Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries
XVIII: The Aftermath of the Crusades, pp. [unnumbered]-666 PDF (7.8 MB)
Ch. XVIII THE AFTERMATH OF THE CRUSADES 651 tended to be more favorable to the Christians than to the Moslems, if only they would set their hearts on the enterprise. Despite all their might, the Mamluks were divided among themselves, and some of their greater emirs were in discord with the sultan. The lord of Damascus had even allied himself with Timur against his own suzer ain in Cairo. On the Turkish side, Germain found that the Ottoman hold on the Balkans was still precarious, though their raids had been carried farther into Hungary. The great gulf which had separated the eastern and western Christians had been temporarily bridged by Eugenius IV at the Council of Ferrara-Florence in 1438—1439. 5 The time was now ripe, he felt, for united action between Orthodox and Catholic, while there was no real love between the Turk and the Egyptian in the Islamic empire. The Florentine accord would bring with it 200,000 combatants from Cilician Armenia and 50,000 from Georgia for the aid of the crusading host, in addition to other reinforcements from the empires of Constantinople and Trebizond, from the "Jacobites of Ethiopia," Russia, and "Prester John of India." The Discourse ended with an exhortation to the king of France, whom Germain implored to follow in the steps of Godfrey of Bouillon and the great St. Louis. But the king was in the throes of the last phase of the Hundred Years' War, and the expulsion of the English from France left him no time and means to be devoted to an uncertain cause in the distant east. In the meantime, another propagandist of a different type emerged in the person of Manuel Piloti, a Latin native of Crete, who had spent thirty-five years in the east and witnessed some of the most stirring events in the Islamic wars in the Levant. In 1396 he had seen the two hundred slaves presented by Bayazid I to sultan Barkuk of Egypt from among the captives of the battle of Nicopolis, and records that they had to abjure their faith. Then he had watched the downfall of Cyprus and the captivity of king Janus with six thousand men and women of position in 1426.6 Piloti was moved by these and other catastrophes to espouse the cause of the defense of the oppressed Christian principalities in the eastern Mediterranean. He wanted to put his long experience in the realm of the Moslems at the disposal of the Latins of the west to ensure a successful crusade for the recovery of the Holy Land. Accordingly, he composed a treatise entitled De modo, progressu, ordine ac diligenti providentia habendis in passagio 5. See above, p. 94, and Joseph Gill, The Council of Florence (Cambridge, 1959). 6. See above, p. 374, and Sir George Hill, A History of Cyprus, II (Cambridge, 1948), 485.
Copyright 1975 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. All rights reserved. Use of this material falling outside the purview of "fair use" requires the permission of the University of Wisconsin Press. To buy the hardcover book, see: http://www/wisc/edu/wisconsinpress/books/1734.htm