A Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian
Editor says, what if Constantinople had fallen to the Second Arab Siege? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Generals thread.
In 718 AD,after a combined land and sea effort, Arabs of the Umayyad Caliphate led by Maslamah ibn Abd al-Malik finally seized Constantinople, the capital city of the Byzantine Empire after a year-long siege. The successful campaign marked the culmination of twenty years of attacks and gradual Arab encroachment on the Byzantine borderlands.
Umayyads capture ConstantinopleAs a result, the relentless Arab advance would continue northwards imperilling the security of Christian Western Europe from two separate fronts, Spain and now also Asia Minor. This second regional threat was fully recognized by the Bulgars who willingly sent forces to the aid of the Byzantines in the knowledge that defeat would invite conquest of their own lands. But unfortunately Emperor Anastasius II had not taken seriously the signs of a major impending Arab invasion in 715. With only five months to prepare, the imperial collapse was exacerbated by internal division caused by the ongoing civil strife between Byzantine general Leo the Isaurian and Emperor Theodosius "the Unwilling".
Editor says, in reality Anastasius II did order preparations and as [Wikipedia reports] the failure of the siege had wide-ranging repercussions. The rescue of Constantinople ensured the continued survival of Byzantium, while the Caliphate's strategic outlook was altered: although regular attacks on Byzantine territories continued, the goal of outright conquest was abandoned. The siege is also credited with having halted the Muslim advance into Europe, and is hence often considered one of the most decisive battles in history. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.