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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 258

toman corsairs from Palatia (Balat) and Ephesus (Ayasoluk) struck Euboea,
Modon, and Coron while war spread in Albania with the ottoman siege of Durazzo.
 During the crisis of 1421—1424, the Ottoman frontier lords on the
Danube and in Macedonia, southern Bosnia, and Albania had been able to protect
Ottoman interests in the buffer zones against Hungary and Venice. During
this period, while the buffer states — the Serbian despotate, the kingdom
of Bosnia, and the voivodate of Wallachia — were forced to accept suzerainty
or give up strategic points to Hungary and Venice, the Ottoman frontier lords
had supported rival parties or pretenders in these buffer states and intensified
their raids into these countries. 
 Coupled with the energetic stand of the Ottoman frontier lords, the war
between Hungary and Venice for Dalmatia relieved the Ottomans of the danger
of a "crusade" in the Balkans during this period. 
 Venice, however, became the principal beneficiary of the changing conditions
in the Balkans. In addition to having seized the Dalmatian ports of Zara,
Spalato (Split), Sebenico (Shibenik), and Trañ (Trogir) from Hungary
between 1412 and 1420, the republic had extended its sway in northern Albania
and Montenegro following the death of Balsha in 1421. This policy had led
Venice into war against Stephen Lazarevich, the Serbian despot, in the years
1421—1423.'°~ In this fight Stephen found Ottoman frontier forces
an efficient ally, and from then on he recognized Murad as his suzerain.
By the peace treaty signed on August 12, 1423, however, the despot had to
recognize Venetian occupation of Scutari, Alessio (Lesh), and Dulcigno. Later,
in 1426, the Ottoman frontier lord Ilyas Beg was included in the treaty as
a witness or guarantor. 105 This expansion of Venetian control can be considered
as a counter to the Ottoman expansion in Albania — the occupation of
Croia (Akchahisar) in 1415, and that of Avlona, Berat, and Pyrgos in 1420.
 Hungary also exploited the situation by reinforcing its position in Serbia,
Bosnia, and Wallachia in the period 1419—1429. During this period Sigismund
was particularly active in extending Hungarian control in the northern Balkans
and lower Danubian basin, even claiming sway over northern Bulgaria by supporting
a Bulgarian prince's claim to the throne. 
 104. lorga, Geschichte, I, 394; Stanojevié, "Die Biographic Stefan
Lazareviás," pp. 459—470. 
 105. Ilyas Beg may be Ilyas, subashi of Chartalos near Berat; see Saret-i
defter-i sancak-i Arvanid, ed. Inalcik, timar no. 261. 

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