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Title: Ibrahim Pasha - Grand Vizir of Suleiman the Magnificent
Author: Jenkins, Hester Donaldson
Language: English
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Studies in History, Economics and Public Law

Edited by the Faculty of Political Science of Columbia University

Volume XLVI]      [Number 2

Whole Number 115


Grand Vizir of Suleiman the Magnificent



Former Professor of History in the American
College for Girls, Constantinople


New York
Columbia University
Longmans, Green & Co., Agents,
London: P. S. King & Son

Copyright, 1911
Hester Donaldson Jenkins


The teaching of history in Constantinople naturally leads to an
interest in the history of Turkey, and also to the recognition that
little has been written on that subject except on the side of political
relations with Europe. One who desires to present to western readers a
brief study of Turkish civilization might reasonably turn to the reign
of Suleiman the Magnificent, as being typical of the course of Turkish
history, and also as exhibiting Turkey at the height of her powers. For
the purpose of this dissertation, the study has been confined to the
career of Ibrahim Pasha, grand vizir between 1522 and 1536.

The writer’s acknowledgments are due to Professors Sloane and Gottheil
for valuable criticism, and for their aid in the obtaining of rare
books, and to Professor and Mrs. Robinson for the careful reading of


NOVEMBER 23, 1911.




  Origin of the Turks—their advance from Central Asia to Europe      11

  Dominating qualities of the Turk                                   12

  Early political ideals                                             12

  Rise and fall of the Seljouk kingdom                               14

  Rise of the Ottoman power                                          14

  National characteristics                                           15



  Ibrahim’s origin, birth and childhood                              18

  He becomes the property of Prince Suleiman                         18

  His care for his parents and brothers                              19

  His rapid promotion                                                20

  His protests against such speedy honors                            20

  The personal servants of the Sultan                                21

  Ibrahim’s education and early training                             22

  Ibrahim a eunuch—some account of the institution and duties of
    black and white eunuchs                                          23

  This was no bar to advancement or marriage                         24

  Slavery in Turkey different from that in the Occident              25

  The advice of the Prophet and the laws of the Koran on the
    treatment of slaves                                              26

  Loyalty and obedience the two great virtues in the eyes of the
    Turks                                                            32

  Ibrahim a slave, which was of advantage in opening a career for
    him                                                              33

  Ibrahim’s love of magnificence                                     33

  Ibrahim becomes Grand Vizir—his power and greatness                34

  The history of the vizirate                                        35

  The marriage of Ibrahim Pasha                                      37

  Ibrahim’s relations to the Sultan                                  42



  Revolt of Ahmed Pasha                                              43

  Ibrahim goes to Egypt                                              44

  Revolt is quieted and order restored                               45

  Appointed head of the army                                         47

  The Cabyz affair                                                   49

  Ibrahim zealous in cause of commerce                               50

  Receives envoys in great state                                     51

  Characterization of Ibrahim as an administrator                    52



  Turkish foreign relations                                          54

  Ragusa—Venice—Russia                                               55

  The Holy Roman Empire                                              56

  France—the Popes                                                   57

  Embassies to the Porte                                             59

  The Hungarian campaign—siege of Vienna                             61

  Contest of Ferdinand and Zapolya                                   61

  Commercial treaty with France                                      64

  Second Hungarian campaign                                          65

  Treaty with Ferdinand                                              67

  War with Persia—conquest of the Mediterranean                      68

  The Protectorate of France in the Levant                           69

  Diplomatic relations between the Porte and Europe                  70

  Ibrahim’s preparation as diplomat                                  71

  Ibrahim’s reception of ambassadors                                 72

  Ibrahim’s importance and influence                                 82

  Object and accomplishments of Turkish diplomacy                    87

  First entrance of Turkey into European diplomacy                   87

  Ibrahim’s influence over Suleiman                                  88

  Characterization of Ibrahim as diplomat                            89



  Campaign against Belgrad                                           90

  Siege of Rhodes                                                    90

  Ceremonial of preparation for war                                  90

  Organization of the Turkish army                                   91

  Capture of Peterwardein                                            95

  Battle of Mohacz                                                   96

  Capture of Buda and end of campaign                                97

  Campaign of Vienna                                                100

  Suleiman’s first defeat                                           102

  Siege of Güns—practical defeat                                    103

  War with Persia                                                   105

  Advance to Bagdad and end of campaign                             106

  Characterization of Ibrahim as general                            107



  Death of Ibrahim                                                  108

  Charges against Ibrahim                                           110

  Said to favor the Christians                                      110

  Quarrel with Iskender Chelebi                                     112

  Suleiman evades his oath                                          113

  Uncertainty of life near the Ottoman throne                       114

  Was Ibrahim a traitor?                                            115

  Ibrahim’s importance in Turkish history                           118


The life of Ibrahim Pasha, as full of strange events as the most
highly‐colored romance, paradoxical, and to western students of society
almost incomprehensible in its rapid changes, is very difficult to
place soberly before Occidental readers; yet its very strangeness
is typical of the Orient, and if we could understand this romantic
life we might find we held a key to much in Turkish life and thought.
But our only chance of understanding it is to banish from our minds
western conceptions and accept as facts what seem like wild imaginings.
Ibrahim Pasha was not of the Turkish race, a fact which accounts for
some of the paradoxes of his career, but his life was passed in a
Turkish environment, one of whose notable characteristics is that it
has always at once included and modified so many alien elements. In
any consideration of the Turkish people, the most important thing to
hold in mind is that the Turks are neither Aryan nor Semitic, being
unrelated to Persians, Arabs, Greeks, or Hebrews. When ethnologists
dare not speak definitely of race distinctions, the layman cannot
venture to place the Turk in the “Touranian” or other group, but he
can accept the fact that the Turks came into Europe from Central Asia
and are in some way related to the Tatars and Mongols in the East, and
probably to the Magyars and Finns in the West. The Turks of Central
Asia during the period from the eighth to the eleventh centuries seem
to have possessed qualities which characterize Turks of the period we
are studying, and even mark the Turk of the present day.

Monsieur Léon Cahun, in his monograph on the Turks and the Mongols,[1]
has made a careful study of these early Turks, a portion of which I
will briefly summarize here.

The dominating quality of the Turks of Central Asia was their love of
war. According to a Persian verse: “They came and pillaged and burned
and killed and charged and vanished.” The one virtue required of them
was obedience, the only crime was treason. Activity to them meant war:
one word expressed the idea contained in our two words _to run_ and _to
kill with the sword_. The ideal death was in war; as their proverb ran,
“Man is born in the house but dies in the field.” In their earliest
cults the worship of steel and the sword are prominent.

Their second marked characteristic was their hierarchical spirit, and
their strong feeling for discipline. Insubordination and conspiracy
they always punished by death. Their ideal government is illustrated by
the inscription on a funeral stone recently found in Mongolia. It was
erected in 733 A. D. by a Turkish prince to his brother Kul Khan, the
substance being as follows: “I and my brother Kul Khan Tikine together
have agreed that the name and renown acquired by the Turkish people
through our father and uncle shall not be blotted out. For the sake of
the Turkish people I have not slept by night nor rested by day.... I
have given garments to the naked, I have enriched the poor, I have made
the few numerous, I have honored the virtuous.... By the aid of Heaven,
as I have gained much, the Turkish people also have gained much.”

Another bit of evidence as to their early political ideals is taken
from _The Art of Government_, a didactic poem describing Turkish
society in the eleventh century.[2] It says “Speak to the people with
kindness, but do not let them become familiar. Give them to eat and
drink;” and it urges the ruler to strive for the blessing of the poor
by such actions.

_The Art of Government_ brings out a third side of the medieval Turk,
his love of learning. The civil mandarins are placed in rank above
the beys.[3] “Honor always keeps company with knowledge.” “Mark well,
there are two kinds of noble persons; the one is the bey, the other the
scholar, in this world below ... the former with his glove or his fist
commands the people, the latter with his knowledge shows the path.”

Despite the development of the Turkish people from barbarous tribes
into a civilized state, the Ottoman Empire of the sixteenth century
was built on the lines indicated, and Sultan Suleiman showed similar
qualities and ideals to those possessed by Kul Khan and his brother.

Towards the end of the tenth century, a branch of the Turks, henceforth
known as the Turcomans, accepted Islam at the hands of the conquering
Arabs, and in course of time all of the Turkish peoples became Moslem.
Naturally through their religion the Arabs came to exert a strong
influence on the rude Turks, so strong that Turkish thought has
never since been wholly free from Arabic dominance. The Turks are an
exceedingly loyal people, accepting the religion imposed upon them with
whole‐heartedness. They are not by nature fanatical; on the contrary
they are temperamentally tolerant, fanaticism where it has existed
being an outgrowth of political conditions, or a foreign trait taken
over with Islam.[4] Rather oddly, and perhaps unfortunately, when
the Turks became literate they fell under Persian rather than Arabic
influence, and for centuries, indeed up to our own century, Turkish
literature has been little more than an imitation of the Persian, very
formal and rhetorical. Thus the two great forces engaged in moulding
the Turkish mind were Arabic theology and Persian poetry, the large
Arabic and Persian element in the Turkish language being a good
illustration of this.

In the twelfth century the Asiatic hordes pressing into Asia Minor came
into contact with the Greeks. But there was no intellectual reaction
between Greek and Turk.

The Seljouk kingdom rose and fell in Asia Minor; then the chieftain
Othman[5] stepped on its ruins and climbed to power. He and his
descendants gradually conquered the Greeks until Byzantium was theirs.
Ottoman conquests still continued, until a century, after the fall of
Constantinople Suleiman pushed his armies to the gates of Vienna and
marked the farthest point of the Turkish invasion of Europe. During
Suleiman’s reign Turkey not only dominated the Balkan Peninsula from
the Adriatic to the Black Sea and north to the Danube, but it also
greatly influenced the rest of Europe. There was not a court in Europe
that was not forced to reckon with Sultan Suleiman. So the career of
Ibrahim, his distinguished grand vizir, is not a mere romance; it is a
career which intimately affected the hopes and fears of Ferdinand of
Austria, Charles V of Spain, Francis I of France, and even Henry VIII
of England, as well as the Pope and the Venetian Signory.

At the height of their power the Turks were nevertheless still a simple
people. While western society has moved from complexity to greater
complexity, their society has preserved an unembarrassed simplicity.
They are loyal to state, religion, race, family, habit. Their religion
is rigidly monotheistic; their government (up to July 24, 1908) has
been the simplest possible monarchy, a personal despotism; they are
probably the most unaffectedly democratic people in the world; a man
is what his merit or his fortune has made him, with no regard to his
ancestry; they are unitarian in religion, government and society. In
morals the same simplicity prevails, with no torturing doubts and
few sophistries. Much that seems like a fairy tale to us is simple
unquestioning reality to them.

In this simplicity, this single‐mindedness, they are totally different
from the Arabs of the Khalifate, with whom they have been so much
associated in Western minds, but with whom they have no relationship
beyond that of a common religion. The Turks, I repeat, are a much
simpler as well as a more warlike people than any other Oriental nation.

The sources for the life of Ibrahim are classified naturally in three
groups: (1st) The Turkish histories and biographies, first and second
hand; (2nd) the accounts of European travelers and residents in
Constantinople, such as Mouradjia D’Ohsson, Busbequius, and the Venetian
baillies; and (3rd) the diplomatic correspondence and documents of
the time as found in such collections as Charrière’s _Négociations_,
Gévay’s _Urkunden und Actenstücke_, and Noradunghian’s and de Testa’s
_Recueils_. A student would also wish to consult the histories written
by foreigners, such as von Hammer, Zinkheisen and Jorga, whose sources
are found in the three classes of evidence cited above.

It is impossible to confine ourselves to the Turkish sources,
because of the notable omission of accounts of institutions, and
the total absence of description. Abdurrahman Sheref, the present
historiographer of Turkey, is the first Turkish writer of whom I
know, who devotes some chapters to general subjects such as “The
Provinces”, “Literature”, etc., in imitation of European histories. The
historians of Suleiman’s time were rather chroniclers, the Comines and
Froissarts of their day though with much less of petty and personal
detail. Therefore we must turn to Occidental observers for accounts
of the Turkish manner of life, their warfare and their government,
except where we can learn from Turkish law or poetry. But practically
all that the Ottomans have told us of themselves and of their rulers,
we may trust in a way we cannot trust Western evidence. Every one who
knows the East is aware how a report will pass through the bazaars
and into the interior of the country, or up the Nile for hundreds of
miles, with marvelous rapidity and more marvelous accuracy. Just as
the story‐teller repeats a tale as his remote ancestor first told it,
so do men hand down a tradition unembellished and unchanged. Turkish
tradition is an expression of the sincerity and simplemindedness of
the Turkish character. The Turks are neither sceptics, nor desirous of
deceiving, therefore they transmit an account as they have received it.

There are of course exceptions to this: Suleiman’s _Letters of Victory_
are overdrawn at times, and a legendary history of him has been
found,[6] written a century after his reign, in which the events of
his life are hard to discover amidst a mass of legend. But this last
case seems to have been a direct attempt to write an epic piece, and
is quite different from the clear, straight narrative of the ordinary
chronicler. The court chronicler’s embellishments consist mainly in
flowery phrases, such as “Sultan Suleiman Khan, whose glory reaches the
heavens, and who is the Sun of Valor and Heroism, and the Shadow of
God on Earth, may Allah keep his soul.” In other words, the style is
embellished but not the facts, the latter being related as uncritically
and directly as a child relates an event.

Sometimes the perspective seems to us very odd, since the emphasis
seems to be placed on the unimportant part of the narrative, but in
such cases we must seek in the Turkish mind for an explanation of why
that phase, unimportant to us, is to the Turkish writer and reader, of
importance. As an illustration of this, take the Turkish accounts of
Ibrahim’s Egyptian expedition. The _Sulimannameh_ and later histories
all give more space to the hardships of Ibrahim’s voyage to Egypt, and
to the honor paid him by the Sultan than to the organization of Egypt,
which occupied seven months. This seems, and doubtless is naïve, but we
can see from it what a great effort a sea expedition was to this inland
people, and also how above everything else in importance loomed the
favor of the monarch, by whom all subjects rose to power or fell into
disgrace. It further shows the stress laid on the lives of courtiers
and officials rather than on the ordering of a province, in which, of
course, it resembles all early histories.

For details in regard to the sources used for this study, the reader is
referred to the Bibliography.



Ibrahim was a Christian of base extraction, the son of a Greek sailor
of Parga.[7] He was born in 1494.[8] In his childhood he was captured
by Turkish corsairs.[9] It would seem that he was first sold to a
widow of Magnesia, who clothed him well and had him well educated, and
especially trained to perform upon a musical instrument resembling the
violin, which he learned to play beautifully.[10]

Whether it was on one of his expeditions to Asia Minor that Suleiman,
son of the reigning monarch Selim I, met Ibrahim and was won by
his charm and his musical ability, or whether Ibrahim was taken to
Constantinople and there sold to the prince, cannot be determined from
conflicting reports, but the fact that Ibrahim became Suleiman’s
property is incontestable.[11]

Ibrahim never forgot his origin or his family. In 1527 his father
came to Constantinople to visit him, and later he had his mother and
his two brothers at the Palace.[12] He was able to help his father
substantially, giving him a _sandjak_ or governorship.[13] Of course
Ibrahim adopted Islam, else there were no story to tell, for a
Christian could have had no career in Turkey in that day.

Baudier says that the boy Ibrahim was carried to Constantinople by
“them which exact the tribute of Christian Children.” This tribute
of Christian children had been levied since the reign of Orkhan
(1326–1361) and was the material of which the redoubtable army of
janissaries was formed. These children, separated from their own
countries and their families, and practically always converted to
Islam, were for the most part trained in military camps and forbidden
to marry. Therefore they had no interest except in war, and no loyalty
except to the sultan. Thus they developed into the finest military
machine the world had known, the most perfect instrument for a
conqueror’s use, but a dangerous force in time of peace.

Sometimes the tribute children were bred for civil careers and not
placed in the corps of the janissaries. Prince Cantimir of Moldavia[14]
states that Ibrahim was a simple janissary of the 9th company. I have
been unable to find a source for this statement, but Ibrahim’s later
career as general of the Imperial forces would seem to imply a military
training. Von Hammer,[15] however, ascribes Cantimir’s statement to an
error, and gives Ibrahim a civil training.

Ibrahim’s first office was page to the heir apparent Suleiman. When
the latter came to the throne in 1520, he made Ibrahim Head Falconer,
and then raised him in rapid succession to the respective posts of
Khass‐oda‐Bashi, or Master of the Household, of Beylerbey of Roumelie,
Vizir, Grand Vizir, and finally Serasker, or general‐in‐chief of the
Imperial forces—a dazzlingly rapid promotion. Baudier tells a story in
this connection which might easily be true, being quite in character,
although it can not be verified. The story runs thus: “Ibrahim’s rapid
rise began to alarm him. The inconstancy of fortune, as exampled by
the fate of many of the great men of the Ottoman court, created in him
an apprehension of the great peril which attached to those favorites
who enjoyed the high dignities of the court, and served as a bridle
to restrain his desires. He besought Suleiman not to advance him so
high that his fall would be his ruin. He showed him that a modest
prosperity was safer than the greatness wherewith he would honor him;
that his services would be rewarded sufficiently if he received enough
to enable him to pass his days in rest and comfort. Suleiman commended
his modesty, but meaning to advance him to the chief dignities of the
empire, he swore that Ibrahim should not be put to death as long as
he reigned, no matter what other changes might be made in the court.”
“But” moralizes Baudier, “the condition of kings, which is human and
subject to change, and that of favorites, who are proud and unthankful,
shall cause Suleiman to fail of his promise and Ibrahim to lose his
faith and loyalty as we shall see”.[16]

A knowledge of the duties of these offices held by Ibrahim is essential
to an understanding of the Turkish court at which his life was
spent.[17] The personal servants of the sultan were divided into six
classes or “chambers”; the Body guard, the Guard of the treasury, the
Guard of the office, the Guard of the campaign, the Black eunuchs and
the White eunuchs. The Body guard, or personal attendants, included the
Master of the stirrup, the Master of the keys, the Chief water‐pourer,
the Chief coffee‐server, etcetera, to the number of thirty‐nine. The
first of these chambers was well furnished with attendants, mutes,
dwarfs, musicians, and pages; some of these pages were attached to the
personal service of high officials, whose pipes, coffee, or perfumes
they tended; they might also be attached to the service of the sultan.
Ibrahim seems to have been a page in the service of the _shahzadeh_ or
heir, Suleiman.

The heir to the throne after his thirteenth or fourteenth year had his
own palace separate from his father’s harem, in which he had thus far
been brought up. As soon as he showed sufficient promise he was sent
to some province, that he might have experience in governing. Thus
Suleiman, during the reign of his father Selim, was made governor of
Magnesia in Asia Minor, north of Smyrna, where he probably met Ibrahim,
a youth of his own age. The court of the _shahzadeh_ had the same
officials, with the same titles, as the Imperial court.

It was then in Suleiman’s court in Magnesia that Ibrahim held his
position as page. The pages in the sultan’s palace at Constantinople
attended schools especially designed to train them, and Ibrahim,
when he became grand vizir, founded one of the best of these schools
in Stamboul. Probably there were no such schools in the provinces,
but either in the palace, or earlier in the household of the widow of
Magnesia, Ibrahim obtained an excellent education.

He could read Persian as well as Turkish, also Greek (his native
tongue) and Italian. He was a wide reader, delighting in geography and
history, especially the lives of Alexander the Great and Hannibal. Of
his musical training we have already spoken.[18] When their schooling
was completed, the pages were taken into the Serai,[19] passing through
two lower chambers before completing their education in the first
chamber. The pages usually lodged near the sultan’s apartments in
handsome dormitories having their own mosque and baths. But Ibrahim,
as the favorite of Suleiman, used to sleep in the apartments of his
lord and master, and generally took his meals with him.[20] Bragadino
says that when they were not together in the morning they wrote notes
to each other, which they sent by mutes. Pietro Zen records seeing
them together often in a little boat with but one oarsman, and says
they would land at Seraglio Point and wander through the gardens
together.[21] Zen declares that the Grand Signor loved Ibrahim greatly,
and that the two were inseparable from childhood up, continuing so
after Suleiman became sultan. This intimacy, so often noted by the
Venetian Baillies, is never commented on by the Turkish writers.
It scandalized the Ottomans, and seemed to them utterly unsuitable
that the Lord of the Age should show such favor to his slave. The
partiality of Suleiman for Ibrahim is important, for it is the
explanation of Ibrahim’s phenomenal rise.

From a page, Ibrahim became Head Falconer, a post which requires no
explanation. The last two chambers of the sultan’s personal attendants
were the black and white eunuchs. The black eunuchs, several hundred in
number, guarded the imperial harem, and were thence called aghas of the
harem. Their chief was called _Kizlar agha_, or _agha_ of the maidens,
and his office included some further duties beside those connected
with the “maidens.” There were also in the palace a number of white
eunuchs, whose chief was called _Capon agha_, or captain of the gate.
Next to him the chief officer was the Khass‐oda‐bashi. The Turkish
historians[22] call Ibrahim, at the time of his being called to the
vizirate, “khass‐oda‐bashi.” Cantimir calls him “Captain of the Inner
Palace” which is a very good translation of the Turkish term. This
official, as we have seen, was second in rank among the white eunuchs.
To him was confided one of the three imperial seals set in rings,
used for the precious objects which were kept in the apartment of the

He also garbed in _caftans_[24] in the Imperial presence those whom
the sultan would thus honor. Another curious duty was the following:
whenever the sultan had his head shaved, and the personal attendants
stood in order before him; their hands crossed respectfully over
their girdles, the khass‐oda‐bashi placed himself several steps from
the sofa, on which the sultan sat, his right hand resting on a baton
chased with gold and silver. The white eunuchs lodged behind the third
gate of the palace, the Bab‐el‐saadet, or Gate of Felicity. D’Ohsson
states:[25] “The seraglio is their prison and their tomb; they are
never permitted to absent themselves. The white eunuchs have no other
prospect than the post of Commandant of the school of pages at Galata.”

