Zacour, N. P.; Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume VI: The impact of the Crusades on Europe
VII: The Ottoman Turks and the Crusades, 1329-1451, pp. 222-275 PDF (18.9 MB)
Ch. VII THE OTTOMAN TURKS AND THE CRUSADES, 1329-1451 273 of Bosnia had recovered Srebrenitsa. All these developments during the summer made the Hungarian court believe that the chances for success of a crusade could not be better at any other time. Murad II had crossed over to Anatolia against the Karamanids on July 12, 1444, but instead of fighting he signed a peace treaty with them in early August at Yenishehir, giving up the long-disputed area to them. Then, believing he had guaranteed peace in the east and west by eliminating the main issues of conflict with the Hungarians and the Karamanids, he abdicated in favor of his son Mehmed II, then only twelve years old, thus leaving all power in the hands of the grand vizir Chandarli Khalil. A fierce rivalry soon broke out between Khalil and the tutors of the young sultan for power in Adrianople. The Byzantine emperor then released the Ottoman pretender Orkhan, who went to the Dobruja to win over the frontier raiders to his cause. An uprising of the HurUfI dervishes in Adrianople occurred at the same time, in the summer of 1444. This chaotic state of affairs in the Ottoman empire was used as a further argument by those in the Hungarian capital advocating a crusade. On August 15, 1444, at Szegedin, by taking the oath in the presence of Balta-oghlu Suleiman, the sultan's ambassador, king Ladislas completed the formal ratification of the treaty concluded in Adrianople on June 12.153 The king did so upon the insistence of the despot, since otherwise Balta-oghlu would not evacuate and surrender the fortresses in Serbia. On August 4, 1444, while negotiations continued at Szegedin on this key point, the king proclaimed under oath a manifesto to the Christian world about his firm decision to continue war against the Ottomans. The Venetian senate, however, thought this was not a sufficient guarantee, and decided to act cautiously in its relations with the sultan. It can be concluded that Ladislas, and Hunyadi in particular, were determined to continue the war against the Ottomans in 1444, but did not want to jeopardize their diplomatic success of the recovery of the Serbian despotate for the sake of a "formality". Besides, cardinal Cesarini assured the king that an oath sworn to an "infidel" without the pope's approval was not canonically binding, and reminded him of the possibility of excommunication if he violated his solemn promises for the crusade. 154 The crusaders' army, 16,000 men under Ladislas and Hunyadi, crossed the Danube near Belgrade on September 18—22, 1444. The Serbian 153. Ibid., pp. 1—53; Pall, "Ciriaco d'Ancona," pp. 42-43; idem, "Autour de la croisade de Varna," p. 152. 154. Zinkeisen, Geschichte, I, 672—674.
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