JBO'C's Historical Reference

Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent

Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent

Portrait of Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent

Portrait of Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent

Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent

(A cautionary note The Cambridge Modern History was a solid work in many respects but it has a decided bias aagainst Shia Moslems, Martin Luther, and Bible believing Christians. If you can get past its faults it is a valuable work. )

On his death Europe, full of apprehensions for the fate of Rhodes, breathed securely; but the feeling of relief was premature. The rumor had spread that his son and successor was, in complete contrast to his father, of a quiet unaggressive nature, and might prove another Bayazid. But these auguries were ill-based; for the youth who mounted the throne was Suleiman (Sulayman) the Lawgiver—known to the west as Suleiman the Magnificent, in whose reign Turkey climbed to the summit of its power and glory. He was as strong as his father, a soldier as well as a statesman; but his mind was well balanced; he felt none of Selim's grim delight in war and butchery. Perhaps no contemporary sovereign in Christendom was so unfeignedly desirous or so sincerely resolute to administer evenhanded justice as Suleiman . His reign began without bloodshed; he was lucky enough to have no brother or nephew to remove; the only trouble was a rebellion in Syria, which was promptly crushed.

The wave which had flowed eastward under Selim turns westward again under Suleiman . He had been viceroy in Europeduring his father's absence in the orient, and he had occasion to observe the intolerable situation on the north-western frontier, where there was continuous friction with the Hungarian kingdom. On this side he could not feel safe, so long as the key-fortresses of Belgrade and Szabacs were in the hands of the Hungarians; these places must be captured whether as a base for further advance or as the bulwarks of a permanent frontier. Envoys were sent to King Louis demanding tribute; he replied by murdering the envoys. When this news arrived, the Sultan's thought was to march straight on Buda; but his military advisers pointed out that he could not leave Szabacs in his rear. The operations on the Save were protracted during the whole summer (1521). Szabacs was taken under the eye of the Sultan himself, and a few days later Semlin was captured by his generals. But Suleiman was compelled to recognize that Belgrade must also be secured, and after a difficult siege it was taken, through treachery. Suleiman kept a diary of the campaign so that we can read his doings day by day. Other fortresses, such as Slankamen and Mitrovic, fell into his hands; and thus the gates of Hungarywere fully unlocked, whenever he chose to pass in. As yet he did not press on to Buda. A more urgent task lay before him in another quarter,—the conquest of Rhodes.

Where Mohammad had failed, his great-grandson was to succeed. Belgrade had fallen, Rhodeswas now to fall. The pirate-ships of the Rhodian Knights were a pest to the eastern waters of the archipelago and the Asiatic coasts; and not only was it imperative for the Sultan that his line of communication with Egypt should be cleared of the corsair nest, but it was in the interest of public order that the island should be annexed to the Turkish realm. The lords of Rhodes had to depend entirely on themselves, without aid from the west. The first principle of Venetian policy at this time was to keep on good terms with the Turk. The Signory had congratulated Selim on his conquests, and had transferred to him the tribute for Cyprus previously paid by them to the Sultan of Egypt. They had congratulated Suleiman on his accession, and of all foreigners they had the most advantageous commercial position in the Ottoman realm. They were therefore careful to lend no countenance to Rhodes. In summer 1522 the main army of the Turks under Suleiman himself marched across Asia Minorto the Carian coast, and a fleet of about 300 ships carried select troops. In all, the Turkish attack the King of Hungary, arrived safely at Constantinople. Without committing himself Suleiman returned a gracious answer in this style:

"I who am the Sultan of Sultans, the Sovereign of Sovereigns, the distributor of crowns to the monarchs of the surface of the globe, the shadow of God on the earth, the Sultan and Padishah of the White Sea, the Black Sea, Rumelia, Anatolia, Caramania, Rum, Sulkadr, Diyarbakir, Kurdistan, Azerbaijan, Persia, Damascus, Aleppo, Cairo, Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, all Arabia, Yemen, and other countries which my noble ancestors (may God brighten their tombs) conquered and which my august majesty has likewise conquered with my flaming sword, Sultan Suleiman Khan, son of Sultan Selim, son of Sultan Bayazid; you who are Francis, King of France, you have sent a letter to my Porte the refuge of sovereigns"; then he heartens the captive, and observes, " night and day our horse is saddled, and our sword girt on."

