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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume III: The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries

V: The Morea, 1364-1460,   pp. 141-166 PDF (15.1 MB)

Page 166

166 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES III41.Iorga, Notes et extraits, IV, 169. 
Alfonso, by Venice, and by pope Paul II. He was to die in Rome in 1469. 
 If after 1454 the revival of the Frankish principality in the Morea gave
Mehmed II no concern, it was otherwise with the Greek client states there.
The two despots, far from being peaceful tributaries, resumed their unseemly
feuding. There was danger to Mehmed in the fact that each sought aid in the
west against the other. For the remainder of the decade of the 1450's the
sultan had good reason to fear a Venetian or Neapolitan attempt, with papal
encouragement and material aid, to occupy the Morea. Turkish control of the
strategic peninsula was necessary for Mehmed's own project of at tacking
Italy in due time. Therefore, the great sultan personally led campaigns in
1458 and again in 1460 that extinguished the last remnants of Byzantine sovereignty
in the Morea. The definitive annexation of the peninsula by Turkey deprived
the Christian west of its most valuable base for any anti-Turkish crusade.
 Ironically, the Morea's importance to the crusading movement was never more
succinctly expressed than on the eve of the Ottoman conquest. In a letter
addressed to the citizens of Nuremberg on the opening day of one of the most
futile of crusading congresses, the Assembly of Mantua (June 1, 1459), pope
Pius II wrote: "The country of Peloponnesus has such advantages for the conduct
of operations by land and by sea that no other eastern region offers comparable
opportunities for protecting our interests and wearing down the power of
the Turks."41 

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