A Long Period of Decline
The Emperor Justinian, who ruled Byzantium during much of the 700s A.D., brought prosperity to the empire and expanded its borders. However, this success came at a great cost. The treasuries of the Byzantines ran out of money, and the economy of the empire was weakened. For the next 700 years after the death of Justinian, the empire would see a long, slow period of decline.
Throughout these centuries, neighboring empires and nomadic tribes would attack Byzantium, conquering their lands, and further weakening them.
By 1453 A.D., the once mighty Byzantium Empire was nothing more than a city in decline surrounded by a few smaller villages. The city of Constantinople was in serious decline. No longer a center of wealth, Constantinople was now home to legions of poor.
However, the city still held an important strategic location which had allowed them to hold off Islamic invaders from reaching the Christian nations in the North.
In their weakened state, the Byzantines were attacked by the Ottoman Turks. The Turks besieged the city of Constantinople for six weeks before finally breaking through the city walls, bringing to an end over a thousand years of Byzantine culture and rule.