It would seem that Ibrahim must have been a eunuch. Daniele Barbarigo
states it flatly[26] and the office of khass‐oda‐bashi, according to
D’Ohsson, was held only by eunuchs. Furthermore Solakzadeh speaks of
Ibrahim’s being called from the Imperial harem to the grand vizirate,
and all the officials of the harem were necessarily eunuchs. But to
Ibrahim the seraglio was neither a prison nor a tomb. He went freely
about the city, and his rise was not at all impeded by what generally
proved a fatal limitation. Other eunuchs have also overcome their
limitations, for D’Ohsson mentions four eunuchs, kizlar aghas, who
became grand vizirs. Another very distinguished eunuch, Ghazanber
Agha, a Hungarian prisoner‐of‐war, in childhood was educated as a page
in the serai, became a Mahommedan and, because Selim II, the son and
successor of Suleiman the Magnificent, wanted him about his person, he
voluntarily submitted to castration, in order to enter the corps of
white eunuchs. His office was capou agha (captain of the gate) which he
held for thirty years, and raised to a very great importance.

That Ibrahim married need not astonish us, for marriages arranged with
eunuchs by fathers of many daughters were not uncommon. Sometimes a
sultana was married to a eunuch for his fortune, in which case he
generally died soon after his marriage; sometimes no other suitable
husband being found for her, she was given to a eunuch of high rank.
In stories we occasionally read of a father who marries his daughter
to a eunuch as a punishment. Ibrahim probably married a sultana, which
curiously enough would be a more natural marriage than with a woman of
lower rank, for it has never been deemed advisable that the daughters
of sultans should have male children, and if such were born, they were
condemned to immediate death by the omission to knot the umbilical
cord. This measure became a law in the reign of Ahmed I,[27] with the
idea of saving the country from the civil war of rival princes of
the blood, but was probably a custom long before it was legalized.
Therefore Suleiman may have thought that the marriage of his relative
to a man of Ibrahim’s position, fortune, and charm, was a happy fate
for a princess who might not hope to be a mother.

We have seen that the fact that Ibrahim was a Greek, and a Christian
by birth, was no barrier to his rise, so long as he adopted Islam.
Many of the great officials of Turkey were of Christian extraction; as
for instance, the two men who succeeded Ibrahim Pasha as Grand Vizirs,
Rustem Pasha and Mehmet Sokolli, considered the greatest of Turkish
vizirs and both Croats by birth. Furthermore his humble family was no
obstacle, for in Turkey it has always been possible for a bootblack or
a grocer to rise to the highest position, if good fortune or marked
ability led him thither.

Ibrahim suffered from still another disability, as we in the Occident
would consider it: he was a slave. How did that affect his advancement?
To understand the position of a slave in Turkey in the fifteenth
century we must recognize at the outset the fact that Turkish slavery
was quite different from that of the Occident, and so approach the
subject free from our natural prejudice.

The only slavery sanctioned by Islam is that imposed on infidels as a
result of supposed inferiority of race and religion,[28] and has never
in fact included the _rayahs_ (Christian subjects) but only prisoners
of war. The _rayah_ might not be enslaved but neither might he hold
slaves, except in very rare instances before 1759, and not at all after
that date.[29]

There were two kinds of legal slaves, those made by capture in war, and
those by birth. Slaves by purchase, taken from Africa and the Caucasus,
were not recognized by law, but nevertheless such slavery existed.[30]
Brigands also seized foreigners from time to time and sold them as
slaves. Prisoners of war lost their civil liberty according to Islamic
law. The Prophet repeatedly enjoins their destruction.[31] According
to the Turkish code, the sovereign might perpetuate their captivity,
or free them to pay tribute, or cause them to be slaughtered, if more
expedient. The exceptions to this law were the cases of any orthodox
Moslems who might fall into Turkish power, and the case of the Tatars
of the Crimea, who were Shiites, or heretic Moslems, and who were

Prisoners of war formed two classes of slaves, prisoners of the
state, and private slaves. To the first class belonged all soldiers
and officers, and a fifth of the rest of the slaves, or their value.
Of these some were exchanged or resold after the peace, others were
employed in the Serai or given away. Some were handed over to public
works, especially to the admiralty, where they were confounded with
criminals and condemned to hard labor. To the second class belonged
all the prisoners not given to the sultan, including those captured by
the soldiers. These were generally sold. Merchants would purchase them
in the camps, and sell them all over the Empire. These slaves taken
in war were far the greater number of slaves in the Empire; many were
enfranchised before they had children, and children of one free and one
slave parent were themselves born free. The adoption of Islam after
captivity did not free the slave.

The power of the master was absolute over the person, children and
property of his slaves. He might sell, give, or bequeath them, but he
might not kill them without some reason. As a corollary of this power,
the master had full responsibility for his slave; he must support him,
pay his debts, stand behind him in any civil affair, and give consent
to his holding of property. A slave might not act as a witness nor as a
guardian. He was entirely dependent on his master.

Thus far the theory is not unlike that of the West, but there were two
facts which changed the entire situation. The first was the brevity
of time of enslavement in most cases; the second was the absence of
odium attached to the position of a slave. In regard to the first fact,
it was not considered humane to keep persons long in slavery, and it
was a general rule to enfranchise them either before their marriage
or on their coming of age, or when they had served sufficiently long.
Enfranchisement is a voluntary and private act by which the patron
frees his slave from the bonds of servitude and puts him into the free
class.[33] It is also considered by the Turk to be a noble action,
one especially befitting a dying man, who often frees his slaves in
his testament. The enfranchisement of slaves was regarded by the
Moslem as the highest act of virtue.[34] A less disinterested form
of enfranchisement has a pecuniary inducement, the slave buying his
freedom from his master.[35]

Thus the slave never thought of himself as by nature servile, nor
always to be a slave, but could look forward to his freedom in a few
years more or less. This fact induced self‐respect and hope. The
slave’s dress did not in any way distinguish him from the free man; he
was in no way branded.

Sir Henry Bulwer said of white slavery in Turkey in 1850, “It greatly
resembles adoption, and the children often become the first dignitaries
of the Empire.”[36] This statement is confirmed by Fatma Alieh Hannum,
a living Turkish lady, who gives a most attractive picture of the home
care and affection given to slaves,[37] and my own observation of
slavery in Constantinople would bear her out. The condition described
by Bulwer would seem also to have obtained in the sixteenth century.
George Young in his _Corps de Droit Ottoman_[38] speaks of two systems
of slavery in Turkey, the Turkish system and the Circassian system,
which have been fused in our day, but of which only the former existed
in Ibrahim’s day, and in contrasting them he says: “The Turkish system
by its moderation scarcely went beyond the limits of apprenticeship,
and could be classed with the voluntary servitude that for a determined
time was permitted in some of the European colonies. While the
Circassian system fixed the slave forever in the servile class, the
Turkish system has always permitted and in some cases prescribed his
enfranchisement. Furthermore the social situation of a slave under the
Old Regime of the Empire favored his advancement even to the highest
office.... The Turkish system made a career of slavery.... Many slaves
by birth have played leading roles in the history of the Empire.”
The last statement admits of no argument, but the question how far
the Turkish system made a career of slavery, and how far slavery was
beneficent, demands further consideration.

Let us return to the classes of slaves spoken of above. Some, we saw,
were put into public works; these could have found no career in their
forced labor, although they might have bought or otherwise earned
their freedom, and then have made a career for themselves. Some were
owned by private individuals where they were given no opportunity to
rise, although life in a private house, as in the case of the widow of
Magnesia, might prepare a slave for a career. But the only slaves who
would naturally have an opportunity for a career were those who served
in the royal palace or in the house of some important officer. To them
slavery truly opened a career. We cannot perhaps agree with Mr. Young
that the Turkish system “made a career of slavery”, but it certainly
was no barrier to a career, and it even opened up such opportunities
as could not come otherwise to a Christian youth, nor indeed to most
Moslem youths.

The mild and even beneficent quality of Oriental slavery has been
maintained by many writers. Busbequius, writing from Constantinople in
Suleiman’s reign, commends Turkish slavery on economic grounds, and
then, moved by the contemplation of this fatherly system, bursts into a
defence of slavery in general.[39]

Robert Roberts in his monograph says that the condition of slaves in
modern Moslem lands is “not so bad”, and that the slavery he himself
saw in Morocco “is only formally to be distinguished from Christian
service”.[40] The Baron de Tott speaks of seeing Moslem slaves in 1785
“well fed, well clothed, and well treated,” and adds, “I am inclined
to doubt if those even who are homesick have in general much reason
to be satisfied with their ransom. It is possible in truth that the
slaves sold into the interior parts of the country, or to individuals
who purchase them on speculation, are not as happy as those who fall to
the lot of the sovereign or the grandee. We may presume, however, that
even the avarice of the master militates in their favor, for it must be
confessed that the Europeans are the only people who ill‐treat their
slaves, which arises no doubt from this cause,—that they constitute the
wealth of the Orientals, and that with us they are means of amassing
wealth. In the East they are the delight of the miser; with us they
are only the instrument of avarice.”[41] In interesting support of de
Tott’s idea that Oriental slaves might not care to be ransomed is the
fact that after the treaty of Carlowitz, when the Porte engaged to set
European prisoners at liberty for a ransom, and did attempt to do so,
there were a large number of captives who rejected their liberty and
their fatherland.[42]

Perhaps the chief explanation of the lack of distinction between
freeman and slave lay in the fact that the Turks had very little
conception of freedom, and the man legally free was practically almost
as bound as the slave. As we have seen in the introduction to this
study, loyalty and obedience were the two great virtues in the eyes of
the Turks, so that in the idea of service there was no degradation. All
who served the Crown were called _Kol_, or slaves of the Sultan, even
the grand vizir receiving this title, which was much more honorable
than that of _subject_, the kol being able to insult the subject with
impunity, while the latter could not injure a royal slave in the
slightest degree without subjecting himself to punishment.[43] Turkey
was a land of slaves with but one master, the sultan, even the brothers
and sons of the monarch being kept in durance for the greater part of
their lives. In the case of women, no practical distinction that we
should recognize existed between slave and free. The mother of the
sultan was always a slave, one of the sultan’s titles being “Son of a
Slave”. Most of the pashas were born of slave mothers, as the Turks had
more children by their slaves than by their wives.[44] Such conditions
rendered obviously impossible the sharp line which is drawn in the
West between the freeman and the despised slave, and placed the slave
potentially with the highest of the land. Slavery was certainly the
Greek Ibrahim’s opportunity. Slavery brought him into the court, placed
him before the sultan, educated him, gave him ambition, and finally
gratified it. When Ibrahim was freed, no one thinks it worth while
to record; certainly before his marriage, perhaps much before. But
evidently the moment when Suleiman said to him: “Thou art enfranchised,
thou art free”[45] was a moment not worth recording, so natural and
inevitable was his enfranchisement the moment that slavery ceased to be
the ladder of his advancement.

It is evident, then, that Ibrahim’s lowly birth, his Christian origin,
his experience as a slave, and his being a eunuch were none of them
barriers to a great career. What was there, on the other hand, to give
him such a career? His extraordinary ambition, his marked ability, and
above all his immense good‐fortune in falling into the hands of the
sultan and winning his affection, so that Suleiman was dominated by his
love for Ibrahim, and unable to resist any of his caprices;[46] these
were the prime factors in his extraordinary rise.

While still master of the household (khass‐oda‐bashi) he was often
spoken of as “Ibrahim the Magnificent” by the Venetian baillies.
Barbarigo relates that the serai was never so splendid as in the days
when the magnificent Ibrahim was oda‐bashi of the Grand Seigneur, and
also when he was grand chamberlain. As the title of “the Magnificent”
is that which Europe has accorded to Sultan Suleiman, a love of pomp
and display must have been one of the interests that he and his
ennobled slave had in common. But such showy qualities are hardly
suitable to a mere master of the household. Ibrahim had to be raised to
the rank of pasha.

A pasha was a sort of military governor, although the title might be
given as a mere title of nobility, and in any case was indefinite,
being determined by the particular office the pasha held. The pashas
were generally very proud and stately persons, with grave, leisurely
manners, and were always surrounded by a large number of pages and
other richly‐garbed domestics when they went abroad mounted on superb
steeds, banners and horse‐tails waving before them, and the people
paying homage. But their power was often very small, and their
income frequently quite inadequate to the state they were obliged to

The famous horse‐tail banner which distinguished a high official
originated in the following way: the banner of one of the old Turkish
princes having been lost in battle and with it the courage of his
soldiers, he severed with one blow a horse’s tail from its body and
fastening it to his lance cried, “Behold my banner! who loves me will
follow me!” The Turks rallied and saved the day.[48] The banner was
called the _Tugh_. Each sandjak bey was entitled to one horse‐tail,
being, as Europeans say “a pasha of one tail”; a beylerbey (literally
prince of princes or colonel of colonels) was entitled to two or three
tails; the grand vizir sported five horse‐tails, and before the Sultan
seven of these banners were carried.

In 1522 Ibrahim became Ibrahim Pasha, Grand Vizir, and Beylerbey of
Roumelie. Turkey has always been divided into Turkey in Europe, or
Roumelie or Roum,[49] and Turkey in Asia, or Anatolia. These two
divisions of the empire during Suleiman’s reign were each ruled by a
governor, or beylerbey, who had general charge of the sandjakbeys over
each sandjak[50] or province. The beylerbeys of Roumelie generally
resided at Monastir or Sofia, but here again Ibrahim seems to have been
an exception to the general rule and to have resided at Constantinople.

The office of vizir was a venerable one, its institution being
ascribed by some to the Prophet, who appointed as first vizir Ali, his
son‐in‐law and successor, and by others to the first Abasside, who
bestowed the title on his first minister. The duties of vizir in the
sixteenth century have been defined as follows:[51] “The vizir commands
all the armies, is the only one except the Grand Seigneur who has the
power of life and death throughout the whole extent of the Empire over
criminals, and can nominate, degrade, and execute all ministers and
agents of the sovereign authority. He promulgates all the new laws, and
causes them to be put in effect. He is the supreme head of the justice
that he administers, although with the aid and according to the opinion
of the Ulema, the legal body. In short, he represents his master to the
full extent of his dignity and temporal power, not only in the Empire,
but also with the Foreign States. But to the same degree that this
power is splendid and extensive, it is dangerous and precarious.”

Mourad I (1359–1389) was the first sultan of Turkey to name a vizir.
Mohammed the Conqueror thought the office concentrated too much power
in one person, and planned to abolish it, but instead left it vacant
for eight months.[52] Selim I, as strong a monarch as the Conqueror,
left vacant for nine months this office which almost rendered a sultan
unnecessary. But his son Suleiman soon after his accession put his
favorite Ibrahim into the highest office in a sultan’s gift, and kept
him there thirteen years. Probably with the idea of dividing the
immense power of this office, he increased the number of vizirs to
three and later to four. Of these one was known as the grand vizir
(Vizir Azam) and to him alone applies the description given above.
Ibrahim Pasha was at first the third vizir, the other two being Piri
Mustafa Pasha and Ahmed Pasha. There was always great jealousy among
the vizirs. Ahmed Pasha, anxious to rise to the first rank, accused
Piri Pasha of sedition and procured the latter’s downfall; but to his
inexpressible chagrin was himself passed over in favor of Ibrahim, who
was “told the good news of his appointment as grand vizir and brought
gladness and brilliance into the divan.”[53] Ahmed’s feeling was so
great and the consequent dissensions in the divan were so considerable,
that Suleiman sent Ahmed to Egypt as governor, leaving the field clear
for Ibrahim, who in his palace received at the hands of a noble of the
sultan’s service the imperial ring as a symbol of his new power.

The grand vizir lived in a palace modeled after the Sultan’s, having
under him the same class of officials and servants even to ministers of
state, and his household was conducted with great ceremony. Ibrahim’s
salary was increased over that of the preceding grand vizir from 16,000
to 25,000 piastres[54] but he obtained much more from the disposal of
public offices, and he also received enormous presents from those under
him, although this was balanced by the large gifts he had to make to
others. The property of a grand vizir was always confiscated at his
death, which was doubtless one reason why a sultan could afford to
lavish so much on a favorite minister, knowing that eventually it would
all return to the imperial coffers. Dress and style were very carefully
regulated in Turkey in the XVI century. The turban of the grand vizir,
his barge with twelve pairs of oars and a green awning, the five
horse‐tails that might be carried before him, all distinguished him
from lower officials. He had eight guards of honor, and twelve led
horses. When he appeared in public his hussars would cry aloud, “Peace
unto you and divine clemence”, while the other soldiers responded
in chorus, “May your fortunes be propitious; may Allah be your aid;
may the Almighty protect the days of our sovereign and the pasha,
our master; may they live long and happily.”[55] All of the public
officials except the sheik‐ul‐Islam received their offices from the
grand vizir, and were garbed in his presence with a caftan, or robe of
state. The grand vizir and the sheik‐ul‐Islam were the only officials
invested by the sultan himself and appointed for life.

The divan was the imperial council, consisting of the vizirs, the
defterdar, or secretary of finance, the nishanji who made out royal
firmans and berats, and the sheik‐ul‐Islam or head of Islam. It was a
council for discussion and wholly without power.

On the 22d day of May, 1524, the Sultan celebrated with great pomp the
marriage of Ibrahim Pasha. Who the bride was we cannot be certain, but
this is in accord with Turkish etiquette which strictly forbids all
mention of the harem,[56] and considers any public knowledge of woman
as an insult to her, thus depriving historians of desirable information
concerning such important political figures as Roxelana, who greatly
influenced Suleiman the Magnificent, Baffa the Venetian sultana, and
others. Von Hammer says that Ibrahim married a sister of Suleiman, but
I can find no proof of it.[57] A wedding in Turkey always includes
two distinct feasts, the one for the bride and her women friends, the
other for the groom and his men friends. Now‐a‐days the woman’s part
is ordinarily more important, but in Ibrahim’s time a wedding or a
circumcision was the occasion of a great public feast for the men.
Ibrahim Pasha, as we have seen, was always spoken of by the Venetians
as “Il Magnifico Ibrahim.” Perhaps since so much stress has been laid
by historians on the splendor of the court and the grand vizir, a
description of this great public marriage will not be out of order.[58]

The feast or series of feasts was held in the Hippodrome, a great
piazza being erected near Agia Sophia from which the sultan might view
all the proceedings. Here was set up the Blessed Throne of Felicity,
adorned with precious gold embroidery and rich velvets, while in the
Hippodrome below, artistic, vari‐colored tents were set up, and carpets
of gold thread were spread over the ground. Terraces and canopies and
pavilions for the nobles were raised above the ground, but below the
sultan’s terrace. Hangings of velvet and satin covered the grey walls
of the buildings surrounding the Hippodrome.[59] The second vizir, Ayas
Pasha, and the agha of the janissaries went to the palace to invite
the sultan to honor the feast by his presence. Suleiman received them
graciously, delivered a pompous eulogy upon Ibrahim, and made them rich

To the first banquet “all the world” was invited;[60] the seven that
followed were given to various branches of the army, there being very
splendid feasts to the janissaries, vizirs, beylerbeys and sandjakbeys.
To the first feast came Ayas Pasha and the agha of the janissaries,
escorted by a troop of slaves. When they reached Bab‐el‐Saadet, that
gate of the city leading from the Seraglio grounds to the space before
the Agia Sophia, they met the glorious sultan “whose throne is in the
heavens.” His escort bore scarlet banners and carried robes of honor
with which they garbed those who had come to meet them, and they led
also richly caparisoned steeds to present to Ayas Pasha and his two
followers, for which, says Solakzadeh, “there was limitless thanks.”

On the ninth day, the eve of that on which the bride would be brought
from the palace, Ayas Pasha and the other vizirs, and the defterdar,
and the agha of the janissaries sought the bridegroom and led him
through the streets of Stamboul in gorgeous procession. From the
Bab‐i‐Humayoun (The Sublime Porte) to the Hippodrome the streets “were
full of pleasure from end to end,” all hung with silks of Broussa and
velvets of Damascus, through which passed the ranks of the janissaries
and the vizir who thus honored Ibrahim Pasha.

Ibrahim was a lean, dark man, slight in stature and bearing himself
gracefully in his cloth‐of‐gold robes.[61] He was escorted by brilliant
officers on prancing steeds. There is no finer setting for a procession
than the grey streets of Stamboul under the vivid Southern sky. When
the procession approached the sultan’s throne, the dignitaries of the
state and the nobles of the Empire, approaching on foot over the richly
carpeted street, fell on their faces before his Majesty.

“This day they enjoyed riches and booty and sumptuousness without
end”. “Especially were the people charmed with the sounds of rejoicing
flutes and trumpets, whose music rose from earth to the first heaven”.
The wise ulema and sheiks were present on this occasion, the sultan
seating on his right the venerated Mufti Ali Djemali and on his left
the great hodja (teacher) of the princes, while other learned doctors
were arranged confronting the Imperial Majesty. The sultan presided
over a learned discussion of the verse from the Koran, “O David, I
will make thee Caliph in the world”, a sufficiently courtly text. The
meaning was discussed and questions were propounded and answered. After
this literary episode, knights‐at‐arms, wrestlers and other athletes
displayed their skill. Then a rich feast was served and Mehmet Chelebi
had the honor of presenting to the sultan sherbet in a priceless cup
cut from a single turquoise, a souvenir of Persian victories, and the
pride of the nation. Others drank their sherbet from goblets of china,
then a rare and valuable ware. Food was served to the sultan and the
ulema on silver trays,[62] and each of the guests took away with him a
tray of sweetmeats. From evening to morning fireworks and illuminations
lit up the city, and were reflected in the Bosphorus and Marmora. On
his return to the palace Suleiman was informed of the birth of a son,
who afterwards became Selim II.

The wedding was followed by several days of dancing, races, contests
of wrestlers and archers, as well as poetic contests in honor of the
newly‐wedded couple. Such was a public festival in the city of the
sultan in the days of the magnificent Suleiman. It reminds us of the
Field of the Cloth of Gold, whose splendor delighted the French and
the English in this same quarter century, the most striking difference
being the literary side which the Turkish festival possessed and the
European lacked.

Solakzadeh tells an interesting anecdote in connection with another
great feast, that of the circumcision of Suleiman’s three sons.[63]
This was also a very splendid function and Suleiman is said to have
asked Ibrahim in pride, whose feast had been the finer, Ibrahim’s or
that of his sons. Ibrahim replied: “There has never been a feast equal
to my wedding.” Suleiman, somewhat disconcerted, enquired how that was,
to which Ibrahim gave the following courtly answer: “O my Padisha, my
wedding was honored by the presence of Suleiman, Lord of the Age, firm
Rampart of Islam, Possessor of Mecca and Medina, Lord of Damascus and
Egypt, Caliph of the Lofty Threshold, and Lord of the Residence of the
Pleiades: but to your festival, who was there of equally exalted rank
who might come?” The padisha, greatly delighted, said, “A thousand
bravas to thee, Ibrahim, who hast explained it so satisfactorily.”