This was the first embassy of a French King to the Porte, the beginning of France's oriental politics. It was naturally the interest of the Sultan to cultivate friendly relations with the western neighbors of Germanyand the Empire. But Francis hardly looked beyond the immediate emergency; and at the beginning of 1526, when he won his freedom by the treaty of Madrid, he undertook to help the Emperor in an expedition against the Turks. The efforts of the Popes meanwhile to organize a Crusade had failed, as before. Adrianhad proclaimed a holy truce for three years; the Minorites had dreamed of an army of crusaders furnished by all the monasteries of Europe" for the confusion and destruction of the Turks." The Reformation reacted on the Eastern Question. The mere fact that the Roman See continuously and consistently exhorted to a Crusade was to the adherents of the new religious movement an argument against a Turkish war. Luther himself announced the principle, that to resist the Turks was to resist God, who had sent them as a visitation. At a safe distance, this was a comfortable doctrine. But some years later, when the visitation drew nigh to the heart of Germany itself, the Reformer was somewhat embarrassed to explain away his earlier utterances.

The diffusion of the doctrine of the Reformers seems to have been one of the causes which slackened and weakened the resistance of Hungaryto the Ottoman invasion. But the main cause was that King Louis was not competent as ruler or as leader; he had not the trust of his kingdom, and he was unable to cope with the opposition and dilatoriness of the Diet. The transactions of the Diet during the crisis are a melancholy comedy: the King and the councilors severally disclaiming any responsibility for consequences of the coming invasion and the safety of the realm. Help from his neighbors Louis could not expect. Venice had congratulated Suleiman on the capture of Rhodes, and was still on most friendly terms with him; Poland had just concluded a peace with him. The distant kingdoms of England and Portugal promised subsidies, but it was on his brother-in-law Charles V that Louis depended. Charles sent reinforcements, but they came too late, two days after the decision of the campaign. The most competent general the Hungarians could have chosen would have been John Zapolya, the voivode of Transylvania, but he was not trusted. The command devolved upon Louis himself in default of a better man; and at the start want of money rendered it difficult to mobilize. It was decided to defend the line of the Save, but when it came to the point the lukewarmness of the magnates caused this plan to be abandoned. The only really energetic man in the land was Archbishop Tomory, who did what he could to make defensible Peterwardein, the chief fortress of the Danube between the mouths of the Drave and the Save.

The Sultan set out towards the end of April with an army of 100,000 and 300 cannons; and his diary chronicles the heavy rainfalls which made his advance painful and slow, so that he did not reach Belgradetill July 9, when he was joined by his infantry (the Janissaries) which had been transported up the Danubeby a flotilla. Ibrahim, the Grand Vizier, had been sent forward to take Peterwardein, and it was in Turkish hands before the end of July. After the fall of this bulwark, a bloody sword was carried, according to custom, throughout the Hungarian land, summoning men to help their country in the hour of her utmost jeopardy. Zapolya was waiting uncertain what to do. Receiving a command from the King to join the army he obeyed slowly, but only reached Szegedin on the Theiss where he remained. There is not the least proof that he was acting in collusion with the Turk; the most that can be said is that he was secretly pleased at the embarrassing situation of King Louis. The Hungarian army advanced to Tolna, and all told they were perhaps fewer than 30,000. It was now a question whether the line of the Drave should be held; but while the Hungarians were deliberating, the Turks had crossed that river at Essek (August 20-21). The Chancellor Broderith gave the counsel to fall back to Buda, but messages from Tomory (at Neusatz) urged the King to give battle in the plain of Mohacs (south of Tolna) where he had taken up a position. On August 29 the Turks were known to be not far off, and the Hungarians spread out their two lines—a long thin line of foot in front, flanked by cavalry, and a rear line mainly of cavalry. The plan was- that the foot should open the attack all along the line, and when their attack began to tell the horse should charge. In the afternoon the Rumelians who formed the vaward of the Turks became visible; they had no intention of fighting that day, and were about to camp. The Hungarian centre and left attacked and dispersed them; the cavalry then struck in, and rode forward stimulated by the first easy success. But nothing save a freak of chance could have averted the discomfiture of the Christian army; for the battle was controlled by no commander, and the divisions acted independently. The cavalry were beaten back by the Portugal promised subsidies, but it was on his brother-in-law Charles V that Louis depended. Charles sent reinforcements, but they came too late, two days after the decision of the campaign. The most competent general the Hungarians could have chosen would have been John Zapolya, the voivod of Transylvania, but he was not trusted. The command devolved upon Louis himself in default of a better man; and at the start want of money rendered it difficult to mobilize. It was decided to defend the line of the Save, but when it came to the point the lukewarmness of the magnates caused this plan to be abandoned. The only really energetic man in the land was Archbishop Tomory, who did what he could to make defensible Peterwardein, the chief fortress of the Danube between the mouths of the Drave and the Save.

