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

IX: The Hospitallers at Rhodes, 1421-1523,   pp. 314-339 PDF (14.1 MB)

Page 332

attack it, and to fight "discreetly like wise and experienced men, and bravely
like knights and gentlemen assigned to the defense of the holy faith."48
The attack succeeded; when the two fleets met, on August 23, 15 10, near
Alexandretta (Iskenderun), the Egyptian fleet was thrown into confusion.
Eleven cargo ships and four battle galleys were captured, in good condition;
the other Egyptian ships were burned.49 
 Great changes took place in the next few years. Bayazid II died on May 26,
1512; on the whole he had maintained good relations with the knights. His
son and successor Selim I (1512—1520) was more warlike, and, as we
shall see, aggravated the threat to Rhodes. The grand master Emery of Amboise
died in 1512. Guy of Blanchefort was elected his successor, but he was in
France, and died before he reached Rhodes. His successor was Fabrizio del
Carretto, pilier of the langue of Italy, and admiral, a man of great valor,
who had distin guished himself in the defense of the fort of St. Nicholas
against the Turks in 1480. Leo X (1513—1521) was pope, and well disposed
toward the order, but the struggle between Charles V and Francis I prevented
Europe from giving effective help to the order when the moment of peril arrived.
 Selim first got rid of his brothers, and then began his conquests in 15
14 by defeating Isma'il, the Safavid shah of Persia. The shah was for Selim
an enemy to be feared on the eastern front, and one who had combined with
Christian states to the sultan's loss. Compelled after the battle of Chaldiran
(fought on August 23, 1514) to sue for peace with the Turks, shah Ismã'il
still cherished plans for revenge. He wrote to Rhodes in 15 15, asking that
the Hospitallers hand over to him Murad, the son of Jem Sultan, whom he evidently
planned to use to stir up trouble for the sultan. The latter, meanwhile,
was preparing a great enterprise which was to increase tremendously the territory
of the Turks, and to assure the Ottoman empire of the control of the Levant
for three centuries to come: the occupation of Syria, of Egypt, and of Arabia.
Selim left Constantinople on June 5, 15 16, and at Marj Dabiq near Aleppo
defeated the Mamluk sultan of Syria and Egypt, Kansuh, who was killed in
the battle (August 24, 1516). Just before the war began, Kansuh had negotiated
with the 
 48. Malta, cod. 400, fol. 224. 
 49. An account of the battle written by the grand master to the doge of
Venice, Leonard Loredan, is published in Marino Sanudo, Diarii, X, cols.
570—571. Another account is in Pauli, Codice diplomatico, II, 174.
 50. On conditions in Europe and the Levant see K. M. Setton, "Pope Leo and
the Turkish Peril," Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, CXIII
(1969), 367—414; reprinted in his Europe and the Levant in the Middle
Ages and the Renaissance (London, 1974), no. IX. 

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