Of Ibrahim’s relations to the sultan a good deal has been said. He
was brought up in close contact with his master, eating and sleeping
with him. They often changed garments and Ibrahim told an Austrian
ambassador that the sultan never ordered garments for himself without
ordering the same for his favorite. The Venetians spoke of seeing the
two friends taking pleasure rides together in a cäique, and visiting
what shores they pleased.

Ibrahim was said to exert such an influence on the sultan that the
latter could deny him nothing, and from the time that he became grand
vizir, he almost took over the sovereignty of the land: as von Hammer
says, “from this time he divided the absolute power with Suleiman”. In
becoming grand vizir and presiding over the divan, Ibrahim occupied the
highest position open to any except a member of the imperial Ottoman
family. Here the romantic story of his rise merges into the account of
his public career, and this in its turn is a part of Turkish and South
European history.



After 1522 Ibrahim Pasha combined in his person the highest
administrative, diplomatic and military functions. Although these
naturally interact, it is our plan to consider them separately, first
taking up Ibrahim’s administrative work.

We have seen that Ahmed Pasha, second vizir, was sent to Egypt when
Ibrahim climbed over him to the grand vizerate. Ahmed’s indignation
at the treatment accorded him by Suleiman led him into treachery; he
attempted to usurp the sovereignty of Egypt. Intrigues failing of
success he openly threw off his allegiance to the sultan, and attacked
Cairo, capturing the fortress. This threw Alexandria and the coast into
his power, and he proclaimed himself sultan.[64]

This revolt of Ahmed Pasha has all the features of the typical
revolt against Turkish authority: the sudden disgrace of an official
high in power, his banishment under the name of change of office, a
tampering with the loyalty of the troops of the province (in this
case the Mamelukes), a conflict with the loyal janissaries, sudden
success, betrayal, a rapid fall and a sudden punishment, ending in the
triumph of absolutism. The same story with change of names is told a
hundred times in Turkish chronicles. The only way in which Suleiman
differed from most of the sultans under such circumstances was that he
recognized the need of a reorganization of the revolted province and
sent the grand vizir to effect it.

Four months after his marriage Ibrahim Pasha was sent to Egypt with
a fleet and an army to settle the new governor in Cairo and to
reëstablish the former legislation of the country.[65] The Turkish
historians[66] give much space to the splendid state in which Ibrahim
left the Porte and the unparalleled honor paid him by the company
of Sultan Suleiman as far as the Princes Isles, and also to the
difficulties of the voyage, interrupted several times by storms. The
last part of the journey was made overland, Ibrahim visiting Aleppo and
Damascus, where he put the terror of the sultan into the beylerbeys,
who had been forgetting all but their own interests. Throughout the
journey, the grand vizir received complaints and rendered justice,
earning the blessings of the people whom he visited.[67]

The arrival of the imperial mission in Cairo was marked by great
ceremony, the Mamelukes showing themselves as splendid in all their
appointments as were the Ottomans. “All the people of Egypt came to
meet Ibrahim Pasha,” declares Solakzadeh, “each one according to his
rank being garbed in a robe of honor, and from the forts guns sounded,
and fêtes and rejoicings were held.”

Ibrahim Pasha spent three months in Egypt, actively engaged in
improving the condition of that province, which he found “ailing,
but amenable to the skill and zeal of a clever doctor.”[68] The
first move was to punish those who had assisted Ahmed Pasha in his
treachery, several Arab chiefs being publicly hanged, so that the
Arab people “began to weep for fear.”[69] Ibrahim next relieved
many individuals who suffered under injustice, receiving in person
crowds of petitioners, and relieving as many as possible. Among these
acts of mercy were the release of 300 debtors from prison and the
satisfaction of their creditors.[70] He improved the appearance of
Cairo by restoring several buildings that had fallen into disrepair,
particularly mosques and schools, and also built some new ones at
his own expense. To erect such buildings has always been considered
an act of piety, so that sultans, vizirs, and even the favorites of
sultans have acquired merit in this fashion, as the numerous mosques
and religious foundations of Turkey testify. Ibrahim was thus following
the usual custom. He further drew up some rules for education, and for
the care of orphans.[71] But the two main accomplishments of Ibrahim’s
sojourn in Egypt were the reëstablishment of the law and the placing of
the treasury on a better basis. Ahmed Pasha, and probably several of
his predecessors, had ignored and weakened the law of the land, which
Ibrahim undertook to restore. He enforced the local laws and also some
of the general Koranic laws which had been neglected; but he seems to
have moderated and lightened them to suit the needs and desires of
the people, “for” says Solakzadeh, uttering a sentiment so un‐Turkish
that one is inclined to attribute it to the Greek vizir rather than
to the Ottoman chronicler, “the best things are the golden mean.” He
further states that the ideal striven for was uniform rule for all the
inhabitants of Egypt.[72]

The province was a rich one even before the days of great dams, and one
of the most important of the grand vizir’s duties was to see that the
taxes were properly gathered and placed in the treasury at Cairo, and
that a suitable tribute was sent annually to the Porte. Ibrahim built
two great towers to contain the treasure. With Ibrahim Pasha on this
expedition was the Imperial defterdar or treasurer, Iskender Chelebi,
who calculated that Egypt could pay annually 80,000 ducats to the
Porte, after deducting the cost of administration.[73] Ibrahim’s final
act in Egypt was to appoint Suleiman Pasha, the Beylerbey of Damascus
to the office of governor of Egypt. He seems to have chosen this man
for his economical disposition, for Solakzadeh says “he watched, and
shut his eyes to those who desired to spend money, and then appointed
Suleiman Pasha.”

Called back to the Porte by a _Hatt‐i‐humayoún_, he left Egypt with
her revolt quieted, her mutineers punished, her oppressed temporarily
relieved, her city improved, her law reëstablished, and her finances
arranged quite satisfactorily to the Porte, if not to herself. Ibrahim
showed himself clear, forceful, just and merciful, if not a great
constructive statesman. He took back to Stamboul a large sum in gold
for the Imperial treasury, and was received by Suleiman with great

The recall of Ibrahim Pasha was induced by an insurrection of the
janissaries who were tired of inactivity, and showed their restlessness
by pillaging the houses of the absent grand vizir and defterdar, and
several rich institutions. Suleiman promptly executed several of the
most audacious leaders, then sent for Ibrahim Pasha to come and deal
with the situation. Clothing himself in mourning garments, Ibrahim
hastened back to the capital. On the way he executed a number of
Persian prisoners in Gallipoli, for the Sultan had determined to quiet
the janissaries by the only effective means, namely to offer them a
chance for fighting and loot by making war against the most convenient
enemy, which in this case was Persia.

Of the war we speak elsewhere. Suffice it to say that from this
time on, Ibrahim was so occupied in war and diplomacy that his
administrative functions must have been delegated largely to lower
officials. His power, notwithstanding, was very great, as will be seen
from the _berat_ of investiture bestowed on him by the Sultan before
the campaign of Vienna, which is substantially as follows:

“I command Ibrahim Pasha to be from today and forever my grand vizir
and the serasker (chief of the army) named by my Majesty in all my
estates. My vizirs, beylerbeys, judges of the army, legists, judges,
seids, sheiks, my dignitaries of the court and pillars of the empire,
sandjakbeys, generals of cavalry or infantry, ... all my victorious
army, all my slaves, high or low, my functionaries and employees, the
people of my kingdom, my provinces, the citizens and the peasants, the
rich and the poor, in short all shall recognize the above‐mentioned
grand vizir as serasker, and shall esteem and venerate him in this
capacity, regarding all that he says or believes as an order proceeding
from my mouth which rains pearls. Everyone shall listen to his word
with all possible attention, shall receive each of his recommendations
with respect, and shall not neglect any of them. The right of
nomination and degradation for the posts of beylerbeys and all other
dignitaries and functionaries, from highest to lowest, either at my
Blessed Porte or in the provinces, is confined to his sane judgment,
his penetrating intellect. Thus he must fulfil the duties which the
offices of grand vizir and serasker impose on him, assigning to each
man his suitable rank. When my sublime person enters on a campaign, or
when circumstances demand the sending of an army, the serasker remains
sole master and judge of his actions, no one dare refuse him obedience,
and the dispositions which he judges best to make relative to the
collections in the sandjaks, the fiefs and the employments, to the
increase of wages or salaries, to the distribution of presents, except
such as are made to the army in general, are in advance sanctioned and
approved by my Majesty. If against my sublime order and the fundamental
law a member of my army (which Allah forbid!) rebel against the order
of my grand vizir and serasker; if one of my slaves oppress the
people, let my Sublime Porte be immediately informed, and the guilty,
whatever be their number, shall receive the punishment which they shall

This amazing gift of power brings out some characteristics of the
Ottoman state. There is no state, as such, apart from the army. All
the civil offices have military names, and generally include military
duties. It has often been said that the Turkish empire is an army
encamped in Europe, an epigram that conveys much truth. The church,
the state, and the army are one and the sultan is the head of the
trinity.[76] To Ibrahim were delegated full powers as general and
administrator, but he had no sacerdotal power except such as was
involved in the general power of appointment and supervision. It
follows that he did not appoint the sheik‐ul‐Islam, and had no special
dealings with ulema.[77] But curiously enough one of the few events
of his administration of which we have an account is connected with
religious interests. It is the Cabyz affair.

Cabyz was a member of the body of ulema, or interpreters of the sacred
law, who became convinced of the superiority of Jesus to Mohammad,
hence was a traitor both to Allah and to the sultan. “He fell in to
the valley of error and took the route of destruction and danger,
deviating from the glorious path of truth.”[78] Haled before the judges
of the army, Cabyz was summarily condemned to death, with no attempt
to convince him of his error. The grand vizir reproved them for this
unsuitable treatment of a heretic, saying that the only arms against
heresy should be law and doctrine. The affair being therefore laid
before the divan, the sultan who was present behind his little window
was dissatisfied with the clemency of Ibrahim, perhaps because the
latter was Christian born, although now a zealous Moslem.

“How is this” he demanded, “an irreligious infidel dares to ascribe
deficiency to the Blessed Prophet, and he goes without being convinced
of his error or punished?” Ibrahim claimed that the judges lacked
the knowledge of the sacred law necessary to deal with the case. So
the judge of Stamboul and the Mufti were called in and after a long
discussion Cabyz’ “tongue was stopped and he lowered his head.” Cabyz
was condemned by the sacred law and executed.

This case in which a heretic was first brought before the judges of
the army and then before the council of state before he was finally
condemned by the religious law, shows the awkward working of a state
whose functions were so slightly differentiated. Perhaps the easiest
way to think of the grand vizir is as the _alter ego_ of the sultan, as
he has been called.[79]

For details of Ibrahim’s official work we have a bit here and a bit
there, but no general account. He seems to have been zealous in the
cause of commerce, out of which he made a considerable profit. He
established a monopoly of Syrian commerce afterwards taken over by the
sultan,[80] and caused all the trade of that country to pass through
Constantinople.[81] He encouraged trade with Venice, freeing that
country from payment of duty on merchandize brought from Syria.[82] He
was always a friend to Venice, helping her trade and keeping the Porte
from war with her as long as he lived.[83]

From the Venetian reports we see how general Ibrahim’s interests
were;[84] now he is looking after the corn trade, now receiving cargoes
of biscuits, now concerning himself in the building of a canal, now
opening new trade routes, now watching the coming of new vessels to the
Porte. The trade of the Dalmatian coast he encouraged. As beylerbey
of Roumelie he would be most interested in the European trade and
other relations. The export and import trade of Turkey was scarcely
born in his day, although the Muscovy and other trading companies were
beginning to ask for concessions in the Ottoman dominions. Ibrahim’s
ideas on this subject were not great nor especially in advance of his

In his quality as judge, he settled disputes and arranged wills to the
apparent satisfaction of the interested parties. Every envoy to the
Porte, whether on state, commercial, or personal business, was first
presented to the grand vizir, who might take complete charge of his
affair, or he might refer him to the sultan. The grand vizir received
in great state and the Venetian letters are full of advice as to how to
conciliate the great minister. There seems to be little disagreement
among his critics as to Ibrahim’s ability. He is pronounced by all to
be a wise and able man; but he had at least one severe critic among
the Venetians, who felt that his power was too arbitrary. Daniello di
Ludovisi in 1534 wrote thus:[85]

  Suleiman gave his administration of the empire into the hands
  of another. The sultan, with all the pashas and all the court,
  would conduct no important deliberation without Ibrahim Pasha,
  while Ibrahim would do everything without Suleiman or any
  other advisor. So the state lacked good council, and the army
  good heads. Suleiman’s affection for Ibrahim should not be
  praised, but blamed.

And again:

  Another evil existed in the Turkish army, and was caused,
  first, by the negligence of the sultan (who, to tell the
  truth, is not of such ability as the greatness of the empire
  demands), and secondly, by the actions of Ibrahim Pasha,
  who by the same means as those used to raise and maintain
  himself—namely, to degrade, and even to kill, all whose
  ability aroused his suspicion—deprived the state of men of
  good council and the army of good captains.

  For instance, he decapitated Ferad Pasha, a valiant captain,
  and was the cause of the rebellion of Ahmed Pasha, who was
  beheaded at Cairo, and he caused Piri Pasha to leave office,
  an old man and an old councillor, and some even accused him
  of causing his death by poison. And it followed, also, that
  Rustem, a young fellow, master of the stables of the Grand
  Seigneur, became familiar with the latter, and Ibrahim, warned
  of this, and being then in Aleppo, sent him to be governor in
  Asia Minor, a long distance away. Rustem, feeling very badly,
  asked the Grand Seigneur not to let him go, who replied,
  “When I see Ibrahim, I will see that he causes you to return
  near me.” For this reason the army was without council except
  Ibrahim alone, and men of learning and force, from fear and
  suspicion, hid their knowledge and ability. So the army was
  demoralized and enervated. I feel certain that Ibrahim Pasha
  realized this (for he was a man of good parts, but not of
  such merit as to find a remedy for such evils), but he loved
  himself much more than he did his lord, and wished to be alone
  in the dominion of the world in which he was much respected.

This criticism of Ibrahim Pasha was later repeated in a more general
form by one Kogabey, who presented to Sultan Mourad IV a memorial on
the decadence of the Ottoman state. The two first reasons that he
assigned for the deterioration were the sultan’s ceasing to preside
over the divan in person, and the placing of favorites in the office of
grand vizir, the latter custom having been started by Suleiman I, who
raised his favorite Ibrahim from the palace to the divan. Such vizirs,
Kogabey explained, had no insight into the circumstances of the whole
nation. They generally were blinded by the splendor of their position
and refused to consult intelligent men on affairs of government, and
so the order of the state was destroyed through their carelessness.[86]

The custom of appointing favorites to the most important office in
the empire was certainly a bad one, but Ibrahim was a more efficient
administrator than could have been expected from his training, and
ranks among the great vizirs of the Ottoman Empire.



We must now turn from Turkey’s internal affairs to her foreign
relations. Turkish political history during the sixteenth century
was so interwoven with that of the European states, the influence
of Ottoman interference upon the wars and negotiations of Christian
princes was so marked, that a study of Suleiman’s foreign relations
becomes almost a study of contemporary Europe.[87] The two sultans who
succeeded Mohammed the Conqueror had not extended Turkish power in
Europe, Bayazid having failed in his attempts at conquest, and Selim
having turned his attention from Europe to the East. This caused a
period of transition and preparation for the great events of Suleiman’s

When Suleiman came to the throne, he found certain relations
established with Ragusa and Venice, the two commercial cities of the
Adriatic, whose large carrying trade made an _entente cordiale_ with
the Porte very desirable.[88] Ragusa was the first foreign state to
reach the new sultan with her congratulations on his accession,[89] and
the sultan renewed with the Ragusan republic the commercial privileges
it had enjoyed in Egypt.

After Venice had been defeated by Turkey in the battle of Sapienza
in 1499 and had been obliged to sue for peace, she had received the
following answer from the then grand vizir: “You can tell the doge
that he has done wedding the sea, it is our turn now.”[90] This boast
became steadily more completely realized as Turkish conquest in the
Mediterranean continued, and Venice soon saw that her chance of freedom
on the seas lay in keeping on good terms with the Turk, whom she could
not conquer. In vain she sought for help against the Moslems; in vain
she carried on a single‐handed struggle against their encroachments,
earning the title of “Bulwark of Christianity”. Had she not “learned
to kiss the hand that she could not cut off,”[91] she could not have
continued to exist as even the second‐rate power in the Levant to which
she had been reduced. Frequent missions were sent from Venice to the
Porte, and a Venetian baillie was kept at the Porte. These baillies
were very good statesmen, and they not only kept Venice on good terms
with Turkey for thirty‐three years, but they made an invaluable
contribution to recorded history by sending frequent and detailed
reports to the signories.

Russia also sent an embassy to the Porte, after the conquests of
Belgrad and Rhodes had demonstrated the power of Turkey; and the Tsar,
recognizing the value of an alliance with the Porte, made two attempts
to form one, but without success. Suleiman saw no advantage in such an
alliance, but he never assumed an unfriendly attitude towards Russia,
at that time still an unimportant power. In a letter written later in
his reign he recalls the amicable relations that had existed between
the Porte and Russia, and recommends his Ottoman merchants to buy furs
and merchandise in Moscow.[92]

As Suleiman’s conquests naturally threw him into antagonism with the
House of Hapsburg, it is desirable to review briefly the political
conditions in the Holy Roman Empire at this time.

The accession of Charles of Spain to the Imperial throne took place in
October of the same year as Suleiman’s accession, 1520. Handicapped
in every possible way by the German princes, for whose safety and
prosperity the emperor assumed the entire responsibility without
receiving in return any equivalent whatever,[93] Charles V presented a
great contrast to Suleiman, whose slightest word was law throughout his
extensive dominions. With the empire, Charles acquired the enmity of
Francis I of France, his unsuccessful rival, and hereafter his constant
foe. Another rival not outwardly so dangerous, but destined to be a
great source of anxiety and weakness to the empire was Ferdinand, the
emperor’s brother. Concerning him, Charles’ counsellor, de Chièvres,
is reported to have said to Charles,[94] “Do not fear the king of
France nor any other prince except your brother”. Ferdinand’s ambition
had been early recognized. His grandfather, Ferdinand of Aragon,
had attempted to construct an Italian kingdom for him, but failed.
Charles, after his election to the Empire, tried to satisfy Ferdinand’s
craving for power by conferring on him the old Austrian provinces, and
further by marrying him to Anna, heiress of the kingdom of Hungary
and Bohemia, whose child‐king, Lewis, was weak physically and not
destined for a long reign. This opened to Ferdinand a large sphere of
activity in the southeast, and brought him into direct contact with the
steadily encroaching Suleiman; a sphere that effectually absorbed his
energies and made him but a source of weakness to the Empire.

Thus Charles V, in name the imperial ruler of Central Europe, was
confronted with four rivals who desired to divide with him the
supremacy; Francis I, a relentless foe; his brother Ferdinand, an
ambitious claimant: the conquering Suleiman; and the Protestant Revolt.
The weakness and disunion of Christendom was the strength of Suleiman,
and he was far too shrewd not to trade on it.

It had in fact been long since Europe had been sufficiently united to
oppose with any vigor the oncoming Turks. The Popes of Rome had been
the most persistent foes of Turkish advance in Europe; notably Calixtus
III, who in 1453 tried in vain to save Europe from Mohammed’s
conquering armies; Pius II, who having for his master—thought the
freeing of Europe from Islam, preached a general crusade, and even
attempted to convert Mohammed by letter; Paul II, who gave lavish aid
to Scanderbeg and the armies in Hungary and Albania in their struggle
against Turkish invasion; Alexander VI, who held Prince Jem, the
mutinous brother of Sultan Bayazid, as hostage for the friendliness
of the sultan whom he attacked after Jem’s death; and Julius II,
who planned a crusade early in the sixteenth century, but failed to
execute it.[95] All this time Turkish conquest continued practically
unhindered. By the close of the fifteenth century the Turks were
accepted as a permanent political factor in Europe. Nevertheless, when
Charles became a candidate for election to the headship of the Holy
Roman Empire, he emphasized his fitness for the high office by alleging
that his vast possessions, united to the Imperial dignity, would enable
him to oppose the Turks successfully.[96] But the sudden rise of
revolt within the Church tended to force the dread of Islam into the
background, even in the face of the loss of Belgrad and Rhodes. At
least such was the case with Charles V and the German princes; it was
of necessity otherwise with little King Lewis, who saw with terror
the preparations of the Turkish conquerors for war to the death with

As Suleiman’s conquests naturally threw him into antagonism with
Austria, equally naturally he had common interests with Francis I.
Friendly relations between the Porte and France were not unprecedented,
although strongly disapproved by the more religious among the French.
Commercial agreements had existed for some time between the two
states.[97] The accession of Francis I, January 1, 1515, marked an
epoch in the Eastern Question. Francis’ Oriental policy began on the
conventional lines; he made an agreement with Leo X to drive the Turks
from Europe but refused to subsidize Hungary in the interests of this
purpose. The pope called for a truce in Europe and a crusade against
the common enemy, but the death of Maximilian and the outbreak of the
Protestant Revolt put a complete stop to this plan. The only result was
the extension of the circle of European politics to include Eastern
affairs and the Ottoman Empire, and to bring the Eastern Question home
to all the European powers. Those who had been furthest away were now
drawn in; France, Spain, and even England began to step within the
circle of Eastern influence.

The battle of Pavia marked a crisis in European affairs. The captivity
of the French king, his falling into the hands of his bitterest foe,
Charles of Hapsburg, destroyed any scruples that the French court
had felt against seeking Turkish aid. The first French mission to
Suleiman I did not reach the Porte, the ambassador being assassinated
en route.[98] This first attempt was quickly followed by another.
The Croat Frangipani brought two letters to the Sultan, one written
by Francis from his Madrid prison, the other from his distracted
mother, the queen‐regent. Francis also sent a letter to Ibrahim Pasha,
who later gave an account of this embassy to Cornelius Scepper and
Hieronymus von Zara, envoys of Ferdinand.[99]

“Post hec tempora, inquit Ibrahim, accedit quod rex Francie captus
fuit. Tunc mater ipsius regis ad ipsum Caesarem Thurcarum scripsit hoc
modo. ‘Filius meus Rex Francie captus est à Carolo, Rege Hispanie.
Speravi quod ipse liberaliter ipsum demitteret. Id quo non fecit,
sed iniuste cum eo agit. Confugimus ad te magnum Caesarem ut tu
liberalitatem tuam ostendas et filium meum redimas’.”[100]

Frangipani demanded that Suleiman should undertake an expedition by
land and sea to deliver the king of France, who otherwise would make
terms which would leave Charles master of the world. This exactly
fitted into the plans of Suleiman, whose European expeditions were
naturally directed against the possessions of the house of Hapsburg; so
he graciously acceded to all the demands of the French mission. Ibrahim
later stated[101] that this embassy decided the Sultan to prepare his
army immediately for an expedition into Hungary. The knowledge of this
successful embassy was one of the reasons that led Charles to sign the
Treaty of Madrid in January, 1526. By the time of this treaty Francis
promised to send five thousand cavalry and fifteen thousand infantry
against his recent allies, the Turks,—but of course he had no intention
of keeping his word.

