[J.A.R. Marriott, The Eastern Question: An Historical Study of European Diplomacy. Oxford University: The Clarendon Press, 1919. Pp. 66-94]
THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE: ITS ZENITH, 1453-1566
SULEIMAN THE MAGNIFICENT
'The peculiarity of the Turks is at once apparent when we observe that their history is almost exclusively a catalogue of names and battles.' Odysseus (Sir Charles Eliot).
'The failure of the Turks is due to Byzantinism.... The decadence of the Turk dates from the day when Constantinople was taken and not destroyed.' DIPLOMATIST,' Nationalism and War in the Near East.
The events recorded in the preceding chapter demonstrated conclusively one fact of supreme significance: a new nation had definitely planted itself on European soil; the Osmanlis had come to stay.
Down to the capture of Constantinople some doubts upon this point might have lingered; after it there could be none. The Osmanlis were now plainly something more than brilliantly successful adventurers. The taking of Constantinople fundamentally altered their position. It is true that in its declining years the Byzantine Empire enjoyed, as it deserved, little prestige; yet the mere possession of the imperial city did confer upon its conquerors, altogether apart from questions of strategic or commercial advantage, a quasi-constitutional authority such as they could not otherwise have obtained.
And the Sultan Mohammed clearly recognized the significance of the change. Hitherto his followers had been merely an army of occupation in a conquered land. They have always been that and, according to one reading of their history, they have never been anything more. How far that reading is accurate the following pages will show; a point of more immediate significance is that after 1453 Sultan Mohammed initiated the attempt to devise a polity for the new nation.
Characteristics of the Ottoman Empire. To what extent could he rely upon the essential characteristics of his people? Many contradictory attributes have been predicated of the Ottoman Turks. They have been delineated by friends and by foes respectively as among the most amiable, and unquestionably the most detestable of mankind; but on one point all observers are agreed. The Turk never changes. What he was when he first effected a lodgment upon European soil, that he remains to-day. Essentially the Ottoman Turk has been from first to last a fighting man, a herdsman, and a nomad.
' In the perpetual struggle', writes one, 'between the herdsman and the tiller of the soil, which has been waged from remote ages on the continents of Europe and Asia, the advance of the Ottomans was a decisive victory for the children of the steppes. This feature of their conquest is of no less fundamental importance than its victory for Islam.'
' The Turks', writes another, 'never outgrew their ancestral character of predacious nomads; they take much and give little.'
Thus, to close observers, the Turks have always given the impression of transitoriness; of being strangers and sojourners in a land that is not their own. 'Here', they have seemed to say, 'we have no abiding city.' 'A band of nomadic warriors, we are here to-day; we shall be gone to-morrow.'
Heirs of the Byzantines. But the sense of temporary occupation was not inconsistent: with a rigid conservatism as long as the occupation might 1 last. And in nothing have the Ottomans shown themselves more conservative than in fulfilment of the obligations which they inherited from their predecessors. No sooner were they masters of the imperial city than they made it plain to the world that they regarded themselves as the legitimate heirs of the Byzantine Empire. No Greek could have exhibited more zeal than Sultan Mohammed in resisting the encroachments, whether territorial or ecclesiastical, of the Latins. Venetians, Genoese, and Franks were alike made to realize that the Turk was at least as Greek as his predecessor in title. Most clearly was this manifested in his dealings with the Orthodox Church.
The Greek Church. Some of the more fanatical adherents of that Church had actually favoured the revolution by which a Turkish Sultan had replaced a Greek Basileus who was known to approve of reunion with Rome. They had their reward. At the moment when Constantinople was taken the patriarchal throne happened to be vacant. Within three days Sultan Mohammed had given orders that a new Patriarch should be elected and consecrated with all the accustomed rites After his election the Patriarch was treated with the deepest personal respect, and received from the Sultan a solemn guarantee for all the rights and immunities of his Church; in particular, there was to be complete freedom of worship for the Greek Christians. In every way the Orthodox Church was encouraged to look to the Sultan as its protector against the pretensions of the rival Rome. Thus the Patriarch became in effect the Pope of the Eastern Church. He was invested, indeed, with extraordinary privileges. After the conquest, as before, he was permitted to summon periodical synods, to hold ecclesiastical courts, and to enforce the sentences of the courts with spiritual penalties.
The Phanariotes. Nor was the favour shown to the Greeks confined to ecclesiastics. On the contrary the Sultans developed among the Greek laymen a sort of administrative aristocracy. Known as Phanariotes from the Phanar, the particular quarter which they inhabited in Constantinople, these shrewd and serviceable Greeks were utilized by the Turks for the performance of duties for which the conquerors had neither liking nor aptitude. The Turk is curiously devoid of that sense which the ancient Greeks described as political. He desires neither to govern nor to be governed. He is a polemical not a 'political animal'. To conquer and to enjoy in ease the fruits of conquest has always been his ideal of life. With the dull details of administration he has never cared to concern himself. That was the work of 'slaves', and as a fact, though none but a Moslem could in theory aspire to the highest administrative posts, the actual work of administration was confided to the Phanariotes. Whether this practice, in the long run, contributed either to the well-being of Christianity in the dominions of the Porte, or to the better government of the Greek population, is a moot point to which we may recur. For the moment it must suffice to say that while the Higher Clergy of the Orthodox Church became almost wholly dependent upon the State, the parish priests laboured with extraordinary devotion to keep alive among their flocks the flame of nationality even more perhaps than the tenets of Orthodoxy. To their efforts, maintained with remarkable perseverance throughout a period of four and a half centuries, the success of the Greek revival, in the early nineteenth century, was largely due.
Tolerance and indolence. The attitude of the Ottomans towards the Greek Christians was inspired by a mixture of motives. It was due partly to an innate tendency towards toleration, and still more perhaps to invincible indolence. In view of the hideous massacres perpetrated by Abdul Hamid it is not easy to insist that religious toleration is one of the cardinal virtues of the Turk. Yet the fact is incontestable. Although the Ottoman State was essentially theocratic in theory and in structure, although the sole basis of political classification was ecclesiastical, the Turk was one of the least intolerant of rulers. He was also one of the most indolent. So long as his material necessities were supplied by his subjects the precise methods of local government and administration were matters of indifference to him. This had its good and its bad side. It often left the conquered peoples at the mercy of petty tyrants, but where the local circumstances were unfavourable to tyrannies it left the people very much to themselves. Hence that considerable measure of local autonomy which has frequently been noted as one of the many contradictory features of Ottoman government in Europe, and which largely contributed, when the time came, to the resuscitation of national self-consciousness among the conquered peoples.
