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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 238

Saros bay on the Aegean, and gives the impression that it occurred shortly
after the death of Suleiman in 1357. At that time the Byzantines might have
made a show of force there just to intimidate the ghazis into evacuating.
But it is also plausible that in 1359 the crusaders made an attack at Saros
bay as well as at Lampsacus. At any rate, this was the first Ottoman engagement
with a crusading force, and seems to show that Philip's account is in general
 A vigorous Ottoman onslaught started in Thrace under the leadership of prince
Murad and his tutor Lala Shahin in 1359. Matthew Viilani reports31 that in
1359 Turks appeared before the walls of Constantinople, the first Ottoman
threat against the imperial capital. He may have been referring to an event
that is described in The Anonymous Ottoman Chronicles32 as Murad's surrounding
a fortress "near Istanbul" in A.H. 761 (October 23, 1359—October 13,
1360).~3 The following year the Ottoman army systematically occupied the
fortresses on the two main roads between Constantinople and Adrianople, isolating
the latter city and finally forcing it to surrender in the early spring of
1361.~~ To facilitate their rapid occupation of Thrace and its capital Adrianople,
the Ottomans appear to have shrewdly made Matthew Cantacuzenus's cause their
own, claiming that they were acting to protect the rights of the house of
Cantacuzenus in the district of Adrianople, from which he had been driven
out. The Ottoman ruler seems to have been exploiting his traditional role
as a "supporter" of the rights of Cantacuzenus, his brother-in-law, and it
would seem that there were still partisans of the Cantacuzeni in the region.
 In connection with the Ottoman offensive between 1359 and 1361, the report
of a conspiracy between Lala Shahin and the partisans of Cantacuzenus against
John V's life should be mentioned. Rumors of the conspiracy reached Italy
at the beginning of 1360, with emphasis on the role played by the Ottomans,
who were suspected of desiring through it to lay hands on the imperial city.35
Orkhan died in 1362, and was succeeded by his son Murad I (1362-1389). 
 31. Matthew Villani, "Istoria," RISS, xiv (Milan, 1729), 549—550;
he also tells us that in 
1358 the Hospitallers of Rhodes destroyed a Turkish fleet of 29 vessels returning
from a raid on the Thracian coast. 
 32. See note 30. 
 33. See Inalcik, "The Conquest of Edirne," in The Ottoman Empire: Conquest,
Organization and Economy (London, 1978), no. III, p. 195. 
 34. Ibid., pp. 195-199; Beldiceanu-Steinherr, "La Conquête d'Andrinople
par les Turcs," Travaux et mémoires, I (Paris, 1965), 431—461,
assumes that Hajji Ilbegi and other frontier begs in Thrace acted independently
of the Ottomans and conquered Adrianople about 1369. 
 35. See Parisot, Cantacuzène, pp. 306—308; lorga, "Latins,"
pp. 220—221. 

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