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The Ottomans ultimately prevailed due to the use of gunpowder (which powered formidable cannons).Constantinople had been an imperial capital since its consecration in 330 under Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great.The Byzantine Empire in the first half of the 15th century. A few islands in the Aegean and the Propontis remained under Byzantine rule until 1453 (not shown on the map).In the summer of 1452, when Rumelı Hisari was completed and the threat had become imminent, Constantine wrote to the Pope, promising to implement the Union, which was declared valid by a half-hearted imperial court on 12 December 1452.Emperor John VIII Palaiologos had also recently negotiated union with Pope Eugene IV, with the Council of Florence of 1439 proclaiming a Bull of Union.
Finally, the attempted Union failed, greatly annoying Pope Nicholas V and the hierarchy of the Roman church.
Thereafter there was little peace for the much-weakened empire as it fended off successive attacks by the Latins, the Serbians, the Bulgarians, and, most importantly, the Ottoman Turks.
The city was severely depopulated due to the general economic and territorial decline of the empire, and by 1453 consisted of a series of walled villages separated by vast fields encircled by the fifth-century Theodosian walls.
Since the mutual excommunications of 1054, the Pope in Rome was committed to establishing authority over the eastern church.
Nominal union had been negotiated in 1274, at the Second Council of Lyon, and indeed, some Palaiologoi emperors (Latin, Palaeologan) had since been received into the Latin church.