"The Empire Never Ended"

George Washington envisioned a wooded area alongside the Potomac River as the new federal city. The highest hill in the area, Jenkins Heights, was then owned by Daniel Carroll. In 1663, the owner of this land had been Francis Pope. Pope's name for the high hill was "Rome", and he called the nearby waterway "the Tiber." [1]

Ancient Rome was a mere city which conquered the world. Although it apparently declined and fell, some say it did not fall but changed its form into the Roman Catholic Church and still dominates the world. Echoing this idea, science fiction writer Philip K. Dick theorized an enormous false memory imposed upon all humanity in which the last 2000 years of "history" never happened. According to Dick, author of the VALIS trilogy, we have been brainwashed by the Roman Empire to think we are living in what is really a totally false world. [2]

Washington's new Rome was surveyed, planned, designed and built largely by members of the secret society of Freemasons. On October 13, 1792 the cornerstone was laid for the President's House (now known as the White House). This cornerstone ceremony was performed by "the Free Masons of George-town and its vicinity," Georgetown Lodge No. 9 of Maryland. A year later, in September of 1793, freemason George Washington and Georgetown Lodge No. 9 performed another cornerstone ceremony, this time for the future Capitol Building. [1]

The name "Capitol" relates to the Latin Capitolium, a temple of Jupiter at Rome on the Capitoline hill. [3]

George Washington was initiated into Freemasonry on November 4, 1752. He was the first Master of the Alexandria Lodge No. 22 between April 1788 and December 1789; he was therefore a Master Mason upon his uncontested inauguration as first U.S. president on April 30, 1789. A lambskin apron with Masonic symbols, given to him by the French general Lafayette, was worn by Washington during the Capitol cornerstone ceremony. When he died, Washington was buried with Masonic honors; all except one of his pallbearers were members of Alexandria Lodge No. 22. [1]

The obelisk-inspired Washington Monument was originally planned as a tomb for the deceased Master Mason Washington. But when Washington's wife Martha died, it became impossible to legally exhume the remains of the first president and rebury them in the Capitoline City.

The original conception for the design of the Washington Monument was a pyramid, 100 feet square at the base. The project was delayed. In 1833, the Washington National Monument Society's first design for the memorial was a truncated pyramid with interior light coming from an apex "oculus" (eye). [1] This design mirrors the Illuminati symbol of pyramid with all-seeing eye at the apex. The finally realized Washington Monument, dedicated on February 21, 1885, combines the Egyptian themes of obelisk and pyramid, with the pyramid being at the top.

Both sides of the Great Seal of the United States appear on the back of the one-dollar Federal Reserve note. The front of the Seal has an eagle clutching arrows and an olive branch. The reverse side of the Seal, showing a truncated pyramid with all-seeing eye at the top, was originally not well known. The front of the Seal was cut in brass as a die in 1780 and was immediately used to authenticate official documents. But the reverse side, despite Congressional order to cut it as a die, was not implemented. Over 100 years after 1780, the reverse had still not been engraved. [1]

At the bottom of the pyramid, the Seal bears the motto "Novus Ordo Seclorum." This motto is adapted from a line in the Roman poet Virgil's "Bucolics": "...magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo" (the great series of ages begins anew). [1] Virgil's line, in turn, was inspired by the secret Sibyline books, said to contain details of the destiny of the Roman Empire. [4]

The Roman legions marched behind the imperial eagle. The
U.S. legions march behind the eagle of empire. In at least one sense Philip K. Dick was correct when he wrote, "the Empire never ended."


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[1] Ovason, David. The Secret Architecture ofour Nation's Capital. ISBN: 0-06-019537-1.
[2] Dick, Philip K. Summarized in Wilson, Robert Anton. Everything Is Under Control. ISBN: 0-06-273417-2.
[3] Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary.
[4] Howard, Michael. The Occult Conspiracy.ISBN: 1-56731-255-X.






Although the Romans were the most level-headed and fearless people the world has ever known, they were obsessed with prophecies and omens. Arguably the most famous prediction in history is the one concerning the fate of Julius Caesar, made by the see Vestricius Spurinna: 'Beware the Ides of March.' This warning was made in 44 BC. That year the oligarchic republic was collapsing, and Pompey, the champion of the Roman nobility had been killed in a battle. Julius Caesar, his father-in-law and conqueror, at the age of 55 had been declared dictator for life, and he dreamed of a Pax Romana stretching from Parthia to the western shores of Spain. Then came a terrible omen which even made Caesar shudder. In the city of Capua, Roman settlers unearthed the tomb of Capys, the city's founder, and discovered a bronze plaque which was inscribed with the chilling warning: 'When once the tomb of Capys is brought to light, then a branch of the Julian house will be slain by the hand of one of his kindred.'

It wasn't widely known at the time, but a relative was involved in an assassination plot against Caesar. This person was Marcus Brutus, who was commonly believed to have been a descendant of Lucius Junius Brutus, who had routed an earlier monarchy of Rome. Marcus Brutus was cruelly goaded into joining in the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar by sixty conspirators who scrawled graffiti on the statue of Lucius Brutus which read: 'Your posterity is unworthy of you.' This message to Brutus was ambiguous, because it also intimated that he was the son of Caesar, and many thought that this was so, including Caesar himself.

There were more 'omens' which intimated that something dire was in the offing. WIld birds fluttered and roosted in the Forum, and strange vision of fiery human-like figures were seen fighting. Caesar killed a wild animal, and when it was cut open, it was seen to have no heart. The respected augur Vestricius Spurinna told Caesar that a monstrous evil would manifest itself and threaten his life on the Ides (the fifteenth day) of March. Caesar never took the prophecy seriously, but as the 15th of March approached, many strange incidents took place around him. On the evening of 14th March, Caesar remarked to his wife that the best death would be the swiftest one, and no sooner had he ended the sentence when there was a loud unearthly howl somewhere outside. Later that evening while he and his wife Calpurnia were in bed, the couple were awakened by a tremendous howling gale which blasted open the doors and windows. Calpurnia awoke screaming and told Caesar that she had just suffered a vivid bloody nightmare about his fate. In the dream she had seen their home crumble and had been cradling her dead husband in her arms She begged him to postpone tomorrow's Senate meeting, and Calpurnia gave Caesar great cause for concern, because he had never known her to be superstitious.

On the following day, Caesar, feeling confident and assuming all the so-called omens were but tricks of his mind, laughingly told his augur: 'Well Spurinna, the Ides of March have come.'

