« ForrigeFortsett »
the Turks of Asia. Yet Orchan was content with the modest title of emir; and in the list of his compeers, the princes of Roum or AnaDivision of tolia,” his military forces were surpassed by the emirs of *... Gherman and Caramania, each of whom could bring into
among the .* the field an army of forty thousand men. Their dominions
**** were situate in the heart of the Seljukian kingdom: but the holy warriors, though of inferior note, who formed new principalities on the Greek empire, are more conspicuous in the light of history. The maritime country from the Propontis to the Maeander and the isle of Rhodes, so long threatened and so often pillaged, was finally lost about the thirtieth year of Andronicus the Elder.” Two Turkish . chieftains, Sarukhan and Aidin, left their names to their conquests, and their conquests to their posterity. The captivity or ruin of the Ioss of the seven churches of Asia was consummated; and the barbarous :... lords of Ionia and Lydia still trample on the monuments **** of classic and Christian antiquity. In the loss of Ephesus the Christians deplored the fall of the first angel, the extinction of the first candlestick, of the Revelations; * the desolation is complete; and the temple of Diana or the church of Mary will equally elude the search of the curious traveller. The circus and three stately theatres of Laodicea are now peopled with wolves and foxes; Sardes is reduced to a miserable village; the God of Mahomet, without a rival or a son, is invoked in the mosques of Thyatira and Pergamus; and the populousness of Smyrna is supported by the foreign trade of the Franks and Armenians. Philadelphia alone has been saved by prophecy, or courage. At a distance from the sea, forgotten by the emperors, encompassed on all sides by the Turks, her valiant citizens defended their religion and freedom above fourscore years, and at length capitulated with the proudest of the Ottomans. Among the Greek colonies and churches of Asia, Philadelphia is still erect— The knights a column in a scene of ruins—a pleasing example that the o paths of honour and safety may sometimes be the same. *... The servitude of Rhodes was delayed above two centuries
Jan. 1. by the establishment of the knights of St. John of Jerusarem: “ under the discipline of the order that island emerged into
* The partition of the Turkish emirs is extracted from two contemporaries, the Greek Nicephorus Gregoras (l. vii. 1) and the Arabian Marakeschi (De Guignes, tom. ii. P. ii. p. 76, 77). See likewise the first book of Laonicus Chalcocondyles. * Pachymer, l. xiii. c. 13. * See the Travels of Wheeler and Spon, of Pococke and Chandler, and more particularly Smith's Survey of the Seven Churches of Asia, p. 205–276. The more pious antiquaries labour to reconcile the promises and threats of the author of the Revelations with the present state of the seven cities. Perhaps it would be more prudent to confine his predictions to the characters and events of his own times. * Consult the ivth book of the Histoire de l'Ordre de Malthe, par l'Abbé de Vertot.
fame and opulence; the noble and warlike monks were renowned by land and sea; and the bulwark of Christendom provoked and repelled the arms of the Turks and Saracens. The Greeks, by their intestine divisions, were the authors of their final ruin. During the civil wars of the elder and younger Firstras. Andronicus, the son of Othman achieved, almost without ... resistance, the conquest of Bithynia; and the same disorders *.* encouraged the Turkish emirs of Lydia and Ionia to build “*”. a fleet, and to pillage the adjacent islands and the sea-coast of Europe. In the defence of his life and honour, Cantacuzene was tempted to prevent, or imitate, his adversaries, by calling to his aid the public enemies of his religion and country. Amir, the son of Aidin, concealed under a Turkish garb the humanity and politeness of a Greek; he was united with the great domestic by mutual esteem and reciprocal services; and their friendship is compared, in the vain rhetoric of the times, to the perfect union of Orestes and Pylades." On the report of the danger of his friend, who was persecuted by an ungrateful court, the prince of Ionia assembled at Smyrna a fleet of three hundred vessels, with an army of twenty-nine thousand men; sailed in the depth of winter, and cast anchor at the mouth of the Hebrus. From thence, with a chosen band of two thousand Turks, he marched along the banks of the river, and rescued the empress, who was besieged in Demotica by the wild Bulgarians. At that disastrous moment the life or death of his beloved Cantacuzene was concealed by his flight into Servia; but the grateful Irene, impatient to behold