"Noble edifices combining the favour and attraction with impressive proportions would immensely conduce to the exaltation of the holy chair of St. Peter."
- Pope Nicholas V, Death Bed Speech, quoted in Ludwig Pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages.
Pope Nicholas V touched the paper and the ink on top feeling its ruggedness with his ripe old hands.
It is an achievement for him to be able to clearly read and articulate the words on the papers considering that a man of this age who are intellectual enough will not be able to see things in close distance clearly.
The pope felt his hands across the paper, feeling every texture on the page, feeling the dried ink, and feeling the person behind this letter writing it. This might seem to be awkward to others, but when the Pope is actually not only reading the words on the letter itself, he is also reading the person who is writing the letter at that time.
After a while, the pope sighed and thought to himself. "It seems like the Greek Orthodoxies have gotten out of their troubles…"
It can be said that the messenger and legate from Constantinople did not arrive on a much favoured time, the pope is just eagerly the city layout of the New Rome, or his new Rome, with a renowned architect named Leon Battista Alberti, transforming the old Rome into a city that matches its statues as the central of Christianity in the century of the new era, when the messenger came.
The Pope passed the letter to a clergy standing behind him and asked the Greek legate kneeling on the ground on one knee. "My child, tell me, has your imperator successfully deterred the attack by the Saracens."
"Yes, your holiness." The messenger answered looking down at the ground. "Under the excellent leadership of our Basileus, we managed to hit on the Saracens hard, slaying their Sultan in the process, these infidels came in the numbers of hundreds of thousands, but they returned leaving mostly as corpses."
The clergies and sisters around had different expressions to the messenger's words. Some gasped in shock, some sneered in disbelief, some cried in excitement, some licked their lips grinning in thirst for battle, some jeered at the messenger pointing out he is bluffing, but the messenger do not care, he only answers to two men now, one is his Basileus Constantine, and another is the pope.
The pope knew clearly that this messenger is boasting trying to earn more stakes on the table of negotiation through expanding the numbers, a common tactic used on the diplomatic warfare. But the Pope did not retort against his words poking the paper revealing the messenger's sins of lying, he only needs to acquire two important information from these words. One is that Constantine and the Greeks won against the Saracens and defended their city; Constantinople is not lost. And second being the death of the Ottoman Sultan.
Of course, the Pope will not believe the gibberish guff that Mehmed II is killed by the hands of the Romans, and he has no time to think about that, he is now thinking about the last few lines of Constantine's letter.
The Pope waved his hands as a signal, the Greek messenger stepped forward kissing the hand of the Pope, while a sister came forward ushering the messenger to rest in the foreign legate's office.
The pope looked around the clergies around him in the planning ball room where a remarkable model of the entire city is placed. Where ever his sight goes, the clergies in his sight bows down their head to show respect. After one round, the Pope disappointedly shook his head and finally landed his sight on the architect, artist and philosopher, Leon Battista Alberti.
"Leon… What do you think?"
The architect is a little surprised. "Your holiness, I am only a humble architect, with no rights to interfere with the diplomatic issues of the Papacy."
"Do not be afraid, my child." The Pope placed his hands on the architect's shoulders. "Say what you want to say, I hereby give you the rights to speak in this court."
"I am afraid, your holiness, that you have and must declare another round of Crusade on the Saracens, even if their Sultan Mehmed II did not die." Leon Battista answered with a serious face. "Even without the order for Crusade, the surrounding countries in Pannonia and the Dalmatia will tear the Ottomans apart taking advantage of the young lion that is yet to grow its claws… Thus if your holiness are to call for a crusade, you can place the monarchs of those states under your command and of course, guidance."
The Pope nodded in agreement holding his chins with his twig like fingers. "You have a point."
"Thank you, your holiness…. May I remind your holiness that last year the Papacy issued the Papal bull decree of Dum Diveras, which stated clearly that 'The divine and Apostolic Authority here grant thou the full right to invade, conquer, capture, and subject the Saracens and Pagans and any other non believers and enemies of Christianity, where ever they are, with their kingdom, duchy, county, principalities or any other properties, and make them proper servants to Christ'. Thus your holiness, the Papacy cannot discriminate oneself by saying against our own words by discouraging a crusade from happening."
The Pope nodded once more, the words by the 'humble architect' finally blew off the doubts and hesitations to use his powers as the Pope once more to call for another crusade. Finally made his decision, the Pope turned away and summoned the cardinal of Constantinople, Cardinal Francesco Condulmer and asked. "Any message from my nephew in Constantinople to the Holy See?"
"I am afraid no, your holiness." The cardinal answered. "We lost contact with him a long time ago."
"There is no time to wait." The Pope ordered without hesitation. "Organise the Consistory, we don't have time on our side."
On the tenth of May, Pope Nicholas V issued the papal bull 'Etsi ecclesia Christi'. Calling all faithful Christians across Europa to march into Christian territories ravaged by non believers, defend the Christendom in Greece, Thrace and Epirus, preventing the fulfillment of John's prophecies in the Book of Revelations. Anyone who participated following the calls of the Holy See with their lives and resources shall be granted indulgence by him.
With this, the Crusade of 1453 officially began.
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