Nicholas V

   Pope (q.v.) from 1397-1455. He was pope when Constantinople fell to the Ottomans (qq.v.) in 1453. His sluggish response to the Ottoman threat to the city can be explained first by an unwillingness to send any help unless the Byzantines were serious about the union of the churches (q.v.). That obstacle was solved on 12 December 1452 when the pope's emissary Isidore of Kiev (q.v.) proclaimed church union in Justinian I's Hagia Sophia (qq.v.). Nicholas was preparing a fleet to aid the beleaguered city when the city fell to the Ottomans some five months later. In any case, the pope was providing funds for Alphonso V, King of Naples (q.v.), who had plans to restore the Latin Empire (q.v.) in Constantinople. More profitable results came from Nicholas's foundation of the Vatican library, his collection of Greek manuscripts, and his support of Greek scholars like Bessarion (q.v.).

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

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