Since the capture of Belgrad by the Turks in 1521, hostilities on
the Hungarian frontier had never ceased, and the Turkish danger had
been constantly before the Reichstag and in the mind of the Pope. In
April, 1526, Suleiman started with a large army for his first regular
Hungarian campaign. The Hungarian nobles, continually at feud with
one another, were utterly unprepared to resist him, and the treasury
was exhausted. The first city to be taken was Peterwardein, which was
stormed by Ibrahim Pasha. Then fell Illok and Esek. But the decisive
victory of the campaign was the battle of Mohacz, August 29, 1526. In
this brief but bloody conflict little King Lewis fell, and the country
was laid open to the sultan. The keys of Buda, the capital of Hungary,
were handed over to him and he entered the city on September 1st. In
spite of the express prohibition of the sultan, his soldiers accustomed
to regard war as an opportunity for rapine, burned two quarters of the
city, including the great church, while the akinji (scouts) burned
neighboring villages and slaughtered the peasants. Other victories
followed until at last the sultan, promising the Hungarians that John
Zapolya should be their king, withdrew his army to Constantinople,
carrying with him an immense amount of booty.

The death at Mohacz of King Lewis without direct heirs left the thrones
of Hungary and Bohemia vacant. The Archduke Ferdinand, as the husband
of Lewis’ sister, and recognized as Lewis’ successor by official acts
of his brother, the Emperor Charles, passed at the Diets of Worms and
Brussels on April 28, 1521, and March 18, 1522, was the legal heir
to the throne. But the sovereignty was claimed also by John Zapolya,
voivode of Transylvania, a vigorous fighter and an unscrupulous
politician. Both of these claimants had themselves been recognized
in Hungary and crowned with the Iron Crown,[102] and both of them
turned for substantial aid in support of their claims to Suleiman,
regardless of possible loss of independence. Suleiman, as conqueror of
the strongholds of Hungary, and as a court of appeal for the rivals,
considered himself to have in his hand the disposition of the crown.
He did not want it himself. He had expressly declared that he invaded
Hungary to avenge insults, not to take the kingdom from Lewis; but
the death of the latter forced him to choose between the two rival
claimants. His word had been pledged for the support of Zapolya, and
his dislike of the Hapsburgs and his friendship for the French king
inclined him to keep it.

Ferdinand and Zapolya both hastened to send embassies to the Turks,
Ferdinand taking the first step. He sent envoys to Upper Bosnia and to
Belgrad to ask the governors to refuse aid to Zapolya, offering three
to six thousand ducats for their alliance.[103] One of the governors
died before the embassy reached him, and from neither of them were
there any results from this mission.[104] At the same time Ferdinand
attacked Zapolya, driving him from Ofen and back towards Transylvania.
Zapolya in distress despatched his first mission to the Porte. His
envoy, Hieronymus Laszky, was empowered to effect a defensive and
offensive alliance with the sultan. The mission was successful,
Suleiman accepting Zapolya’s offer of devotion, and promising him the
crown of Hungary and the protection of the Porte against his enemies.

Although the mission from Zapolya was kept as secret as possible, it
soon became known to Ferdinand, who dispatched the embassy he had long
planned, in the hope of counteracting Zapolya’s move. One embassy
failed to reach Constantinople,[105] and the first ambassadors from
the archduke of Austria to reach the Porte were John Hobordonacz and
Sigmund Weixelberger, in May, 1528. They demanded the Kingship of
Hungary for their master Ferdinand, and the restoration to Hungary
of all the places taken by Suleiman. The sultan refused both of
these demands and in his turn offered to make peace on the payment
of tribute. The embassy accomplished nothing, its sequel being the
campaign in Hungary in 1529. Three days before the final answer to
Ferdinand, Suleiman had in full divan delivered to Ibrahim a commission
making him serasker or general‐in‐chief of the expedition against the
Hapsburgs. The Peace of Cambrai in 1529 left the Austrians free to
fight the Turks.

In the meanwhile French diplomacy continued actively. Francis I was
disturbed by the result of the invasion of Hungary which he had himself
urged, for the kingdoms of Hungary and Bohemia seemed now to be falling
into the hands of his enemies of Austria. More than ever he had need of
the Ottoman alliance, and he determined on an alliance with Zapolya. He
sent Rincon to the latter to form an offensive and defensive alliance,
claiming as his reward the reversion of the kingdom of Hungary for
his second son, Henry, should Zapolya die without heirs.[106] On the
20th of September, 1528, Sultan Suleiman renewed a former act called
by old French historians “la trêve marchande,”[107] giving commercial
privileges to the Catalonian and French merchants in the Mediterranean,
and placing all French factories, consuls, and pilgrims, under the
protection of the Sublime Porte. The French were thus able to reappear
with confidence in the Levant, and were welcomed by the Christians
in the East. The pilgrimages to Jerusalem recommenced. Even Francis
expressed a desire to go to the Holy Land and to visit en route “his
dear patron and friend, Suleiman.”[108] A question concerning the Holy
Places in Palestine was also brought up by Francis at this time, which
is of very great significance, as it marks the beginning of the train
of developments that resulted in the conception of the protection of
Turkey’s Christian subjects by the European Powers. Francis and Venice
united in asking that a certain church in Jerusalem, long before
converted into a mosque, be restored to the Christians.[109] Ibrahim
replied that had the King of France demanded a province, the Turks
would not have refused him, but in a matter of religion they could
not gratify his desire. Nevertheless the Sultan made the following
general promise which was later used as a basis for further demand by
the Catholics. He wrote to Francis:[110] “The Christians shall live
peaceably under the wing of our protection; they shall be allowed to
repair their doors and windows; they shall preserve in all safety
their oratories and establishments which they actually occupy, without
any one being allowed to oppose or torment them.”[111]

On the 10th day of May, 1529, Suleiman set out to settle matters by
force with Charles V. Before the end of August the Turks were again
encamped with a vast army on the fatal plain of Mohacz. Here John
Zapolya met his overlord and did him homage. Three days later the Turks
advanced to Buda, and took it from Ferdinand, crowning Zapolya a second
time within the walls of the capital. By September 27, Suleiman was
encamped before Vienna.

On the 19th day of October, 1529, Ferdinand, in great distress,
wrote to his brother the Emperor; after referring to the horrors
that followed the siege of Vienna, he says: “I do not know what he
(Suleiman) intends to do, whether to betake himself to his own country
or to stay in Hungary and fortify it and the fortresses, with the
intention of returning next spring to invade Christendom, which I
firmly believe he will do. I therefore beg you Sire, to consider my
great need and poverty, and that it may please you not to abandon me
but to assist me with money.”[112]

The invasion of Austria had convinced Charles that he must support
Ferdinand against Turkey, and the royal brothers agreed on their
Oriental policy, namely, peace at almost any price. To this end another
embassy was fitted out and despatched to treat with Suleiman. On the
17th day of October, 1530, Nicholas Juritschitz and Joseph von Lamberg
arrived in Constantinople. Their instructions were practically the same
as those given Juritschitz the previous year.[113] The mission was
hopeless from the start, for the ambassadors could accept peace only on
the condition of the evacuation of Hungary by the Turks, and to this
the Sultan would not listen.

Ferdinand however, who had just failed in a military attack on Zapolya
and had accepted a truce, saw no hope but in another embassy to the
Porte. Therefore he sent Graf Leonhard von Nogarola and Joseph von
Lamberg, who were to attempt to buy peace by the payment of annual
pensions to Suleiman and Ibrahim. The sultan, who had already left
Constantinople at the head of a great army for his fifth Hungarian
campaign, was intercepted at his camp near Belgrad by the Austrian
envoys. The only result of this embassy was a letter to Ferdinand
from Suleiman saying that the latter was starting for Ofen, where he
would treat with Ferdinand in person, a threat which he followed up

By April, 1531, Suleiman was ready to avenge his failure before Vienna.
At Belgrad he was met by the French ambassador Rincon. France was now
anxious to prevent the Sultan’s expedition against Austria, not in the
interests of the Hapsburgs but against them, for he was afraid that
the Turkish danger would unite Catholic and Protestant Germany against
the common foe of Christianity. Suleiman received Rincon hospitably
but assured him he had come too late, for while on account of his
friendship with the King of France he would like to oblige the latter,
he could not give up the expedition without giving the world occasion
to think that he was afraid of the “King of Spain”, as he always called
Charles V.[114]

The Ottoman army entered Hungary. Fourteen fortresses sent the Sultan
their keys as he approached.[115] But the forces did not advance to
Vienna as their enemies expected, but turned into Styria and besieged
the little town of Güns. For three weeks seven hundred brave defenders
held the little fort against the might of Turkish arms, and finally
made a highly honorable capitulation. After a general devastation of
the country and much looting, the great army of Suleiman returned to
Constantinople. Suleiman was incited to this course by the active
preparations which were being made by Charles and Ferdinand to receive
him at Vienna, and by the naval successes in the Mediterranean of
Andrea Doria, admiral of the Italian fleet. Thus what promised to be a
great duel between the two “Masters of the World” was allowed by both
of them to degenerate into a plundering expedition.

Affairs in Persia were in great need of Suleiman’s presence, and the
capture of Koron and Patras by Doria made the Sultan more ready to
listen to overtures of peace. Charles and Ferdinand took advantage of
this fact to send Hieronymus von Zara and Cornelius Duplicius Schepper
to the Porte in 1533. The ambassadors, after weeks of patience and
adroitness succeeded in winning from the Sultan a treaty of peace,
to last as long as Ferdinand should remain peaceful. Ferdinand was
to retain the forts he had taken in Hungary and Zapolya to keep the
others; the Emperor Charles might make peace by sending his own
embassy to the Porte. As soon as Ferdinand received the news of this
humiliating success, he sent word all over the kingdom, to Carniola,
Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia that any violation of the truce would be
severely punished; “denn daran ... mug der Turghisch Kaeser erkhennen
dass wir den Frieden angenommen derselben zu halten gaentzlich
entschlossen und so dawider gehandelt wurf, dass mit ernst zu shafen
willen haben.”[116] Such were the humiliating terms of the first peace
concluded by the House of Austria with the Porte (1533).

Shortly after the embassy of von Zara and Schepper, Suleiman left
Europe to wage war against the Persians. As usual when planning a
campaign in one direction, he made careful arrangements to keep matters
quiet on other frontiers. He treated in secret with Francis I, agreeing
to despatch Barbarosa with a fleet to ravage the coasts of the Empire;
this was a great success for French diplomacy, for the advantage was
all in favor of France. Then, fearing lest the rivals for the Hungarian
throne should come to an agreement in his absence, and thus menace his
suzerainty, Suleiman delegated Luigi Gritti to determine the frontiers
between the possessions of the two kings. This was a clever move, for
it prolonged the intrigues between the royal competitors until the
return of the sultan. The successes of Barbarosa, the victories and
defeats of Charles V on the Mediterranean, and the continuation of
French diplomacy are outside the limits of our subject, which ends with
the death of Ibrahim Pasha in 1535. Gévay preserves several letters
written by Ferdinand to Ibrahim in 1535–6, in the interest of peace in
Hungary, the last being dated March 14, 1536, a year after Ibrahim’s
death. The last international act in which Ibrahim Pasha had a part was
the celebrated treaty of commerce made with France in February, 1535.

Francis I had received a Turkish mission, not from the haughty Sultan,
but from his admiral Barbarosa,[117] and in return the king sent a
clever diplomat named La Forest, to thank Barbarosa for his kind
offers of aid, and then to seek the sultan in Persia and conclude a
definite treaty with him.[118] Suleiman received La Forest in his
military camp, keeping him till his own return to Turkey in 1535.

The treaty is dated February, 1535; it formed the basis of the economic,
religious, and political protectorate of France in the Levant. The
French might carry on commerce in the Levant by paying the same dues
as did the subjects of the Sultan, and the Turks could do the same in
France. The French were to be judged by their consul at Alexandria or
by their ambassador at Constantinople. This treaty ended the commercial
predominance of Venice in the Mediterranean. After this, all Christians
except the Venetians were forced to put themselves under the protection
of the French flag, which alone guaranteed inviolability.[119] This
commercial freedom and political influence gained by France involved
a sort of economic protection and was supplemented by a religious
protectorate over the Catholics in the Levant and the Holy Places.

After this sketch of the beginnings of diplomatic relations between
the Porte and the two rival powers of Europe, the House of Hapsburg
and the House of Valois, we are ready to consider the significance of
these relations and to take up some of the details that will serve to
bring out the share of Ibrahim Pasha in Turkish diplomacy, and his
characteristics as a diplomat.

Diplomatic relations between the Porte and Europe, relations other
than those of conqueror and conquered, relations reciprocal and more
or less friendly, began in the reign of Suleiman I, and the first
French embassy to the Porte in 1526 already described was the beginning
of a complete change in the European attitude towards Turkey. Before
this time, the religious differences between Moslem and Christian had
effectually absorbed attention, but now political interests began
to push aside religious concern. The masses of the people in Europe
still feared a Moslem invasion of the North, but this was no longer a
real danger. A general rising of Christians, such as a crusade, was
no longer necessary to hold back the Turk; the regular means and the
ordinary efforts of a few states combined sufficed, as was proved by
the successful resistance of Güns and Vienna. It was decreed that
the Turk was not to pass Vienna. Francis might therefore seek the
friendship of the Ottoman without betraying the cause of Christianity.
There were, it is true, plenty of Christians who cried out against the
impious alliance of the Crescent and the Lily,[120] but the outcry was
largely political and as we have seen soon even the Austrians were
seeking terms of peace with the Turks.

When Suleiman came to the throne, he attended closely to the business
of government, but by 1526 he was leaving practically the whole
responsibility on the shoulders of his grand vizir Ibrahim. Ambassadors
to the Porte had their first audience always with Ibrahim, after
which they sometimes had audiences with the other vizirs. Generally
a very formal ceremony of hand‐kissing was permitted by the Sultan,
after which Ibrahim concluded the business. At some audiences with
the grand vizir, Suleiman would be present, concealed behind a little
window,[121] but oftener he was not present at all.

In his early diplomatic work, Ibrahim, feeling himself unprepared,
turned to Luigi Gritti, natural son by a Greek mother of Andreas
Gritti, who had been ambassador and at one time doge of Venice. Ibrahim
was very well served by Luigi Gritti, who was intelligent as well
as experienced, especially in Christian dealings, clever, able, and
tactful.[122] Zapolya’s ambassador Laszky, knowing this, persuaded
Gritti to take up his affairs, hoping through him to win Ibrahim,
and through Ibrahim, Suleiman. The event justified him.[123] Ibrahim
frankly acknowledged Gritti’s influence, saying to Laszky: “Without the
Doge Gritti and his son we should have destroyed the power of Ferdinand
and of thy master (Zapolya), for the conflict of two enemies who ruin
each other is always favorable to the third who survives.”

We may get an idea of the manner of conducting embassies at the
Porte, as well as the functions and characteristics of Ibrahim as
diplomat as such by following the report of Hobordanacz to Ferdinand.
Hobordanacz sent an official and detailed report of the embassy to his
master, written in Latin, which is preserved in Gévay’s _Urkunden und

The two ambassadors Hobordanacz and Weixelberger were received
with splendor on their entrance into Constantinople by a guard of
four hundred knights, and were immediately conducted to the grand
vizir. This ceremonious reception greatly encouraged the hopes of
Hobordanacz.[125] After greetings to Ibrahim, “Supremum Nomine”, the
Hungarians offered him presents and then retired to quarters assigned
them. On the third day forty horsemen escorted the royal nuncios to the
Imperial palace. Hobordanacz was greatly impressed with the splendid
array of janissaries and guards in gorgeous costumes. They were
received by the three vizirs, Ibrahim, Cassim, and Ayas Pasha, while
from his little window his Majesty watched the audience, himself unseen.

Amidst profound silence, Ibrahim Pasha addressed the first nuncio,
asking him politely whether they were treated well in their quarters,
to which Hobordanacz answered that they had everything in abundance, as
was fitting in the palace of so great an emperor. Ibrahim then began
to interrogate them concerning the journey and their king, explaining
that he was not asking about the king of Hungary, for Lewis of Hungary
had been killed in battle, but was inquiring about the king of Bohemia
and Germany. The Hungarian nuncios took the opportunity to boast of the
greatness of Ferdinand, provoking a smile from Ibrahim. Hobordanacz
said they had come to admire and to congratulate the emperor of the
Turks that God had made him a nearer neighbor to Ferdinand than
previously. He said that the Emperor Maximilian had given Hungary to
Ferdinand, whereupon Ibrahim broke in: “By what right, when Sultan
Suleiman has subjugated Hungary?” He asked them if they did not know
that the Sultan had been to Buda. The Hungarians responded rudely that
there were signs enough by which they could know of Suleiman’s visit,
as the country lay waste. Ibrahim went on: “The fortress of Buda, how
does it stand?” “Whole and undamaged,” they replied. When he asked why,
they suggested that it was because it was the king’s castle. Ibrahim
denied this and said it was because the sultan had saved the citadel
for himself, and intended to keep it with divine aid. Ibrahim here
explained that Suleiman and he had not wished so much harm done in
Hungary, and had ordered the soldiers not to burn Buda and Pesth, but
could not hold them back from devastating. This was naturally a sore
subject with the Hungarians who after expressions of admiration for
the great obedience they saw in Turkey, even when the sultan was not
present, asked pertinently why then he could not have saved Buda and
Pesth. This seems to have been too much for Ibrahim who remarked “Let
us omit these things.” Turning therefore to a more congenial subject,
he uttered a Turkish dictum, “Wherever the hoof of the sultan’s horse
has trod, there the land belongs to him.” Hobordanacz replied somewhat
sarcastically that they knew such was the sultan’s idea, but that even
Alexander the Great had not been able to carry out all his ideas.
Cutting through all these generalities, Ibrahim said sharply, “Then
you say that Buda does not belong to Suleiman!” Hobordanacz replied
stoutly, “I can say no more than that my king holds Buda.” Said
Ibrahim, “Why has he then sent you to ask for peace and friendship
if he holds Buda, which the sultan has conquered?” The nuncio told a
long story of Zapolyta’s usurpation of the throne, and of Ferdinand’s
merits to which Ibrahim sarcastically remarked, “You have talked of the
many virtues of your lord! Very noble if they be true!” He then asked
Hobordanacz if he were a relative of Ferdinand’s and how long he had
served the Archduke. The nuncio replied that he had served him since
the latter became king of Hungary. “Then,” said the pasha triumphantly,
“if you have served him so short a time, how do you know he is so wise
and virtuous and powerful?” A curious contest of wits followed with no
practical object.

  Ibrahim: “Tell us what wisdom you see in Ferdinand and
  how you know that he is wise.”

  Hobor.: “Because when he has won great victories, he
  ascribes the glory to God.”

  I.: “What does wisdom seem to you to be like?”

  H.: “In our books and in yours, the beginning of wisdom
  is said to be the fear of God.”

  I.: “True, but what other wisdom do you find in

  H.: “He works deliberately and with foresight and taking
  of counsel; also he undertakes no affairs that he cannot

  I.: “If he does this, he is praiseworthy. Now what
  boldness and courage do you find in him?”

Ibrahim’s next question as to the victories of Ferdinand received a
long and clever answer. Ibrahim further inquired as to Ferdinand’s
wealth. Hobordanacz claimed endless treasure for his master. Ibrahim
then asked, “What have you to say about the power of your master?”
Hobordanacz claimed many powerful friends and neighbors, the greatest
being his brother Charles. Ibrahim inflicted one of his battle‐axe
strokes; “We know that these so‐called friends and neighbors are
his enemies.” The Hungarian replied sententiously, “Unhappy is the
king without rivals, whom all favor.” Ibrahim at length stopped the
discussion of Ferdinand’s merits by saying, “If this be so, it is
well.” Then he asked whether they came in peace or in war, to which
Hobordanacz replied that Ferdinand wished friendship from all his
neighbors and enmity from none.

After this sprightly introduction, Ibrahim led the nuncios in
a brilliant procession to the presence of the sultan. Here the
janissaries received gifts for the sultan from the servants of the
ambassadors, and showed them to all in turn; in the next room seven
eunuchs took the gifts and spread them out on tables. The three pashas
first went to salute Suleiman, leaving the nuncios before the door.
Ibrahim Pasha and Cassim Pasha then, holding them by their two arms,
led each of the nuncios in turn to salute the sultan, who sat with his
hands on his knees and looked them over. When they had saluted him,
they returned to their place by the door where stood the interpreter.
Hobordanacz was greatly annoyed because the interpreter, familiar with
the flowery and courtly Oriental speech, embellished the somewhat curt
address of the Hungarian, but Ibrahim told the interpreter to repeat
exactly what the envoy said. After this he asked Hobordanacz to state
his business. After this statement of Ferdinand’s wishes, Suleiman
called Ibrahim to him and whispered in his ear. Ibrahim then resumed
negotiations while Suleiman looked on.

Taking up his grievance against Ferdinand once again, Ibrahim inquired
how the latter, in addressing the Sultan, dared declare himself so
powerful when other princes were content to commend themselves to
Suleiman’s protection and to offer him their services. To Hobordanacz’
question who these princes were, Ibrahim named the rulers of France,
Poland, and Transylvania, the Pope and the Doge of Venice, and added
that these princes (except the voivode of Transylvania) were the
greatest in Europe. The Austrian nuncios seemed to be impressed
and indeed the statement was a sufficiently startling one and was
moreover borne out by the facts. After that Hobordanacz spoke with
greater meekness, expressing his master’s desire for the friendship
of the sultan, if the latter were willing to grant it. “If he is not
willing,” said Ibrahim sharply, “what then?” Hobordanacz, recovering
his boldness, said haughtily, “Our master forces no man’s friendship.”
Ibrahim then dismissed them with the parting fling that the sultan
was occupied with much more important business. They never saw the
sultan again. Ibrahim informed them that his master was concerned with
personal affairs, and that he himself would conduct the whole business.
This illustrates the respective shares of Suleiman and Ibrahim in the
business of the state. Doubtless the sultan had a definite policy of
friendship to Zapolya and antagonism to Ferdinand, but it appears
certain that he allowed Ibrahim Pasha to control entirely the details
of diplomacy.

