The despotate of Epirus succumbed in 1449, the duchy of Athens in 1456; in 1453 Constantinople was taken and the decrepit Byzantine empire perished; the greater part of Bosnia submitted in 1463; the heroic resistance of the Albanians under Scanderbeg collapsed with the fall of Croia (1466), and Venetian supremacy in Upper Albania ended with the capture of Scutari (1478).
They threatened at once the debris of the old Latin empire in Greece and the archipelago, and the relics of the Byzantine empire round Constantinople; they menaced the Hospitallers in Rhodes and the Lusignans in Cyprus.
It was intended that Russia should take what remained of the northern coast of the Black Sea, Austria should annex the Turkish provinces contiguous to her territory, the Danubian principalities and Bessarabia should be formed into an independent kingdom called Dacia, the Turks should be expelled from Europe, the Byzantine empire should be resuscitated, and the grand-duke Constantine, second son of the Russian heir-apparent, should be placed on the throne of the Palaeologi.
The sovereigns of Spain, too, made use of the same material; and in the Byzantine empire leaden bullae seem to have been universally employed, not only by emperors and state officials but also by private persons.
The fanaticism of the caliph Hakim destroyed the church of the Sepulchre and ended the Frankish protectorate (Ioio); and the patronage of the Holy Places, a source of strife between the Greek and the Latin Churches as late as the beginning of the Crimean War, passed to the Byzantine empire in 1021.
Of these the Byzantine authority, the Alexiad of Anna Comnena, is most important, partly from the position of the authoress, partly from the many points of contact between the Byzantine empire and the crusaders.
Its great natural strength and situation, not far from the mouth of the Sis pass, and near the great road which debouched from the Cilician gates, made Anazarbus play a considerable part in the struggles between the Byzantine empire and the early Moslem invaders.
Seeing the danger which menaced the disorganized Byzantine empire from the Turks, he thought the best plan to prevent the Turkish invasion of the Balkan Peninsula would be to replace that empire by a SerboGreek empire.
Such was Gregory the Great's teaching, and such also is the purport of the Caroline books, which embody the conclusions arrived at by the bishops of Germany, Gaul arid Aquitaine, presided over by papal legates at the council of Frankfort in 794, and incidentally also reveal the hatred and contempt of Charlemagne for the Byzantine empire as an institution, and for Irene, its ruler, as a person.
The inhabitants of the Cape Bon Peninsula show evident signs of Greek blood arising from Greek invasions, which began in prehistoric times and finished with the downfall of the Byzantine Empire in North Africa.