The Sultan set out towards the end of April with an army of 100,000 and 300 cannons; and his diary chronicles the heavy rainfalls which made his advance painful and slow, so that he did not reach Belgradetill July 9, when he was joined by his infantry (the Janissaries) which had been transported up the Danubeby a flotilla. Ibrahim, the Grand Vizier, had been sent forward to take Peterwardein, and it was in Turkish hands before the end of July. After the fall of this bulwark, a bloody sword was carried, according to custom, throughout the Hungarian land, summoning men to help their country in the hour of her utmost jeopardy. Zapolya was waiting uncertain what to do. Receiving a command from the King to join the army he obeyed slowly, but only reached Szegedin on the Theiss where he remained. There is not the least proof that he was acting in collusion with the Turk; the most that can be said is that he was secretly pleased at the embarrassing situation of King Louis. The Hungarian army advanced to Tolna, and all told they were perhaps fewer than 30,000. It was now a question whether the line of the Drave should be held; but while the Hungarians were deliberating, the Turks had crossed that river at Essek (August 20-21). The Chancellor Broderith gave the counsel to fall back to Buda, but messages from Tomory (at Neusatz) urged the King to give battle in the plain of Mohacs (south of Tolna) where he had taken up a position. On August 29 the Turks were known to be not far off, and the Hungarians spread out their two lines—a long thin line of foot in front, flanked by cavalry, and a rear line mainly of cavalry. The plan was- that the foot should open the attack all along the line, and when their attack began to tell the horse should charge. In the afternoon the Rumelians who formed the vaward of the Turks became visible; they had no intention of fighting that day, and were about to camp. The Hungarian centre and left attacked and dispersed them; the cavalry then struck in, and rode forward stimulated by the first easy success. But nothing save a freak of chance could have averted the discomfiture of the Christian army; for the battle was controlled by no commander, and the divisions acted independently. The cavalry were beaten back by the steady fire of the enemy; and the Hungarian right wing, when the Turks spread out leftwards and rounded on its flank, retired towards the Danube. Twenty thousand of the Hungarian army were killed. The King escaped from the field, but in crossing a brook his horse slipped on the bank and he was drowned. The Sultan advanced and took possession of Buda, but he did not leave a garrison; he was not yet prepared to annex Hungary. His army was somewhat demoralised, and grave news came of troubles in Asia Minor.

John Zapolya was crowned King, November 10, supported by a large party; and his rivalry with Ferdinand, the late King's brother-in-law, who claimed the throne, determined the course of the following events. At first things looked ill for Zapolya. Ferdinand drove him out of Buda back to Transylvania, and was himself crowned at Stuhlweissenburg- (November, 1527). Then Zapolya turned for help to the Sultan; who after protracted parleys concluded a treaty of alliance with him (February, 1528). Ferdinand also sent ambassadors; but they pleaded in vain, and were even detained under arrest at the suggestion of some Venetian envoys. On the other hand Francis I concluded a treaty with Zapolya, who promised that if he died without male heir the crown of Hungaryshould descend to the French King's son, the Duke of Orleans. No French prince was destined ever to sit on the Hungarian throne; but before half a century had passed a grandson of Francis was to wear the crown of Poland, and the political idea was the same.