In later audiences with the grand vizir, Hobordanacz expressed the
hope that Ferdinand and Charles V and Sultan Suleiman might become
good friends and neighbors. Ibrahim inquired scornfully how such a
friendship could come about! Hobordanacz declared that it was his
mission to offer friendship, and it seemed to him that Ibrahim’s
influence should be able to bring about advantages for both sides.
Ibrahim again urged him to indicate the method of procedure, saying,
“Your king has seized upon our kingdom, and yet he asks for friendship;
how can that be?” The nuncio said he knew all things at the Porte were
done by Ibrahim’s will and authority; he believed that he could serve
their cause. Ibrahim then proposed peace on condition that Ferdinand
should abandon Hungary. Hobordanacz on the other hand asked for a
definite truce for a term of years and requested the restitution to
Ferdinand of those portions of Hungary taken by Suleiman, giving a list
of twenty‐seven fortresses. This aroused Ibrahim’s bitter wrath. “It is
strange” said he “that your master does not ask for Constantinople.” He
tried to make the ambassadors acknowledge that Ferdinand would attempt
to take these forts by force if they were not conceded to him. “With
what hope does he ask for these forts,” he further inquired, “when he
knows that the sultan took them with great labor and much bloodshed?”

The question of compensation for these forts being opened, Ibrahim
exclaimed indignantly that the sultan was not so poor that he
would sell what his arms had won. Dramatically opening a window he
said “Do you see those Seven Towers! they are filled with gold and
treasure.”[126] He then turned to the question of skill in war, and
after praising the prowess of the Germans, he said, “You know the arms
of the Turks, how sharp they are, and how far they have penetrated,
for you have fled before them many times.” Hobordanacz gave a qualified
assent, but praised his master’s warlike skill. Ibrahim finally
broke in, “Then your master wishes to keep those forts?” Hobordanacz
suggested a middle course, but the grand vizir said decisively: “There
is no other way but for your king to abandon Buda and Hungary and then
we will treat with him about Germany.” Upon Hobordanacz’ refusal to
consider such terms Ibrahim stated, “I conquered Lewis and Hungary, and
now I will build the bridges of the Sultan, and prepare a way for his
Majesty into Germany.” He closed the interview by accusing Ferdinand
and Charles of not keeping faith and said he would give the nuncios a
final reply in three or four days.

The third audience was held in the palace, with Ibrahim presiding,
and Suleiman at his window, and was conducted on similar lines to the
other audiences. Ibrahim informed the Hungarians that their master had
just been defeated by Zapolya with an army of thirty‐six thousand men,
which statement Hobordanacz took the liberty of doubting, saying that
if Zapolya added all the cocks and hens in Transylvania to his army, he
could not make up the number to thirty‐six thousand. The nuncios and
the grand vizir could not agree on terms of alliance; to the Austrian
demands, Ibrahim impatiently exclaimed: “The Emperor Charles and your
master, what do they want more? to rule the whole earth? Do they count
themselves no less than the gods?” Naturally nothing was accomplished
by such recrimination, and finally Suleiman ended the audience,
dismissing the ambassadors with the threat: “Your master has not yet
felt our friendship and neighborliness, but he shall soon feel it. You
can tell your master frankly that I myself with all my forces will come
to him to give Hungary in our person the fortresses he demands. Inform
him that he must be ready to treat me well.”

So ended the mission of Ferdinand for peace. There had been no
possibility of success from the beginning. Suleiman and Ibrahim were
not to be won to friendship for Ferdinand, and had they been, the rude,
independent Hobordanacz was not the man to gain Oriental favor. One
feels that Ibrahim enjoyed the opportunity to sharpen his claws on an
enemy, and to show Europeans his own power and that of his master. The
envoys must have been very uncomfortable, and their discomforts were
not yet at an end, for a Venetian enemy of Ferdinand’s told Ibrahim
that they were not ambassadors but spies, and urged their detention at
the Porte. For five months they were kept in close confinement, after
which a long journey lay between them and the anxious Archduke who had
hoped so much from the embassy.

This treatment of royal ambassadors as though they were spies was not
uncommon at the Porte. The King of Poland had been forced to complain
of the rough handling of his envoys by Sultan Bayazid (Suleiman’s
grandfather), saying they were not only detained for months before
they were given audience, but were thrown into prison, and instead
of being lodged like the envoys of a king, who would naturally feel
that it accorded with his honor to send only the sons of the noblest
families to represent him, were treated as criminals, and that promises
made to such envoys were often broken.[127] Busbequius, himself an
ambassador, who was detained for months and sharply watched, recounted
another instance, that of Malvezzi, whom the Sultan held responsible
for the broken faith of his master Ferdinand, and threw into prison
when Ferdinand took Transylvania in 1551.[128] It was a Turkish maxim
that ambassadors were responsible for the word given by their masters,
and that in their capacity as hostages they must expiate its violation;
moreover power was often conceived to reside in an ambassador, who
therefore was kept in durance in the hope that he could be brought
to terms. Such treatment, however naïve and unjust, is nevertheless
an improvement on the reception by Hungary of the ambassador sent to
announce the accession of Suleiman, whose nose and ears were slit.
Further illustrations of the way ambassadors were liable to be treated
in Europe were the assassination of Rincon, envoy of France, connived
at by Charles V, and the murder of Martinez, a Spanish ambassador to
the Porte, instigated by Ferdinand.

Ibrahim’s usual way of opening an audience was to brow‐beat the
ambassador, and he indulged in frequent sarcasm and scornful laughter.
To the envoys of Ferdinand in 1532 he railed at Ferdinand and “his
tricks” and gibed at his faithlessness. “How is a man a king” he said
“unless he keeps his word?”[129] To Lamberg and Juritschitz (1530)[130]
he spoke of the quarrels among Christian rulers, twitting his auditors
with Charles’s treatment of the Pope and of Francis I, declaring that
the Turks would never do “so inhuman a thing,” and following this by a
long talk “full of scorn and irony.”[131]

Ibrahim was enormously inquisitive, seeming to look upon a foreign
embassy as an opportunity for gaining all sorts of general information.
Sometimes he asked about such practical matters as the fortification
of certain forts; at other times he asked such trivial questions as
how old the rulers were, and how they pronounced their names. He
once remarked that a man who did not try to learn all things is an
incompetent man. Several times he boasted that in Turkey they knew all
that was taking place in Europe.

His manner, as we have seen, was usually sharp and rude, but he could
be elaborately courteous when he wished to please, as when he received
an embassy from “our good friend” Francis I, and the Hungarian embassy
of 1534. He was invariably boastful; during the earlier years he
bragged of the sultan, his power and treasure; in the later embassies
he boasted of himself.

One of the most important documents about Ibrahim that we possess is
the account of the peace embassy sent by Ferdinand in 1533, the report
being written by Hieronymus von Zara in Latin in September, 1533. This
shows Ibrahim in a sharper light than we have had elsewhere, and brings
out some traits in his character that have been growing steadily since
his rise to such great power: his ambition and his towering pride.[132]

Ibrahim, splendidly clad, received the ambassadors for their first
audience, without rising. He accepted the rich jewels they offered
him, and appointed a later day for the business of the treaty. On the
appointed day the envoys were permitted to kiss the garments of the
grand vizir, and they saluted him as brother of their sovereigns,
Ferdinand and Queen Marie of Hungary. Ibrahim had never acknowledged
the sovereignty of Ferdinand, and had always spoken of him without any
kingly title, to the amaze of the ambassadors.[133] In this interview
and throughout the whole conference Ibrahim spoke of Ferdinand as his
brother, and as son to Suleiman. This was not mere personal vanity;
under the pretext of the community of good which should exist between
father and son he cloaked the Sultan’s usurpation of Hungary, and the
fraternity of Ferdinand and Ibrahim served to disguise the humiliation
of the former, who was placed in the same rank as a vizir.[134] But in
the long speech that Ibrahim Pasha made to the ambassadors, he revealed
his personal pride. We quote from the speech: “It is I who govern this
vast empire. What I do is done; I have all the power, all offices,
all the rule. What I wish to give is given and cannot be taken away;
what I do not give is not confirmed by any one. If ever the great
Sultan wishes to give, or has given anything, if I do not please it
is not carried out. All is in my hands, peace, war, treasure. I do
not say these things for no reason, but to give you courage to speak

When the letters of Emperor Charles were shown him, he examined the
seals, remarking as he did so: “My master has two seals, of which one
remains in his hands and the other is confided to me, for he wishes no
difference between him and me; and if he has garments made for himself,
he orders the same for me; he refuses to let me expend anything in
building; this hall was built by him.”

Ibrahim seems to have lost his head during this, his last embassy,
and to have uttered things that were not safe for any subject of an
Oriental despot, however doting, to utter. Whether he spoke out of the
sheer madness that the gods send upon those whom they would destroy,
or whether he seriously aspired to assume literally and explicitly the
power he held actually is impossible to say. Even as grand vizir of
Turkey he seems never to have forgotten that he was a Greek. For years
he ignored it, and behaved like a Turk and a loyal Moslem, but as he
came to feel more secure in his high position, he became more careless,
and spoke to these Christian ambassadors of the pride and generosity
with which the Greeks are filled. It is a question whether any Greek,
from the fall of Byzantium to our time, has not in his inmost heart
felt his race superior to his Moslem conquerors, and the fitting ruler
of the Eastern Empire. To that feeling are due some of the knottiest
complexities in the Young Turk situation of 1911. Naturally this
attitude has always been profoundly resented by the Turks; therefore
Ibrahim was seriously jeopardizing his standing with the Ottoman Sultan
when he remembered that he was both Greek and Christian by birth.

There were plenty at the court to take immediate advantage of any
such slip. The courtiers had already been scandalized at the freedom
the Pasha took with the Sultan, and thought that he had bewitched
Suleiman.[136] In the same interview he further expresses his relations
to his imperial master in a parable:

  The fiercest of animals, the lion, must be conquered not by
  force, but by cleverness; by the food which his master gives
  it and by the influence of habit. Its guardian should carry
  a stick to intimidate it, and should be the only one to feed
  it. The lion is the prince. The Emperor Charles is a lion. I,
  Ibrahim Pasha, control my master, the Sultan of the Turks,
  with the stick of truth and justice. Charles’ ambassador
  should also control him in the same way.

From this he went on to expatiate on his own power:

  The mighty Sultan of the Turks has given to me, Ibrahim, all
  power and authority. It is I alone who do everything. I am
  above all the pashas. I can elevate a groom to a pasha. I give
  kingdoms and provinces to whom I will, without inquiry even
  from my master. If he orders a thing and I disapprove, it
  is not executed; but if I order a thing and he disapproves,
  it is done nevertheless. To make war or conclude peace is
  in my hands, and I can distribute all treasure. My master’s
  kingdoms, lands, treasure, are confided to me.

He also boasted of his past accomplishments, speaking of himself as
having conquered Hungary, received ambassadors, and made peace. If
Suleiman knew of these vauntings, he made no sign of resentment, but
continued to repose the same confidence in Ibrahim as hitherto, but the
courtiers held them in their hearts to use when the time should come.

Ibrahim’s importance and influence are taken for granted by foreign
rulers and envoys. In all his instructions to his ambassadors Ferdinand
tells them to see Ibrahim first, and the queen regent of France wrote
to him, when she wrote to the sultan. The collections of Gévay and
Charrière contain a number of letters from Ferdinand and Francis to
Ibrahim. The Venetian baillies transacted all their business with
Ibrahim and sent many reports to the Signoria of his power in the
state and his influence over the sultan. The envoys brought him
valuable presents which he did not hesitate to accept.[137] He loved
to receive jewels and there was a famous ruby once on the finger of
Francis I which was sent by the first French envoy to the Porte, (the
envoy who was killed in Bosnia) and which somehow came into Ibrahim’s
possession when the Pasha of Bosnia was called to Constantinople to
account for the murder.[138]

But although Ibrahim took presents, and even resented it if they were
not offered him, he refused bribes again and again. Ferdinand empowered
his envoys in three missions to offer an annual pension to Suleiman
(a tribute under a name less offensive to Ferdinand) and at the same
time an annual pension to the grand vizir. When Juritschitz and Lamberg
offered Ibrahim five to six thousand Hungarian ducats[139] annually
for his aid in bringing about peace, he rejected it so indignantly
that they apologized and withdrew their offer. He said that the
previous ambassadors Hobordanacz and Weixelberger had offered him one
hundred thousand florins to buy his protection, but that he said then
and would now repeat that no sort of present could make him desert
the interests of his master, and that he would prefer to aid in the
conquest of the whole world than advise the Sultan to restore conquered

The passage just quoted would seem sufficient to disprove the assertion
made by contemporary European historians that Ibrahim Pasha had lifted
the siege of Vienna because he had been bought by the gold of the
ambassadors. Suleiman gave him everything that he could have asked and
much more than lay in the power of any European monarch to bestow.
Ibrahim acquired vast wealth, but there is no evidence that his loyalty
to Suleiman could be purchased, and while the Turkish historians
speak often of the avarice of his successor Rustem Pasha, they never
ascribe that quality to Ibrahim. If he had a price, it was too high for
Ferdinand to pay.

It is apparent from what has been said that Ibrahim’s diplomatic
methods were not subtle; they had no need to be. As the diplomacy of
the Porte was usually either the introduction to, or the conclusion of
a military campaign, small wonder that it usually attained its object.
As the favor of the Porte was eagerly sought by France, Venice, Poland,
Russia, Hungary and Austria, it required no finesse of diplomatic
handling to deal with their ambassadors. Ibrahim, holding all the
trumps, needed no great skill to play his cards well. He might be as
rude and boastful as he would, and still the ambassadors would beg
for his influence in making peace. Both Suleiman and Ibrahim treated
Charles V and Ferdinand with great haughtiness, nevertheless pursuing
an entirely successful policy; France, on the other hand, playing a
subtle game, won considerable from the Porte. It would seem that the
test of Turkish diplomacy was not its method but its general plan and
large lines. The question then before us is, what were the objects and
accomplishments of Turkish diplomacy between 1525 and 1540.

Suleiman had two objects, first to extend his conquering power further
into Europe, and second to assist Francis I against the House of
Hapsburg. In these two objects he was successful. His empire was
greatly extended during his reign, both in territory and in influence,
while the power of the rival House of Hapsburg was steadily diminished
and limited. But that which makes of this period an epoch in European
political history is not the territorial aggrandizement of Turkey,
nor the recognition of its power by Europe, but the first entrance
of Turkey into the European concert, if we may anticipate a later
term, and the change from the consideration of the Turks as merely
unbelievers and foes of Christianity to regarding them as political
allies or foes, and as possible factors in the European question. At
the close of the reign of Selim the Grim, Turkey, although it was a
conquering nation, was still an excrescence in Europe. But the time
had come when it must enter into the affairs of the Northern nations,
and for that time Suleiman, unusually tolerant towards the West, with
a great idea of the destiny of Turkey, and aided by his Christian
grand vizir, was ready, and by the end of his reign he had made
himself felt in every court on the continent, and had to be reckoned
with in every European cabinet. But as a natural corollary to this
fact, Turkey was never, after this time, wholly free from European
influence. The fine wedge of French intervention was introduced by La
Forest in the treaty of 1535, and conservative Turks of today look on
Suleiman’s “capitulations” as the beginning of endless troubles for
Turkey, while the French still rejoice over the triumphs of astute and
far‐sighted Francis I. “Suleiman en sortant de son farouche isolement,”
says Zeller, “François I^{_er_} en bravant les préventions de ses
contemporains, accomplirent une véritable revolution dans la politique
de l’Europe.”[141] For four centuries France remained the most weighty
foreign influence at the Porte. A fuller significance lay in what
Lord Stratford de Redcliffe called the “extra‐koranic” character of
the concessions made in this reign, the introduction of extra‐koranic
legislation in both foreign and internal affairs, by the side of the
maxims and rules of the Sheri or Holy Law. Turkey began to discover the
inadequacy of Koran legislation for a modern state.[142]

How much did Ibrahim Pasha influence Suleiman in this policy? He
undoubtedly had the details in his own hands, but did he inspire the
plan? Probably not. Suleiman knew pretty clearly what he wanted, and
he pursued the same policy with the same success after the death of
Ibrahim. His contemporaries ascribed to Ibrahim the brain and the
force of Turkish diplomacy, and later historians have given to him the
exclusive credit of this political evolution. But Zeller’s view[143]
that too much importance may be given to the rôle of Ibrahim Pasha
seems better substantiated. Zeller, nevertheless, in his introduction
to _La Diplomatie Française_, accords to Ibrahim just that credit
that peculiarly belongs to him, if we have rightly understood the work
of the grand vizir, when he says: “Suleiman was not less enlightened
than Francis; he had, as well as the latter, the knowledge of his
own interests, and like him he was partially enfranchised from the
prejudices of his nation.... At the same time we cannot doubt but that
the grand vizir, whose ability and enlightenment are attested by all
the ambassadors, contributed to open the mind of his master to the
ideas outside his realm, to initiate him into a European Policy, to
make him see the menace of the increasing power of Charles V, and the
interest which he had to support France”. In the unusual liberality of
thought and freedom from prejudice that Suleiman showed in his relation
to Europe, we may see the influence of his intelligent favorite.

Thus the two together, Suleiman and Ibrahim, or Ibrahim and Suleiman,
as Ferdinand often spoke of them, started the Ottoman Empire from the
lonely path of independence and semibarbarism to the labyrinthine and
noisy streets of European politics.



Suleiman’s reign was one of continuous war, and for the most part,
conquest. His two most redoubtable enemies were the infidel Hungarians
and the heretic Persians. His first great campaign was directed
against Belgrad, which important city he took in 1521. This conquest
he followed quickly by the victorious siege of Rhodes in 1522. In
these two campaigns, Ibrahim seems to have taken no part, although he
accompanied Suleiman to Rhodes in his capacity of favorite.[144] But in
the first Hungarian campaign the grand vizir Ibrahim was placed second
in command, the sultan himself leading the expedition.

D’Ohsson gives an account of the ceremonial that used to precede war
in Turkey.[145] He says that the Porte never failed to legitimize a
war by a _fetva_ from the Sheik‐ul‐Islam given in grand council, after
which the sheiks of the imperial mosques met in the Hall of the Divan
and listened to the intoning of a chapter from the Koran, consecrated
to military expeditions. The first war measure was the arrest of the
ambassador of the country to be attacked, who was taken to the Seven
Towers. The next day a manifesto was published and sent to each foreign
legation; then followed a _Hat‐i‐Shereef_ conferring command on the
grand vizir. With the order he received a richly caparisoned steed
and a jeweled sabre, at a most brilliant ceremonial. Generally war was
declared in the autumn, the winter was occupied in preparation, and the
campaign was undertaken in the spring. At the day and hour appointed by
the court astrologer, the imperial standard was planted in the court
of the grand vizir or the Sultan, while imams[146] filled the air with
blessings and chants. Forty days later the first encampment was set up
with further ceremonies.

The splendor of the Turkish tents, arms and dress were admired by all
observers. A Turkish camp was a lively place, crowded by priests,
dervishes, adventurers and volunteers, irregular soldiers, servants,
tents, and baggage; and, on the homeward way, laden with slaves and

The Turkish army was at that time the finest in Europe, both in extent
and discipline. The Turks were a fighting people, whose arms had
steadily won them place and power from the time when their colonel
Othman interfered in a Seljuk quarrel to the time when Suleiman’s
armies were the terror of Europe, and the few hundred tents of Othman
had become the extensive and powerful Ottoman Empire. The army grew
and developed with the demands of the state, for as we have seen
above, the army _was_ the state. As Mr. Urquhart puts it:[147] “The
military branch includes the whole state. The army was the estates of
the kingdom. The Army had its Courts of Law, and its operations on the
field have never been abandoned to the caprice of a court or a cabinet.”

Mr. Urquhart classifies the Turkish army under three main heads:[148]

I. Permanent troops: janissaries, hired cavalry and regimental spahis
of the grand artillery, etc.

II. Feudal troops.

III. Provincial troops (_Ayalet Askeri_).

He reckoned the number of troops at the close of the sixteenth century
as follows:


  Janissaries                     50,000
  Spahis                         250,000
  Artillery, armourers, etc.      50,000

Guards besides those drafted from Janissaries and Spahis—war levies:

  Akinji                       40,000
  Ayab                        100,000
  Ayalet Askeri (cavalry)      40,000
  Miri Askeri (infantry)      100,000

Some explanation of these names will be desirable. The feudal and
provincial troops were those whose military service was demanded by
the feudal tenure of the _timars_ or fiefs. Of the permanent troops,
the celebrated body of the Spahis was recruited from the fiefs, sons
of the Spahis being preferred, and were required to follow the banner
of the Sultan himself. The Akinji were the light horse, the terror
of the Germans and the Hungarians. The Ayab were infantry, a sort of
Cossack on foot, as the Akinjis were Cossacks on horseback—without
either the pay of the janissaries or the fiefs of the spahis. The
famous corps of the janissaries was the heart of the army,—the most
privileged, the most terrible, the most efficient of the soldiery.
They were recruited from the children, taken in tribute from the
conquered Christian states, a thousand a year, and generally became
Moslems. The janissaries, the artillery and the guards were the only
soldiery paid from the treasury. The Turkish conquerors made war pay
for itself, living on the conquered country and carrying home immense
loot. At the close of his careful pamphlet, Mr. Urquhart makes an
interesting distinction between Janissary and Turkish principles. He
claims that the former are “violence, corruption, and prostration of
military strength, exhaustion of the treasury, resistance to all, and
therefore to beneficial, change.” The Turkish principles, he claims,
are altogether different and finer.[149]

The Turkish artillery was very formidable. It was by means of this and
the setting of mines that Belgrad and Rhodes had been taken. There was
no navy. There were a number of pirates, freebooters who put themselves
at the service of the Sultan and won some considerable naval victories,
but they were not a part of the regular Turkish force.

