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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 249

to make sure of their loyalty and cooperation;66 the meeting place was Verrai,
not "Serrai" (Serres) as reported in some Byzantine sources.67 As the new
Byzantine emperor, Manuel 11(1391—1425), himself confirms, the appearance
of the vassal princes before the sultan was a custom and condition of Ottoman
 Bayazid's next moves were an invasion of Thessaly and the county of Salona
on February 20, 1394, and the occupation of Thessalonica on April 21. Bayazid's
insistence on direct control of the strategic cities and areas in the Balkans
frightened his vassals. 
 Though authoritarian in his dealings with his vassals, Bayazid had shown
a conciliatory attitude toward Venice after the annexation of the emirates
of western Anatolia in the winter of 1389—1390. In May 1390 he reconfirmed
the capitulations made under the Aydin dynasty, in response to the mission
of Francis Querini. Venice would not have opposed the Ottomans if its commercial
privileges and maritime security had been guaranteed. But in 1391 the corsairs
of western Anatolia, now under Ottoman control, had begun their attacks against
Venetian possessions in the Aegean and the Morea, forcing the senate to take
new defense measures and send protests to the sultan. Construction of galleys
in Constantinople, Thessalonica, and other ports for the Ottoman navy in
the spring of 1392 caused great concern in Venice. Manuel II was then acting
as a loyal vassal of the sultan and appeared to be using Ottoman power to
block Venetian dominance in the Aegean and the Straits. 
 As under Umur Pasha half a century earlier, the Turkish navy had once again
become an aggressive and threatening power. In the spring of 1392 the Venetian
senate gave orders to their "captain of the Gulf" to proceed to the Aegean
and attack Ottoman warships on the open sea. The reappearance of the threat
of Turkish sea power under Bayazid led Venice to consider reviving the Latin
League in the Aegean, with the participation of Lesbos, Chios, Rhodes, and
 In the summer of 1392 the Ottoman navy sailed to the Black Sea to cooperate
with Bayazid's army against Suleiman, emir of Kastamonu, so Venetian apprehension
of an immediate Ottoman attack faded. In 1394 after the Verrai meeting Venice
welcomed Manuel's request for aid against the sultan, who wanted to establish
full control of Constantinople. 
 66. See Barker, Manuel II, pp. 112-122. 
 67. The fact that the meeting-place was Verrai, not Serrai (Serres), was
first indicated by Karl Hopf, and after him by Silberschmidt, op. cit., p.
95. In the Ottoman sources the date is given (mistakenly) as after 798/1395.

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