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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 244

 Murad also exploited the fierce rivalry between the Venetians and the Genoese
for possession of Tenedos in the war of Chioggia, 13781381. In October 1376,
when Andronicus promised Tenedos, key to the Dardanelles, to the Genoese,
Venice occupied the island. Andronicus captured Constantinople and the Byzantine
throne with Ottoman and Genoese support. At the beginning of 1377 he delivered
Gallipoli to the Ottomans after ten years of Byzantine possession. Those
Byzantines favoring the western alliance and a crusade were against the surrender
of Gallipoli, but the populace and senate approved Andronicus's decision.
As a vassal of Murad, the emperor was not actually in a position to block
the passage of the Turks anyhow. In the face of the cooperation among Murad,
Andronicus, and the Genoese, Venice took John V's side. But the latter could
recover his throne (July 1, 1379) only after promising more favorable tributes
of vassaldom to Murad — a military contingent for his campaigns, a
yearly payment higher than before, and the surrender of Philadelphia, Byzantium's
last important possession in inland Anatolia.48 
 The rapid Ottoman expansion was considerably assisted by the defeatism and
hopelessness among the Greeks and other Balkan nations. In his criticisms,
the pro-western Demetrius Cydones reflects this psychology by attacking those
cooperating with the Turks among the high-placed while, he says, the populace,
especially city dwellers in the grip of poverty and shortages, also favored
Ottoman rule. The church was openly discussing whether the Turks were preferable
to the pope or not. On various occasions the Greek church was unwilling to
give up its income from land rents to finance military preparations against
the Ottomans. Turkish sovereignty was often presented as an inevitable consequence
of divine judgment for the sins of the Christians.49 The Ottomans steadily
promoted the same idea, and in their istimãlet propaganda they promised
a peaceful and prosperous existence under their rule; in general, they delivered
what they had promised. 
 From 1373 on, assured of Byzantine coOperation, the sultan could cross with
his army over to Europe without fear of being cut off from Anatolia. The
Ottomans were encouraged by international developments in this period. Following
the death in September 1382 of Louis 
 48. Ibid., p. 299; Peter Schreiner, "Zur Geschichte Philadeiphias im 14.
Jahrhundert (1293— 1390)," Orientalia Christiana periodica, xxxv (1969),
 49. Duj~ev, "La Conquête turque," pp. 486-489; Speros Vryonis, The
Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization
from the Eleventh through the Fifteenth Century (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London,
1971), pp. 408-421; Ihor Sevéenko, La Vie in~ tellectuelle et politique
a Byzance sous les premiers Paléologues (Brussels, 1962). 

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