An Ancient Fracture
This chapter details the characteristics of that “other Europe” resulting from the Ottoman conquest: a multiethnic and multifaith Europe under the domination of the Crescent. Throughout much of the modern age, a large part of Europe—a quarter or a third of the continent—was under the political domination of Islam. That fracture within the continent was not new. To a large extent, Ottoman Europe simply covered the pars orientalis of the continent, the religious and cultural sphere of influence of Constantinople, in opposition to that of Rome. Hence the Ottoman conquest ultimately followed a much more ancient cleavage. The presence of the “infidels” in Europe and the threat it posed constituted the worst of scandals for Christendom.
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