The Life-Story of Dervish, the First Sancakbeyi of Szeged
He came from an influential family, the Yahyapashazade clan of Albanian origin. His father, Küçük Bali had a house in Jagodina, modern Svetozarevo. Dervish was probably born around 1500 since he is mentioned as a timar-holder in the sancak of Zvornik as early as 1519. When his father became the beylerbeyi of Buda in 1542, he became the commander of the Danube flotilla, a new post created specifically for him. When Szeged was taken by the Ottomans early in 1543, he became the first district governor there. On 28 January 1545, he was nominated sancakbeyi of Székesfehérvár (Ýstolni Belgrad). Then he went to administer the liva of Mohács in the last months of 1547. Usually he stayed in Pécs, where his cami was erected. He held this office for almost 10 years, an exceptionally long period. His many duties can be illustrated by several hitherto unknown orders which were sent to him. At the same time, he did not forget Jagodina where he had a cami built and where – as Hans Dernschwam reported – he also settled some Hungarians. This is shown by a defter of Szendrő (Smederovo), in which several individuals with Hungarian names were registered.
On 4 February 1557, he was appointed to Avlonya, partly as a punishment for the unsuccessful siege of Szigetvár in 1556. Four days later, however, he was allowed to return to Szeged. Like in Pécs, he was charged with the praparation of the new dommsday-book of some of the Hungarian sancaks.
Dervish bey vanishes from sight around 1560/1561. In all likelihood he died, either in Hungary or on his way to Jagodina.
The recent discovery of an old image: Oguz tradition and knowledge of Central Asia in the first Ottoman chronicles
The Ottoman Empire, which had been constructed of diverse ethnic and religious elements, saw, from the second half of the nineteenth century, serious doubts raised as to whether the ethnic or the religious community should be preferred. The Republic of Turkey, established after the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, emphasized national identity. The following questions were raised since the second half of the nineteenth century: Does Ottoman historiography present the links to the old, historical Turkic peoples? To what extent did the first Ottoman authors link the roots of their own state to Central Asia, the original homeland. The answer to the question above was surprising: the early works proved well-informed concerning the late Ottoman and Central Asian connections.
The first chronicles come from the fifteenth century, that is, from 100-150 years after the foundation of the empire, and display a strong Turkmen/Oguz tradition when discussing the issues of origins. The paper surveys data from the following works: Ahmedi, ^(a)ükrullah, A^(o)ikpa^(o)azade, Ni^(o)anci Karamani Mehmed Pa^(o)a, Ne^(o)ri, Bayatli Hasan, Küçük Ni^(o)anci Mehmed Pa^(o)a, Cenabi Mustafa, Âli, Müneccimba^(o)i Ahmed Dede. These works would later provide detailed data for the origins of the Ottoman ruling dynasty, which are also the basis of the national consciousness of origin of present day Turkey. It is important to point out that the concept of "Turkestan" was continuously known in the Ottoman intellectual world. The geographical distance from the original homeland was partly reduced in a spiritual sense by the fact that the Turks of Central Asia also belonged to the Sunnite branch of Islam, and that Islamic theologians from Turkestan maintained close connections with Anatolia. From time to time, political, military events brought closer the Turkic peoples long separated. The assault on Anatolia by Tamerlaine was such an event, and the prolonged wars against Iran were another example. During the latter, close diplomatic relations were established with the Sunnite Uzbek Khanate against the Siite Iran, the ideological grounds being religious unity and the sense of common origins. The myth of origin, developed by the end of the seventeenth century, can be summed up in the following way: the ancestors of the Ottomanscan be linked to the tribe Kayi of Oguz origin; they left Transoxania, stayed for a time near Samarkand and Bokhara, and later marched into Anatolia, where they founded an emouire that conquered the world.
On the crisis of the Ottoman monetary system in the 16th century (notes on the depreciation of 1585/1589)
Some of the scholars who have studied the main causes of the Ottoman monetary problems have found them rooting in international movements of precious metals (the abundance of silver, or, on the contrary, the scarcity of precious metals), while others have opted for the unsteady state of the solvency of the state. The author of the present paper also has surveyed the figures of the available state budgets from the 16th century, and these data clearly indicate that the positions of the central treasury were continuously deteriorating during the fifty years before 1582/83, especially after 1548. The accounts show that the "special war-taxes", levied every year after 1576, were the only factor that had kept the budget from sliding in deficit much earlier. Despite the increasing taxes, in 1583 state finances got to a point where balance was to collapse. It was indicated by the fact that the exchange rate of akçe against gold in the free market fell to unprecedented depths as a result of financial pressure.