One constant order of battle was observed. The provincial troops
of Asia formed the right wing, and those of Europe the left, the
center being composed of regular bodies of cavalry and infantry, the
janissaries forming the front line. In Europe the home contingents
occupied the right wing. Thus were combined permanent and disciplined
infantry and cavalry with irregular foot and horse; a feudal
establishment with provincial armaments, and forces raised by
conscription, by enlistment, and by tribute. By this arrangement the
sultan could bring three enormous armies into the field simultaneously
in the heart of Europe and Asia.[150]

A quaint description of the discipline of the Turkish army in 1585
was given by one William Watreman in his book entitled “The Fardle of
Facions”, who thought that the speed, the courage and the obedience of
the Turkish soldiers accounted easily for their great success in war
for two hundred years,[151] and said that they were little given to
mutinies and “stirs”.

Watreman was evidently not speaking of the privileged janissaries
here, for they were greatly given to mutinies and “stirs.” They
realized the immense power that the army possessed, and how definitely
the sultan was in their hands. That part of the army stationed at
Constantinople as guard to His Imperial Majesty had it in their power
to demand the degradation and the head of any hated official, and
usually these demands were granted. Authorized by the laws of their
predecessors and their own as well, they might furthermore imprison
the sultan himself, put him to death, and place on the throne one of
his relatives as his successor. When all the corps of this militia
of Constantinople unite under the orders of the Ulema, who give the
weight of law to the undertaking, the despotic sultan passes from the
throne to a prison cell, where a mysterious and illegal death soon
removes him.[152] The long list of deposed sultans witnesses to this
power. Little wonder then that Suleiman, after punishing the rebellious
janissaries in 1525, planned to employ them immediately in a campaign.

On Monday, April 23rd, Suleiman left Constantinople with 100,000 men
and 300 cannon.[153] His grand vizir had started a week in advance,
commanding the vanguard of the army, largely cavalry. At Sophia both
armies encamped, and the grand vizir is said to have “dressed his tent
like a tulip in purple veilings.”[154] From this point the two armies
separated. Ibrahim Pasha threw a bridge across the Save, and advanced
to Peterwardein, a natural fort on the foot‐hills of the Fruska‐Gora
mountains, which was manned by a thousand poorly equipped soldiers.
Suleiman ordered Ibrahim Pasha to take Peterwardein, assuring him it
would be but a bite to last him till breakfast in Vienna.[155] The
sultan then proceeded to Belgrad. The grand vizir began preparations
for the siege, storming ladders were laid, and on July 15th the first
attack was made and repulsed with loss. The next night Ibrahim sent a
division of the army to the other side of the Danube, and the fight
continued all the following day until late evening, both by river
and land, a flotilla of small boats being on the Danube. In a second
assault the Turks pressed into the lower city, but they were again
repulsed. Ibrahim, convinced that storming was less easy then he had
thought, now prepared for a regular siege. After several day’s fighting
a great building in the fort fell, and the walls were broached in
several places. Nevertheless the besieged withstood two more assaults,
and made a sally by which the Turks sustained great loss. At length
Ibrahim laid mines under the walls of the fort, and on the 23rd day of
July, twelve days from the first attack, an explosion, followed by a
great assault and hard fighting, resulted in the taking of the place.
Only ninety men were left to lay down their arms. The Turkish loss also
had been heavy.[156]

The successful siege, and doubtless also the rich reward of his
padisha, decided Ibrahim Pasha to besiege Illok on the Danube, which he
took in seven days. The sultan now announced that the objective point
of the expedition was Buda. The Turkish army advanced along the Danube,
devastating as it went, to the marshy plain of Mohacz. Here there was
a battle of the first importance in its political results, as we have
seen above, for it routed the Hungarian army, killed King Lewis, and
gave Hungary into Suleiman’s hands. It was a brief and bloody battle,
lasting but two hours. Petchevi gives picturesque scenes before the
battle, and tells of the vast enthusiasm that seized “the holy army”,
while Kemalpashazadeh gloats particularly on “the bloody festival.”
The plan of the battle was made by the sultan in conjunction with his
grand vizir, who visited the former several times during the evening
preceding the battle. At dawn on August 29th, 1526, the Turkish army
emerged from a wood and appeared before the Hungarians. First came
the army of Roumelie, a part of the janissaries, and the artillery
under Ibrahim Pasha. Then came 10,000 janissaries and the artillery of
Anatolia under Behram Pasha; behind him was the Sultan and his body
guards, janissaries and cavalry.

Towards noon the Sultan occupied the height commanding the town and
saw his enemies ranged before him. The first attack was made by the
Hungarians and was successful in producing confusion in the Turkish
ranks. But the Turks rallied, and the Akinjis drew off the attack.
Ibrahim was always in the forefront, animating his men and “fighting
like a lion.” “By acts of intrepidity he snatched from the hearts
of his heroes the arrow of the fear of death. He restored their
failing spirits. Before the most fearful weapons he never moved
an eyelash.”[157] King Lewis, with thirty brave followers, pushed
towards the Sultan in a desperate attempt to take his life, but it was
the young king himself who fell instead in the terrible fight. The
artillery, discharging its first volley, caused frightful confusion
especially in the left wing. The Hungarian right wing, surrounded on
all sides, broke and fled, being cut down by the Turks, or drowned in
the marsh. The slaughter was fearful, as no prisoners were taken.[158]
The battle was so tragic to the Hungarians that to this day, when
disaster overtakes one of them, the proverb is quoted: “No matter, more
was lost on Mohacz field.”[159]

The artillery of the grand vizir seems to have turned the day and
rendered the victory decisive for the Turks. The following day
Suleiman, seated under a scarlet pavillion, on a golden throne brought
from Constantinople, received the congratulations of his vizirs and
beylerbeys and with his own hand placed an aigrette of diamonds on the
head of his grand vizir. In gruesome contrast to this splendor was a
pyramid of one thousand heads of noble Hungarians piled before the
imperial tent. Mohacz was burned, and the Akinjis harried the country
in horrid fashion,[160] while the main army marched on to Buda. Here
the keys of the city were offered to Suleiman, and the campaign was
ended, except for the march back to Constantinople, with its details of
massacre and spoliation.[161]

The credit for this successful Hungarian campaign is ascribed to
the grand vizir by three very good authorities. Ibrahim himself,
in a speech to the ambassador von Zara, claims to have conquered
Hungary:[162] the sultan, in a letter of victory to his provinces,
gives honor to Ibrahim; and the sheik‐ul‐Islam Kemalpashazadeh, in his
epic history of the battle of Mohacz, lavishes praise on the grand
vizir as commander of the armies on that field. “Heaven has never
seen,” he rhapsodizes, “and never will see a combat equal to that by
the prince of the champions of the faith, of this Asaf of Wisdom,
this experienced general, this lion‐hearted Ardeshir, I mean Ibrahim
Pasha.[163] The enemy of the enemies of the Holy War, in an instant he
repulsed the shock of the enemies of the faith.”[164]

Suleiman in his letter gives Ibrahim credit for the taking of
Peterwardein and Illok. As to Mohacz he says:[165]

  “The accursed king (Lewis) accompanied by the soldiers
  of perdition fell before the army of Roumelie, which was
  commanded by the Beylerbey of Roumelie, my grand vizir,
  Ibrahim Pasha (May Allah glorify him eternally!). It was then
  that the hero displayed all his innate valor.”

The first mention of Ibrahim in this letter is in the following terms:

  “The leopard of strength and valor, the tiger of the forest
  of courage, the hero filled with a holy zeal, the Rustem of
  the arena of victory, the lion of the restoration of dominion,
  the precious pearl of the ocean of all power, the champion of
  the faith, the Grand Vizir, Beylerbey of Roumelie, Ibrahim

The flowers of the Sultan’s rhetoric may be accepted as a matter of
course, but the fact that he mentions Ibrahim as deserving of any share
in the glory of the imperial conquests is noteworthy, as in his letters
of victory he usually reserves all the honor for Allah and himself.[167]

The campaign of Vienna was the next military event for Ibrahim. It was
on the eve of this expedition that Suleiman invested the grand vizir
with the office of Serasker.[168]

Says Petchevi:

  One day, going from the Divan to the Vizir Khaneh, the great
  Lord and Conqueror calling the slaves before his presence
  addressed them with eloquent and pearl‐scattering words
  and with divine proceedings, saying: “Nothing prevents our
  extending our arms at once to all parts of our land, but in
  every case we cannot personally conduct affairs. Therefore we
  formulate a _berat‐i‐shereef_ that Ibrahim Pasha, in the name
  of Serasker may receive obedience and respect.”

Here Petchevi quotes the berat that was given in Chapter III, and then
continues with an account of the splendid presents sent to Ibrahim with
the berat, and the congratulations of all the ulema and vizirs.[169]
According to D’Ohsson, the investiture of Ibrahim was unusually
splendid and solemn. He tells of processions in the streets and visits
to the palace and continued cermonial after the army had started. When
the ambassadors had visited him with congratulations and hopes of his
success, he always replied:

“Marching under the divine protection, under influence of the sacred
banner, under the auspices of the grandest, most powerful of monarchs,
I hope to gain brilliant victories over the enemies of the empire, and
soon return triumphant.”[170]

It is not possible to go into all the details of the famous first siege
of Vienna, to which entire books have been devoted.[171] Our account of
it must be brief. On September 28th, 1529, Ibrahim Pasha stood before
Vienna with the Roumelian troops, and by the 28th the main body of the
army headed by the sultan was encamped before the city. The defenses of
Vienna were in bad repair, with only 16,000 men and 72 guns, against
a Turkish army of 300,000. The garrison was commanded by Philip of
Bavaria, Ferdinand remaining in Linz, in hopes of aid from the German
princes. The defenders of the city made desperate efforts to strengthen
it, tearing down houses that stood too close to the walls, leveling
suburbs that might protect the enemy, and erecting earthen defences and
new walls where necessary. To save some of the horrors of the siege,
the old men, the women and children, and the priests were forced to
leave the city.[172] Suleiman thought the taking of this stronghold
would be easy, and summoned the garrison to surrender, saying that if
they refused he would breakfast in Vienna on the third day, and would
spare no one. But the third day passed and many others and the Turks
were still digging under the towers and walls and laying mines. They
had been compelled by heavy rains to leave their siege guns behind
them, and had only field pieces and musketry. The besieged replied to
mine by countermine and effectually circumvented the Turkish plans.
Storming parties of the Turks were met by sallies from the beleaguered,
and Suleiman’s breakfast, as the Viennese scornfully told him, was
getting cold. Breaches made in the walls on October 9th and 11th were
repaired and defended by the undaunted Austrians, and after a splendid
effort made on October 14th to storm the city, and an equally splendid
and more successful resistance, the sultan was obliged to give up the
siege. It was Suleiman’s first defeat, and he found it hard to accept
it, but winter was coming on, provisions were inadequate for so long a
campaign, the army was discouraged, and furthermore, outside help was
known to be on the way to the beleaguered city from all quarters. On
October 14th the signal for retreat was given. The loss to the Turkish
army was great, and that of the Viennese slight.[173]

Ibrahim Pasha had charge of the operations during the siege, and went
often to reconnoiter the fortifications, disguised in a colored turban
instead of the usual one of white and gold.[174] Count Christopher von
Zedlitz, a prisoner in the Turkish camp, said: “In this expedition
there was Ibrahim Pasha, who in this war counselled and directed
everything.”[175] There were at this siege, as in all campaigns,
frequent largesses to keep up the courage of the soldiers. The grand
vizir was surrounded by sacks of gold, of which he gave by the handful
when an enemy’s head was brought in, or an important capture made.
When the lure of gold was insufficient to arouse the ebbing courage
of the soldiers in the prolonged siege, the officers with the grand
vizir at their head urged them forward with blows of sticks and whips
and sabres. On October 12th Ibrahim assembled the beys of Roumelie,
spoke frankly of the discontent and hunger of the army, and urged
one more assault, promising whether it were successful or not, to
sound the retreat thereafter.[176] As we have seen, the assault was
made and failed, and the siege was raised and the retreat commenced.
When Suleiman left Vienna the grand vizir remained for some time with
cavalry in the neighborhood of the city, partly to cover the retreat,
and partly to rally the akinji scattered on plundering expeditions.
He also received proposals for an exchange of prisoners, to which he
replied as follows:

  Ibrahim Pasha, by the grace of God First Vizir, Secretary
  and Chief Councillor of the glorious, great and invincible
  Emperor, Sultan Suleiman, head and minister of his whole
  dominion, of his slaves and sandjaks, Generalissimo of his

  High‐born, magnanimous officers and commanders; having
  received your writing sent by your messenger, we have digested
  its contents. Know that we are not come to take your city into
  our possession, but only to seek out your Archduke Ferdinand,
  whom however we have not found, and hence have waited here so
  many days, without his appearing. Yesterday moreover we set
  free three of your prisoners, for which measure you should
  fain to do likewise of those in your possession, as we have
  desired your messenger to explain to you by word of mouth. You
  may therefore send hither one of your own people to seek out
  your countrymen, and without anxiety for our good faith, for
  what happened to those of Pesth was not our fault but their

In this letter Ibrahim makes the statement which Suleiman sent forth
officially, namely,—that the Turks did not wish to take Vienna, but
only to meet Ferdinand. A mile away from the camp the sultan halted and
received congratulations as for a victory, and dispensed rewards, the
grand vizir receiving four costly pellisses and five purses.[177]

The next fortress to be besieged by Ibrahim Pasha was Güns, in 1532.
This was the critical point of Suleiman’s fifth Hungarian campaign.
After the sultan alone had reduced some thirteen minor forts, he
associated the grand vizir with him in this great siege. The little
fortress of Güns was brilliantly defended by Nicholas Juritschitz, who
had met Ibrahim in former days when ambassador at the Porte.

On August 9th the grand vizir encamped before Güns, and three days
later Suleiman arrived. Many small cannon were used in this siege,
the largest sending a ball the size of a goose egg, which was,
nevertheless, very effective in destroying the battlements. Besides
continual assaults, mines were laid, but it was twelve days before
Ibrahim summoned the sturdy Juritschitz to surrender. Even then another
assault was necessary, which was at first unsuccessful owing to a very
curious event. The old men, women and children within the city, seeing
the banners of the janissaries planted on the walls, uttered such
piercing cries of fear and horror that the assailants were seized with
a panic as at something supernatural, and fled from the spot. But their
return was so fierce that a breach was made, and the brave Juritschitz,
wounded and helpless, was obliged to accept Ibrahim‘s terms.[178]
Using his knowledge of the grand vizir’s nature obtained during his
embassy to the Porte, he played on his vanity and obtained very good
conditions.[179] Güns was not pillaged, and only formally capitulated,
ten janissaries being allowed to remain an hour in the place in order
to erect a Turkish standard. So Juritschitz, writing to Ferdinand
exclaims: “God Almighty delivered me and this people from the hand of
tyranny, which honor all my life has not deserved.”

The delay and practical defeat sustained at Güns, together with the
defeat of another Turkish army which was to enter Austria by the
Semmering Pass proved the saving of Vienna. Suleiman had announced
that he did not intend to attack Vienna on this campaign; nevertheless
his vast preparation and the counter‐preparations of Charles V and of
Germany suggested a more ambitious campaign than that which he carried
out. In any case Suleiman decided to withdraw, and immediately after
investing Gratz, which was well defended, he abandoned the enterprise
and returned to the Porte.

When the Sultan made peace with Ferdinand in 1533, and temporarily
ceased operations on his northern frontier, he turned his attention
to conquests in two other directions, namely to the extension of his
sea power, and to the reduction of Persia. The romantic story of the
exploits of his great admiral Khaireddin Barbarosa does not come into
our field, but the Persian campaign is the next object of our attention.

Ever since Suleiman’s accession to the throne the relations of the
Porte with the Shah of Persia had been strained. The only reason that
this had not resulted in open war was because Suleiman was more deeply
concerned in Hungarian affairs. There was continual fighting on the
frontier. When Shah Tahmasp succeeded his father Ismail, he was little
inclined to humble himself before the Turkish monarch, so he resented
an overbearing and threatening letter from Suleiman. Now seemed a
favorable moment to execute the threat of war. The excuse was the
betrayal of the Ottomans by the khan of Bitlis, who had gone over to
the shah of Persia, while the Persians were irate because the Persian
governor of Aserbaijan and Baghdad had joined the Turks and had taken
with him the keys of Baghdad. The governor having been assassinated and
Baghdad retaken by the Persians, Suleiman determined on immediate war.

Ibrahim, again invested with the office of serasker, was sent to Persia
to retake Bitlis and Baghdad. He and his army marched as far as Konia,
where he received the head of Sherefbey, after which he advanced to
Aleppo to take up his winter quarters.[180] He occupied his leisure
during the winter by taking several neighboring fortresses. His next
plan was to move on Baghdad, but the defterdar Iskender Chelebi who
accompanied the expedition urged an immediate advance to Tebriz,
recently abandoned by the shah, arguing that the fall of Tebriz would
mean the taking of Baghdad. Ibrahim followed Iskender’s suggestion, and
arrived before Tebriz the 13th of July, 1534. Receiving the submission
of many fortresses en route, he triumphantly entered the Persian
capital. To avert the evils generally incident to a Turkish occupation,
he set up a judge at Tebriz, and a strong guard. This was unusual
self‐restraint in a Turkish conqueror. At this time he suffered the
loss of one of his armies in the defile of Kiseljedagh, but otherwise
he met only with victory and submission.

On the 27th of September Suleiman joined the grand vizir at Aoudjan and
immediately rewarded him and the other beylerbeys for their successes.
The united armies continued their march towards Hamadan. The lateness
of the season made the crossing of the mountains very difficult. Many
pack animals died and the artillery was mired in the bad roads. In that
perilous situation the army was attacked by the enemy and suffered
considerable loss in men and supplies.

At last the army reached Baghdad. The governor sent a letter of
submission, and then to secure his own safety, fled. The grand vizir
immediately took possession of the city, shut the gates to prevent
pillage, and sent the keys of the city to Suleiman who had not yet
come up. Baghdad was the bulwark of the Persian empire and of great
military importance. The army remained there four months while the
sultan organized his new conquests. April 2nd, 1535, the Turkish army
commenced its return to its capital, making a march of three months to
Tebriz and thence of six months to Stambul.

In this campaign Ibrahim had little actual fighting, and slight use for
the artillery and mines in which he was so well versed. The success of
the campaign was due to the terror excited by the reputation of the
Turkish army, and the endurance with which it made terrible marches,
equalling the celebrated marches of the generals of antiquity.[181]
Ferdinand of Hungary wrote Ibrahim congratulating him on this
successful campaign.

This was Ibrahim’s last campaign. His career was cut short at this
point. In this Persian expedition the grand vizir had some personal
experiences which do not properly belong to an account of his
generalship, but rather to the next chapter dealing with his fall.

In these varied campaigns Ibrahim Pasha showed himself an able and
generally successful general. In all of his battles and sieges he was
defeated only at Vienna, and practically, although not nominally, at
Güns. He was brilliant in his attacks, especially with artillery, the
battle of Mohacz being the best illustration of this. He was excellent
in mines and sieges, regardless of the fact that he did not succeed
in reducing Vienna. He was strong in marching, as the great march
across Persia witnesses. He generally had good control over his men,
although at Vienna he failed to incite them to greater efforts. He was
personally brave and fearless, leading his troops and betaking himself
to the point of greatest danger. He seems to have been less cruel than
was usual among Turkish conquerors, although his army committed some
horrid atrocities. He followed the usual custom of looting, which made
war so attractive to the Turkish soldier.[182] He appreciated valor
even in his enemies, as the story of his treatment of the prisoner
Zedlitz and his freeing of him illustrates.[183] The credit for the
conquests of this period must be divided between Sultan Suleiman and
his grand vizir, who was able to push all plans of Suleiman, whether
military or diplomatic, to a fortunate conclusion.



On March 5th, 1536[184] Ibrahim Pasha betook himself to the imperial
palace in Stamboul to dine with the sultan and spend the night with his
Majesty, according to a long established custom. In the morning his
body was found with marks on it, showing that he had been strangled
after a fierce struggle.[185] A horse with black trappings carried the
dishonored body home,[186] and it was immediately buried in a dervish
monastery in Galata, with no monument to mark its resting place.[187]
His immense property fell to the crown,[188] and Ibrahim Pasha, the
mighty grand vizir, was dropped out of mind and conversation as though
he had not practically ruled the empire for thirteen years.

What caused this abrupt extinction of Suleiman’s love for his former
favorite? Ibrahim naturally had many enemies, among them the most
influential ones being the defterdar Iskender Chelebi, and Roxelana,
the favorite wife of Suleiman. These appear to have worked for years
to poison Suleiman’s mind against the grand vizir, but for a long time
without success.[189] What charges could they bring against him?

Ibrahim, we recall, was born a Christian, and probably accepted Islam
only formally and not from conviction. Now and then in his career
his Christian predilections appear and always injure his reputation.
One instance of this was the case of the infidel Cabyz, towards whom
Ibrahim was accused of being overlenient. Another illustration of
lack of consideration for Moslem prejudices was when he brought home
from Buda three statues taken from the royal palace and set them up
in the Hippodrome. This was in defiance of the Moslem rule, observed
literally, to permit the display of “no images of anything in the
heaven above, the earth beneath, or the water under the earth.”
Although Ibrahim was supported in this act by the tolerant sultan, it
brought down on his head a clamor of horror. He was spoken of as an
idolator, and the poet Fighani Chelebi composed a satire against him
which was never forgotten. It ran:

  “Two Abrahams came into the world;
   The one destroyed idols, the other set them up.”

The audacious poet paid for his wit with his life, but the satire
remained popular. Ibrahim became less and less careful in religious
matters as his power became more assured. A contemporary wrote:

  The opinionated pasha at the beginning of his power was very
  docile in every respect to the Holy Law, besides which it was
  his custom to consult wise men in every affair of his desire;
  and his faith in Islam was so strong that if some one brought
  a Koran to him, he would gracefully rise to his feet and kiss
  it and lay it on his forehead and hold it level with his
  breast, not one inch below. But later when he went to Baghdad
  as serasker and mixed with infamous or foolish people, his
  character changed to such a degree that he did not regard the
  lives of innocent men more highly than fine dust, and if some
  one brought him as a gift a Koran or a beautifully‐written
  manuscript, as he saw him approaching he would become angry
  and refuse it, saying, “Why do you bring them to me? There is
  no end to the good books that I possess,” and sometimes he
  would revile the men.[190]

The Venetians seem to have regarded Ibrahim as favorable to them, and
needy Christians in the empire turned to him for help and sometimes
were freed by him from captivity and death.[191] His parents remained
Christians. It is doubtful whether these last facts would arouse
any feeling against the grand vizir; but the disregard of Moslem
sensibilities noted above was very unwise and would give his enemies a
point of attack although it was rather unlikely by itself to influence
greatly the confidence of the sultan, a monarch noted for his unusual
tolerance towards beliefs outside of Islam. But Ibrahim permitted
himself another imprudence that was far more dangerous.