No assimilation between conquerors and conquered. The traits already delineated may perhaps account for another marked characteristic of Ottoman history. Whether it be due to pride or to indolence, to spiritual exclusiveness or to political indifference, the fact remains that the Turks have neither absorbed nor been absorbed by the conquered peoples; still less have they permitted any assimilation among the conquered peoples. Ml: Freeman put this point, with characteristic emphasis, many years ago:
'The Turks, though they have been in some parts of Turkey for five hundred years, have still never become the people of the land, nor have they in any way become one with the people of the land. They still remain as they were when they first came in, a people of strangers bearing rule over the people of the land, but in every way distinct from them.'
The original Ottoman invaders were relatively few in numbers, and throughout the centuries they have continued to be 'numerically inferior to the aggregate of their subjects'. But for two considerations it is almost certain that like the Teuton invaders of Gaul they would have been absorbed by the peoples whom they conquered. The Teuton conquerors of Gaul were pagans, the Turks, on the contrary, brought with them a highly developed creed which virtually forbade assimilation. Under the strict injunctions of the Koran the infidel must either embrace Islamism; or suffer death; or purchase, by the payment of a tribute, a right to the enjoyment of life and property. Only in Albania was there any general acceptance of the Moslem creed among the masses of the population. In Bosnia, and to a less degree in Bulgaria, the larger landowners purchased immunity by conversion; but, generally speaking, the third of the alternatives enjoined by the Koran was the one actually adopted. Christianity consequently survived in most parts of the Turkish Empire. And the Turk, as we have seen, shrewdly turned its survival to his own advantage. The second pertinent consideration is that the conquered peoples were hopelessly divided amongst themselves. Before the coming of the Turk, the Bulgarians, as we have seen, had been constantly at the throats of the Serbians, and both at those of the Greeks. This antagonism the Turk set himself sedulously to cultivate, and with conspicuous success. As a close and discriminating observer has justly said: 'they have always done and still do all in their power to prevent the obliteration of racial, linguistic, and religious differences', with the result that 'they have perpetuated and preserved, as in a museum, the strange medley which existed in South-Eastern Europe during the last years of the Byzantine Empire'.
Neglect of commerce. If the Turk was not, in the Aristotelian sense, a 'political 2 animal', still less was he an 'economic man'. He adhered 'faithfully to his primitive nomadic instincts. There is a proverbial saying in the East: where the Turk plants his foot the grass never grows again. To a nomad it is a matter of indifference whether it does. He is a herdsman, not a tiller of the soil. Agriculture and commerce are alike beneath his notice, except, of course, as a source of revenue. Here, as in the lower ranks of the administrative hierarchy, the Greek could be pre-eminently useful to his new sovereign. Consequently the Greek traders in Constantinople, for example, and Salonica and Athens, were protected by a substantial tariff against foreign competition. In the sixteenth century the expulsion of the Moors from Grenada led to a considerable influx of Moors and Spanish Jews into Salonica, where they still predominate, and even into Constantinople. In them and also in the Armenians the Greeks found powerful competitors, both in finance and in commerce. For the governing Turks these matters had no interest except in so far as they affected the contributions to the imperial treasury. So long as that was full it mattered nothing to the Turks who were the contributors, or whence their wealth was derived.
Such were some of the outstanding characteristics of the people who in the fifteenth century established. themselves permanently in South-Eastern Europe. But though they were permanently established by 1453, they had by no means reached the final limits of political ascendancy or of territorial conquest and expansion.
Progress of Ottoman conquests. Mohammed's first anxiety after the taking of Constantinople was to complete the subjugation of the Southern Slavs. But so long as Hunyadi lived the latter did not lack an effective champion. Appealed to by George Brankovic of Serbia, Hunyadi, in 1454, came to the relief of Semendria, and then burnt Widdin to the ground. But in 1455 Mohammed captured Novoberda, and in the following year laid siege to Belgrade. Once more the Pope, Calixtus III, attempted to rouse Christendom against the Moslems. A considerable measure of enthusiasm was excited by the preaching of a Minorite brother, John of Capistrano, and in 1456 Hunyadi marched at the head of a great army to the relief of Belgrade. The frontier fortress was saved, and the Turks were routed with a loss of 50,000 men and 300 guns. But this was the last exploit of John Corvinus Hunyadi, who died in this same year (1456). Brankovic of Serbia died almost simultaneously.
Extinction of Southern Slav independence. The death of these two men shattered the last fragment of independence enjoyed by the Southern Slavs. Serbia was converted into a Turkish Pashalik, and was finally annexed to the Ottoman Empire in 1459; Bosnia shared its fate in 1463, and Herzegovina in 1465. For more than three centuries and a half the Southern Slavs disappear from the page of history.
Montenegro. Only in the region of the Black Mountain did a remnant of the race maintain their independence; but until the nineteenth century the gallant resistance of Montenegro was devoid of political significance.
Albania. Almost the same is true of Albania, though in the middle of the fifteenth century the sombre story of the Albanian mountaineers was illuminated by the brief but brilliant episode of a famous adventurer known as Scanderbeg or Iskendar Bey. George Castriotis, 'the dragon of Albania', was brought up as a Moslem at the court of Murad II and served in the Ottoman army, but at the age of forty he was converted to Christianity, abjured his allegiance to the Sultan, and initiated, in his native mountains, a guerrilla warfare against the Turks. This war was maintained with extraordinary success during the remaining years of Scanderbeg's life (1443-67); one Turkish army after another was thrown into Albania only to be repelled by the indomitable courage of Scanderbeg and his compatriots, seconded by the inaccessible nature of their fastnesses. In 14(31 Mohammed II came to terms with Scanderbeg, acknowledging the independence of Albania and the lordship of Castriotis over Albania and Epirus. A few years later, however, the struggle was renewed, but with no better success for the Turks. Castriotis died still unconquered in 1467, and after his death many of his followers migrated to Italy. Of the rest a large number embraced Mohammedanism; not a few entered the service of the Porte; and some, notably the Kiuprilis, rose to eminence in that service. But the country itself has never really been subdued by the foreigner, and only at rare intervals has it been united in submission to one of its own native chieftains. Geography has indeed prohibited both union and subjection; both commercial and political development. Bands of brigands, with little or no mutual cohesion, have, throughout the centuries, maintained a precarious existence by preying on each other or on their neighbours. That the race has virility is proved by the men it has spasmodically thrown up-a Castriotis, a Kiuprili, an Ali Pasha of Janina, and, most notable of all, the famous soldier and statesman who played in the nineteenth century so great a part in the history of Egypt and indeed of Europe, Mehemet Ali. But apart from individuals such as these, and the episodes connected with one or two of them, Albania from the end of the fifteenth century until the end of the nineteenth played no appreciable part in Balkan politics. In recent years European diplomacy has, for its own purposes, discovered an 'Albanian Question', but it is not cynical to suggest that the discovery is due to the existence of two harbours on the Albanian coast, Durazzo and Valona. The significance of the discovery must engage attention at a later stage of our inquiry. For at last four centuries after the death of Scanderbeg, as a factor in the problem of the Near East, Albania may be ignored.
