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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on Europe

VII: The Ottoman Turks and the Crusades, 1329-1451,   pp. 222-275 PDF (24.1 MB)

Page 251

Bayazid, once across the river, seized and executed Shishman on June 3, 1395,~~
and appointed Viad voivode of Wallachia. Mircea took refuge in Transylvania
in March 1396 and joined Sigismund in Kronstadt (Brashov). Together they
descended on the Danube and in May recaptured Little Nicopolis on the north
bank, opposite Nicopolis, and installed a Hungarian garrison. The Hungarian
army was, however, harassed by Viad on his way back home.75 
 Thus in 1393-1395 the whole of Bulgaria was annexed to the Ottoman empire,
and Wallachia came under an Ottoman vassal prince.76 On the Danube front
Dristra (Silistra) and the Dobruja, long disputed between Bulgarian and Wallachian
princes, became the seat of an Ottoman frontier lord. Nicopolis, which was
in Ottoman hands, became the key fortress for control of Bulgaria and Wallachia.
Farther to the west at Vidin, the Bulgarian tsar Sracimir (Sratsimir) was
a loyal vassal of the sultan, and an Ottoman garrison was stationed there.
To restore Hungarian influence and control in the area, Sigismund saw that
he needed the support of the whole of Christian Europe, and especially of
Venice. Just at this juncture Venice, as we have seen, abandoned its neutral
attitude and decided to enter the struggle and to support any joint undertaking
against the Ottomans. 
 The Ottoman invasion of Hungary in 1394 aroused genuine concern in pope
Boniface IX (13 89—1404) in Rome.77 In October the pope issued, upon
Sigismund's appeal, a bull for a crusade against the Ottomans.78 On December
23 a Byzantine envoy arrived in Venice requesting aid and urging war against
Bayazid. In early 1395 Venice became the center of the negotiations for a
crusade. Reversing its cautious policy vis-à-vis the Ottomans, the
senate decided to try full cooperation with Hungary. Venice also promised
to send a fleet to the Dardanelles to cut off Ottoman communication between
Anatolia and Rumelia. Sigismund secured a Burgundian-French contingent for
the crusade, but there were rumors in France that John Galeazzo Visconti
of Milan, threatened by the French, had exchanged embassies of friendship
with the Ottoman sultan.79 Ladislas of Naples, the rival of Sigismund, was
another Italian ruler in contact with "the enemy of Christendom". A 
 74. The Topkapi document, no. 6374. 
 75. Von Aschbach, op. cit., p. 92. 
 76. The Topkapi document claims that Mircea was a tributary of the sultan
prior to the campaign of 1394. 
 77. Setton, The Papacy, I, 342-343. 
 78. Sigismund's letter to the pope in October 1394, mentioning Bayazid's
invasion of Hungary, must have been written before the battle of Argesh on
October 10. 
 79. See Setton, The Papacy, I, 347 and note 94. 

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