The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1

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Page 322 - The number of the Ottomans was fifty, perhaps a hundred, times superior to that of the Christians; the double walls were reduced by the cannon to a heap of ruins: in a circuit of several miles, some places must be found more easy of access, or more feebly guarded; and if the besiegers could penetrate in a single point, the whole city was irrecoverably lost. The first who deserved the sultan's reward was Hassan the Janizary, of gigantic stature and strength. With his...
Page 203 - The precise era of the invention and application of gunpowder is involved in doubtful traditions and equivocal language ; yet we may clearly discern that it was known before the middle of the fourteenth century ; and that before the end of the same, the use of artillery in battles and sieges, by sea and land, was familiar to the states of Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and England.
Page 310 - ... hides ; incessant volleys were securely discharged from the loop-holes ; in the front, three doors were contrived for the alternate sally and retreat of the soldiers and workmen. They ascended, by a staircase, to the upper platform ; and, as high as the level of that platform, a scaling ladder could be raised by pulleys, to form a bridge, and grapple with the adverse rampart.
Page 319 - The preceding night had been strenuously employed : the troops, the cannon, and the fascines, were advanced to the edge of the ditch, which in many parts presented a smooth and level passage to the breach; and his fourscore galleys almost touched with the prows and their scaling ladders, the less defensible walls of the harbour.
Page 471 - Rome, have been elucidated by the diligence of the antiquarian and the student; and the footsteps of heroes, the relics, not of superstition, but of empire, are devoutly visited by a new race of pilgrims from the remote and once savage countries of the North.
Page 82 - Yet are thy skies as blue, thy crags as wild ; Sweet are thy groves, and verdant are thy fields, Thine olive ripe as when Minerva smiled, And still his...
Page 310 - A circumstance that distinguishes the siege of Constantinople is the reunion of the ancient and modern artillery. The cannon were intermingled with the mechanical engines for casting stones and darts; the bullet and the battering-ram were directed against the same walls; nor had the discovery of gunpowder superseded the use of the liquid and unextinguishable fire. A wooden turret of the largest size was advanced on rollers : this portable magazine of ammunition and fascines was protected by a threefold...
Page 320 - The foremost ranks consisted of the refuse of the host, a voluntary crowd who fought without order or command ; of the feebleness of age or childhood, of peasants and vagrants, and of all who had joined the camp in the blind hope of plunder and martyrdom. The common impulse drove them onwards to the...

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