The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe

By Daniel Goffman | Go to book overview

Kubad in Istanbul

Be damned, O Emperor, be thrice damned For the evil you have done and the evil you do. You catch and shackle the old and the archpriests In order to take the children as Janissaries. Their parents weep and their sisters and brothers too And I cry until it pains me; As long as I live I shall cry, For last year it was my son and this year my brother.1

The çavuş Kubad, journeying from Istanbul to the most Christian Serenissima as a representative of his sultan, felt uneasy. His visit to Christendom seemed an eerie adventure, but he was unsure why. It was not dread of the infidel creed. Some of his closest acquaintances had been claimed bythe devşirme: snatched from their Christian towns and villages in the Ottoman Balkans, declared His Most Imperial Majesty's personal property, persuaded as boys to convert to Islam, and trained to become Ottoman soldiers and bureaucrats. Indeed, such had been the career path of his own grand vizier, Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, who had grown up a Christian on the Ottoman borderlands of Bosnia, been “tithed” into imperial service and converted, worked his way brilliantly up the administrative ladder in the imperial palace, served as the recently deceased Süleyman's last grand vizier, became also an imperial grandson-in-law by marrying Ismihan sultan, that padishah's favorite granddaughter, and now, as both grand vizier and son-in-law to the new Sultan Selim II, was arguablythe most influential person in the entire realm.2Rumor had it that Mehmed Pasha maintained personal and financial ties with his Bosnian-Christian relatives, and even had established a religious endowment in his home town; Kubad,

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1
As quoted in Apostolos E. Vakalopoulos, The Greek nation, 1453–1669: the cultural and economic background of modern Greek Society, trans. Ian Moles and Pharia Moles (New Brunswick, NJ, 1976), p. 37.
2
On career paths and identity, see I. Metin Kunt, “Ethnic-regional (cins) solidarity in the seventeenth-century Ottoman establishment, ” International Journal of Middle East Studies 5 (1974): 233–39; and Cornell H. Fleischer, Bureaucrat and intellectual in the Ottoman Empire: the historian Mustafa Âli (1541–1600) (Princeton, NJ, 1986). On sons-in-law in the imperial household, see Peirce, Imperial harem.

-55-

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The Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Maps xii
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xvi
  • Note on Usage xix
  • Chronological Table of Events xx
  • The Ottoman House Through 1687 (Dates Are Regnant) xxiii
  • 1 - Introduction: Ottomancentrism and the West 1
  • Part 1 - State and Society in the Ottoman World 21
  • Kubad's Formative Years 23
  • 2 - Fabricating the Ottoman State 27
  • Kubad in Istanbul 55
  • 3 - Aseasoned Polity 59
  • Kubad at the Sublime Porte 93
  • 4 - Factionalism and Insurrection 98
  • Part 2 - The Ottoman Empire in the Mediterranean and European Worlds 129
  • Kubad in Venice 131
  • 5 - The Ottoman—venetian Association 137
  • Kubad Between Worlds 165
  • 6 - Commerce and Diasporas 169
  • Kubad Ransomed 189
  • 7 - Achang Ing Station in Europe 192
  • 8 - Conclusion. the Greater Western World 227
  • Glossary 235
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 240
  • Index 252
  • New Approaches to European History *
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