'Yes Caesar, come but not yet gone.' Spurinna replied. It was still only midday after all.

Within minutes, Caesar had entered the Senate chambers and was distracted by Tillius Cimber until the other assassins had assembled close by. Then Cimber gave the signal to attack by baring Caesar's neck. The first blood was drawn by Casca, and Caesar grabbed his sword and shouted for help, but none came. The gaggle of assassins closed in, daggers drawn, ready to strike, when Brutus was allowed through. He stepped forward and stabbed Caesar in the groin.

Struck with horror and despair, Julius Caesar gasped, 'You too, my child?' He knew by then that there was no hope of escape, and in a final act of pride, he covered his face with his robe and fell at the foot of Pompey's statue, with his blood ebbing away from the 23 stab wounds he'd sustained.

Caesar's heir, the Emperor Augustus was another leader who consulted seers. When Augustus built a temple of Peace he asked the famous Oracle at Delphi how long the structure would stand. The answer he received was seemingly nonsensical at the time: 'Until a virgin gives birth to a child and yet remains a virgin.'

Augustus interpreted the answer as an indication that the temple would last forever, but at the time of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Temple of Peace suddenly collapsed on its foundations for no apparent reason. Furthermore, shortly before the temple crumbled, Augustus consulted another prominent prophetess known as the Tiburtine Sibyl. He asked her whether he should accept the title of God of Nations which had been conferred on him from the Senate.

As the Sibyl muttered an unintelligible phrase in a trance-like state, a meteor flashed across the sky. The seeress suddenly broke out of her trance and stated: 'A Child has just been born who is the true God of the World. He is of humble birth and from an obscure race. He will work miracles but will be persecuted as a result. In the end though, he will be victorious over death itself, rising from where his killers entombed him.


Roman History

Legend has it that Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus about 753 BC. From 753 to 510 BC, Rome was ruled by kings, the Tarquins. From 510 to 27 BC, Rome was a republic divided into freemen called patricians, and lower class plebs. A senate, composed of patricians, selected a king from among themselves; together with the senate, he governed for life. The plebeians rebelled, with some gaining increased wealth and representation in the senate. A new order formed composed of an aristocratic party and a popular party; a dictator could be selected from either party during times of crisis, but in ordinary times the senate ruled Rome. That is until 49 BC when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River, marched on Rome and in 48 BC became dictator. By 45 BC he defeated his last opponent and declared himself dictator for life. Two years earlier he had recognized his lover, Cleopatra of the Egyptian royal family, to be queen of Egypt.

What made Julius Caesar great was not his military victory alone, in a society built on the principle of foreign conquest, but his capacity to govern by administrative skill rather than the sheer force of terror. In addition to being an unparalleled general, he was a cultured man appreciated for his skill in writing and speaking. Under his competent leadership, corruption in government declined and prosperity increased. After several years in power, it became clear to the members of the senate that Caesar expected them to take his declaration of 45 BC very seriously, and did not intend to vacate the position of dictator as was Roman custom. To remove any uncertainty about his intentions, Caesar began establishing himself as king, even designating Octavius, his great-nephew, to be his successor. Julius Caesar's determination to bring the republican tradition of
Rome to an end was strongly opposed by those in the senate. In 44 BC, Cassius, Brutus and other senators assassinated him.

In spite of their best efforts at orderly succession, the transition of power was sometimes marked by assassination and civil war. Octavian, Caesar's great-nephew, and Mark Antony joined forces in 42 BC to defeat Brutus, one of the chief architects of Caesar's assassination. Octavian took control of the western portion of the growing empire, and Mark Antony the Middle East...particularly Egypt. It did not take Cleopatra long to gain Mark Antony's affection and support for her own independent empire in the East. When Octavian defeated their forces, Cleopatra and Mark Antony committed suicide. By 29 BC, Octavian was the last man standing. As the sole victor of the civil wars, in 27 BC Octavianus became "Augustus", the first emperor of Rome.

Amidst all this turmoil, Rome was at the creative height of its golden age of culture. Like his great-uncle, Augustus brought competence and prosperity to Rome; and it was during this age of Roman glory that Jesus is believed to have been born. But Jesus' remarkably brief life was presided over by Tiberius, whose rule extended from AD 14-37. Rome's good fortune was not limitless. From AD 54, the incompetent and mentally unbalanced Nero ruled Rome, until driven to suicide by the senate in 68 AD. Nero was significant largely because he presided over the historic rise of early Christianity. After some struggle, reasonably capable leaders governed the empire, but none of special consequence until the arrival of the "five good emperors..... who presided over the most majestic days of the Roman Empire." They were: (AD 96-98) the Nerva succession, (98-117) Trajan, (117-138) Hadrian, (138-161) Antoninus Pius, and (161-180) Marcus Aurelius.

Marcus Aurelius was a noted stoic philosopher who showed uncommon concern for the well being of common Romans and even slaves. He built orphanages, hospitals, and reduced taxes, as well as humanizing the criminal justice system. But there was something else of consequence about this great Roman not often emphasized in school books: "Although he was particularly concerned with public welfare and even sold his personal possessions to alleviate the effects of famine and plague within the empire, he ruthlessly persecuted the Christians, believing them a threat to the imperial system." By the time of his own death from the plague in 180 AD, the Roman Empire was on the defensive, struggling to secure its outer borders and internal security, and not always successfully. At its height, the empire stretched as far north as Britain, and encompassed the entire Mediterranean area. The empire often imported the unrest in its provinces into the heart of Rome itself.

By 212 AD, the emperor Caracalla granted Roman citizenship to all those born free anywhere in the empire. This gave those in the provinces a sense of being Roman, or at least having mobility throughout the empire; and this mobility was possible because of the extraordinary system of roads built over the centuries by the Roman legions to facilitate troop movement and trade. Not much more than a century after the death of Marcus Aurelius, Constantine joined his co-emperor Licinius in signing the Edict of Milan in 313 AD ending the persecution of Christians. Christianity had spread to every border of the Roman Empire along the relatively safe trade routes protected by Roman soldiers. Sometime between 451-496 AD, St. Patrick was converting the Irish to Roman Catholicism. It was to take more than another five hundred years to convert Russia.