Conquest of Greece proper. The Morea and Greece proper were, as we saw, distributed, at the time of the Ottoman invasion, among a number of principalities, Byzantine, Frankish, and Venetian. After the conquest of Constantinople these were gradually reduced to submission. The Florentine dynasty in Athens was finally expelled in 1456; Corinth capitulated in 1458; the two Palaeologi, whose rule in the Morea had long been a public scandal, were dethroned in 1459, and the Morea itself was finally annexed to the Ottoman Empire.
War with Venice and Genoa. Aegina and some half-dozen coast towns, not to mention the great majority of the Aegean islands, still remained in the hands of the Venetians. Between the Turks and the Venetian Republic there was intermittent war for nearly twenty years. In 1463 Venice attempted to rouse Western Europe to a sense of the gravity of the Ottoman peril. But only with partial success. A league was formed between the Republic, the Pope, the Duke of Burgundy, and the King of Hungary, but though a considerable force assembled at Ancona it lacked organization, and Venice was left to fight the battle of Christendom alone. She fought bravely but without success. Argos was taken by the Turks in 1463, and in 1467 Euboea was attacked in force by land and sea Its conquest, in the following year, was the death-blow to the Venetian Empire in the Near East. Joined by Pope Sixtus IV, by Naples, and by the Knights of St. John, Venice then attempted a diversion in Asia Minor: Their combined fleets attacked and captured Smyrna, and an attempt was made to incite Karamania to revolt against the Turks. But little was actually accomplished. Nearer home Scutari was held by the Venetians against repeated sieges, but in 1478 the Turks took Kroia, the Albanian fortresses, and thence advanced again upon Scutari. Deserted by her allies Venice then determined to treat, and in 1479 the Treaty of Constantinople was concluded. The Doge surrendered to the Turks Lemnos, Euboea, and Scutari, and agreed to pay an indemnity of 100,000 ducats and an annual tribute of 110,000. In return Venice was to have the privilege of a consular establishment in Constantinople, and to enjoy freedom of trade throughout the Ottoman dominions.
Supremacy in the Euxine. Meanwhile the Turks had been making rapid progress on both shores of the Black Sea. In 1461 Amastris, ill the north of Anatolia, was taken from the Genoese; in the same year Sinope and Paphlagonia were captured from one of the Turkish emirs; and-greatest prize of all-Trebizond, the last refuge of the Greek emperors, fell into the hands of Mohammed. A few years afterwards the Emperor, David Comnenus, and all his kinsmen were strangled. Thus perished the last of the Roman emperors of the East. The Seljukian Empire survived that of Byzantium only a few years. In 1471 Karamania, the last Seljukian principality, was annexed by Mohammed, and two years later a terrific contest between Mohammed and Ouzoun Hassan, the Turcoman ruler of Persia and part of Armenia, ended in the decisive defeat of the latter. Thenceforward the Turks were undisputed masters of Anatolia. Finally, in 1475 Azov and the Crimea were taken from the Genoese, and the Tartars accepted the suzerainty of the Sultan. This completed Turkish supremacy on both shores of the Black Sea. Not until the latter part of the eighteenth century was it ever again questioned.
Death of Mohammed 'the Conqueror'. The career of Sultan Mohammed, now nearing its close, had been one of almost uninterrupted success. One last ambition which he cherished was destined to remain unfulfilled. He S had already conquered most of the Aegean islands, Lemnos, Imbros, Thasos, and Samothrace; but the island of Rhodes was still held by the Knights Hospitallers. A great armament was accordingly dispatched from Constantinople in 1480 to effect its conquest, but after besieging it for two months the Turks were beaten off with heavy loss. Mohammed, nettled by this reverse, determined to take command of the next expedition in person, but just as it was starting the Sultan suddenly passed away (May 3, 1481). He well deserves the name by which in Turkish history he is distinguished; among a long line of brilliant soldiers he was pre-eminently 'the Conqueror'. A few outlying portions of the Byzantine Empire, each important in a strategic sense, were nevertheless denied to him: Belgrade in the north; Crete, Cyprus, and Rhodes in the south; but apart from these hardly an ambition of his life was unfulfilled, and to his successor he bequeathed an empire which extended from the Danube to the Euphrates.
Bayezid II (1481-1512). That successor was destined to a more chequered fortune. One distinguished critic has held that the seeds of the decay of the Ottoman Empire began to be sown as early as the reign of Bayezid II. Be that as it may, his career was certainly less consistently successful than that of his predecessor. To begin with, the succession was not undisputed. His half-brother Djem proposed partition: that Bayezid should keep the European dominions, while Djem should rule Asiatic Turkey with Brusa as his capital. Bayezid declined the offer, and in one decisive battle, at Yenishehr, disposed of his brother's pretensions. Supported by the Mameluke Sultan, with whom he took refuge in Cairo, Djem had the temerity to repeat the proposal, only to meet with an equally decided rebuff Djem then fled for refuge to the Knights of St. John, by whom he was sent on to France, whence, six years later, he passed to his final captivity at the Vatican. So long as he lived (until 1495) he was a source of some disquietude to Sultan Bayezid, and a pawn of some potential value in the hands or the Christians, but the effective use they made of him was not great.
War with Venice (1499-1502). Of Bayezid's numerous wars the most important was that with the Venetian Republic. The progress made by the Venetians in the Aegean, more particularly the taking of Cyprus, had seriously alarmed the Sultan. Further stimulated, perhaps, by the Italian rivals of the Republic, he declared war upon it in 1498. The Turkish fleet won a great victory at Lepanto, but in the Morea, where most of the land fighting was concentrated, the fortunes of war were very uncertain. Hungary, the Papacy, and other Western Powers sent some assistance to the Republic, and their combined fleet inflicted a severe defeat upon the Turkish navy, raided the coast of Asia Minor, and seized the island of Santa Maura. Bayezid, therefore, concluded peace with Venice in 1502 and with Hungary a year later. The Sultan recovered Santa Maura, and retained all his conquests in the Morea, while Cephalonia was retained by the Republic.