her deliverer, invited him to enter the city, and accompanied her message with a present of rich apparel and an hundred horses. By a peculiar strain of delicacy, the gentle barbarian refused, in the absence of an unfortunate friend, to visit his wife, or to taste the luxuries of the palace; sustained in his tent the rigour of the winter; and rejected the hospitable gift, that he might share the hardships of two thousand companions, all as deserving as himself of that honour and distinction. Necessity and revenge might justify his predatory excursions by sea and land: he left nine thousand five hundred men for the guard of his fleet; and persevered in the fruitless search of Cantacuzene, till his embarkation was hastened by a fictitious letter, the severity of the season, the
That pleasing writer betrays his ignorance in supposing that Othman, a freebooter of the Bithynian hills, could besiege Rhodes by sea and land. * Nicephorus Gregoras has expatiated with pleasure on this amiable character (l. xii. 7; xiii. 4, 10; xiv. 1, 9; xvi. 6). Cantacuzene speaks with honour and esteem of his ally (l. iii. c. 56, 57, 63, 64, 66, 67, 68, 86, 89, 95, 96), but he seems ignorant ef his own. .." for the Turk, and indirectly denies the possibility of such unnatural friendship (l. iv. c. 40 [tom. iii. p. 297, ed. Bonn]).
clamours of his independent troops, and the weight of his spoil and captives. In the prosecution of the civil war, the prince of Ionia twice returned to Europe, joined his arms with those of the emperor, besieged Thessalonica, and threatened Constantinople. Calumny might affix some reproach on his imperfect aid, his hasty departure, and a bribe of ten thousand crowns which he accepted from the Byzantine court; but his friend was satisfied; and the conduct of Amir is excused by the more sacred duty of defending against the Latins his hereditary dominions. The maritime power of the Turks had united the pope, the king of Cyprus, the republic of Venice, and the order of St. John, in a laudable crusade; their galleys invaded the coast of Ionia; and Amir was slain with an arrow, in the attempt to wrest from the Rhodian knights the citadel of Smyrna." Before his death he generously recommended another ally of his own nation, not more sincere or zealous than himself, but more able to afford a prompt and powerful succour, by his situation along the Propontis and in the front of Constantinople. By the no prospect of a more advantageous treaty, the Turkish prince o, of Bithynia was detached from his engagements with Anne .."; of Savoy; and the pride of Orchan dictated the most
" " solemn protestations, that, if he could obtain the daughter of Cantacuzene, he would invariably fulfil the duties of a subject and a son. Parental tenderness was silenced by the voice of ambition: the Greek clergy connived at the marriage of a Christian princess with a sectary of Mahomet; and the father of Theodora describes, with shameful satisfaction, the dishonour of the purple.” A body of Turkish cavalry attended the ambassadors, who disembarked from thirty vessels, before his camp of Selymbria. A stately pavilion was erected, in which the empress Irene passed the night with her daughters. In the morning Theodora ascended a throne, which was surrounded with curtains of silk and gold : the troops were under arms; but the emperor alone was on horseback. At a signal the curtains were suddenly withdrawn, to disclose the bride, or the victim, encircled by kneeling eunuchs and hymeneal torches: the sound of flutes and trumpets proclaimed the joyful event; and her pretended happiness was the theme of the nuptial song, which was chanted by such poets as the age could produce. Without the rites of the
church, Theodora was delivered to her barbarous lord: but it had been stipulated that she should preserve her religion in the haram of Bursa; and her father celebrates her charity and devotion in this ambiguous situation. After his peaceful establishment on the throne of Constantinople, the Greek emperor visited his Turkish ally, who, with four sons, by various wives, expected him at Scutari, on the Asiatic shore. The two princes partook, with seeming cordiality, of the pleasures of the banquet and the chase; and Theodora was permitted to repass the Bosphorus, and to enjoy some days in the society of her mother. But the friendship of Orchan was subservient to his religion and interest; and in the Genoese war he joined without a blush the enemies of Cantacuzene. In the treaty with the empress Anne the Ottoman prince had inserted a singular condition, that it should be lawful for to: him to sell his prisoners at Constantinople, or transport of them into Asia. A naked crowd of Christians of