The Porte wished to handle the crisis within a "monetary reform", which essentially consisted in devaluating the akçe by 100% as against the Ottoman and Venetian gold, and the guru^(o), a large size silver of western origin, its silver content also reduced by 44%. One of the purposes, probably the primary purpose, of the manoeuvre may have been to have as many as possible akçes at the disposal of the treasury since most of the army was paid with this money. Akçe becoming cheaper than guru^(o), the Ottoman financial government thus tried in 1585/89 to have society pay its debts in guru^(o) rather than in akçe in the future. However, the laws of the market would soon establish a trading rate between the akçe and the other means of exchange, and so the "reform" slipped from the hands of the government. To sum it up, the monetary problems of the Ottoman Empire in the 1580s were caused by the difficulties of providing for a bureaucracy and an army both rather oversized. The only way to cut back public expenses in the circumstances seemed to be the debasement of the akçe. The appearance of the comparatively cheap American silver (or, more precisely, European silver coins) was another source of trouble because it moved the Ottoman government to try to meet the demand of the empire for metal from the mass of money moving in international commerce. This, however, exposed it to a larger extent to the changes in international prices and movement of goods. The depreciation of 1585/89 was the first Ottoman financial measure that attempted to handle these complex problems simultaneously. But the method was not fit for that, no harmony could be established among conflicting goals, and it is fair to say that the government itself never foresaw all the possible consequences of the operation. Thus, the debasement/devaluation, meant to be a therapeutic measure, started a series of monetary rearrangements that the state was increasingly unable to control. The problems started at home, and the international processes only deepened them.
Crimean Tartar envoys to the Court in Vienna, 1598-1682
Crimean Tartar diplomacy maintained connections with a number of European and Asian powers during the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries. The main destinations of Tartar diplomatic missions as documented by archival sources included Russia, Poland, the Cossacks in the Ukraine, Sweden, Denmark, Brandenburg, the Holy Roman Empire, Transylvania, Georgia, and Persia. The motives of the diplomatic opening by the Crimean Tartars towards Central and Western Europe were completely different from those that underlay their activities in Eastern Europe. While the connections with Russia, Poland, Sweden were determined by the common interests of the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire, the diplomatic contacts maintained between the Giray dynasty and the Hapsburgs for nearly a century sometimes had covert anti-Ottoman features as well. The years between 1598 and 1682 saw more than thirty Tartar diplomatic missions in Vienna and/or Prague. Within this period, the diplomatic connections between the Crimean Tartars and the Hapsburgs can be dicided in three phases.
The initial phases is closely connected with the events of the Fifteen Years' War. The first contact was made through the mediation of the ruling Prince of Transylvania and the Voivode of Wallachia, allies of Emperor Rudolph II, in order to negotiate a peace between the Sultan and the Emperor as well as to initiate joint action against the transgressions of the Ottoman Souzerain.
In the middle of the seventeenth century relations between the courts of Vienna and Bakhciseray were revitalized during the reign of Mehmed Giray IV. This can be explained by the Northern war, in which imperial diplomacy and the Tartar Khan jointly supported Poland against the alliance of Sweden and Transylvania.
In the last phase Tartar envoys were annually sent to Vienna. Various economic records as well as export licences (Passbrief) suggest that these missions had economic rather than political motives. It is possible to reconstruct, with the help of archival sources, the route of the envoys, their accommodations in Vienna, the imperial audiences as well as the value of the gifts brought and received by them. The paper is concluded by a provisional list of envoys.
The Captancies in the Bosnian Frontier Area in teh 16-18th centuries
The author, having compared the data concerning the "kapudans" in the western region of the Balkans, concludes that there are significant differences among the officers bearing the title "kapudan".
The so-called "chief" or "grand kapudans" should be distinguished from "small kapudans". The former group could also be connected with river or maritime navigation and warfare, but their main job was to control the military and civil administration of larger regions. The "smaller kapudans", who came from families of lower status, can be regarded as the lower ranking local equivalents of high ranking Danubian flotilla captains.
In the following century, the situation is completely different: we find new kapudans in a number of places where this office had not existed before. They acted as commanders of the mobile parts (azab, faris, martaloc) of garrisons, but they also tended to push dizdars (castellans) into the background.