The next twenty years (1503-20) formed a period, as far as Europe was concerned, of unusual tranquillity. The Turkish Sultan was busy elsewhere. The rise of the Safavid dynasty in Persia led to a struggle between Persia and the Ottomans; there was a war also, not too successful, with the Mamelukes; and, worst of all, Bayezid had serious trouble with his own house. So serious, indeed, did it become that in 1512 Sultan Bayezid was compelled by Selim, the youngest of his three sons, to abdicate, and shortly after his abdication he died, probably by poison.
Selim I, 'the Inflexible' (1512-20). Entirely devoid of pity or scruples the new Sultan began his reign by the murder of his two brothers and eight nephews. Still his reign, though brief, was brilliant. Perpetually at war he never crossed swords with a Christian. But his wars and conquests in the East were on such an imposing scale that in less than eight years he nearly doubled the size of the Ottoman Empire.
Conquest of Northern Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria, and Arabia. A three years' war with the Shah Ismail of Persia resulted in the acquisition of Northern Mesopotamia; Egypt, Syria, and Arabia were successively conquered, and, to crown all, the Khalifate was transferred to the Ottoman Sultan, who became henceforward the protector of the holy places and the spiritual head of Mohammedanism throughout the world. The conquest of Egypt rendered the continued occupation of Rhodes by the Knights Hospitallers increasingly galling to the masters of Cairo and Constantinople. But to Selim, as to his grandfather, this prize was denied. Like Mohammed he was preparing for an expedition against the Knights when he was overtaken by death.
Few reigns in Ottoman history have been shorter; none has been more crowded with notable events. Of these by far the most significant, apart from the territorial expansion of the empire, was the assumption of the Khalifate-significant but sinister. For, as an acute critic has said, 'it marked the supersession of the Byzantine or European ideal by the Asiatic in Osmanli policy, and introduced a phase of Ottoman history which has endured to our own time.'
Suleiman I, the 'Magnificent' (1520-66). The Khalifate and the Sultanate passed without dispute, thanks to the sanguinary precautions of Sultan Selim, to his only son Suleiman, known to European contemporaries as 'the Magnificent', to his own people as the 'lawgiver'.
In the reign and person of Suleiman the history of his nation reaches its climax; as warrior, as organizer, as legislator, as man he has had no superior, perhaps no equal, among the Ottoman Turks. Physically, morally, and intellectually Suleiman was richly endowed: a man of great strength and stature; capable of enduring immense fatigue; frank, generous, amiable in character; indefatigably industrious; a capable administrator, and no mean scholar. But despite his brilliant gifts, sedulously cultivated, the reign of Suleiman is, by general consent, taken to mark not only the zenith of Ottoman greatness, but the beginnings, though at first hardly discernible of decline.
Conquest of Belgrade and Rhodes. The opening of the reign was extraordinarily auspicious. His predecessor bequeathed to Suleiman a vast empire; but in that empire there were two points of conspicuous weakness. In the north, the Turkish frontier was insecure so long as the great fortress of Belgrade remained in the hands of Hungary; in the south, the presence of the Knights Hospitallers in Rhodes constituted a perpetual menace to the safety and continuity of communication between Cairo and Constantinople. Within two years of Suleiman's accession both these sources of weakness had been removed. Belgrade and Sabacz were conquered from Hungary in 1521; Rhodes at least fell before the Ottoman assault in 1522. The Knights found a temporary refuge in Crete, and in 1530 settled permanently in Malta. Belgrade remained continuously in the hands of the Ottomans until the end of the seventeenth century.
Conquest of Hungary. The acquisition of this great frontier fortress opened the way for the most conspicuous military achievement of the reign. With Belgrade in his hands Suleiman could safely embark upon a more ambitious enterprise, the conquest of Hungary itself.
The Ottoman Turks and the European Polity. That enterprise initiates a new phase in the history of the Ottoman Empire in Europe. The Turks had now been, 'encamped' upon European soil for nearly two centuries; but though tn Europe they were not of it. They were pariahs, with whom no respectable prince, except surreptitiously, would hold converse. The reign of Suleiman marks, in this respect, a notable change, a change mainly due to the new political conditions which were beginning to prevail in Western Europe. The States-system of modern Europe only came into being in the sixteenth century. and the first manifestation of the new system was the prolonged and V embittered rivalry between the kingdom of France and the Habsburg Empire. The contest between Charles V and Francis I for the imperial crown (1519) brought that rivalry to a head. The success of Charles V opened a chapter which did not close until, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, Louis XIV put his grandson on the throne of Spain. The first bout of this prolonged contest ended with the utter defeat of Francis I in the battle of Pavia (1525). Pavia was a great day not only for the Habsburgs but for the Turks. Francis I had begun his reign with a fervent reaffirmation of the traditional policy of his house. Fresh from the glory achieved at Marignano he would lead a great crusade of all the powers of the West against the intruding Ottoman. That crusade was a main plank of his platform in the contest for the empire. He promised that if elected he would, within three years, either be in Constantinople or in his coffin. His failure to obtain the imperial crown somewhat tempered his crusading zeal, and after his humiliating defeat at Pavia, Francis, while yet a prisoner in the hands of his rivals, made overtures to the Ottoman Sultan. The alliance that ensued between Turkey and France was destined to supply one of the most important and one of the most continuous threads in the fabric of European diplomacy for more than three hundred years to come.
Battle of Mohacz (1526). The overtures of a French king, even in captivity, could not fail to cause gratification at Constantinople, and the response was prompt. In April, 1526, the Sultan started from Constantinople at the head of a magnificent army of 100,000 men. Crossing the Danube he took Peterwardein in July, and on August 28, 1526, he met and defeated on the plain of Mohacz the flower of the Hungarian nobility. Lewis, the last Jagellon King of Hungary and Bohemia, the brother-in-law of Ferdinand of Austria, was drowned in his flight from the field. Nothing could now arrest the advance of Suleiman upon Buda, the Hungarian capital, which he occupied on September 10. But after a fortnight's stay he was recalled to Constantinople, leaving the fate of Hungary undecided. For the next two years Suleiman's energies were fully occupied with the affairs of his empire in Asia Minor.
Third expedition into Hungary (1529). Meanwhile, there was acute dissension in the two kingdoms where the Jagellons had ruled. To Bohemia, Ferdinand of Austria made good his claim, but in Hungary he encountered a serious rival in John Zapolya, the Voyvode of Transylvania. Favoured by Suleiman the latter was crowned king in 1526, but in 1527 he was driven back by Ferdinand into Transylvania. Both parties then appealed for help to the Ottoman Sultan. Accordingly, Suleiman again set out for Hungary in 1529, and in August of that year again found himself on the plain of Mohacz. There he was joined by Zapolya, and together they advanced on Buda. Buda offered little resistance, and Suleiman then determined to attack Vienna itself.