As we have studied Ibrahim’s career, we have seen the vast power that
he gradually gathered into his hands, and we have noted the amazement
with which European legates listened to his own accounts of his
standing in the state. He was practically the ruler of the Ottoman
empire, but there was one fact that he forgot; he was absolutely at
the disposal of the sultan and could be disgraced or executed at the
latter’s caprice—he was but the shadow of the “Shadow of God” on

On the Persian expedition he made the grave mistake of assuming the
title of _Serasker‐Sultan_. Although as von Hammer points out[193] the
title of _sultan_ was commonly borne by small Kurdish rulers in the
country in which Ibrahim then was, yet at Constantinople there was but
_one_ sultan, and to usurp his title was to lay one’s self open to the
charge of unlawful ambition.[194] Moreover as Ahmed Pasha had assumed
the title upon his revolt in Egypt, the association with disloyalty
must have been very strong to Suleiman. There were plenty of courtiers
ready to interpret his action thus in reporting to the sultan. Here
was a charge that Suleiman could hardly ignore even though he might
disbelieve it for a while.

The immediate cause of Ibrahim’s fall was his quarrel with Iskender
Chelebi.[195] A relationship between the two men had long existed and
for years had been unfriendly. When Ibrahim was sent to Egypt Iskender
was in his train. Ibrahim’s wealth and power were a source of envy to
the defterdar, while the latter’s personality seems to have become
disagreeable to the grand vizir. On the expedition to Persia the
smouldering hatred between the two men broke into flame. When Ibrahim
proposed to take the title of Serasker‐Sultan, the defterdar attempted
to dissuade him and thus aroused Ibrahim’s resentment. There was also
an ostentatious display of wealth, the defterdar and the grand vizir
each attempting to send to the army a larger number of more richly
equipped soldiers, and each considering the other’s contribution mean.
Insults were exchanged. At length Ibrahim accused the defterdar of
taking money from the royal treasury, and brought witnesses against
him who were probably in Ibrahim’s pay. It became a war to the death
between the two enemies. Ibrahim doubtless knew that if Iskender
lived he himself would be sacrificed. So he accomplished the disgrace
and execution of the treasurer but he did not thereby secure his own
safety. Iskender Chelebi, accused of intrigues against his master, as
well as mismanagement of the public funds, was hanged at Baghdad. As he
went to the gallows he sent a Parthian shot at his murderer. Calling
for pen and paper, he made a written statement that not only was he
guilty of conspiring with the Persians but that Ibrahim was equally
guilty, and that the latter had plotted to attempt Suleiman’s life,
lured by Persian gold.[196] However we may doubt Iskender’s honesty in
making a statement that would draw down on his enemy his own fate, the
Turkish sultan would be unlikely to question it, for among the Turks
the testimony of a dying man or one led to execution is of very great
weight. In law it outweighs that of forty ordinary witnesses.[197]

Suleiman’s conviction of his vizir’s guilt was further strengthened,
as the Turkish chronicles relate, by a vision in which the murdered
defterdar appeared surrounded by a celestial halo. He reproached
Suleiman for submitting to the usurpation of his grand vizir, and
finally threw himself on the sultan as though to strangle him.[198]
Suleiman, once convinced of Ibrahim’s guilt or of the menace he
was to his power, acted secretly and silently. He did not confront
his favorite with accusations nor give him a chance to exculpate
himself,[199] but disposed of him swiftly. As Lamartine says,[200]
“Ibrahim’s life ended without reverses and perhaps without other crimes
than greatness.” A brilliant career for thirteen years, even though
followed by sudden disgrace and death, is a fate that might be envied
by many. The abruptness of Ibrahim’s fall is paralleled many times
in Turkish history, which is full of sensational rises and falls. In
the history of his life alone, we have seen Ahmed Pasha of Egypt and
Iskender Chelebi rise to great heights and quickly descend to disgrace
and death. It was the almost limitless possibility of rising, and the
ever present danger of falling that constituted the fascination of
Turkish public life. One could hardly start with a handicap too severe
to prevent him from attaining greatness. On the other hand one was
never sure of retaining for twenty‐four hours the power, wealth and
rank that he had attained, for a momentary caprice of the monarch
might end it abruptly. Even the sultan himself might suddenly be
overthrown and fill a dungeon cell or a grave, while his successor
taken from a harem or a prison ascended the mighty throne. Nowhere have
life and its possibilities been more uncertain than on or near the
Ottoman throne.

Let us consider in conclusion the question of Ibrahim’s relations
to Suleiman. Was he a traitor or not? Baudier says that Suleiman
confronted Ibrahim with his own letters to Charles V and Ferdinand
and that he had secret intelligence with the Austrians. In the papers
collected by Gévay which seem complete as to the correspondence between
Ibrahim and the Austrian ruler, there are no such letters, nor are
they found in any other collection nor mentioned by the Austrians
themselves. On the contrary, we have despatches from Ferdinand to
Ibrahim written July 5th, 1535, March 23, 1535, and March 14, 1536,
after his death, urging Ibrahim’s continued offices and expressing
gratitude for his efforts to keep peace between the two countries.[201]

The charge of collusion with the Austrians which we have examined and
discussed in connection with the siege of Vienna we here dismiss as
being supported by very insufficient data. What had Ibrahim to gain by
accepting money or position from Charles? Could the latter give him
the half of what Suleiman lavished on him? The similar charge made by
Iskender Chelebi when at the gallows, that Ibrahim had been induced
by Persian gold to plan the assassination of the sultan falls to the
ground for the following reasons; lack of any other witness than
Iskender[202] and the discredit that attaches to a witness who was the
vizir’s fiercest and most desperate enemy, together with the fact that
the Persians could offer Ibrahim nothing commensurate with his wealth
and power as grand vizir.

I think then we may definitely put aside the charges of his being
bought with either Persian or Austrian gold. But the most serious
charge remains. Did he aspire to overthrow his master, and himself
become sultan? Again our sources are silent or ambiguous. Let us
inquire of the Turkish historians. “He fell into the net of the
imagination of kingship and power,”[203] says Osmanzadeh, which might
mean no more than the megalomania of which he gave so many signs.
Sadullah Saïd Effendi expresses himself with an equal vagueness:
“Perhaps Ibrahim was caught in the net of the thought of partnership of
the empire.”[204] Petchevi makes no charge. Solakzadeh and Abdurrahman
Sheref consider Ibrahim’s death a just punishment for his treatment
of Iskender, but prefer no severe charge.[205] The Venetians make no
accusation beyond the very vague one that “he loved himself better than
he did his lord, and wished to be alone in the dominion of the world in
which he was much respected.”[206]

Guillaume Postel takes up some of the accusations against Ibrahim and
treats them as follows: The accusations were: 1st. Complicity with
the defterdar in looting. This Postel accepts, telling how Ibrahim
had looted wherever he had marched. 2nd. His being a Christian, which
we need not consider further here. 3rd. An understanding with the
Emperor. 4th. An understanding with the Shah of Persia. 5th. A desire
to be sultan. 6th. A desire to raise Mustafa, Suleiman’s son, to the
throne. Postel says that Ibrahim certainly had no understanding with
the emperor, as is proved by the fact that the latter did not use
the unexampled opportunity of the Persian war to invade Turkey, an
argument which seems to us strong. To this he adds the weak argument
that Ibrahim could not bear to hear the emperor spoken of. The charge
of an understanding with the shah was based on the early losses in the
Persian campaign which Postel disposes of as not being the fault of
Ibrahim. The charge of wishing Mustafa on the throne is baseless and
unreasonable, as the grand vizir could certainly not gain by a change
of masters. As to the charge of wishing to be sultan, Postel dismisses
that with the single argument that it was a much too dangerous to

In the absence of any data inculpating Ibrahim of desiring the throne,
we are confined to probabilities. That he loved power and became very
ambitious must be recognized. Whether he were mad enough to think he
could replace Suleiman on the throne which until this day has never
been held by any other than a member of the family of Othman, and
that he could hold such a position in the face of an enraged public,
Mohammedan to the core as to its army and priesthood; whether he could
have so far lost his judgment as to conceive that, Christian slave as
he was, he could possibly be in a more advantageous position than the
one he already held by the grace of Suleiman, we cannot answer except
by the fact that in public affairs his brain was still cool and clear.
How far, if at all, he was unfaithful to his master and friend is
buried with him in the convent at Galata.

Ibrahim Pasha’s brilliant career was closed. What were the achievements
of his thirteen years of power? He had carried the Turkish arms to
the gates of Vienna in the west and to Bagdad and Tebriz in the east,
and his almost uniformly successful generalship had added to the
great renown in which the Ottoman army was held. Sometimes alone, and
sometimes under the sultan, he had shown himself an able strategist,
and fearless soldier. He had established diplomatic relations with
Europe, one of his last acts being the first treaty with the French,
and in diplomacy he had shown himself intelligent, true to Suleiman’s
interests, and strong if not subtle. As an administrator, his brief
power in Egypt was used wisely, and his governorship of Roumelie was
able and strong, if not rising in a marked degree above the standards
of his day. He was possessed of dignity, impressiveness of manner, and
a magnificence in which he vied with his imperial master. He certainly
had cared for his own interests, obtaining enormous wealth and power,
but that he had ever neglected his master’s interests is unproved, and
many times he showed himself loyal rather than venal.

Ibrahim’s importance in Turkish history lies partly in the great
diplomatic changes and the conquests which he achieved together with
Suleiman, and partly in the fact that he was the first grand vizir
taken from the people who exercised much power, and that with him began
the rule of vizirs and favorites which became a very important fact in
later Turkish history. While we recognize the danger of such rule, yet
we also feel that Turkey had a better chance under such men of ability
as Mehmet Sokolli Pasha and the Kiuprelli vizirs than under the chance
sultans of the Ottoman family, which has produced few great rulers
since Suleiman the Magnificent.

To western students the interest in Ibrahim’s history lies not only
in his bringing Turkey into friendly contact with Europe, but perhaps
more in the very perfect and highly developed illustration he affords
of the curious anomalies, the romantic possibilities, the strangeness
of Turkish rule, as well as in the light that his career throws on
European rulers and armies of the same century.



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[1] Léon Cahun. _L’Introduction de l’Histoire de l’Asie Centrale, Les
Turcs et les Mongols_ (Paris, 1896), chap. i.

[2] _Koudakou Bilik_, 1068. Trans. by Vambéry, quoted by Cahun.

[3] _Bey_ is a military title, corresponding approximately to colonel
or perhaps to a higher title in the eleventh century.

[4] This judgment is the result of personal observation, supported by
statements of M. Cahun and others.

[5] Othman or Osman, who gave his name to the Ottoman State.

[6] Th. Noldecke, “Geschichte Suleimans des Ersten,” in _Zeitschrift
der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft_, vol. xii, 1858, p. 220.

[7] _I Diarii di Marini Sanuto_, vol. xxxv, p. 258 (published Venice,

_Relazioni degli Ambasciatori Veneti_, _ed._ by Albèri, Series III,
vol. iii. Report of Pietro Zen, 1524, p. 95.

Solakzadeh, _Tarih Osmanieh_ (Constantinople, 1297, A. H.).

M. Baudier, _The History of the Imperial Estate of the Grand Seigneurs_
(1635, _trans._ by Grimeston), p. 171.

Parga, a village on the coast of Greece, opposite Corfu, under Venetian
domination in the sixteenth century.

[8] He himself told the embassador Zara in 1532 that he was born the
same week as Suleiman. _Cf._ _Urkunden und Actenstücke zur Geschichte
der Verhältnisse zwischen Oesterreich, Ungarn, und der Pforte im XVI
und XVII Jahrhunderte_. Aus Archiven und Bibliotheken, Anton von Gévay
(Wien, 1840).

[9] _Ibid._, also Pietro Zen, _op. cit._

[10] “Suonava a perfezione il violino.” Albèri, III, 3, p. 95, Pietro

[11] Baudier tells the latter story, Pietro Zen the former. Guillaume
Postel (Poitiers, 1560) gives a slightly different version. He says
that Ibrahim was captured for a soldier in Selim’s reign and sold to
Iskender Chelebi, the treasurer of Anatolia. This is interesting in
view of his later relations with Iskender, but is not sustained by
other witnesses.

[12] Albèri, _op. cit._, p. 116, Marco Minio.

[13] _Ibid._, p. 97. Also Sanuto, vol. xli, p. 527, Piero Bragadino.

[14] S. A. S. Demetrius Cantimir, Prince de Moldavie, _Histoire de
l’Empire Othoman_ (1743, tr. by de Joncquières), vol. ii, p. 289.

[15] Von Hammer, _Histoire de l’Empire Ottomane_, tr. by J. J. Hellert
(Paris, 1836), vol. v, note 23, p. 45.

[16] Baudier, _op. cit._, p. 172.

[17] _Cf._ M. de Mourajea D’Ohsson, _Tableau Général de l’Empire
Ottomane_ (1787), vol. iii, _passim_.

[18] Sanuto, _op. cit._, vol. xli, Pietro Bragadino.

[19] The word _Serai_ will be used in these pages in the Turkish sense
of palace and will refer to a royal palace.

[20] Sanuto, _op. cit._, vol. xli, p. 527, Pietro Bragadino.

[21] Albèri, III, I, p. 28.

[22] Petchevi, Chelebizadeh, Solakzadeh, Abdurrahman Sheref, etc.

[23] For instance, the vials of water blessed by the immersion of one
end of the mantle of the Prophet, which the sultan ordered distributed
to the nobles of the state on the 15th of the month of Ramazan.

[24] _Caftan_, a long, loose‐sleeved cloak or robe.

[25] D’Ohsson, _op. cit._, vol. iii, p. 303

[26] Albèri, III, ii, p. 31.

[27] D’Ohsson, _op. cit._, vol. iii, p. 315.

[28] George Young, _Corps de Droit Ottoman_ (1905), vol. ii, p. 166;
also D’Ohsson, _op. cit._, vol. iii, p. 133.

[29] “Nach muslimischem Gesetz ist Sklave derjenige welche im Kriege
gefangen genommen oder mit Gewalt aus feindlichem Lande fortgeführt
worden ist, wenn er zur Zeit seiner Gefangennahme ein Ungläubiger war.”
Robert Roberts, _Familien, Sklaven, und Erbenrecht im Koran_, p. 42.
(Leipzig, 1908.)

[30] D’Ohsson, _op. cit._, vol. iii, p. 35.

[31] “And when ye meet those who misbelieve, then strike off their
heads until ye have massacred them, and bind fast the bonds.” “Then
either a free agent (liberty) or a ransom until the war shall have laid
down its burdens.” _Koran_ (Palmer’s translation, vol. ix, of _Sacred
Books of the East_), Surah, XLVII, vs. 4–5.

“The reward of those who make war against God and His Apostle, and
strive after violence in the earth, is only that they shall be
slaughtered and crucified, or their hands cut off, or their feet on
alternate sides, or that they shall be banished from the land, a
disgrace for them in this world, and for them in the next a mighty woe,
save for those who repent before ye have them in your power.” _Ibid._,
Surah V, vs. 37.

“The spoils are God’s and the Apostles’; fear God and settle it among
yourselves.... Fight them then, that there should be no sedition,
and that the religion should be wholly God’s; but if they desist (to
disbelieve) then God on what they do doth look. But if they turn their
backs, then know that God is your Lord ... and know that whenever ye
seize anything as a spoil, to God belongs a fifth thereof, and to his
Apostle and to kindred and orphans and the poor the wayfarer.” _Ibid._,
Surah VIII, vs. 1, 40–42.

[32] D’Ohsson, _op. cit._, vol. iii, p. 35.

[33] D’Ohsson, _op. cit._, vol. iii, p. 142.

[34] Ameer Ali, _op. cit._, p. 256.

[35] “And unto such of your slaves as desire a written instrument
allowing them to redeem themselves, or paying a certain sum, write one,
if ye know good in them, and give them of the riches of God which he
hath given you.” _Koran_ (Sale’s Trans.), Surah XXIV.

Mohammed accepted the institution of slavery, but urged gentleness in
dealing with the slave. Muir thus quotes a speech made by Mohammed in
his last year at Mina: “And your slaves! See that ye feed them with
such food as ye yourselves eat, and clothe them with the stuffs ye
wear. And if they commit a fault which ye are not inclined to forgive,
then sell them, for they are the servants of the Lord, and not to be
tormented.” Muir, _Life of Mahomet_, p. 458.

_Cf._ also Syed Ameer Ali, _A Critical Examination of the Life and
Teaching of Mohammed_ (London, 1873), chap, xv, p. 257. “The masters
were forbidden to exact more work than was just and proper. They were
ordered never to address their male and female slaves by that degrading
appellation, but by the more affectionate name of ‘my young man’ or ‘my
young maid’.”

[36] _Parliamentary Papers, Slave Trade_, 1860, B. P., 130. Quoted by
Young, _op. cit._, vol. ii, note, p. 167.

[37] Fatma Alieh Hanum, _Les Musulmanes Contemporaines_ (1894, Paris).

[38] Young, _op. cit._, vol. i, note, p. 167.

[39] “There are few Turkish beggars, for they which beg among
Christians are set to do servile offices among the Turks. If a slave
become lame, his master is bound to support him, yet the veriest
cripple among them brings his master some profit.”

We may omit Busbequius’ advocacy of slavery. He continues later:
“The Turks in their way do make a huge advantage of slaves; for if
an ordinary Turk bring home one or two slaves, whom he has taken as
prisoners of war, he accounts he hath made a good campaign of it, and
his prize is worth his labor. An ordinary slave is sold among them for
40 to 50 crowns, but if he be young and beautiful and have some skill
in some trade also, then they rate him as twice as much. By this you
may know how advantageous the Turkish depredations are to them, when
many times from one expedition they bring home five or six thousand
prisoners.” Ogier Ghiselin de Busbequius, _Travels in Turkey_, trans.
into English, 1774.

[40] Snouck Hurgronje makes practically the same statement in his
_Mekka_, vol. ii, p. 19 (Haag, 1889). “Alles in Allem ist der
Zustand des muslimischen Sklaven nur formell verschieden von dem der
europäischen Diener und Arbeiter.”

[41] Memoirs of the Baron de Tott on _The Turk and the Tartars_,
(trans. from the French, London, 1785), vol. ii, pp. 379–380.

[42] D’Ohsson, _op. cit._, vol. iii, p. 38.

[43] M. le Chevalier Ricaut, _Tableau de l’empire Ottomane_ (1709), vol.
ii, chap. ii, p. 5.

[44] Albèri, III, 3, p. 95, note, Pietro Zen.

[45] The formula of enfranchisement. D’Ohsson, _op. cit._, vol. iii, p.

[46] Albèri, III, 3, p. 95, note, Pietro Zen.

[47] Marsigli, _Stato Militare dell’ Imperio Ottomano_ (1732), vol. i.

[48] Albèri III, i, p. 11. Danielo di Ludovisi.

[49] _Roum_ means Roman, from the Roman or Byzantine empire whose
territory had largely passed to Turkey.

[50] _Sandjak_ is literally _banner_.

[51] Juchereau de Saint Denis, quoted by Ludovisi.

[52] Albrecht, _Grundriss des osmanischen Staatsrechts_, p. 68. Also
von Hammer, p. 166.

[53] Petchevi, _Tarih Osmanieh_, vol. i, p. 79.

[54] A piastre was about 89 cents in that century.

[55] D’Ohsson, _op. cit._, vol. ii, p. 337.

[56] _Harem_ means _set apart_, _sacred_, or _accursed‐taboo_, and is a
term applied to the women of a Moslem household.

[57] _Cf._ also Cantimir, “Suleiman gave Ibrahim his sister in
marriage.” Jorga on the other hand says that Ibrahim married a daughter
of Iskender Chelebi, but I have seen no such statement elsewhere,
except the following ambiguous statement in Solakzadeh: “Between
Iskender and Ibrahim Pasha the relation of father and son existed.”
P. 478. Abdurrahman Sheref writes in his _Tarih Osmanieh_, “Some
historians say that Ibrahim was brother‐in‐law to the Sultan.” Petchevi
and the Venetian Baillies Bragadino and Pietro Zen, while giving
detailed accounts of the wedding feast say nothing of the bride.

[58] For accounts see Petchevi, _op. cit._, vol. i, pp. 79 _et seq._;
Solakzadeh, _op. cit._; Marini Sanuto, _op. cit._, vol. 36, pp. 505 _et
seq._, with references _passim_. Also von Hammer, _op. cit._, vol. v,
pp. 52 _et seq._, and Cantimir, _op. cit._

[59] “Ed in quella ne sono distesi molti pavioni, tra li qual quello
del Gran signor, uno che fo de Uson Cassan, che fu quello quando l’ebbe
la rotta da sultan Machmet, l’altro del signor Sophi, che fu aquistado
da sultan Selim, l’altro del sultan Elgauri, conquistado pur per el
ditto sultan Selim. Quanto siano di richezza e di magnificentia et
bellezza bisogneria con el penello in longo tempo farla, et si haveria
fatica per la gran superbia et valuta è in quelli.” Marini Sanuto, _op.
cit._, vol. xxxvi, p. 505.

[60] _Tutta la terra._ Marino Sanuto, _op. cit._, vol. xxxvi, p. 505.

[61] Marino Sanuto, vol. xli, p. 526.

[62] Until the introduction of tables from the West, and to this day
in certain houses, Turkish meals are served on large trays placed on

[63] Von Hammer says that Ali also tells this story, but that the other
Turkish historians omit it. _Op. cit._, vol. v, note, p. 145.

[64] Petchevi, _Tarih Osmanieh_, p. 93.

[65] Souheila, in his _History of Egypt (Misr)_, says that Suleiman
originally planned to go himself to Egypt, but that the grand vizir
said, “If it be the glorious command of the just king, we are
sufficient for the service,” whereupon he was appointed chief of the

[66] Petchevi, Sadullah Säid, and Solakzadeh who was present on the
expedition, and following them, Djelalzadeh and Abdurrahman Sheref. As
I have been unable to obtain a copy of Djelalzadeh, I am obliged to
depend on Von Hammer’s quotations from his history.

