More than an empire fell apart, when the Byzantine centre could no longer hold. In the period surrounding the fall of Constantinople in 1204, the myriad boundaries that divided the peoples of the eastern Mediterranean grew profoundly unstable. Most people lost more than their emperor and patriarch. More than lands, lives and loot fell victim to the armies from the west and later from the east. Over the thirteenth and into the fourteenth century, with the mounting struggle between the Frankish and Italian rulers, on the one hand, and the encroaching Turkish powers, on the other, the indigenous populations of the Byzantine Empire lost sight of their future and, in the long run, their past.