Siege of Vienna (1529). Exclusive of the Hungarian followers of Zapolya the Turkish army numbered 250,000 men, and had 300 guns. The garrison consisted of on]y 16,000 men, but they defended the city with splendid gallantry. In view of the menace to Christendom Lutherans and Catholics closed their ranks, and large reinforcements were soon on their way to the capital. After a fruitless siege of twenty-four days Suleiman, therefore, decided to retire (October 14).
The failure of the greatest of the Sultans to take Vienna, and his withdrawal in the autumn of 1529, mark an epoch in the history of the Eastern Question. A definite and, as it proved, a final term was put to the advance of the Ottomans towards Central Europe. The brave garrison of Vienna had rendered an incomparable service to Germany and to Christendom. Here at last was a barrier which even Suleiman could not pass.
Three times more at least did Suleiman lead expeditions into Hungary: in 1532, in 154], and finally in the very last year of his reign and life, 1566. But never did he renew the attempt upon Vienna. The failure of 1529 was accepted as final.
It would be tedious to follow in detail the fortunes of Suleiman's Hungarian enterprises; nor is it pertinent to the purpose of this book. The expedition of 1532 was on a very imposing scale. Suleiman left Constantinople at the head of a force of 200,000 men, and was joined at Belgrade by 100,000 Bosnians and 15,000 Tartars. But the Turkish host suffered a serious check at the little town of Guns, and after taking it Suleiman, instead of advancing on Vienna, contented himself with laying waste a great part of Styria and Lower Austria. Nothing of importance had been effected, and in June, 1533, a treaty-memorable as the first between the House of Austria and Turkey-was concluded.
Incorporation of Hungary and Transylvania in Ottoman Empire (1547). The expedition of 1541 had more permanent results. Zapolya had died in July, 1540, and though Suleiman 3 espoused the cause of his widow and infant son, the interests of the Zapolya family were virtually set aside. What the Sultan now conquered he conquered for himself. Buda again fell into his hands in 1541, not to be surrendered for < nearly a century and a half. Another expedition in 1543 confirmed the Turkish possession of Hungary and Transylvania which, except for a strip retained by Ferdinand, was definitely incorporated as the pashalik of Buda in the Ottoman Empire. The country was divided into twelve sanjaks, in each of which a regular administrative and financial system was established. Negotiations between the Habsburgs and the Turks continued for several years, but at last, in 1547, the former accepted the inevitable and a five years' armistice was concluded. Ferdinand then agreed to pay to the Porte an annual tribute of 30,000 ducats for the strip of Hungary which he was permitted to retain. The truce was imperfectly observed on both sides and in 1551 the war was resumed. With short intervals of inactivity it continued, without essentially modifying the situation on either side, until 1562, when a treaty was concluded between the veteran antagonists. Ferdinand died two years afterwards (1564), but in 1566 war was renewed between his successor, the Emperor Maximilian II, and the Ottomans. It was in the course of this campaign, which he led in person, that the great Sultan Suleiman passed away.
Persian Wars: acquisitions in Asia. The wars against the Habsburgs, extending with brief intervals from the first year of Suleiman's reign to the last, constitute the most important as well as the most continuous preoccupation of that monarch's career. But these wars did not stand alone, nor were the Sultan's activities confined to the Hungarian expeditions. Six campaigns at least did he undertake in person against the rival Mohammedan Power of Persia with the result that large portions of Armenia and Mesopotamia, including the city of Bagdad, were added to the Asiatic dominions of the Ottomans. Suleiman went indeed even further afield. Thanks to his omnipotence at sea he was able to effect a permanent occupation of Aden, which was strongly fortified, and to make himself master of much of the coast of Arabia, Persia, and even North-Western India.
Ottoman Sea-power. Even more conspicuous was the superiority of Ottoman sea-power in the Mediterranean. Great as was the terror inspired in Europe by the military prowess of Suleiman, that inspired by the exploits of the Turkish navy was hardly less. For this reputation Suleiman was largely indebted to the genius of one of the most remarkable seamen of the sixteenth century. In that age of buccaneers Khaireddin Barbarossa fills a conspicuous place. He did not, like Frobisher or Drake, add to knowledge, but his seamanship was unquestioned, and to the Spaniards his name was hardly less terrible than that of Drake. Born in Mitylene after the conquest of that island by the Turks he was by birth an Ottoman subject. About the year 1516 he and his brother established themselves in Algiers, whence they carried on a perpetual and harassing contest with the naval forces of Spain. Recognized by Suleiman as Beyler Bey of Algiers, Barbarossa placed his services at the disposal of his suzerain, and in the year 1533 was appointed admiral in chief of the Ottoman navy, then at the zenith of its reputation.
Barbarossa and Charles V. About the same time he undertook a series of voyages, seven in all, from Algiers to the Andalusian coast, in the 'course of which he transported 70,000 Moors from Spain to Algiers. By this remarkable feat he not only consolidated his own corsair kingdom on the African coast, but rescued a large number of persecuted Moslems from the tender mercies of the Inquisition. In 1533 he was employed by the Sultan to drive off Andrea Doria, the famous Genoese sailor who commanded the imperial fleet in the Mediterranean. Doria had lately seized Coron, Patras, and other fortified coast-towns belonging to the Ottomans, and Barbarossa's intervention was as opportune, therefore, as it was effective. In 1534, at the head of a powerful and well-equipped fleet, Barbarossa attacked and plundered the coasts of Italy, and later in the year conquered Tunis and added it to his Algerian principality. But his triumph in Tunis was short-lived. Muley Hassan, the representative of the Arabian family who had ruled for centuries in Tunis, appealed to the Emperor Charles V. The latter, seriously alarmed by Barbarossa's activity in the Western Mediterranean, collected a large army and a powerful fleet, and in 1535 sailed from Barcelona for the Tunisian coast. He reconquered the principality, and having put the capital to the sack with a barbarity which no Turk could rival, he drove out Barbarossa and reinstated Muley Hassan.
Franco-Ottoman alliance (1535). In the same year, 1535, the war between the Habsburg Emperor and Francis I was renewed, and the latter turned; for assistance to the Sultan Suleiman.