The empire had been on the defensive since the days of Marcus Aurelius, about 180 AD. By 410, the Germanic Visigoths were sacking Rome. The Vandals, Ostrogoths, and Huns were to raid Roman territories at will over the coming decades. The last of the Roman emperors, Romulus Augustulus died in 476 AD, and with him the Roman Empire in the West. The Byzantine Empire in the East was to continue for another thousand years, until finally being over-run in 1453 by Muslim Turks. Muslims were to take outright control of half of the former Christian lands under Roman administration. The collapse of the Roman Empire meant that control was lost over its borders and hostile peoples were able to penetrate into the heart of Europe.




The Roman Empire


The basic World politics and methods of warfare have not essentially changed since the days of Gaius Julius Caesar [100-44 BCE] and the glorious Roman Empire. During and after his military campaigns against Gaul (today's France) Julius Caesar wrote several books in which he explained his positions on handling the affairs of the World. Julius Caesar was a man of great vision, wisdom and courage. He felt that the only way to stop the countries from fighting one another was to unite the entire world under one rule, the rule that would establish eternal peace. That vision he named the New World Order, and it was to be carried out by Pax Romana (Peace under Roman Terms). Caesar never felt like he was invading countries. He "liberated" them. He "liberated them from the tyranny inflicted upon them by their own rulers". It was Gaius Julius Caesar who coined the term "divide and conquer". He never approved of those ideas which would jeopardize the lives of his legionaries. He avoided sending troops to fight in open battles. Instead, he would first incite a civil war in the targeted country, and then, when both sides have more or less exhausted their fighting potentials, the legionaries would move in and would be welcomed as the "liberators" rather than the "conquerors". Caesar made sure the peace settlements were made in such a way that peace was guaranteed for as long as the Roman legionaries remained in the "liberated" area. The few countries mighty Rome could not conquer, it imposed sanctions on. The Romans would simply build a wall around them. Since they could not conquer the Scotts, for instance, in his attempts to isolate the "barbarians" from the rest of the "civilized" world, the Roman emperor by the name of Hadrian built a wall in the north of England, and the portions of that wall are still there today.


So, what happened with the Roman Empire? Realizing he was losing his hold over the huge Roman Empire, Emperor Constantine [274(?)-337 CE] decided to abandon the old religion, which had exhausted its magick by then, and embrace Christianity, the religion of their enemies, the faith of the oppressed, as the official faith of the Roman Empire. The Romans never seemed to be impressed with the spiritual aspect of the new fast-spreading faith, but saw it as a potent tool for exerting power and influence. The Roman Empire might have collapsed politically, but on the level of power and influence, not only does Rome still exist, it never disappeared. It is still around and stronger than ever.


When the Romans started taking interest in Christianity, it was still looked upon as a sect of Judaism, not as a full-blown religion. They did not seem interested in some of the essential concepts contained in the original teachings of Jesus the Christ, so they took those teachings out of the Christian Scriptures and they persecuted those who still continued to practice them. They falsely introduced their desecrated version of Christianity as the "only true faith" which would replace the "old decadent pagan faith", and this new faith was said to be the "only way to reach God". They went as far as to edit the Bible and leave out those parts of the Scripture that did not suit their doctrine. (Researchers even point out that the Bible as we know it was not written by the original Disciples of Christ -- as the Church would have us believe -- but by the Church, several centuries after the death of Christ.) The Church claimed absolute control over human souls and in such fashion practiced total mind control of the population. It was very simple: whoever does as they are told will go to heaven, and all those who disobey will be excommunicated, and consequently not be saved from the Eternal Furnace. So, Rome changed its name to Vatican, and at the same time the means for establishing and maintaining world dominance switched from the mighty legionaries to the priests. The priests of this Roman church became the new soldiers of Rome. With this "edited" version of the Holy Book, the Church denied some of the essential aspects of Christianity, and labeled these practices as "paganism", "witchcraft", "devil-worshipping" etc., while the original teachings of Jesus - - which were in fact not much different from the faith of the Hindus or the old Egyptians -- became the "secret teachings" or the "lost knowledge"... Instead of teaching the "direct contact" legacy of Christ, the Church introduced the concept of faith as the the cornerstone of worship.


So, Rome became Vatican. Being in line with the original concepts of Julius Caesar and other Roman emperors, it was Vatican's intention to reestablish total control of the World. They made the practice of "direct contact" forbidden under the penalty of excommunication and/or death, regardless of what those practices may have been: meditation, yoga, ritual, anything. Those Christians who still practiced the original teachings were hunted down over the centuries. Regardless of what they called themselves, Bogomils, Cathars, Rosecruscians, Masons, Illuminati, Templars, etc., they were all forced to go underground in order to carry on with the work of God, and in order to survive, they had to organize themselves into the "secret societies". Apparently the same faith was shared by other organized religions to some extent. In order to avoid persecution of established religions, the keepers of the knowledge of the Ancients wrapped themselves up with that religion and hid inside of it. In Hinduism and Buddhism, there are Tantric sects, in Japan there is Zen, in Islam there are the Sufis, and the reason why most of them are so similar to each other is that they are the remnants of the Original Religion, focused on establishing unity with the Universe, rather than converting the whole World and then establishing control over the faithful.


On December 31, 1600, the British East India Company was formed. At that time, the World was divided. Ownership of one half was claimed by Portugal and the other half by Spain. Very soon that was changed. In the mid-19th century he ships of the East India Company were everywhere, they sailed around the Globe, in every direction always full, carrying different cargo to different countries. The company was involved in the starting and waging the Opium Wars with China, it was involved in slave trade. At that time the Great Britain was spread all over the World and regarded the entire World as its subject. The ships carried opium from India to China, tea from India and China to America, tobacco from America to Europe, slaves from Africa to America, etc.


In 1910, while living in Istanbul, Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorf, a self-styled Saxon aristocrat, who was in fact the son of a railroad worker, decided to found his own secret society based on a combination of Sufi mysticism, Freemasonry, alchemy and a right-wing political philosophy which was anti-Bolshevik and anti-Semitic. He fought in the Balkan War of 1912, and as a result of wounds he received, he returned to Germany. In 1916 von Sebottendorf made contact with the German Order. The Thule Society took its name from the mythical hyperborean island which once existed in the north Atlantic between Scandinavia and Greenland. It was believed by the occultists that this island had once been part of Atlantis and was the source of the occult wisdom of the Northern Mystery Tradition. Politically, the Thulists were committed to the establishing of a pan-German state based on the Habsburg dynasty which had abdicated in November, 1918, when faced with a socialist revolution in Austria. With the Communist uprisings in 1919 in defeated Germany the Thule Society went underground. They organized a terrorist network which supplied arms to the rightist counterrevolutionaries and distributed German nationalist and anti-Semitic literature calling upon the people to rise up against the Bolsheviks who had seized power in several German cities. As part of their popular movement against the Communists, the Thulists had started the German Workers Party. He committed suicide in 1945 when he heard the news of the German surrender.