One of the results of the victory of Mohacs was the consolidation of Ottoman rule in the north-western countries, Bosniaand Croatia. Jajce, which had so long defied the Sultans, was at last taken (1528), and many other fortresses of less note. Early in 1529 it was known that Suleiman was preparing for a grand expedition northwards in that year. Germanywas alive to the danger. Luther changed his attitude and acknowledged the necessity of war against the Turks, while he insisted that all the disasters which had befallen Christendom from Varna to Mohacs had been due to the interference of Popes and bishops— language which the deeds of Archbishop Paul Tomory of Kalocsa, the defender of southern Hungary, might have been held to belie.

Suleiman marched northwards—we can again follow his movements in his own diary—at the head of an immense army, set at 250,000 men, an exaggerated figure. King John met him on the field of Mohacs, and the crown of St Stephen on this occasion passed for safe keeping into the possession of Suleiman , who never gave it back. Buda was easily taken, and the host advanced up the Danube, avoiding Pressburg, against Vienna. The garrison numbered 22,000; the walls were not strong; and Charles V, who ought to have hastened to the defense of the eastern mark, was in Italy. Ferdinand waited in terrible anxiety at Linz. He believed that it was the purpose of Suleiman to winter in Vienna and spend three years in the subjugation of Germany. The garrison of Viennain the meanwhile made suitable arrangements for encountering the storm. The houses outside the walls were leveled, the streets within torn up, buildings unroofed. The city was surrounded on September 26 and the operations began with mining. But the difficulty of procuring provisions and the approach of winter rendered the army impatient; and, when successive attempts at storming had been repelled with grave loss (October 9-12), it was decided to retreat after one more effort—especially as help was approaching, about 60,000 men from Bohemia, Moravia, and Germany. A half-hearted attack closed the episode of the first siege of Vienna, and at midnight the signal was given for a retreat which was marked by every horror. On December 16 Suleiman records, he returned "fortunately" to Stambul. He had failed in Austria, but Hungarylay at his feet, and John Zapolya, though not a tributary, was absolutely dependent on his support.

The Cambridge Modern History planned by the Late Lord Acton LL.D. Regius Professor of Modern History, Edited by A. W. Ward LlTT.D. G. W. Prothero LlTT.D. Sttanley Leathes M.A. Volume I The Renaissance Cambridge at the Univsity Press 1902

Greece and the Levant: A Private Library

Sale: L08413 | Location: London, New Bond Street
Auction Dates: Session 1: Thu, 13 Nov 08 10:00 AM
LOT 63
ENDERLIN, JACOB, PUBLISHER.
DIE HOCHE STEIN-KLIPPEN UND GEBÜRGE, CYANEAE, OLYMPUS UND ATHOS. VON WELCHEN ZU SEHEN SEYN: DIE GROSSE, WELT-BERUFFENE, ZWISCHEN DEM SCHWARZEN UND WEISSEN MEER, AM BOSPHORO THRACICO, IN EUROPA LIGENDE, DESZ GRIECHISCHEN REICHS HAUBT UND DER OTTOMANISCHEN PORTEN. AUGSBURG: ANTON NEPPERSCHIMDT FOR JACOB ENDERLIN, 1689
5,000—7,000 GBP
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 15,000 GBP
DESCRIPTION
first edition, second issue, folio (277 x 182mm.), title printed in red and black, engraved frontispiece of Sultan Suleiman on horseback, 33 full-page engraved plates showing 86 maps, plans, views and natural history subjects, contemporary boards, modern cloth-backed box, worming in several leaves repaired with some loss, some plates damaged with loss, some browning, rebacked and repaired
PROVENANCE
Panos Gratsos, book label; Sefik E. Atabey, book label
LITERATURE AND REFERENCES
not in Blackmer; Contominas 239 (first issue); Atabey 402
CATALOGUE NOTE
rare. This work is similar to others published by Enderlin, Trinum marinum, in which some of the same plates occur, Archipelagus turbatus and Republic Venedig. All these works seem to have been inspired by the illustrated historico-geographical descriptions of Coronelli, and were published to take advantage of the interest in the region aroused by the Austro-Venetian-Turkish wars of 1684-90.

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