The treaty then concluded between the French monarch and the Ottoman Sultan is of the highest possible significance. It is indicative of the position to which the Turks had by now attained that even a French writer should describe the convention as 'less a treaty than a concession'. The Sultan now extended throughout the Ottoman Empire the privileges accorded, in 1528, to the French in Egypt. Frenchmen were to enjoy complete freedom of trade and navigation in all Turkish ports, subject to a uniform duty of 5 per cent.; no foreign vessel might sail in Turkish waters except under the French flag; French traders were to be under the exclusive jurisdiction, both civil and criminal, of their own consuls, and the Turkish officials guaranteed the execution of all judgements in the consular courts; French settlers in the Ottoman Empire were to enjoy peculiar privileges in respect of the transmission of property by will and even of intestate estates; they were to have not only complete religious liberty for themselves, but also the custody of the Holy Places, and thus to exercise a species of protectorate over the Christian subjects of the Porte. The King of France, alone among the European sovereigns, was regarded and treated as an equal by the Sultan, being henceforward described in official documents as Padeshah, instead of Bey.
The privileges thus accorded, in the Ottoman Empire, to France were not only extraordinarily valuable in themselves; they established, on firm foundations, a diplomatic friendship which operated powerfully, in the sixteenth century, against the dominance of the Habsburgs, and for more than three hundred years continued to be an essential factor in French diplomacy.
Its immediate significance was far from negligible. France was at war with the Habsburgs, with very brief intervals, from 1535 to 1559, and not until 1598 was peace finally concluded. Throughout the whole of that period, and indeed much beyond it, France could count upon the loyal cooperation of the Turks. It must, indeed, be confessed that the loyalty of the Turks to the alliance was a good deal more constant and continuous than that of the French. The latter were glad enough to take advantage of it whenever and for 80 long as it suited their purpose; but they did not hesitate to come to terms with the adversaries of the Turk when their own interests dictated the step. Nevertheless, the alliance confirmed in 1535 forms a guiding thread in a tangled diplomatic skein.
Naval war between Turkey and Venice (1537-40). In that year war was resumed between Francis I and the emperor. Barbarossa, far from discouraged by the loss of i Tunis, was ready to embarrass Charles V in the Mediterranean. Secure in the possession of Algiers he was still in; a position to attack with effect, and in the space of a few months he plundered the island of Minorca, sacked the coasts of Apulia and Calabria, and recovered Coron. In 1537 Suleiman, in response to an appeal from France, declared war upon the Venetians, who were staunch in their alliance with the emperor. Sailing from Valona he laid siege to the island of Corfu, while Barbarossa seized the opportunity to conquer for his master most of the Aegean islands which still flew the flag of the Republic. In 1538 the Pope and King Ferdinand joined with the emperor and Venice in a Holy League against the Turks, and in the same year Francis I concluded with Charles V the Truce of Nice. The Venetians, however, found themselves ill-supported in their contest with the Turks by their Holy allies; the latter suffered a tremendous reverse at the hands of Barbarossa off Prevesa in September 1538, and in 1539 negotiations were opened between the Republic and the Porte. A three months' truce was arranged, and in 1540 a definite peace was concluded. The Republic agreed to pay to the Sultan an indemnity of 300,000 ducats, and to surrender various points on the Dalmatian coast, and all claims to the recovery of the Aegean islands which had been captured by Barbarossa. The triumph of the Ottoman Sultan was complete.
Continued war with the emperor. Neither the conclusion of the Truce of Nice between the French king and the Habsburgs nor the definitive treaty t between the Republic and the Porte was permitted to interrupt the contest between the Sultan Suleiman and the Emperor Charles V. Barbarossa's continued possession of Algiers wag a perpetual menace to the Spanish and Italian dominions of the emperor. In 1541, therefore, Charles V fitted out another expedition with the object of finally expelling Barbarossa from his corsair kingdom. The expedition was a complete fiasco. Francis I renewed his contest with Charles V in 1542, and in the following year a French fleet, commanded by the Duc d'Enghien, combined with that of Barbarossa to effect a capture of the town of Nice which was sacked and burnt by the Ottomans. The accord between Barbarossa and the French was far from perfect, but the latter gave proof of their friendship by handing over the harbour of Toulon to their allies. But in 1544 Francis and Charles again made peace at Crespy, and again the Turks and the Habsburgs were left confronting each other both in the Mediterranean and on the Hungarian plain.
Death of Barbarossa (1546). In 1546 Suleiman suffered a great loss by the death of his brilliant admiral, Barbarossa. The genius of the corsair had not merely added materially to the Empire of the Ottomans, but had secured for their navy in the Mediterranean, in the Red Sea, and in the Indian Ocean an ascendancy which it never again enjoyed. The death of Barbarossa, following closely upon the desertion of France, inclined Suleiman to peace with the emperor, and in 1547, as we have seen, a five years' truce was concluded at Constantinople.
Henry II and Suleiman. The death of Francis I in the same year was of much less consequence than that of Barbarossa, for the alliance between him and Suleiman was cemented and perhaps more consistently maintained by his son. In 1556, however, the Emperor Charles V, in view of his impending abdication, concluded with France the Truce of Vaucelles, and at the same time recommended his brother Ferdinand to come to terms with the Turks. The French king was at pains to explain to his Ottoman ally that the truce concluded with the emperor involved no weakening of his hereditary friendship, and Suleiman graciously accepted the assurance. The truce did not endure; in 1557 the French suffered a severe defeat at St. Quentin, and Henry II was more than ever anxious for the assistance of the Sultan; and that in more than one form. He begged Suleiman to attack the Habsburgs in Hungary, to send an expedition to Naples, to maintain their fleet on a war footing, even throughout the winter months, in the Mediterranean, and, finally, to accommodate him with a considerable loan. As to the last, the Sultan replied, not without dignity, that 'the Ottomans were wont to succour their friends with their persons and not with their purses, since their religion forbade money loans to the enemies of their faith'. Naval assistance in the Mediterranean was, however, readily promised. As a fact, there had been no cessation of naval hostilities throughout all these years. Even the conclusion of the Peace of Prague between the Sultan and the Habsburgs did not interrupt them, for Spain was not included in the peace. Soon after his accession (1556) Philip II of Spain had endeavoured to rid himself of the perpetual embarrassment of the naval war; but his effort was fruitless, and the contest in the Mediterranean dragged its wearisome length along. On both sides it was largely irregular and almost piratical in character; sustained on the one hand by Thorgond, the successor of Barbarossa in Algiers, and on the other by the Knights of St. John.