The new type of kapudans appeared around 1580. In the beginning they were few, perhaps half a dozen, but a few decades later they were all over the frontier region, with powers greater than ever before. Obviously, no new navigable rivers had been created. The reason for the rise of the new office would seem to be that, by the end of the sixteenth century, the forays of the Ottoman raiders had gradually stopped, indeed, the tables had been turned. The Ottoman section of the border in the south between the Lika and the Neretva was receiving serious blows because of the unstoppable raids by the Hapsburg usks from Zengg. In 1643, the increased number of fortresses in the region from the Drave down to South Dalmatia were manned by more soldiers than in 1586 or earlier. The Wlach irregulars, called martaloc, having lost their use in their original jobs as marauding raiders, were given the chance to serve as azab or faris in the fortresses and thus become part of the permanent, paid personnel.
The leaders of these Wlach irregular soldiers were called martalocbashi, but the term kapudan/captain was also commonly applied to them. The author claims that both the south Slav usks fighting as mercenaries for the Hapsburgs around Zengg and the martaloc bands under Ottoman command on the other side came from the same south Slav Wlach ethnic group, among whom the title voivode and/or captain was well-known on both sides. The new kapudans soon became part of a new social elite, less illustrious than the smaller group descending from the sixteenth-century "grand" kapudans, but powerful enough to have privileges. The office had become hereditary in the hands of a few minor dinasties. The most talented members of the soldier families along the frontier had the right to be posted in the region where their ojaks (wider family) lived. This ensured that the estates held by the wider family would also become hereditary.
The Siege of Esztergom in 1595
The recapture of Esztergom during the Fifteen Years' War is a comparatively little researched section of Hungarian historiography. This castle was the most important of those standing in front of Buda, protecting both the region and the waterway to Buda. The Christian forces commenced the siege of the fortress on July 1, 1595, and 62 days later the defenders were forced to hand over Esztergom to them on September 2. This short paper attempts, on the strength of both hitherto unknown and already published documents, to clear up a few details of the recapture of Esztergom, such as the size of the besieging and the defending armies; the deployment route of the Christian army; whether the siege of Tata was possible at the same time; what the opinion of the Turkish military leadership was before the battle of August 4; what the causes and the circumstances of the surrender of the castle were.
The author believes that psychological factors underlie the surrender of Esztergom: the physical and spiritual strength of the defenders had been shattered by the 62-day siege, the incessant bombardment, the constant wailing of the wounded, women and children crowded into the castle. On the other hand, in the wake of the defeat of the Turkish troups gathering at Vörösvár, the defenders had to face the fact that they could expect no help from the outside, and that their situation was hopeless. All this was aggravated by the inability to provide water for the fortress of Esztergom. The cistern in the castle had been filled up with rain at the end of August, but it was not enough to meet the drinkig water demand of the defenders in the long run. It was the panic caused by these three factors that forced Pasha Lala Mehmed to surrender the stronghold. The Christians would hold Esztergom for ten years only. On October 3, 1605 it was, ironically, Pasha Serdar Lala Mehmed who received the keys to the fortress after 35 days of siege.
An Ottoman tombstone from the Fifteen Years's War in Steyersberg, Lower Austria
The castle of Steyersberg is in Lower Austria, not far from Neunkirchen. Opposite to its entrance gate, a walnut tree stands on a hill, with an Ottoman sepuchral monument under it. Popular imagination has created a number of legends about it. One of these associates it with the Turkish troops raiding the country during the second siege of Vienna. The troops, apparently, also laid siege to the fortress, without success. After they had left, one warrior, hiding in the walnut tree across the gate, terrorized the defenders of the castle for days. When he was discovered, he fell victim to the vengeance of the garrison. Historical scholarship has found that Count Christian Siegmund, serving in the army of Eugene of Savoy, had the tombstone carried from Temesvár to Steyersberg. Until now, however, it was not clear when and for whom the stone in question was erected. It has also been suggested that the monument is that of a Hungarian sancakbegi.
However, the inscription of the tombstone having been read and interpreted, it would seem that originally it was raised over the body of a butcher called Vehbî bin 'Alî from Ýpek (now Peç, west of Priština). The inscription also says that he was 43/44 years old when he died. Although the inscription and the turban on the tombstone slightly differ from those customary in the early seventeenth century, the shape of the traditional Muslim headgear imitates those of the lower classes, indicative of the social position of the deceased. Although the time of death can be dated to 1600/1601, that is, to the days of the Fifteen Years' War, no connection can be established with the military events in those parts in those days.
