details. If you recall the other two sources do let us know.

    I fear Critoboulos was a sad character. But I know very little about him.

  3. According to the Greek wikipedia (and my memory too) they are Michael Doukas who wants union of the churches and Laonikos Chalkokondylis who wrote a history of the Ottoman State and like Doukas was not an eyewitness. As always I am not sure about their spelling and its transliteration in English.

    Critoboulos used the official Ottoman archives and was put by Mehmet II as the ruler of Imbros right after the Fall.

    Now for the fall of Constantinople there are also Western, Slavic and Turkish sources but apparently only Frantzes was an eye-witness of the siege. Alas only the small recension of his Chronicle is original, the major recension received significant doctoring by the Mellisinoi family which wanted to prove that they are descendants of the Byzantine aristocratic Mellisourgoi family (which they were not). Critoboulos at least was happy to have his text transmitted in full and undoctored

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