Ottoman attack on Malta. The Knights, driven by Suleiman from Rhodes, had established themselves in Malta The possession of that island is,: and always has been, deemed essential to naval supremacy in the Mediterranean. Apart from the shelter it afforded the buccaneering Knights it offered tempting advantages to the Turks in their contest with the Sovereign of Spain. In 1565 Suleiman determined to make a strenuous effort to capture the island In the spring of that year, therefore, he dispatched from Constantinople a magnificent fleet, numbering not less than one hundred and ninety ships, with an army, on board, of 30,000 men, under the command of Mustapha Pasha. The fort of St. Elmo was taken but with very heavy loss to the Turks, and the Castles of St. Angelo and St. Michel resisted all their efforts. Again and again the assault was renewed, but after four months of fruitless fighting Mustapha, having lost two-thirds of his army, decided to abandon the attempt. What the Turks could not do in the sixteenth century no one else ventured to attempt, and the Knights were left undisturbed until the Napoleonic wars.
Death of Suleiman (1566). The great Sultan's course was now nearly run. It had been attended, in the main, with extraordinary success, yet the failure to take Malta was not the only shadow which fell over his declining years.
Roxalana. Like other men who present to the world an adamantine front Suleiman was not proof against the cajolery of a fascinating woman. A Russian slave, named Khoureem, better known as Roxalana, had in his early years acquired an extraordinary influence over her lord, who was persuaded to enfranchise her and to make her his wife. All the Sultana's efforts were then directed to securing the succession for her son, Prince Selim. An elder son, Prince Mustapha, born to the Sultan by another wife, had already shown extraordinary promise, and had won, among his father's subjects, a fatal measure of popularity. The intrigues of Roxalana turned that popularity to his destruction, and the prince was murdered in his father's presence. After Roxalana's death, which preceded that of the Sultan by eight years, her second son, Prince Bayezid, with his children, was murdered, at his father's instance, by the Persians. The purpose of all these sordid tragedies was to clear the succession for Roxalana's elder and favourite son Selim, 'the Sot'.
It seems at first sight paradoxical that these revolting murders should have been instigated by a sovereign famed, and justly famed, for magnanimity, generosity, kindliness, and courtesy. Yet the contradiction is not peculiar to great rulers, or even to great men. Suleiman, perhaps the most brilliant of the Ottoman Sultans, certainly one of the greatest among contemporary sovereigns, was as wax in the hands of the woman to whom he gave his heart. Whether that complaisance affected in any degree his policy or capacity as a ruler is open to question; but two things are certain: on the one hand that the Ottoman Empire attained, in the days of Suleiman, the zenith of splendour and the extreme limits of its territorial expansion; and, on the other, that the seeds of decay were already sown and were beginning, though as f et imperceptibly, to germinate.
Extent of Suleiman's empire. Estimates of population are notoriously untrustworthy, but it seems probable that at a time when Henry VIII ruled over about 4,000,000 people the subjects of the Sultan Suleiman numbered 50,000,000. These included not less than twenty distinct races: Ottomans, Slavs, Greeks, Magyars, Roumans, Armenians, Arabs, Copts, and Jews, to mention only a few. The empire extended from Buda to Basra; from the Caspian to the Western Mediterranean; and embraced many lands in Europe, Asia,, and Africa. To the north the walls of Azov guarded the frontiers of the Turkish Empire against Russia; to the south 'the rock of Aden secured their authority over the southern coast of Arabia, invested them with power in the Indian Ocean, and gave them the complete command of the Red Sea.... It was no vain boast of the Ottoman Sultan that he was the master of many kingdoms, the ruler of three continents, and the lord of two seas'.
This vast-stretching empire was organized by Suleiman in twenty-one governments, which were subdivided into two hundred and fifty sanjaks, each under its own Bey. Land tenure and local government were alike assimilated to the feudalism of the West; but it was feudalism devoid of its disintegrating tendencies, for all power was ultimately concentrated in the Sultan, who was at once Basileus and Khalif, Emperor, and Pope.
The scope of this work does not permit of the discussion of the details of domestic administration. It is concerned with the Ottoman Empire only as a factor, though a very important factor, in the problem of the Near East, as marking a stage in the evolution of the Eastern Question. Yet there is one domestic institution to which a passing reference must be made.
The Janissaries. Many things contributed to the astonishing success of the early Ottomans and the rapid extension of their empire: the hopeless decrepitude of the Greek Empire; the proverbial lack of cohesion among the Slav peoples; the jealousies and antagonisms of the Western Powers; the Babylonian captivity at Avignon and the subsequent schism in the Papacy; the military prowess and shrewd statesmanship of many of the earlier Sultans. But, after all, the main instrument in the hands of the Sultan was his army, and in that army a unique feature was the corps d'élite, the Janissaries.
As to the origin of this famous corps there has been much controversy. It is, however, generally agreed that the beginnings of the institution must be ascribed to Alaeddin, brother of Orkhan, and first vizier of the Ottomans, and dated about the year 1326. But if Orkhan initiated, Murad I perfected, the organization. Every four years the agents of the Sultan took toll of his Christian subjects; one in five of all the young boys, and always, of course, those who gave most promise of physical and mental superiority, were taken from their parents and homes, compelled to accept the Moslem faith, and educated, under the strictest discipline, as the soldier-slaves of the Sultan. Cut off from all human intercourse save that of the camp, without parents, wives, or children, the Janissaries formed a sort of military brotherhood: half soldiers, half monks. Owing implicit obedience to their master, inured to every form of toil and hardship from earliest youth, well paid, well tended, they soon became one of the most potent instruments in the hands of the Sultan.
Originally one thousand strong the force increased rapidly, and may have numbered 10,000 to 12,000 under Mohammed the Conqueror, and anything between 12,000 and 20,000 in Suleiman's day. It was recruited from all parts of the Ottoman Empire in Europe, but mainly from Bosnia, Bulgaria, and Albania. The child-tribute has been commonly regarded as a peculiarly repulsive illustration of the cruelty and ingenuity which characterized the rule of the Ottoman Turks. It is far from certain that it was so regarded by the Christians of the Empire. The privileges of the corps were so great, and their prestige so high, that the honour may well have outweighed the ignominy in many minds. There seems, at any rate, to have been little need of compulsion, and one distinguished authority has gone so far as to assert that the Greek clergy 'tacitly acquiesced in the levy of tribute-children'. Be this as it may, there can be no question as to the importance of the part played by this corps in the building up of the Ottoman Empire.
The institution of the Janissaries fulfilled a dual purpose. On the one hand, it provided the Sultan with a body of picked troops on whose loyalty and discipline he could implicitly rely. On the other, it represented a perpetual drain upon the young manhood of the peoples who obstinately refused to accept the creed of their conquerors. It may be that the extent of the debt which the earlier Sultans owed to the Janissaries has been exaggerated, no less than the resentment of those upon whom the tribute was levied. This, however, is certain, that the advance of the Ottomans synchronized with the period during which the corps was maintained in its pristine simplicity, and that the change in the position of the Janissaries coincided with the beginnings of the political decadence of the empire.
