Johannes Grant

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Johannes Grant or Johannis Grandi[1] was a mercenary employed by the Byzantine Empire at the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Contemporary Greek and Latin accounts referred to him as being German,[2][3] although Runciman has suggested he may actually have been a Scot named John Grant.[4] He appears to have been affiliated with the Genoese contingent of mercenaries at the siege, possibly part of the men commanded by Giovanni Giustiniani. His use of counter-mining tunnels prevented the Turks from weakening or invading Constantinople from under the walls. He would fill barrels with water and observe the waves, using incendiary weapons, mostly Cheirosiphon to destroy Ottoman tunnels. [5][6]

Depictions in Fiction[edit]


  1. ^ Leonard of Chios: "Johannis Grandi Alemani", where Grandi can also mean "the great" in Italian
  2. ^ Georgios Sphrantzes: "Johannes the German"
  3. ^ Bartusis, Mark, Late Byzantine Army
  4. ^ Runciman, Steven, Fall of Constantinople 1453, page 84
  5. ^ Nicol, Donald, Last Centuries of Byzantium. Cambridge University Press, 1993 [2nd edition]. Chapter 18.
  6. ^ The Fall of Constantinopla Archived 6 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine