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Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The impact of the Crusades on Europe
(1989)

VIII: The Crusade of Varna,   pp. 276-310 PDF (14.1 MB)


Page 279

Ch. VIII THE CRUSADE OF VARNA 279 
 The Islamic world now had two major powers, each claiming hegemony. Timur
the Lame (1369—1405) had established his empire in Central Asia and
on the Iranian plateau, and as heir of the Il-khänid power claimed sovereignty
over Anatolia. The dispossessed Anatolian emirs fled to Timur's court, appealing
for the restoration of their territories and charging Bayazid with violating
the faith of Islam by attacking fellow Moslems engaged in the holy war. In
1402 Timur moved his army into Anatolia, and Bayazid wheeled to meet him
on the Anatolian plateau. At Ankara on July 28 the Ottomans were decisively
defeated and Bayazid was taken prisoner, remaining a captive until his death
in 1403. 
 The political situation was suddenly altered radically: the emirates were
restored and the remaining Ottoman territory was divided by Timur among Bayazid's
sons Suleiman, Musa, and ' Isa. The impetus toward further Ottoman conquest
was removed for a generation as internecine strife occupied the Turkish princes.
Musa eliminated ' Isa and, in 1411, Suleiman, only to be defeated and killed
in 1413 by his younger brother Mehmed I. After the latter's death in 1421
two claimants surfaced; his son Murad II besieged Constantinople in 1422,
but lifted the siege to fight and defeat his "uncle" Mustafa (called "the
Impostor") in 1423, thereby emerging as sultan (1421—1451) of a unified
empire.2 
 After the defeat at Nicopolis king Sigismund pursued a defensive policy
in the Balkans until his death in 1437. One notable exception to this policy
occurred in 1428 when he began fortifying Golubats, intending to make it
a Hungarian stronghold and establish control over northern Serbia, nominally
a vassal of Hungary, while a civil war raged between rival claimants to the
Serbian throne. The Ottomans had regrie Ct Scanderbeg," Revue historique
du sud-est européen, X (1933), 111—141, "Le Condizioni 
e gli echi internazionali della lotta antiottomana del 1442—1443, condotta
da Giovanni di Hunedoara," Revue des etudes sud-est européennes, III
(1965), 432—463, for the wars of 1442—1443, and "Skanderbeg et
Ianco de Hunedoara," ibid., VI (1968), 5—21. There is a detailed account
of the crusade of Varna in Kenneth M. Setton, The Papacy and the Levant (1204-15
71), II, The Fifteenth Century (Philadelphia, 1978), chap. 3, with extensive
archival material. 
 For the Burgundian naval campaign see Marinescu, "Philippe le Bon, duc de
Bourgogne, et la croisade,"Actes du VIe Congrès international d'études
byzantines, 1(1950), 147—168; idem, "Du Nouveau sur ' Tirant lo Blach',"
Estudis Romdnics, IV (1953-1954), 137-205; Johanna D. Hintzen, De Kruistochtplannen
van Philips den Goede (Rotterdam, 1918); Roger Degryse, "De Bourgondische
expedities naar Rhodos, Constantinopel en Ceuta, 1441—1465," Académie
de marine de Belgique Communications (Mededelingen derAkademie van marine
van Belgie), XVII (1965), 227-265; L. Nicolau d'Olwer, "Un Témoignage
catalan du siege de Rhodes en 1444," Estudis universitaris catalans, XII
(1927), 376—387, for the Burgundian participation in the defense of
Rhodes; and Iorga, "Les Aventures ' sarrazines' des francais de Bourgogne
au XVe siècle" (Cluj, 1926; repr. in Mélanges d'histoire générale,
I [1927], 9—56). 
 2. Max Silberschmidt, Das orientalische Problem zur Zeit der Entstehung
des tQrkischen Reiches nach venezianischen Quellen, 1381-1400 (Leipzig and
Berlin, 1923). 


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