Early in his reign (1526) Suleiman was faced by a mutiny of the Janissaries. The mutiny was stamped out with salutary severity, but the hint was not lost upon the shrewd Sultan. He perceived that constant employment on war service was absolutely essential to discipline; nor did he fail to provide it. But the loyalty of the army was given not to a political institution but to a personal chief. Consequently, as the Sultan tended to withdraw from active service in the field and to yield to the seductions of the harem, the Janissaries manifested similar inclinations
Changes in the position of the Janissaries (1566-1676). The whole position of the corps was revolutionized when, in 1566, its members were permitted to marry. The next step, an obvious one, was to admit their children to a body which thus in time became to a large extent hereditary. l The hereditary principle soon led to exclusiveness. The Janissaries began to regard with jealousy the admission of the tribute-children, and after 1676 the tribute ceased to be levied. A step, not less fatal to the original conception of a military order, was taken when members of the corps were allowed to engage in trade, and even to pay substitutes for the performance of their military duties. Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries this praetorian guard became more and more highly privileged; more and more insolent in the exercise of power; more and more the masters instead of the servants of the nominal sovereigns, who reigned on sufferance. At last, but not until the nineteenth century, there came to the throne a Sultan who was strong enough to deal with what had long since become the most flagrant scandal and the most corroding weakness in a government which was rapidly dissolving into anarchy. In 1826 Sultan Mahmud exterminated the whole caste of the Janissaries and razed to the ground the quarter of Constantinople which they had appropriated. The treatment was drastic; but no one could doubt that it was an indispensable preliminary to political reform.
Symptoms of decay. But we anticipate events. The change in the position of the Janissaries was in part the cause, in part the consequence, of the general decrepitude in Ottoman administration. The general causes are not difficult to discern. The most important was the deterioration in personnel. In an autocracy everything depends on the efficiency of the autocrat. After Suleiman the Magnificent the Sultans exhibited symptoms of astonishingly rapid deterioration. Between the death of Suleiman (1566) and the accession of Mahmud II (1808) there was not a single man of mark among them. Few of them enjoyed any considerable length of days: there are twelve accessions in the seventeenth century as against six in the sixteenth. The deficiency of character among the seventeenth-century Sultans was to some extent supplied by the emergence of a remarkable Albanian family, the Kiuprilis, who provided the Porte with a succession of brilliant viziers; but a great vizier is not the same thing in Turkey as a great Sultan, and even this resource was lacking in the eighteenth century.
The inefficiency of the dynasty was reflected in that of the armed forces of the Crown. The soldiers and sailors of the Crescent continued to fight, but they no longer conquered The only permanent conquests effected by the Porte after the death of Suleiman were those of Cyprus and Crete. Ceasing to advance the Turkish power rapidly receded. Victory in the field was as the breath of life to the Ottomans; success in arms was essential to the vigour of domestic administration.
So long as the Turks were a conquering race their government was not merely tolerable but positively good. There was no kingdom in Europe better administered in the sixteenth century than that of Suleiman. That great Sultan was, as we have seen, known to his own people as 'the legislator'; and his legislation was of the most enlightened character. Entirely based upon the Koran Turkish law is not susceptible of expansion or reform; but there, as elsewhere, everything depends on interpretation and administration, and, under Suleiman, these left little to be desired. Nor did he fail of the appropriate reward. Taxation was light, but the revenue was prodigious, amounting, it is reckoned, to between 7,000,000 and 8,000,000 ducats, more than half of it being derived from Crown lands. Under Suleiman's successor corruption set in, and spread with fatal rapidity from the heart to the members. The taxes were farmed out to the Jews and Phanariote Greeks; with the inevitable consequences: the grinding oppression of the taxpayer and an habitually impoverished treasury.
For one source of increasing weakness Suleiman himself may be held indirectly responsible. No autocracy could be expected permanently to sustain the burden of an empire so extended as his. The more distant conquests meant a drain upon resources without any corresponding accession of strength. Even the incorporation of Hungary has not escaped criticism. It has been argued, and with some show of reason, that in a military sense the Porte would have been better without it. Economically, the Hungarian plain must always have been valuable, but strategically Belgrade is a better frontier fortress than Buda.
Still, when all criticisms have been weighed and all deductions effected, Suleiman was a great ruler, and his reign was incomparably the most brilliant epoch in the history of the Ottoman Empire. If, after his death, decay supervened with suggestive rapidity, we must not hastily assume that it could not have been arrested had competent successors been forthcoming. Subsequent chapters will show how little that condition was fulfilled.
For further reference see bibliography to chapter iii, and Appendix. General Works. Cf. also L. von Ranke, The Ottoman and Spanish Empires in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Eng. trans. 1864); J. de la Gravière, Doria et Barberousse; J. B. Zeller, La Diplomatie française vers le milieu du XVIe siècle.
2. Eliot, Turkey in Europe.
3. Hutton, Constantinople, p. 156.
4. Cf. a recent writer: ' The Osmanlis were the first nation in modern history to lay down the principle of religious freedom as the corner-stone in the building up of their nation.' Gibbons, op. cit., and cf. an interesting note on the Armenian massacres, p. 74.
5. The Ottoman government took no account of 'nationalities'. If a Turkish subject was not a Moslem, he was a ' Greek '.
6. Eliot, op. cit., p. 16. Cf. M. Rambaud, ap. Hist. Générale, iv. 751: 'L'assimilation, l'absorption de l'un des deux elements par l'autre etait impossible grace a l'opposition du Koran a l'Evangile, du croissant a la croix. Plus d'une fois les Osmanlis ayant conscience de leur inferiorite numerique s'inquieterent de cette situation grosse de perils pour l'avenir de leur puisseance.'
7. Hogarth, op. cit., p. 338.
8. Albin, Les Grands Traités politiques, p. 128.
9. Cf. infra, chap. vi.
10. Cf. supra, p. 81.
11. Cf. supra, p. 82.
12. A corruption or emendation of La Rossa, the Russian woman.
13. Finlay, History of Greece, v, p. 6.
14. The latest authority on the early history of the Ottomans, Mr. Gibbons (op. cit., p. 118), dissents on this, as on many other points, from the hitherto accepted view, and here as elsewhere gives reasons for his dissent.
15. Or, as some say, every five. There is infinite variety, among authorities, in regard to this and other details.
16. The name is generally derived from Yeni-Tscheri = new or young