List of sieges of Constantinople

Topographical map of Constantinople during the Byzantine period, corresponding to the modern-day Fatih district of Istanbul. The city was known as Byzantium under Roman Empire.

The following is a list of sieges of Constantinople, a historic city located in an area which is today part of Istanbul, Turkey. The city was built on the land that links Europe to Asia through Bosporus and connects the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. As a transcontinental city within the Silk Road, Constantinople had a strategic value for many empires and kingdoms who tried to conqueror it throughout history.

Originally known as Byzantium in classical antiquity, the first recorded siege of the city occurred in 510 BC by Achaemenid Empire under the command of Otanes. Following this successful siege, the city fell under the rule of Persians until it won its independence again and became part of the Roman Empire around 70 BC. Despite being part of the Roman Empire, it was a free city until it became under siege by Septimius Severus between 193ā€“196 and was partially sacked during the civil war. After it was captured by Constantine the Great in 324, it became the capital of the Byzantine Empire under the name of New Rome. It later became known as Constantinople and in the years that followed it became under attack by both the Byzantine pretenders fighting for the throne and also by the foreign powers for a total twenty-two times. The city remained under Byzantine rule until the Ottoman Empire took over as a result of the siege in 1453, known as Fall of Constantinople, after which no other sieges took place.

Constantinople was besieged thirty-four times throughout its history. Out of the ten sieges that occurred during its time as a city-state and while it was under Roman rule, six were successful, three were repelled and one was lifted as a result of the agreement between the parties. Three of these sieges were carried out by the Romans who claimed the throne during civil war. Of the twenty-four sieges that took place while it was under Byzantine rule, five were successful, fourteen remained inconclusive, and five were lifted by reaching mutual agreements. Four of these sieges took place during civil wars. The Sack of Constantinople that that took place in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade caused the city to fall and established the Latin Empire. It also sent the Byzantine imperial dynasty to exile, who founded the Empire of Nicaea. Constantinople came under Byzantine rule again in 1261, but was conquered by the Ottomans with the siege in 1453, as a result of which the Byzantine Empire came to an end. The city has been under the rule of Turks since the last siege, except for the period of Allied occupation from 1920 to 1923.

Sieges

Date Attackers Defenders Forces used Result[A] Reference(s)
510 BC Achaemenid Empire Byzantium Naval and land Successful [1][2][3][4]
478 BC Delian League Achaemenid Empire Naval Successful [5][6][7][8][9]
408 BC Athens Byzantium, Megara, Boeotia Naval and land Successful [10][11][12][13][14]
340ā€“339 BC Macedonia Byzantium, Athens Naval and land Unsuccessful [15][16][17][18][19]
278ā€“277 BC Galatians Byzantium Land Lifted [20][21][22][23]
251 BC Seleucid Empire Byzantium, Heraclea Pontica,
Ptolemaic Kingdom
Naval and land Unsuccessful [24][25][26]
73ā€“72 BC Pontus Byzantium Naval and land Unsuccessful [B][27][28][29][30][31]
193ā€“196 Septimius Severus Pescennius Niger Naval and land Successful [32][33][34][35][36]
313 Maximinus II Licinius Land Successful [37][38][39][40][41]
324 Constantine the Great Licinius Naval and land Successful [42][43][44][45]
378 Goths Byzantine Empire Land Unsuccessful [46][47][48]
626 Pannonian Avars, Sasanian Empire Byzantine Empire Naval and land Unsuccessful [49][50][51]
654 Rashidun Caliphate Byzantine Empire Naval and land Unsuccessful [52][53]
669 Umayyads Byzantine Empire Naval and land Unsuccessful [54][55][56][57]
674ā€“678 Umayyads Byzantine Empire Naval and land Unsuccessful [58][59][60][61]
715 Opsician Theme Anastasios II Naval and land Successful [62][63][64]
717ā€“718 Umayyads Byzantine Empire Naval and land Unsuccessful [65][66][67]
813 First Bulgarian Empire Byzantine Empire Land Unsuccessful [68][69][70][71]
821ā€“822 Thomas the Slav Michael II Naval and land Unsuccessful [72][73][74]
860 Rus' Khaganate Byzantine Empire Naval and land Unsuccessful [C][75][76][77]
907 Kievan Rus' Byzantine Empire Naval and land Unsuccessful [78][79][80]
913 First Bulgarian Empire Byzantine Empire Land Unsuccessful [81]
921 First Bulgarian Empire Byzantine Empire Land Unsuccessful [82]
923 First Bulgarian Empire Byzantine Empire Land Unsuccessful [83]
941 Kievan Rus' Byzantine Empire Naval and land Unsuccessful [84][85][86]
1047 Leo Tornikios Constantine IX Monomachos Land Unsuccessful [87][88][89]
1203 Crusaders Byzantine Empire Naval and land Successful [90][91][92][93]
1204 Crusaders Byzantine Empire Naval and land Successful [94][95][96][97]
1235ā€“1236 Empire of Nicaea, Second Bulgarian Empire Latin Empire, Duchy of the Archipelago Naval and land Unsuccessful [98][99][100]
1260 Empire of Nicaea Latin Empire Naval and land Unsuccessful [101][99][102][103]
1376 Andronikos IV Palaiologos, Ottoman Empire, Genoa John V Palaiologos Land Successful [104][105][106]
1391 Ottoman Empire Byzantine Empire Naval and land Lifted [107][108][109][110]
1394ā€“1402 Ottoman Empire Byzantine Empire Naval and land Lifted [111][112][113][114]
1411 Musa Ƈelebi Byzantine Empire Land Lifted [115][116][117][118]
1422 Ottoman Empire Byzantine Empire Land Lifted [119][120][121][122]
1453 Ottoman Empire Byzantine Empire Naval and land Successful [123][124][125][126]

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