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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 246

Morea, and Thessalonica and other cities were attacked. After the campaign
of 1383, however, the center of the new Ottoman march under Evrenos was Serres,
and the Strymon river became the new border. 
 In 1385 a larger campaign in the Balkans was organized under the sultan.
The operations were conducted in two directions. An army under the beglerbeg
of Rumelia and Evrenos invaded Macedonia and took the plain of Thessalonica;
though without success against the city itself, it captured Verrai (I'ere
or Kara-Ferye in Turkish sources). Monastir surrendered and raiders forayed
as far as Charles I Tocco's territory in Epirus.55 
 While the army under the beglerbeg was advancing on the ancient Via Egnatia,
the main army under Murad himself followed the famous military route in the
Maritsa valley toward Danubian Serbia. He was able to cross the historic
pass of the Nishava river and in the autumn of 1385 he captured Nish,56 only
fifty miles from knez Lazar's capital, Krushevats. The Serbian ruler saw
no alternative to accepting the Ottoman overlordship under the heavy conditions
of dispatching a contingent of one thousand men to Murad's campaigns and
paying fifty okka57 (about 140 pounds) of silver annually as tribute. At
this time Hungary was too involved in its internal struggle over the succession
to intervene. 
 The course of events leading to the historic battle of Kossovo-Poije is
described thus in the earliest Ottoman tradition.58 In 1385 the Karamanids,
taking advantage of the absence of Murad and the Anatolian forces, had invaded
the disputed area in Hamid which had been conquered by the Ottomans in 1381.
In the summer of 1386 Murad's Ottomans defeated the Karamanid Aläeddin
Ali in a pitched battle 
make this distinction; see particularly the conquest of "Siroz" (Serres)
in the anonymous Tevârtkh-i Al-i ' Othmân (Paris, Bibi. nat.,
MS. suppi. turc 1047), fol. 19~'; I cannot agree with the interpretation
of Beldiceanu-Steinherr, "La Prise de Serrès," Acta historica, Societas
academica Dacoromana, IV (1965), 15—24. The date of the final conquest
is established by Ostrogorsky, "La Prise de Serrès par les Turcs,"
Byzantion, XXXV (1965), 302—319; and idem, Serska Oblast (Belgrade,
1965), pp. 126—160. 
 55. Ottoman compilations of the late fifteenth century by Idris and Neshri
confuse the chronology and order of events. ' Ashik Pasha-zâde and
the anonymous chronicles are more faithful to their original sources. My
chronology is based on a critical study of these sources. The date of the
conquest of verrai (787/1385) is confirmed in Christian sources; see Jire~ek,
Geschichte der Serben, II, 107, and Silberschmidt, op. cit., pp. 95—96.
 56. Serbian annals (see Jire~ek, Geschichte der Serben, II, 118) give the
date as 1386. 
 57. 50,000 okka in Neshri, Gihannüma: Die altosmanische Chronik des
Mevldnã Mehemmed NEschri, ed. Theodor Menzel and Taeschner, I (Leipzig,
1951), 58, but only 50 okka in Idris. 
 58. Neshri, op. cit., p. 71; and EnverI, Düstzirndme, pp. 85-87; for
Serbian annals on Kossovo see Gavro A. Skrivaniá, Kosovska Vitka (Cetinje,
1956); Lebensbeschreibung des Despoten Stefan Lazarevié von Konstantin
dem Philosophen, tr. Braun. 

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