Council of Florence. It failed otherwise, but one thing that happened is that the Byzantines were perhaps foresightful enough to send scholars that brought Plato, full texts of Aristotle and other common Greek philosophers over to the intellectually starving Rome (and Western Europe).
They ate it up, translating it into Latin and vulgar languages and though the council didnt’ succeed in reunification of East and West, it gave a MUCH needed boost to the University system in Europe (which had been making do with interpreting fragments of Aristotle), leading to the birth of Humanism etc just prior to the final fall of Constantiple in 1493.
Mehet II was a part of a revivalist Islamic group that believed that there was too much progress in Islam and that things needed to get more fundamental. [back to the book]. So, they scrapped 600 years of growth in Islamic civilization, declared themselves the Third Rome (after Rome and Constantiple) and thus began the Ottoman empire.
Meanwhile, Rus declared themselves third Rome.
Later, Napolean did.
Later Hitler did…
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Council_of_Florence#Aftermath Once under the thumb of the empire established by Mehmet II, Eastern Christian culture froze in time. Rus was catching up though but by THIS point, with the bulk of the Greek knowledge now in Western Europe’s hands, they were poised to EXPLODE in new learning and they did.
The Scholastic (University) system was so powerful that it’s same one we use today.
The University of Constantiple in Byzantine times wasn’t like the Western Universities that came 800 years later, as it had a different focus. Rather than the specializations of the later Unversity system, the University of Cosntantiple taught a bit of everything but always leading up to Rhetoric as its final goal. Rhetoric was the crown jewel of learning. A man who can persuade others with words, can use Logic, Math, Science, politics and anything at his disposal to do so.