During the First World War an Austrian artist called Adolf Hitler served in the First Company of the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. He was awarded the Iron Cross for capturing a French officer and 15 men single-handed and armed only with a Luger pistol.


Adolf Hitler attended Lambach Monastery School and was a choirboy. One of the 19th century monks at this monastery had been Theodor von Hagen, a mystic who spent several years in Asia searching for Agharta, the mythical power centre of the world. His copious writings describing his search were probably available in the district when Hitler was a pupil at Lambach. Still visible today, in the roof and on portals at the monastery, are swastikas which may have been added by Von Hagen at his own expense.

Hitler was a classmate of the Jewish philosopher Wittgenstein and it is suggested in a recent book The Jackdaw of Linz that Wittgenstein was the source of many of Hitler's early ideas. Certainly during the period of his military service in the Great War, Hitler was an apostle of the Buddhistic thinker Schopenhauer, could quote verbatim great tracts of his works, and was never without a copy of one or other publication while at the front.

Probably the most reliable indications of Hitler's religious beliefs and intentions are to be found in his confidential table talks, from 1941 to 1944. In several of these he stated that the truth of religion is reincarnation: that there is no heaven, this being a Judeo-Christian invention; that Christianity is the worst lie ever foisted upon a suffering humanity; and communism is Christianity without the metaphysical trappings. The inference was that eventually Christianity would have to be disposed of, but this would obviously be a long term objective.

One god is not a concept acceptable to fully developed systems based on reincarnation, which either dismiss the idea of a god (Theravada Buddhism), or accept a pantheon of gods and goddesses without limit (Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism). In view of Hitler's stated view of Christianity, it seems absurd that if he had a belief in a Supreme Deity it would be in the tribal god of the Jews. The clearest indication of his belief in Higher Powers was his repeated allusion to
Providence in terms which might suggest he saw Providence as a governing figure which intervened in human affairs, including through himself, when appropriate.

It has often been suggested that Hitler was the anti-Christ. This is an emotive term meaning a person of the greatest evil, but if he came to destroy Christendom, then Hitler was certainly the anti-Christ in another sense.

Hitler was regarded by his fellow soldiers as a rather peculiar character because of his habit of spending the long periods between engagements in silent meditation. After one of those contemplative sessions Hitler surprised his companions by leaping to his feet and shouting that Germany would soon lose the war. He claimed that the German people faced invisible enemies who were a greater danger to the war than the Allied troops. It is impossible to know the source of Hitler's prophecies about German defeat, but he was convinced that the war would end with an Allied victory. He became exposed to the racist and occult theories of Guido von List and was conversant with Nordic and German mythology. It is possible that through this interest Hitler decided to adopt the swastika as the emblem for the German Workers Party. It had already been used by several German nationalist groups, including the German Order and the Thule Society.


One of Hitler's spiritual teachers, Alfred Rosenberg, was convinced that the Aryan race had originated on the lost continent of Atlantis which was the source of all ancient occult beliefs. He claimed that the mythical continent had been destroyed because the Gods condemned Atlantean experiments which mated animals with women to create a hybrid race which was half-animal and half-human and were to be used as slaves. When Atlantis was threatened with cosmic destruction, the priesthood received prior warning and some fled to Asia where they established themselves as rulers of the indigenous aboriginal inhabitants. Rosenberg believed the modern Hindu caste system was a pale imitation of the original racial subdivisions imposed by the Atlanteans on their conquered inferiors.


While Hitler despised Freemasonry as a Jewish invention to take over the control of the World, he used Masonry as a model for the inner circle of the Nazi Party. In 1934 he declared,” We shall form an Order, the Brotherhood of the Templars around the Holy Grail of the pure blood." Through Heinrich Himmler he transformed the SS into an elite unit of crack troops, ruthlessly dedicated to the Nazi ideology. Himmler was a disciple of the occult doctrines which were at the root of the racial policies of the Third Reich. He believed that the SS would become the vehicle through which the racial purity of Germany would be reestablished by scientific breeding programs designed to re-create the master race of supermen that once ruled this planet. Himmler drew on many historical precedents, such as the Jesuits, the Freemasons, the Knights Templars, et. al., when he reformed the SS into a secret society within the German military machine. The headquarters of the SS was established in the castle of Wewelsburg, which had been modeled on the castle in the Arthurian myth of the Holy Grail. In the castle the SS officers were initiated in neo-pagan rites and were given a special ring carved with a skull, runes and the swastika. The SS were destined to become feared throughout occupied Europe and were responsible for controlling the network of special death camps set up in 1942 for extermination of the Jews, the Serbs and the Gypsies. In fact, the real reason for simultaneous ritual executions of thousands of people belonging to those three ethnic groups -- for whom the Nazis believed possessed substantial spiritual powers -- was to provide Hitler and a few "chosen ones" in the inner circles of the SS with enormous psychic power, the power strong enough not just to overtake the planet, but to rule the entire Universe.

The official split of the
Roman Empire was followed by the split in the Christian Church as well. The Church was divided into the Western Church, with its seat in Vatican, Rome, and the Eastern Church, with its seat in Constantinopolis, today's Istanbul, Turkey. Until the last decade of the 20th century that picture remained practically unchanged. In 1945, right after the end of the WWII, the Western Empire was still in existence. Its name was NATO, and many claim that Vatican was behind it. The name of the Eastern Empire was the Soviet Union. Both Empires are still striving to achieve the same goals as they did thousands of years ago. Both were "liberating" the countries around the World using the same methods Julius Caesar did, and they were keeping each other in check. This time around there was a third player in the game: China. China was basically Eastern, but basically kept to itself.

Then in 1991, the things took an unforeseen turn. Because of reasons not exactly clear, the
Eastern Empire suddenly collapsed.

So, finally, after 2,000 years, the opportunity emerged for Caesar's legacy to work itself out.

