Sidebilder
PDF

Aidin, left their names to their conquests and their conquests to

Loss of the their posterity. The captivity or ruin 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 re-
duced to a miserable village ; the God of Mahomet, without a
rival or a son, is invoked in the mosques of Thyatira and Per-
gamus; 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 four-score years, and at length capitulated with the proud-
est of the Ottomans. Among the Greek colonies and churches
of Asia, Philadelphia is still erect, a column in a scene of ruins:
a pleasing example that the paths of honour and safety may
sometimes be the same.” The servitude of Rhodes was delayed
above two centuries by the establishment of the knights of St.
John of Jerusalem.” Under the discipline of the order that
island emerged into 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 principality of Kastamuniyä (in Paphlagonia, including Sinope) was conquered ;
and with the exception of the eastern parts of Caramania all the little Seljuk states
of Anatolia were in the hands of the Ottomans. Cp. the table in S. Lane-Poole's
Mohammadan Dynasties, p. 134. See below, p. 35.]
71 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.
[For Ephesus and the temple of Diana see Wood's Discoveries at Ephesus, 1877.
For recent excavations at Ephesus, since 1895, by Austrian archaeologists see the
Jahreshefte of the Austrian archaeological Institute.]
7*[The date of the Ottoman capture of Philadelphia is uncertain (cp. Finlay,
History of Greece, iii., p. 469, note). Probably A.D. 1391. )
7°Consult the fourth book of the Histoire de l'Ordre de Malthe, par l'Abbé de

Wertot. That pleasing writer betrays his ignorance in supposing that Othman, a freebooter of the Bithynian hills, could besiege Rhodes by sea and land.

The Greeks, by their intestine divisions, were the authors of First pat sage of the

their final ruin.” During the civil wars of the elder and §.” younger Andronicus, the son of Othman achieved, almost with- .# out 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 seacoast 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 tomaro) 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 spidymo. 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;

7"[For the success of the Ottomans, “the last example of the conquest of a numerous Christian population by a small number of Musulman invaders, and of the colonisation of civilised countries by a race ruder than the native population,” Finlay assigns three particular causes (History of Greece, iii. p. 475). “1. The superiority of the Ottoman tribe over all contemporary nations in religious convictions and in moral and military conduct. 2. The number of different races that composed the population of the country between the Adriatic and the Black Sea, the Danube and the Aegean. 3. The depopulation of the Greek empire, the degraded state of its judicial and civil administration, and the demoralisation of the Hellenic race."]

7° 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, 66-68, 86, 89, 95, 96); but he seems ignorant of his own sentimental passion for the Turk, and indirectly denies the possibility of such unnatural friendship (l. iv. c. 40).

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 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 prospect of a more advantageous §§ treaty, the Turkish prince of Bithynia was detached from his rincess, 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

76 After the conquest of Smyrna by the Latins, the defence of this fortress was imposed by Pope Gregory XI. on the Knights of Rhodes (see Wertot, l. v.).

77 See Cantacuzenus, l. iii. c. 95. Nicephoras Gregoras, who, for the light of Mount Thabor, brands the emperor with the names of tyrant and Herod, excuses, rather than blames, this Turkish marriage, and alleges the passion and power of

cavalry attended the ambassadors, who disembarked from thirty vessels before his camp of Selybria. 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 hymenaeal torches: the sound of flutes and trumpets proclaimed the joyful event; and her pretended happiness was the theme of the nuptial song, which was chaunted 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 harem of Boursa ; 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 Establishhad inserted a singular condition, that it should be lawful for him Foo to sell his prisoners at Constantinople or transport them into ope. Asia. A naked crowd of Christians of both sexes and every 1358] 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

[ocr errors]

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 a 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, and soon justified by the victories of

7° 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 Chalcondyles (l. i. p. 12, &c. (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. [They have been since published. See above, vol. vi. p. 542. The Ottomans captured the little fortress of Tzympe, near Gallipoli, in 1356, and Gallipoli itself in 1358. For Tzympe, cp. Cantacuzenus, iv. 33; vol. iii. p. 242, ed. Bonn.]

« ForrigeFortsett »