The diplomatic lessons of the rise to power of ruling Prince Mózes Székely of Transylvania, and the origins of a Grand Vizier's report (telîi's)
The resistance put up by Mózes Székely to the Hapsburgs in the Transylvanian theatre of war is a relatively brief episode in the history of the Fifteen Years' War (1593-1606). Having made himself a name as an outstanding soldier, Székely took over the leadership of the pro-Turkish aristocrats in Transylvania. After Giorgio Basta had defeated him at Tövis, he fled to Temesvár, then in the territory of the Ottoman Empire. There he made contacts with Grand Vizier Yemi^(o)çi Hasan, operating in the Hungarian theatre of war and preparing for the siege of Székesfehérvár (Ýstolni Belgrad). After he had contacted the Grand Vizier, the latter sent a report to the Sultan, in which he introduced Mózes Székely. Székely's autograph letter from Temesvár to Pasha Yemi^(o)çi Hasan, written on paper used by the Turkish authorities, in which he offers his services has recently been found by accident in one of the collections of the Hungarian National Archives. Székely asks the Grand Vizier to give him the title of ruling Prince of Transylvania, and promises to loyally serve the Sultan in return. He gives advice concerning the ways Transylvania could be recaptured from the Hapsburgs. The emergence of the letter is a curiosity of diplomatic history: the petition writen in Hungarian is the basis of the Gand Vizier's report to the Sultan. After the capture of Székesfehérvár, Pasha Yemi^(o)çi Hasan wanted to go to Transylvania via Pest to grant Székely his request. This would have secured a pro-Turkish ruler at the head of the principality. However, launching an attack from Esztergom, the troops of the Hapsburgs took Pest and laid siege to Buda. When the Grand Vizier heard that, he turned back. Mózes Székely marched into Transylvania in the following year, 1603, with Turkish and Tartar support. The paper discusses and analyses the so far available data on his confirmation by the Sultan. The sources so far known do not make it possible to clarify all the details, but it would seem that he also received a letter of contract ('ahd-nâme-i hümâyűn) from the Sultan. In possession of that, Mózes Székely's son made an attempt thirty years later to take over the principality from ruling Prince György I Rákóczi (1633).
Having quashed domestic resistance, Mózes Székely immediately found himself up against Radu ^(a)erban, ruler of Wallachia, who broke into Transylvania. Mózes Székely himself was one of those who fell in the battle near Bra^(o)ov (Kronstadt). At the end of the paper, an appendix contains the Prince's letter to Yemi^(o)çi Hasan Grand Vizier as well as the instructions of György I Rákóczi to a Transylvanian noble lady to send him Székely's letter of contract from the Sultan.
Megjegyzés: A cikk karakterhibás.
Some Remarks to the Activity of Küçük Mehmed in Hungary
The paper deals with the sometimes misinterpreted activity and functions of Küçük Mehmed in Hungary during the Köprülü-era, from 1661 till 1672. Mehmed was appointed beglerbeg of Jenő-Temesvár (Yanova-Temi^(o)var) in 1661. As a serdar he protected Mihály Apafi, the newly created vassal prince of Transylvania, and, in the battle of Nagyszőllős (January 23, 1662), he completely defeated the army of Prince János Kemény, the ally of the Hapsburg emperor. In spite of his military success he was not popular in Transylvania because of his extortion and greediness during his long stay. He was transferred to Várad (Varadin) as a defender of the fortress in August of 1663 and as a beglergbeg of Várad from the beginning of 1664. He took part in the war between the Ottoman and the Hapsburg empires in 1663-1664 on the northern front. He was sent to the defense of the newly conquered Érsekújvár (Yeni Kale) and was defeated by a Hapsburg army led by Louis de Souches at Zsarnóca (May 16, 1664). In spite of rumours, he had not been killed in this battle, but while he was away from Várad, it was attacked, but without success. After the peace of Vasvár, Küçük Mehmed was transferred to Érsekújvár, where he spent two years as beglerbeg (1665-1666). He was sent back to the scene of his earlier victory when in 1667, he was appointed beglerbeg of Temesvár (Temesvár was the old centre of the province of the Vilayet of Temesvár-Jenő). After a while, in 1669 he got back to Érsekújvár as beglerbeg, then in 1671-1672 he filled again the post of beglerbeg in Várad. Küçük Mehmed led an adventurous life, had many enemies, who hoped that he would be dismissed from office or spread rumours about his death. He wandered between the eastern and northern vilayets (Temesvár-Jenő, Várad, Érsekújvár) of Ottoman Hungary as beglerbeg of these provinces spending approximately two years in each appointment.