American President George Bush started talking about the New World Order, a politically correct term meaning Pax Americana (Peace under American Terms), in which the World would become one big market place. With no Eastern Block to keep it in check, the Western Empire, or the United States, launched massive military campaigns on Serbia and Iraq, while issuing serious threats to many other countries to comply with its demands, or else. The
United States did not build walls around the countries that did not succumb to the NWO, but it did build economic and political walls around the "punished" countries, such as Serbia, Iraq, Libya, etc... So, the New World Order is finally here. The whole World is being ruled from Washington, DC, the American troops are present in every country on the planet, their spy satellites are all around the Globe, their helicopters patrol the skies, their bombers scatter death from above. This is it. The Tower of Babel has been built. One world, with thousands of different languages spoken and God knows how many religions practiced, but all living under one umbrella. Now how long will it take before the Tower finally collapses...? The first signs are already visible. Extremely cruel and genocidal wars are being fought; tornados and floods are taking many lives away with them, fires, civil wars, earthquakes... Apocalypse is here. Apocalypse Now...!


The American Revolution

The American Revolution was a civil war between Loyalists to the British crown (aka Tories, about one fifth of the population), supported by British expeditionary forces, and Patriots (or Whigs) in the 13 colonies that constituted British North America.


About 20-25% of the populace in the colonies - c. 600,000 - were blacks. About one third of the white denizens were non-British. Local patriotism ran high. All adult, white, property-owning, men (about two thirds of the male numbers) were eligible to vote in elections to the lower house of the legislative assembly of the colony they resided in. Each colony also had its governor.


Some colonies (e.g., Rhode Island and Connecticut) were, in effect, incorporated under royal charter as semi-commercial ventures. Others belonged to the descendants of their founders (proprietary colonies such as Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware). Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire were royal provinces, under direct British rule.


Some of the colonists - for instance, the New Englanders - were among the wealthiest and best educated people in the world, better off than the British themselves. But, per capita, they paid only 3% of the taxes levied on a typical Briton. The colonies supplied the West Indies with most of their foodstuffs and consumed British finished products - but they were not economically crucial to the British Empire.


In the years leading to the War of Independence (1765-1776), the British actually repealed all the taxes on products imported into the colonies - with the single exception of tea (and even this tax was drastically reduced). The colonists' slogan "no taxation without representation" was, therefore, more about local representation than about foreign taxation. And even this bit ringed hollow. The Encyclopedia Britannica: "The assemblies had the right to tax; to appropriate money for public works and public officials, and to regulate internal trade, religion, and social behavior". The role of British government was confined to foreign affairs and trade.


But both parties to the conflict breached this modus vivendi. During the Seven Years (French and Indian) War (1754-1763), the colonies refused to relinquish control over their militias to the British command and smuggled French goods into British North America (France being Britain's enemy). The British, on the other hand, began interfering in the colonies' internal affairs, notably (but not only) by imposing taxes and customs duties in order to ameliorate Britain's growing national debt and by rendering tax officials financially independent of the local colonial assemblies.


Add to this a severe recession in the colonies brought on by unbridled spending financed with unsustainable personal indebtedness and, not surprisingly, acts of resistance to British taxation - such as the Boston Tea Party - were organized mainly by smugglers, artisans, and shopkeepers. Secret groupings, such as the Sons of Liberty resorted to violence and intimidation to achieve their (mostly economic but disguised as "patriotic") goals. Even women got involved in a "buy American" campaign of boycotting British goods.


Many British merchants, bankers, politicians, intellectuals, and journalists supported the colonies against the crown - each group for its own reasons. The merchants and bankers, for instance, were terrified of a mooted unilateral debt moratorium to be declared by the colonies if and when militarily attacked. Others found it distasteful to kill and maim white British subjects (as the insurgents were). Yet others resisted imperialism, the monarchy, taxes, or all three. Even within the British Army there was strong dissent and the campaign against the rebellious colonies was carried out half-heartedly and lackadaisically. On the other hand, British die-hards, such as Samuel Johnson, demanded blood ("I am willing to love all Mankind, except an American").


The denizens of the colonies tried, till the last moment, to avert a constitutional (and, consequently, military) crisis. They suggested a model of two semi-autonomous nations (the United Kingdom and the colonies), united by the figurehead of the King. But it was too little and way too late. Violent clashes between the citizenry and British units started as early as October 1765 with the First Nonimportation Movement, directed against the Stamp Act. They continued with the Boston Massacre (five dead) in 1770; the attack on the British customs ship, the Gaspée, in Rhode Island, in 1772; and the Boston Tea Party in 1773.


In April 1775, General Gage, governor and military commander of Massachusetts, suffered a humiliating defeat in a skirmish in Concord and Lexington. The Patriots were alerted to his movements by Paul Revere who rode all night to inform them that the "regulars (not the British, as the legend has it) are coming." He was one of many such scouts.


The Loyalists fielded 50-55,000 armed men and the Patriots countered by organizing "militias" - irregular units of ill-trained and undisciplined volunteers. The Continental Army was established only in June 1775, under the command of George Washington, a veteran of the French and Indian War. At their peak, the rebels mastered less than 100,000 men in arms - only 25-30,000 of which were on active duty at any given time.


The Continental Army was, in the words of General Philip Schuyler of New York "weak in numbers, dispirited, naked, destitute of provisions, without camp equipage, with little ammunition, and not a single piece of cannon." Late pay caused frequent mutinies and desertions. In 1783, Washington had to personally intervene to prevent a military coup. Only repeated promises of cash bonuses and land grants kept this mob of youngsters, foreigners, and indentured servants intermittently cohesive.


Still, they outnumbered the British and the "Hessians" - the 30,000 German mercenaries who participated in the 8 years of fighting. In all of North America, the British had 60,000 soldiers as late as 1779. They had to face a growing presence of hostile French, Spanish, and Dutch armies, supplies, and navies. The Native-Americans (Indians) supported mostly the British, especially west of the Appalachians. This provoked numerous massacres by the Patriots.


The War spread to other parts of the world: the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean, India, the Netherlands, the Mediterranean. The US Navy even invaded the British port of Whitehaven in 1778.


The conflict affected the civilian population as well with both sides committing war crimes and atrocities aplenty. With many men gone, women took over traditionally male roles and vocations, such as farming. Hyperinflation - brought on by $500 million in newly minted and printed money - led to mob scenes as storekeepers were attacked and warehouses looted.


The blacks largely sided with the British - but many joined the Patriots and, thus, won their freedom after the war. Virginia planters alone manumitted 10,000 slaves. By 1800, slavery was abolished in all the states north of Delaware.


