May 29, 1453 – Fall of Constantinople

The Protestant Reformation didn’t just start the day Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the Castle Church doors in Wittenberg, Germany on Halloween 1517. The influence of Greek thought and literature and a renewal of “critical thinking” called humanism (it has a different connotation today) increased because western Europe had access to many more Greek books and literature. One reason was the fall of Constantinople on May 29, 1453 and the Eastern Greek Orthodox church – which had been at odds with the Roman Catholic Church since the Great Schism in 1054 AD – weren’t in the habit of sharing/teaching Greek philosophical thoughts. The Ottoman Turks breached the walls and the city soon became Istanbul, Turkey and the Byzantine Empire was over.