„This was the talk of the day in Paris." News in the Diary of the Citizen of Paris
The essay attempts to investigate a less known aspect of late mediaeval history: the problem of communication, of the flow of information. Since the method is the exploitation of one particular point of view, that of the entries of one diarist, personal opinions and individual assessments of reality are given wide room apart from the occasional general remarks. The utilization of one single point of view will obviously reduce the possibility of generalization, of a complete picture. Its advantage, on the other hand, lies in that what we will get is not an abstract image of the world, the way „mediaeval man" saw the world, but the actual, real views of a man who really did exist: it is from his nearly palpable point of view that we can view the news of early fifteenth-century Paris. The diarist, the unknown Citizen of Paris got his information mostly by word of mouth, but he was also the eyewitness to a number of events. Because he did not write his work for the public, his honesty is more likely, and his admitted partizanship reflects his real opinions.
The Paris he introduces is in the centre of a world we would find too confined. The proportion of foreign news is negligible, mostly associated with ecclesiastical life, the Papacy, and wandering preachers. It is only the northern part of France that appears, and the people of Paris got repeated, more detailed news nearly exclusively from the direct vicinity of the city, from towns and villages within one or two days' walk from the capital.
Nor is the space of Paris homogeneous from the aspect of the flow of information. The places of crucial importance are the gates, the Halles market, the square in front of the Town Hall, and Maubert square on the left bank. The diary also indicates that free spaces within the city, the streets, and crossings had more important roles than in later days. An analysis of the channels of information reveals the overwhelming importance of informal passing of intelligence, of gossipping, of interpersonal communication. This, of course, went hand in hand with the insufficiency of official channels, a permanent demand for news, as well as a susceptibility to information of uncertain origin, and rumours. It would appear, however, that for all the faltering system of spreading information, the people of Paris always managed to acquire from one source or another the information, often incredible, or unreliable in the eyes of posterity, that satisfied them and that they could use to complement and/or interpret the image they had of the world around them.
The role of festivities in the relations between Henry VII and London
The first Tudor king, Henry VII (1485-1509) held London in great esteem not only as the largest, and, in continental terms, the only, city of England, or as the economic and commercial centre of the realm, or because of its proximity to the royal palace in Westminster, but because the city was crucially important politically as well. During the Wars of the Roses London had played a decisive role in the lives of royal pretenders by cordially opening its gates or keeping them closed before them. The political decisions of the leadership of the city, consisting of 24 aldermen elected by the 24 boroughs, were primarily determined by current power relations and/or financial considerations. Since the interests of the municipal leaders, relying on commerce for their living, as well as those of the city, increasingly prosperous as a result of the flourishing textile trade since the end of the fifteenth century, required the keeping of the peace, London was looking forward with great expectations to the rule of Henry Tudor, who had defeated the „usurper" Richard — and his reception reflected these expectations in the summer of 1485. A year later, in 1786, several London boroughs had free wine distributed to celebrate the birth of Prince Arthur; and later, at his baptism, Sir William Fitzwilliams, the town clerk expressed his pleasure in the name of London over the speedy solution of the question of succession and the elimination of the danger of civil war by the early consolidation of the Tudor dynasty. Although later London's relations with the monarch would be changeable as the latter, parallelly with the consolidation of his power, introduced increasingly centralizing measures, nevertheless, the receptions, marches, processions, and festivities, which increased the reputation of the court, London, and the realm, strengthened the relationship between king and the city, served their common interests, and worked against growing economic and political divisions. These ceremonies were, therefore, important elements in the relationship between London and Henry VII. Ceremonies, it is well-known, in addition to conveying messages from those in power, also determine the prestige of the city and/or the realm. It is crucial from both aspects that they should be smoothly performed, without problems, reflecting and reinforcing the existing social hierarchy.
At the same time, and apart from enhancing the honour of the city, the municipal leaders used the shared festivities of the „citizens" as safety valves for social tensions, and that was beneficial for the consolidation of the Tudor dynasty as well.
Elmélet és módszer
Emlékszám az Oszmán Birodalom születésének 700. évfordulójára.