All told, less than 7000 Patriots died in battle (and 8500 wounded). About 1200 Germans perished, too. No one knows how many British troops, Indians, and other combatants paid with their lives in this protracted conflict. About 100,000 Loyalists emigrated to Canada and thousands others (mainly of African ancestry) went to Sierra Leone and the Bahamas. They were all fully compensated for the property they left behind in what came to be known as the United States of America (USA).  

The New
Rome - America, the Reluctant Empire

When the annals of the United States are written, its transition from republic to empire is likely to warrant special attention. Nor is the emergence of this land and naval juggernaut without precedent. Though history rarely repeats itself in details - both Ancient Rome and Byzantium hold relevant - albeit very limited - lessons.

The first teaches us how seamless the transformation from democracy to military dictatorship appears - when it is gradual and, ostensibly, reactive (responding to external shocks and events). The second illustrates the risks inherent in relying on mercenaries and insurgents as tools of foreign and military policy.

Arnold Toynbee, the distinguished historian correctly observed that the last days of empires are characterized by grandiose construction schemes, faraway conquests and a materialistic spree of conspicuous consumption. Is the United States about to disintegrate?

The notion sounds preposterous. Hale, affluent, mighty, victorious and assured - the USA appears to be beyond destruction. But so did the U.S.S.R. in 1981. As history accelerates, processes which used to unfold over centuries, now consume mere decades. Telecommunications, global transports and information networks, such as the Internet - pit the likes of the USA against the ultimate superpowers: world opinion and global capital.

But first, Rome.

The disintegration of empires is rarely the outcome of merely one or more external shocks. For these to have their deleterious effects, the edifice must be already rotten, the pillars crumbling, the consensus gone, the ethos disputed and adversity rampant. As internal tensions mount and the centrifugal outweighs the centripetal - democracy is surreptitiously and incrementally eroded and replaced by an authoritarian form of government.

In his tome, "The Future of Freedom", Fareed Zakaria bemoans the existence of "illiberal democracy" - with all the trappings of one but without its constitutional substance and philosophical foundations. The United States is: ''increasingly embracing a simple-minded populism that values popularity and openness as the key measures of legitimacy... The result is a deep imbalance in the American system, more democracy but less liberty.''

Herodotus (Histories, Book III) would have concurred:

In a democracy, malpractices are bound to occur ... corrupt dealings in government services lead ... to close personal associations, the men responsible for them putting their heads together and mutually supporting one another. And so it goes on, until somebody or other comes forward as the people's champion and breaks up the cliques which are out for their own interests. This wins him the admiration of the mob, and as a result he soon finds himself entrusted with absolute power.'

As would Jose Ortega y Gasset (The Revolt of the Masses, 1932):

A characteristic of our times is the predominance, even in groups traditionally selective, of the mass and the vulgar. Thus, in intellectual life, which of its essence requires and presupposes qualification, one can note the progressive triumph of the pseudo-intellectual, unqualified, unqualifiable..

The columnist Chris Deliso notes in Antiwar.com that "since September 11th especially, the country has suffered draconian restrictions on civil liberties and the rapid erosion of judicial and governmental transparency. At the same time, the increasing expenditure of taxpayer dollars has been conducted at variance with traditional ideals of free market competition and avoidance of embedded government cronyism. Now, with the invasion of Iraq, the nadir has been reached: long-suppressed desires for empire have come out into the open."

Deliso ascribes these worrisome trends to "three toxic substances. The first is relentless paranoia of the outside world. According to this, all kinds of civilian restrictions and pre-emptive foreign wars become justified for the sake of 'national security'. Second is the all-pervasive cronyism between government oligarchs and corporations, which retard the practice of a free market economy. Finally, there is a belief in the ineluctable nature of 'progress', i.e., a teleological narrative that describes America's political system as supreme, and destined to supercede and convert those of all other nations."

As others have noted, America's transition from republic to empire is remarkably reminiscent of Rome's. The irony is that as the United States inevitably becomes less democratic - it will also become less elitist. The mediocre and inapt peripatetic representatives of the popular will be replaced not by disinterested technocrats and expert civil servants but by usurpers, power brokers, interest groups, and criminal-politicians.

The Founding Fathers looked to Rome as a model. It is often forgotten that Rome has been a republic (509-27 BC) for as long as it has been an empire (27 BC - 476 AD). Hence the Senate, the bicameral legislature, the institutions of jury and professional judges, the interlocking system of checks and balances and other fixtures of American life.

Rome, like the USA, was a multicultural, multiethnic and inclusive melting pot. The family and religion - the mainstays of the American value system - were also the pivots of Roman society. Their work ethic was "Protestant" and their conduct "Calvinistic": frugality, self-reliance, steadfastness, seriousness, "fides" (good faith and reliability) were considered virtues.

From 287 BC, Rome was a full-fledged democracy and meritocracy - one's acquired wealth rather than one's arbitrary birth determined one's place in life.

The Roman takeover of Italy is reminiscent of the expansion of the United States during the 19th century. Later, Rome claimed to be "liberating" Greek cities (from Macedonian domination and other Middle Eastern tyrants) - but then proceeded to establish a series of protectorates throughout Asia Minor, Greece and today's Israel, Palestine, Syria, Egypt and North Africa.

As Rome's sphere of interests and orbit of alliances widened to include ever growing segments of the world, conflicts became inevitable. Still, early Roman historians, patriotic to a fault, always describe Roman wars as "just" (i.e., in "self-defense"). Rome was very concerned with international public opinion and often formed coalitions to attack its foes and adversaries. It then typically turned on its erstwhile allies and either conquered or otherwise absorbed them into its body politic.

Roman commanders and procurators meddled in the internal affairs of these territories. Opposition - in Carthage, Corinth and elsewhere - was crushed by overwhelming force. Lesser powers - such as Pergamum - learned the lesson and succumbed to Roman hegemony. Roman culture - constructed on Greek foundations - permeated the nascent empire and Latin became the Lingua Franca.

But, as Cato the Elder forewarned, foreign possessions and the absence of any martial threat corrupted Rome. Tax extortion, bribery, political machinations, personality cults, and moral laxity abounded. Income equality led to ostentatious consumption of the few, contrasted with the rural and urban destitution of the many. A growing share of gross domestic product was appropriated for the state by the political class. Rome's trade deficit ballooned as its farmers proved unable to compete with cheap imports from the provinces.

A whole class of businessmen - the equites, later known as the equesterian order (the equivalent of today's "oligarchs") - lucratively transacted with the administration. When erstwhile state functions - such as tax collection - were privatized, they moved in and benefited mightily. The equites manipulated the commodities markets, lent money at usurious rates, and colluded with Senators and office holders.