both o'" sexes and every age, of priests and monks, of matrons and ** virgins, was exposed in the public market; the whip was frequently used to quicken the charity of redemption; and the indigent Greeks deplored the fate of their brethren, who were led away to the worst evils of temporal and spiritual bondage.” Cantacuzene was reduced to subscribe the same terms; and their execution must have been still more pernicious to the empire: a body of ten thousand Turks had been detached to the assistance of the empress Anne; but the entire forces of Orchan were exerted in the service of his father. Yet these calamities were of a transient nature; as soon as the storm had passed away, the fugitives might return to their habitations; and at the conclusion of the civil and foreign wars Europe was completely evacuated by the Moslems of Asia. It was in his last quarrel with his pupil that Cantacuzene inflicted the deep and deadly wound which could never be healed by his successors, and which is poorly expiated by his theological dialogues against the prophet Mahomet. Ignorant of their own history, the modern Turks confound their first and their final passage of the Hellespont,” and describe the son of Orchan as a nocturnal robber, who, with eighty companions, explores by stratagem an hostile and unknown shore. Soliman, at the head of ten thousand horse, was transported in the vessels, and entertained as the friend, of the Greek emperor. In the civil wars of Romania he performed some service and perpetrated more mischief; but the Chersonesus was insensibly filled with a Turkish colony; and the Byzantine court solicited in vain the restitution of the fortresses of Thrace. After some artful delays between the Ottoman prince and his son, their ransom was valued at sixty thousand crowns, and the first payment had been made when an earthquake shook the walls and cities of the provinces; the dismantled places were occupied by the Turks; and Gallipoli, the key of the Hellespont, was rebuilt and repeopled by the policy of Soliman. The abdication of Cantacuzene dissolved the feeble bands of domestic alliance; and his last advice admonished his countrymen to decline a rash contest, and to compare their own weakness with the numbers and valour, the discipline and enthusiasm, of the Moslems. His prudent counsels were despised by the headstrong vanity of youth,
* The most lively and concise picture of this captivity may be found in the history of Ducas (c. 8 [p. 32, ed. Bonn]), who fairly describes what Cantacuzene confesses with a guilty blush!
* In this passage, and the first conquests in Europe, Cantemir (p. 27, &c.) gives a miserable idea of his Turkish guides; nor am I much better satisfied with Chalcocondyles (l. i. p. 12, &c. [ed. Par. ; p. 25, ed. Bonn]). They forget to consult the most authentic record, the ivth book of Cantacuzene. I likewise regret the last books, which are still manuscript, of Nicephorus Gregoras.”
* Won Hammer excuses the silence with the earlier intercourse of the Ottomans which the Turkish historians pass over with the European continsat, of which be
Death of , and soon justified by the victories of the Ottomans. But $.” as he practised in the field the exercise of the jerid, Soliman.
Soliman was killed by a fall from his horse; and the aged Orchan wept and expired on the tomb of his valiant son." But the Greeks had not time to rejoice in the death of their enemies; and the Turkish scimitar was wielded with the same spirit by Amurath the First, the son of Orchan, and the brother of Soliman. By the pale and fainting light of issos, the Byzantine annals “we can discern that he subdued ** without resistance the whole province of Romania or Thrace, from the Hellespont to Mount Haemus and the verge of the capital; and that Adrianople was chosen for the royal seat of his government and religion in Europe. Constantinople, whose decline is almost coéval with her foundation, had often, in the lapse of a thousand years, been assaulted by the barbarians of the East and West; but never till this fatal hour had the Greeks been surrounded, both in
The reign and European conquests of Amurath I.,
* After the conclusion of Cantacuzene and Gregoras there follows a dark interval of a hundred years. George Phranza, Michael Ducas, and Laonicus Chalcocondyles, all three wrote after the taking of Constantinople.
“not asserted its right over the poetry
enumerates sixteen different occasions, as This defence would
if they disdained those peaceful incursions by which they gained no conquest, and established no permanent footing on the Byzantine territory. Of the romantic account of Soliman's first expedition he says, “As yet the prose of history had
“ of tradition.”