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)
238 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES Saros bay on the Aegean, and gives the impression that it occurred shortly after the death of Suleiman in 1357. At that time the Byzantines might have made a show of force there just to intimidate the ghazis into evacuating. But it is also plausible that in 1359 the crusaders made an attack at Saros bay as well as at Lampsacus. At any rate, this was the first Ottoman engagement with a crusading force, and seems to show that Philip's account is in general reliable. A vigorous Ottoman onslaught started in Thrace under the leadership of prince Murad and his tutor Lala Shahin in 1359. Matthew Viilani reports31 that in 1359 Turks appeared before the walls of Constantinople, the first Ottoman threat against the imperial capital. He may have been referring to an event that is described in The Anonymous Ottoman Chronicles32 as Murad's surrounding a fortress "near Istanbul" in A.H. 761 (October 23, 1359—October 13, 1360).~3 The following year the Ottoman army systematically occupied the fortresses on the two main roads between Constantinople and Adrianople, isolating the latter city and finally forcing it to surrender in the early spring of 1361.~~ To facilitate their rapid occupation of Thrace and its capital Adrianople, the Ottomans appear to have shrewdly made Matthew Cantacuzenus's cause their own, claiming that they were acting to protect the rights of the house of Cantacuzenus in the district of Adrianople, from which he had been driven out. The Ottoman ruler seems to have been exploiting his traditional role as a "supporter" of the rights of Cantacuzenus, his brother-in-law, and it would seem that there were still partisans of the Cantacuzeni in the region. In connection with the Ottoman offensive between 1359 and 1361, the report of a conspiracy between Lala Shahin and the partisans of Cantacuzenus against John V's life should be mentioned. Rumors of the conspiracy reached Italy at the beginning of 1360, with emphasis on the role played by the Ottomans, who were suspected of desiring through it to lay hands on the imperial city.35 Orkhan died in 1362, and was succeeded by his son Murad I (1362-1389). 31. Matthew Villani, "Istoria," RISS, xiv (Milan, 1729), 549—550; he also tells us that in 1358 the Hospitallers of Rhodes destroyed a Turkish fleet of 29 vessels returning from a raid on the Thracian coast. 32. See note 30. 33. See Inalcik, "The Conquest of Edirne," in The Ottoman Empire: Conquest, Organization and Economy (London, 1978), no. III, p. 195. 34. Ibid., pp. 195-199; Beldiceanu-Steinherr, "La Conquête d'Andrinople par les Turcs," Travaux et mémoires, I (Paris, 1965), 431—461, assumes that Hajji Ilbegi and other frontier begs in Thrace acted independently of the Ottomans and conquered Adrianople about 1369. 35. See Parisot, Cantacuzène, pp. 306—308; lorga, "Latins," pp. 220—221.
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