Sallust, the Roman historian, blamed the civil wars that followed on this wealth disparity. Cato the Elder attributed them to moral decadence. Cicero thought that the emergence of the armed forces and the "mob" (the masses) as political players spelt doom for Senatorial, republican Rome.

Some are comparing the relentlessly increasing weight of the Pentagon since 1941 to the rise to prominence of the military in republican Rome. Yet, this is misleading. The role of the army in the Roman republic was enshrined in the centuriate assembly (the army as a voting collective) and the consuls, magistrates in chief were, invariably, former army generals. Though many American presidents, starting with George Washington, were former generals - the ethos of the United States is individualistic, not military.

Thus, when the tribune Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus (133 BC) embarked on a land reform, he was opposed by the entrenched interests of the nobility (the optimi). Undeterred, through a series of piecemeal, utterly legal steps, Tiberius Gracchus sought to transform himself into a despot and neutralize the carefully constructed system of checks and balances that sustained republican Rome. The Senators themselves headed the mob that assassinated him. This was the fate of his no less radical brother, Gaius, ten years later.

These upheavals gave rise to the populares - self-appointed populist spokesmen for the disenfranchised "common man" in the Senate. They were vehemently confronted by the nobility-backed Senators, the optimates. To add instability to earthquake, Roman generals began recruiting property-less volunteers to serve as mercenaries in essentially private armies. Lucius Cornelius Sulla, an impoverished aristocrat turned army commander, actually attacked Rome itself twice.

To secure popular support, Roman politicians doled out tax cuts, free entertainment, and free food. Ambitious Romans - such as Julius Caesar - spent most of their time electioneering and raising campaign finance, often in the form of 'loans" to be repaid with lucrative contracts and sinecures once the sponsored candidate attained office. Long-established, prominent families - political dynasties - increased their hold on power from one generation to the next.

Partisanship was rampant. Even Cicero - a much-admired orator and lawyer - failed to unite the Senators and equites against assorted fanatics and demagogues. The Senate kept repeatedly and deliberately undermining the interests of both the soldiery and the equites, Rome's non-Senatorial businessmen.

This clash of vested interests and ulterior motives gave rise to Gaius Julius Caesar, a driven and talented populist. Caesar crossed the Rubicon, the river that separated Gaul from Italy, and subdued a rebellious and obstructive Senate. He was offered by an intimidated establishment, the position of dictator for life which he accepted. The republic was over.

Life in Rome improved dramatically with the introduction of autocracy. Roman administration was streamlined and became less corrupt. Food security was achieved. Social divisions healed. The republic was mourned only by the discarded ancien regime and by intellectuals. Rome the city-state was no more. It has matured into an Empire.

And now, to Rome's crippled successor, Byzantium.

The modus operandi of the United States involves ad-hoc alliances with indigenous warlords, drug czars, terrorists, guerrilleros, freedom fighters, and armed opposition groups aimed at ousting unfriendly incumbent regimes, imposing political settlements or military solutions, countering other foreign influences, attaining commercial goals, or securing long-term presence and say in local affairs.

America's "exploit and discard" or "drain and dump" policies consistently boomerang to haunt it.

Both Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Manuel Noriega in Panama were aided and abetted by the CIA and the US military. Later, America had to invade Panama to depose the latter and conquer Iraq for the second time to force the removal of the former.

The Kosovo Liberation Army, an American anti-Milosevic pet, provoked, to great European consternation, a civil war in Macedonia two years ago. Osama bin-Laden, another CIA golem, "restored" to the USA, on September 11, 2001 some of the materiel it so generously bestowed on his anti-Russian outfit - before he was dumped unceremoniously once the Soviets retreated from Afghanistan.

Normally the outcomes of expedience, the Ugly American's alliances and allegiances shift kaleidoscopically. Pakistan and Libya were transmuted from foes to allies in the fortnight prior to the Afghan campaign. Milosevic has metamorphosed from staunch ally to rabid foe in days.

This capricious inconsistency casts in grave doubt America's sincerity - and in sharp relief its unreliability and disloyalty, its short term thinking, truncated attention span, soundbite mentality, and dangerous, "black and white", simplism. It is also a sign of short-sightedness and historical ignorance. All major empires fell prey to rampant mercenaries, erstwhile "allies" turned bitter enemies.

At its peak, the Ottoman Empire ruled most of the Balkan, up to the very gates of Vienna, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, Romania, Greece, Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Israel, Egypt, North Africa including Algeria, and most of the Arab Peninsula. It lasted 600 years.

The Ottomans invaded Europe while still serving as a proxy army of mercenaries and guerilla fighters. When not at war with Byzantium, they were often used by this contemporary superpower (Byzantium) to further its geopolitical goals against its enemies - very much as the Afghan Mujaheedin or the Albanian KLA collaborated with the USA and its sidekick, the EU, during the last two decades of the twentieth century.

Not unlike the Moslem Afghani warriors of 1989, the Ottomans, too, turned on their benefactors and brought on the demise of Byzantium after 1000 years of uninterrupted existence as a superpower.

The Ottomans were named after Osman I, the Oguz (Turkmen) tribal leader, the off spring of a noble Kayi family. They were ghazis (Islamic Turkish warriors). Fleeing from the Mongols of Genghis Khan, they invaded Anatolia in the second half of the 11th century. They immediately and inevitably clashed with Byzantium and delivered to it the first of a string of humiliating and debilitating defeats in the battle of Manzikert, in 1071.

They spread inexorably throughout the fertile Anatolia, confronting in the process the Byzantines and the Mongols. They were no match to the brute efficacy of the latter, though. They lost most of Anatolia to the Mongols and maintained a few autonomous pockets of resistance in its eastern fringes. One of these anti-Mongol principalities (in the northwest) was led by Osman I.

Osman's was not the strongest principality. Its neighbour to the east, the Germiyan principality, was much stronger and more sophisticated culturally. Osman, therefore, drove west, towards the Bosporus and the Marble (Marmara) Sea. His desperate struggles against the corrupt and decadent Byzantines, made him the Robin Hood, the folk hero of the millions of urban unemployed, nomads, and dislocated peasants turned brigands - from Syria to the Balkan. Osman offered to these desperados war booty, a purposeful life, and Islamic religious fanaticism. They joined his armies in droves.

