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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 245

I of Hungary, who had styled himself "king of Serbia, Dalmatia, and Bulgaria",
Hungary was in the grip of an internal struggle for succession. Even the
Serbian knez Lazar I (1371-1389) in the Morava valley and Bosnia, who supported
the Angevins for the Hungarian throne, was involved in the struggle against
Louis's successor Sigismund (1385— 1437).5° At the same time, the
rivalry between Venice and Hungary for Dalmatia prevented these two powers
from acting jointly against the Ottomans for the whole period until 1394.
Also the Genoese-Venetian rivalry over Tenedos and the waterways to the Black
Sea, which caused a destructive war between the two republics, neutralized
these maritime powers in respect to the Ottomans, who had been allied to
the Genoese since 1352. The diplomatic revolution leading to the HungarianVenetian
alliance would come only after the Ottoman occupation of Bulgaria in 1393.~'
 By the treaty of June 8, 1387, with Genoa, Murad I renewed commercial privileges
granted previously by Orkhan.52 Genoese documents of the period show that
the Ottomans maintained close commercial relations with the Genoese and were
visiting Pera. It also appears that the Ottoman Porte did not openly challenge
Venice during Murad's reign (1362—1389). The republic continued to
purchase wheat from the Ottoman territories (Thrace?) and even hoped to be
allowed by Murad to establish a colony at Scutari, just across from the rival
Genoese colony at Pera, making diplomatic attempts in 1365, 1368, and 1384.~~
In brief, the Ottomans succeeded in maintaining the neutrality of the Italian
maritime powers which were in control of the Straits during the period when
Murad embarked upon his extensive conquests in the Balkans. 
 In 1383 Murad, crossing the Straits, established his headquarters in Adrianople
and sent an army under the grand vizir Khayreddin Pasha and Evrenos to conquer
the rich coastal plains and cities of western Thrace between the lower Nestos
(Mesta) and the Strymon (Struma). The Ottomans employed their navy under
Azeb Beg to cut off aid from the sea. Kavalla (Christopolis), Drama, Zichne,
and Serres in this region, which had been under blockade for many years,
surrendered on terms.54 The raiders extended their activities as far as Albania
and the 
50. Jire~ek, Geschichte der Serben, II, 117. 
 51. The best analysis of venetian diplomacy of this period is still Silberschmidt,
Das orientalische Problem 1381—1400. 
 52. Heyd, tr. Raynaud, II, 259-260. 
53. Ibid. 
 54. The city of Serres was taken only in 1383 but the countryside had already
come under the control of the Ottoman frontier forces under DelU Balaban
in 1372. The Ottoman chronicles 

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