The Seizure of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmed II: Justin Marozzi (1453)

In this swashbuckling episode of Travels Through Time we head back to the year 1453. We watch on as the brilliant, ruthless young sultan, Mehmet II, makes use of terrifying modern weaponry as he seeks to capture the prize of his heart’s desire: the ancient city of Constantinople.


Our guest this week is the award-winning and bestselling writer Justin Marozzi. Marozzi has lived for much of his professional life in the Middle East and North Africa and is known for books like The Man Who Invented History: Travels with Herodotus (2008) and Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood.


The events described and the characters involved in this episode are taken from Marozzi’s latest book, Islamic Empires Fifteen Cities that Define a Civilization. That book is published in paperback on 6 August by Penguin Press.


For much, much more about this episode, including battle plans and portraits of Mehmed and Constantine, head to our website:


Show notes


Scene One: January 1453. A Hungarian siege engineer called Orban offers the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II the most powerful new weapon in the world.

Scene Two: 22 April 1453, Mehmet displays an astonishing example of his military genius to seize control of the Golden Horn, Constantinople

Scene Three: 1:30am on 29th May, the battle for Constantinople reaches its dramatic climax

Memento: The magnificent cannon cast for the seige in 1453 by the Hungarian engineer Orban




Presenter: Peter Moore

Interview: Violet Moller

Guest: Justin Marozzi

Production: Maria Nolan

Podcast partner: Colorgraph

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