Byzantium, his avowed enemy, was no longer prosperous and powerful, but it was culturally superior and vital, Christian, and modern. But it was decaying. Its social fabric was disintegrating, corroded by venality, hubris, paranoia, avarice, inter-generational strife, and lack of clear religious and cultural orientations. Its army, much reduced and humbled by defeats and budget cuts, was unable to secure the frontier. Economic, religious, and social discontent undermined its consensus.

Gradually, it lost its erstwhile allies. The Ilhanid dynasty in Persia refused to back it against its tormentors. Byzantium, high handed and conceited, was left to fight the Islamic terrorism on its borders all by itself. Mercenaries imported by the Byzantines from Europe served only to destabilize it further. Osman's successors tore Byzantium to hemorrhaging shreds, conquering the rest of Anatolia and the Balkan. They even employed Christian mercenaries against the Byzantines.

When Orhan, a successor of Osman, secured a territorial continuum and access to the Sea of Marmara, he took on another Turkmen empire, based in Aydin.

The people of Aydin were mercenaries at the service of competing factions in Byzantium (Thrace versus Constantinople). Orhan wanted to cut into this lucrative business. He started by defeating emperor Andronicus III and his advisor, John Cantacuzenus in the battle of Pelekanon in 1329. This unleashed the Ottoman troops upon Nicaea (1331) and Nicomedia (1337).

Faced with the loss of the historic heart of their empire, the Byzantines accepted a Faustian deal. They made peace with the Moslem Turks and recruited them as allies and mercenaries against the Christian enemies of Christian Byzantium - the Serbs, the Italians, and the Bulgarians. Orhan became the principal ally of the young and dynamic Byzantine politician (later emperor) John VI Cantacuzenus, thus gaining entry, for the first time, into Christian Europe.

Andronicus III died in 1341and another civil war broke out in Byzantium. John Cantacuzenus, deprived of the much expected regency, confronted Alexius Apocaucus, the patriarch John Calecas, and the powerful and cunning empress mother Anne of Savoy.

The Serb king Dusan wavered between support and rejection for Cantacuzenus, who was crowned as Emperor John VI in Thrace in 1346. The new emperor, aided by hordes of Turkish troops, demolished the coalition set against him. A revolution erupted in Thrace and Macedonia. "The Zealots", having seized power In Thessalonica, declared an independent community which lasted till 1350.

Byzantium was reduced to penury by these events and by the Black Death of 1347. It fought with Venice against Genoa only to lose tax revenues hitherto paid by the Genoese. Foreign powers - the Turks included - manipulated the hopelessly fractured Byzantine ruling classes to their advantage.

In the meantime, Orhan was introduced to Europe's modern weaponry, its superior tactics of laying siege, and its internecine politics by his Byzantine masters. After he helped Cantacuzenus grab the Byzantine throne from John V Palaeologus, the new emperor granted him the right to ravage both Thrace and his own daughter, Theodora, whom Orhan married.

Ottoman raiding parties between Gallipoli and Thrace became a common sight. The loot was used to attract all manner of outcasts and dispossessed and to arm them. Byzantium was thus arming and financing its own worst enemy, facilitating its own demise.

In 1354, Ottoman mercenaries occupied and fortified the earthquake shattered Gallipoli. The Ottomans crossed permanently into Europe. When Orhan's son, Suleyman, transformed Gallipoli into an ominous base from which to overpower Christian Europe - the emperor (and other Christian nations) protested.

The Ottomans ignored them and proceeded with their expansionary preparations. They raided the Balkan as far as Adrianople. Cantacuzenus was toppled and denounced for his collaboration with the Turks. Europe woke up to the nightmare on its doorstep. But it was way too late.

It was the emperor John V Palaeologus who forced Cantacuzenus to abdicate and to retire to a monastery. John V appealed to the Pope, and through him, to the Western world, for help against the Turks. But the Popes were more concerned with the three centuries old schism between the Roman Church and the Church in Constantinople. John V has begged for help for more than a decade. In 1366, he visited Hungary and pleaded for assistance, but in vain.

The Ottomans embarked on three centuries of unhindered conquests, arrested only at the gates of Vienna in the 17th century. Recurrent international (read European) alliances and crusades failed to constrain them. The Serbs, the Bulgars, the Hungarians were all routed in bloody battlefields.

Cut off from its grain supplies and tax base, proud Byzantium accepted the suzerainty of the Ottomans, their former mercenaries. When emperor John V united the churches of Constantinople and Rome in a vain and impetuous effort to secure the military involvement of the West - he only succeeded to fracture Byzantium further.

Murad, the Ottoman ruler, incorporated large parts of Christian south-eastern and central Europe into his burgeoning feudal empire. Local kings and emperors were left to govern as administrators, vassals to the Ottomans. They paid annual tribute and provided contingents to the Ottoman army. These achievements were consolidated by later Ottoman rulers for centuries to come.

In 1449 the sultan Mehmed II prepared to assault Constantinople. The West wringed its hands but provided no material or military help. The union of the two churches - Rome and Constantinople - was celebrated in the magnificent church of in Hagia Sophia in 1452. But the people of Byzantium revolted and protested against this opportunistic move. Many said that they preferred the rule of the Turks to being enslaved by the Latin West. Soon their wish would come true.

On May 29, 1453 Turkish soldiers forced their way into the shattered city. Most of the commanders (among them Venetians and Genoese) were dead or wounded. Constantine, the last emperor, fought, on foot, at one of the gates and was seen no more.

Constantinople was plundered and savaged for three long days and nights by the triumphant Turks.

The Encyclopedia Britannica (2002 edition) sums it up thus:

The Ottoman Empire had now superseded the Byzantine Empire
; and some Greeks, like the contemporary historian Critobulus of Imbros, recognized the logic of the change by bestowing on the Sultan all the attributes of the emperor. The material structure of the empire, which had long been crumbling, was now under the management of the sultan-basileus. But the Orthodox faith was less susceptible to change. The Sultan acknowledged the fact that the church had proved to be the most enduring element in the Byzantine world, and he gave the Patriarch of Constantinople an unprecedented measure of temporal authority by making him answerable for all Christians living under Ottoman rule.

The last scattered pockets of Byzantine resistance were eliminated within a decade after 1453. Athens fell to the Turks in 1456-58, and in 1460 the two despots of Morea surrendered. Thomas fled to Italy, Demetrius to the Sultan's court. In 1461 Trebizond, capital of the last remnant of Greek empire, which had maintained its precarious independence by paying court to Turks and Mongols alike, finally succumbed; the transformation of the Byzantine world into the Ottoman world was at last complete.