[67] “In Aleppo and Damascus, with justice and equity he destroyed the
standards of revolt raised by villains.” Soleyman Nameh, by Sadullah
Säid Effendi.

“In the province of Aleppo were some who wished redress, from whom he
removed oppression and tyranny.” Solakzadeh, _op. cit._ _Cf._ also von
Hammer, _op. cit._, vol. v, p. 57.

[68] Sadullah Säid, _op. cit._

[69] Sadullah Säid.

[70] Sadullah Säid, Solakzadeh.

[71] Solakzadeh.

[72] Solakzadeh.

[73] Solakzadeh, Petchevi.

[74] “By letters from Constantinople we are informed that within a
fortnight the Magnifico Ibrahim Pasha was expected from Cairo with
a large sum of gold. The Grand Turk has ordered him an honorable
reception in a new and unusual form.” The Doge and College to Lorenzo
Orio in England, Sept. 18, 1525. Brown’s _Calendar of State Papers in
Venice, 1520–1526_, 1114.

[75] Djelalzadeh, translated and quoted by von Hammer.

[76] Of course, since July, 1908, the whole idea of the Ottoman state
has changed, although the military titles remain; indeed since the
reforms of 1836 the above description has only in part held true. These
general statements may be understood to refer to Turkey from 1453 to

[77] The ulema were the doctors of sacred law and jurisprudence.

[78] This account taken from Solakzadeh, _op. cit._

[79] Albrecht, _W. Grundriss des Osmanischen Staatsrechts_ (Berlin,
1905), p. 68.

[80] Guillaume Postel, _La République des Turcs_, p. 49.

[81] Daru, _Histoire de Venise_, quoted by Zeller, _op. cit._, note p.

[82] Charrière, _op. cit._, vol. i, p. 486.

[83] Pietro Zen said Ibrahim had been a Venetian subject. Albèri, III,
also Bragadino, Marini Sanuto, vol. 41, p. 527, wrote: “Questo bassa è
molto amico di la Signoria nostra, homo iusto et savio; ha cassà zoie
portade dal Cayro oltra il bel presente fece al Signore, come scrisse.”

[84] Marini Sanuto, _op. cit. passim_.

[85] Albèri, III, i, p. 28.

[86] Kogabey, “_Abhandlung über den Verfall des osmanischen
Staatsgebäudes seit Sultan Suleiman dem Grossen_.” Trans, by Behrman,
_Zeitschrift der Morgenländischen Gesellschaft_, vol. 15, p. 319.

[87] On a peine à representer devant un état descendu à un rang
inférieur et devenu le jouet de la politique des autres puissances
cette action illimitée qu’il exerçait dans les affaires de l’Europe,
et qui, à chaque mouvement de cet empire semblait mettre en question
l’existence de Christianisme et celle de la société européene tout
entière.” E. Charrière, _Négociations de la France dans le Levant_
(Paris, 1848), vol. iii, Introduction.

[88] Noradunghian (_Actes Internationaux de l’Empire Ottoman_), in
his _Repertoire Chronologique_, records treaties with Ragusa before
Suleiman’s accession, and two in 1520, all offering Turkish protection
in exchange for tribute.

[89] Von Hammer, _op. cit._, vol. v, p. 20.

[90] Quoted by Horatio Brown, _Venice_, 1893.

[91] Turkish proverb.

[92] Karamsin, _Histoire de Russie_, _tr._ by St. Thomas and Jauffret,
1819–1826, vol. vii, p. 142.

[93] D. J. Hill, _Hist. of European Diplomacy_, ii, p. 346.

[94] Hill, _op. cit._, quotes Contarini to this effect.

[95] _Cf._ Pastor’s _Hist. of the Popes_, vol. iii, _passim_.

[96] In a circular to his electors, quoted by J. Janssen, _History of
Germany_, vol. ii, p. 276.

[97] Noradunghian, _op. cit._, records two commercial treaties
in 1508–1517. _Cf._ also Marini Sanuto, vol. iii, pp. 79, 117, 132,
180, 286, 453.

[98] Gévay, _op. cit._, _Gesandschaft Königs Ferdinand I am Sultan
Suleiman_, i, p. 21.

[99] _Cf._ Zinkheisen, _op. cit._, p. 640; also von Hammer, _Mémoire
sur les premières relations diplomatiques entre la France et la Porte_,
in _Journal Asiatique_, vol. x, series i, p. 19 _et seq._

[100] _Cf._ Report of Lambert and Juritschitz to Ferdinand, 1531, Gévay
_op. cit._, iii, p. 144.

[101] In the report of Lambert and von Zara (Gévay, vol. iii, p. 44),
Ibrahim said: “Darauf sein Kaiser (Suleiman) bewegt worden in Francis
nit zu verlassen, und hat alsomit im und den Venedigern ean verstand
und puntnus (Bündniss) gemacht, also das sy ein treffleche ermada
auf dem mer aufgericht damit sy gegen yspania arbeiten habenwellen
und Erder kaiser solte mit einem trefflichen hoer (Heer) durch E. M.
(Ferdinand) Lande in fryaul und forter auf Mayland zogen sein.”

_Cf._ Solakzadeh, _op. cit._, trans. by H. D. J. “The king of France
had fallen into the desire for possessions and planned to strike the
crown of Hungary from the hands of the king of Hungary, and finally
there was much fighting among them. After this, with the aid of the
king of Spain, Francis was conquered and several forts being captured,
he fled. Being reduced to an extremity, he was shut up in a solid
fortress. Wishing to have revenge on his enemy, he found no other means
than to betake himself to the Padisha of Islam. He sent an ambassador
to the most blessed Porte with a most humble letter in which was thus
written: ‘If the king of Hungary receives punishment from the blessed
Sultan, we will oppose ourselves to the King of Spain to take revenge.
We beg and pray that the Sultan of the world will repulse that proud
one. After that day we shall be obliged slaves of his Excellency the
Padisha, who is master of time and place and mighty emperor.’ To
this humble prayer and supplication the Sultan, pitying them, in his
merciful glory resolved to make war on this king filled with cruel
dispositions, as we shall see.”

[102] Zapolya was crowned November, 1526, and Ferdinand was crowned
November 3, 1527.

[103] Confirmed by a letter from Ferdinand to Cyriacus Freiheer von
Polheim and Markus Trautsauerwein, Kanzler of Lower Austria, Prag, Feb.
14, 1527. “Instructio ad Bassam Balibeg,” Gévay, _op. cit._, vol. i,
pp. 36–7.

[104] Gévay, vol. i, p. 14. _Bericht Hobordanacz an Koenig Ferdinand
I_, Inspruch, 19 Feb’y, 1529.

[105] Letters of safe conduct for such envoys by Suleiman and Ibrahim
are found in Gévay, vol. i, pp. 62–64.

[106] Charrière, _op. cit._, vol. i, pp. 155–171.

[107] _Cf._ De Testa, _Recueil des Traités de la Porte Ottomane avec les
Puissances Etrangères de 1526 et jusqu’à nos jours_ (Paris, 1864), vol.
i, _France_, pp. 23–26; for the text of the treaty of Hatti‐Sherif,

[108] “Wolte er (Francis) noch so pald sein sach pesser wurd Zu
Jerusalem alda er das hailig grab besuchen wollte Zur Ime khomen mit
merem anzeigen.” Thus the envoy of Ferdinand in 1531 reports Ibrahim as
saying. Gévay, _op. cit._, iii, p. 44.

[109] Francis’ letter is lost, so we do not know to which church he
referred. Suleiman’s answer is found in Charrière, _op. cit._, iii, pp.
129–131. _Cf._ also Marini Sanuto, vol. xlviii, p. 50.

[110] Charrière, _op. cit._, vol. i, p. 129. Ursu, _op. cit._, pp.

[111] It is in these letters that may be found the reference that Mr.
Duggan, in his _Eastern Question_, says he failed to discover in the
Capitulations of 1535 and 1528, and which he concludes did not exist,
hence ascribing an error to D’Ohsson. _Cf._ the _Eastern Question_,
note p. 25.

[112] Gévay, _op. cit._, vol. i, p. 49. “Je vous supplie nous tres
humblement considere la grande necessité et pauvreté ou je suis quil
vous plaise ne me habandonner dargent ain men assister comme ien ay
entière confidence.”

[113] “Instruction auff unseres getrieuen lieben Joseph von Lamberg und
Nichola Juritschitz,” etc. Gévay, iii, 3 _et seq._

[114] Charrière, _op. cit._, vol. i, p. 207. _Cf._ Von Hammer,
_Mémoire, etc._

[115] Menzies, _Turkey New and Old_, p. 136.

[116] _Bekanntmachung des Friedens in Krain._ Gévay, _op. cit._, vol.

[117] Ursu, _op. cit._, p. 86. _Relations des Ambassadeurs Venetiens sur
les affaires de France au XVI siècle_. Recueillies et traduites par M.
N. Tomasseo (Paris, 1836), Marino Giustiniano, vol. i, p. 55.

[118] For text, see de Testa, _op. cit._, p. 15, _et seq._; also
Noradunghian, _op. cit._, vol. i, pp. 83–87; also Charrière, _op.
cit._, vol. i, pp. 283–294.

[119] Ursu, _op. cit._, p. 97.

[120] “Tous les princes chretians qui sustenoit le parti de l’Empereur
fasoient grand cas de ce que le Roy, notre maistre, avoit employe le
Turc a son secours; mais contre son ennemy on peult de toute fois
fere fleches. Quant a moi, si je pouvois appeler tous les esprits des
enfers pour rompre le teste a mon ennemy qui me veult rompre la mienne,
je le ferois de bon coeur, dieu me pardoint.” Quoted by Zeller, _La
Diplomatie Française vers le milieu du XVI siècle_ (1880), _Introd._,
p. 20 (Monluc. edit., _de la Société de l’histoire de France_).

[121] “Sopra bassa fenestrella quedam cancellata conspiciebatur in qua
Imperator occulte adens audiebat. Legatorum petita, putans se neutiquam
videri.” _Berichte Hobordanacz_, Gévay.

[122] Daniello de’ Ludovisi. Albèri, III, i, p. 30, 1435. Ludovisi
further explains that the hold Gritti obtained over Ibrahim was due
to the latter’s inexperience of diplomacy. He says that Ibrahim went
directly from the serai to the offices of Pasha and Beylerbey of
Roumelie without experience of the world or of the government of a
state, and being unwilling to learn from the Turk, he turned to an
outsider to show him the modes of procedure.

[123] Quoted by von Hammer, _op. cit._, v, p. 106, and Zinkheisen, _op.
cit._, p. 662.

[124] _Bericht Johann Hobordanacz an Koenig Ferdinand I_, Innspruch,
19th February, 1529, Gévay, i, pp. 1–28.

[125] In a letter to Ferdinand of April 9, 1528, Hobordanacz wrote:
“Hodierna die intravi in Turciam, ubi adhuc in porte Zawe obviam
venerunt mihi Turci plus quam trecenti optimo cum appareru, et maximo
cum honare susceperunt me, spero autem in Deum omnipotentem quod omnia
negocia bonum finem hebebunt.” Gévay, i, p. 36.

[126] “In the palmy days of the Ottoman Empire,” says Menzies, writing
of this period, “each of these seven towers of the ancient Byzantium
castle had its appropriate use; one contained the gold, another the
silver money, a third the gold and silver plate and jewels; valuable
remains of antiquity were deposited in the fourth; in the fifth were
preserved ancient coins and other objects, chiefly collected by Selim
I during his expeditions into Persia and Egypt; the sixth was a sort
of arsenal; and the seventh was appropriated to the archives. After
the time of Selim II, the Seven Towers were used as a prison for
distinguished persons and as an arsenal.” Menzies, _op. cit._, p. 191.

[127] Zinkheisen, ii, p. 54.

[128] Busbequius, _op. cit._, p. 175.

[129] Gévay, _Bericht Josephs von Lamberg und Nicholaus Juritschitz an
Koenig Ferdinand I, Linz, 23 Feb. 1531_.

[130] _Bericht Lamberg_, Gévay, i, p. 27.

[131] “Ein lange Red mitt vil schpotlichen worten volpracht.” _Ibid._

[132] Gévay, ii, p. 348.

[133] “Er durchaus in allen Reden K. M. nit anders dan Ferdinandum und
dye Khay M^t Khunig zu Yspanie ganent.” _Bericht_, p. 27. Ferdinand
in his letters usually addressed Ibrahim as “Magnifice et praesterne
Vir,” and closed “Ita est gratitudinis nostre effectum digne quandoque
sentire valeatis.” _Cf._ Gévay.

Ibrahim, in a letter to Ferdinand, calls himself: “Cuius ego sum
Gubernator supremus regnorum omnium et Imperiorum Exercitum que sue
felicissime ac potentessime Caesare Maiestatis magnus consiliatius
super omnes dominos Ibraim bassa.” July 4, 1533. Gévay, ii, p. 139.

[134] To the ambassador von Zara he said: “My master has many
sandjakbeys who are far more powerful than Ferdinand and have more land
and power and subjects than he.” Gévay, _op. cit._

[135] “Se istud magnum Imperium regere. Quicquid ipse fecerit id factum
est, omnem enim se potestatem habere. Omnia officia, omnia regna
hebere. Quod ego inquit do hac est datum et manet datum. Quod ego
nondo, id non est datum,” _etc._ Gévay, iii.

[136] Von Zara reports concerning a visit that Suleiman and Ibrahim
made to Gritti: “Tuo insius adventu postea plurima mala Thurci
dicebant, appelantur Caesarem insensatum stultum maleficiatum ab
Ibrahim et Gryti.” Gévay, _op. cit._, iii, p. 26.

[137] Presents to men in power were usual. In connection with the
payment to Mehmet Sokolli, a later vizir, of ten thousand sequins and
the promise of thirty thousand more if he succeeded in making peace
for Venice, Moritz Brosch writes: “Solche Geschenke waren eine uralte
orientalische Sitte, und denzeit auch an den Hoefen des Abendlandes
etwas Gewoehnliches ja Unausweichliches. Waehrend des 16 Jahrhunderts
bildeten sie eine stehende Rubrik in Soll und Haben der Diplomatie; in
London war bei Wolsey, in Spanien der Reihe nach bei Chièvres, Covas,
dem jungeren Granvella und Lerma, in Frankreich bei den Hoeflingen und
Staatsmaennern Ludwig XII und Franzens und der zwei Heinriche, nichts
ohne Geld zu richten. Foermlich beneidet wurde die Pforte weil sie es
nicht noetig hatte fur die Korruption Christlicher Regierung Summen
auszusetzen.” Brosch, _Aus dem Leben Dreier Grossvisere_ (Gotha, 1899),
p. 48.

[138] _Bericht de Schepper 1533._ Gévay, _op. cit._, i, p. 27.

[139] A Hungarian ducat was worth about $2.34, with doubtless much
greater purchasing power in the sixteenth century.

[140] Die forigen potschaften hattenime von E. M. auch hunderttausend
Gulden verheissen er solle helfen das sein Keiser E. M. die Flecken
gab: ich hab innen gesagt aber gesagt und sage e eus solches auch das
wir nit gedenkhen sollen dass er von Gelz wegen seines herrn Nachtheil
raten wolle Er sey in obgemelten seines Herrn Schatz zu greifen
gewellig wann er will er welt lieber seinem Keyser helfen alle Welt
unterzusprinen, nit das er land und leut welchgeben soll. Er sey auch
pey innen nit der Gebrauch das man Gelt und Miet neme und dem hern
sein Nachtheil rate, oder seinem Schaden verhelfe, wie wir begert
darum schweigt diesen Reden stil.” Gévay, i, _Bericht Lamberg und

[141] Zeller, _op. cit._, _Introd._, p. 23.

[142] Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, _The Eastern Question_ (London,
1881), p. 99.

[143] Zeller, _op. cit._, _Introd._, p. 23.

[144] Von Hammer quotes from Suleiman’s Journal a remark of Suleiman’s
to Ibrahim on the occasion of the appearance of the grand vizir before
the sultan, _op. cit._, vol. v, p. 41.

[145] _Op. cit._, vol. iii, p. 418 _et seq._

[146] Imams are Moslem priests, combining with their religious
functions those of notary publics.

[147] David Urquhart, _The Military Strength of Turkey_, London, 1869,
p. 76.

[148] _Op. cit._, p. 87.

[149] _Op. cit._, p. 93.

[150] Urquhart, _op. cit._, p. 88.

[151] William Watreman, _The Fardle of Facions, containing the Anciente
Manners Customs and Laws of the Peoples Enhabiting the two Partes of
the Earth called Africa and Asia_. London, 1555. Hakluyt’s Voyages,
vol. v, p. 126.

[152] _Stato Militaire dell’ Imperio Ottomano_, Marsigli, 1732.

[153] Petchevi and Kemalpashazadeh are the contemporary Turkish
narrators of the campaign. Petchevi takes his account from his
grandfather, who was an eye witness of Mohacz. Kemalpashazadeh was
sheik‐ul‐Islam under Suleiman and writes an account that is at once
that of poet and courtier, but should be fairly accurate as to the
movements of the army. The _Monumenta Hungariae Historica_ (Pest,
1857), vol. i, gives some Hungarian comment on the events. Solakzadeh
and Abdurrahman Sheref give second‐hand reports, while Leopold von
Kupelwieser has excellent volumes on the subject entitled “_Die Kämpfe
Oesterreichs mit den Osmanen_.” (Wien and Leipzig, 1899).

[154] Kemalpashazadeh, _Histoire de la Campagne de Mohacz_. Trans. by
Pavet de Courteille, Paris, 1869.

[155] Kupelwieser, _op. cit._, p. 227.

[156] Letter from Ferdinand of Austria to his sister. “Comme les
turcz ayans donne plusieurs assaulx au chasteau de Peterwardein quils
tienquient assiege y ont perdus beaucop de leuers gens comme de X ou
XII in hommes.” _Monumenta Hungariae Historica_, vol. i, p. 37.

[157] Kemalpashazadeh, _op. cit._, p. 95.

[158] Kemalpashazadeh, _op. cit._, p. 104.

[159] Ferdinand of Austria naturally did not feel so strongly. _Cf._
letter to Margaret in 1526. _Mon. Hung. Hist._, vol. i, p. 41.

[160] Even the Sheik‐ul‐Islam acknowledges this, gloating over the fall
of the enemies of God. Kemalpashazadeh, _op. cit._, p. 107.

[161] “The spoils are Gods of the Apostles: fear God and settle it
among yourselves.” _Koran_, Surah VIII.

[162] “Ego inquit vici Hungaros. Magnus Caesar non interfuit prelio sad
tantum audito clamore, conscendit equum et volebat succurere. Sed ego
confestim misi nuncium, victoriam iam partam este.” Gévay, _op. cit._,
vol. ii, p. 22.

[163] Asaf was Solomon’s traditional vizir. Ardeshir was a famous
Sassanian king.

[164] Kemalpashazadeh, _op. cit._

[165] The letter is given at the end of the translation of
Kemalpashazadeh, p. 145 _et seq._

[166] Cf. Sadullah Saïd in Solymannameh, who speaks of Ibrahim Pasha as
conqueror of Roumelie, p. 81.

[167] _Mejmoua Menshaat el Selatin_, ed. by Feridoun Bey, Stambul.

[168] _Ser_ means head, and _asker_ army in Turkish.

[169] Petchevi, _op. cit._, p. 128.

[170] D’Ohsson, _op. cit._, vol. iii, p. 422.

[171] _Cf._ Von Hammer, _Wiens erste aufgehobene türkische Belagerung_
(Pesth, 1829): also Schimmer, and after him Ellesmere, _The Sieges of
Vienna by the Turks_, (London, 1879).

[172] Schimmer, _op. cit._, p. 16.

[173] “Le dict turc a perdu grand nombre de gens sans toutefois grande
perte de ceulx estans au dicte Vienne.” _Letter of Ferdinand to Charles
V_, Gévay, _op. cit._, vol. i, p. 49. Kupelwieser gives the following
figures: 1700 Viennese killed and 100 inhabitants of the suburbs, 4000
Turks killed, _op. cit._, chap. ii.

[174] Gévay, ii, 28; also Ellesmere, _op. cit._, chap. 2.

[175] For the original narrative of the Count von Zedlitz in the
Turkish camp, see Ellesmere’s book where it is quoted in full.

[176] Kupelwieser, _op. cit._, p. 145.

[177] A purse contained 500 piastres.

[178] Juritschitz wrote a report of this siege to his master Ferdinand,
a French translation which is found in Charrière, vol. i, p. 215 _etc._
Also in _Monumenta Hungariae Historica_, vol. i, p. 169, _cf._ also

[179] “Jay bien apercu quil prenoit de bonne parte que je fasoie
difficulte d’aller devers le Turc (Suleiman) et que je le tenoie en
telle estimacion.” Charrière, vol. i, p. 219.

[180] An account of the splendid entrance into Aleppo is given by
Master Anthony Jenkinson in Hakluyt’s _Voyages_, vol. ii, pp. 225 _et

[181] Abdurrahman Sheref says that the difficulties of this march make
this campaign rank highest among Suleiman’s expeditions, p. 239.

[182] Postel, _op. cit._, speaks of Ibrahim’s looting of Hungary, and
also says: “Arabistan, Serestan and Anatolia condemned him for the
great pillage and exactions which he made, so much that the people were
left (even the richest of them) with no carpet to sleep on, and the
trees were taxed impossibly,” p. 49.

[183] Original narrative of the _Adventures of Count Christopher
von Zedlitz in the Turkish Camps_. From the collection of Baron von
Errenkel in the State Archives at Vienna. Tr. by Ellesmere, p. 47.

[184] 21 Ramazan, 942, A. H.

[185] Domenico Trevisano, Albèri, III, vol. i, p. 115.

[186] Jorga, p. 349.

[187] Solakzadeh, Osmanzadeh.

[188] At the death of the grand vizir, his property was always
confiscated. D’Ohsson, _op. cit._, vol. ii, p. 369.

[189] Baudier, p. 172, Djelalzadek quoted by Solakzadeh, Abdurrahman
Sheref, _etc._ Also Trevisano, “Rossane gelos a forre della potenza del
gran‐vizir,” _etc._

[190] Mustafa Chelebi, quoted by Abdurrahman Sheref and Petchevi, P.

[191] Postel however, in his volume published in 1569, _De la
république des Turcs_, claims that Ibrahim did not favor Christians but
was a despot over them, accusing him of taking large amount of Venetian
and other Christian property. “It is true” he acknowledges “that to
deliver one or another Christian from prison or calumny, he saved him
when the Christian could pay well,” p. 61.

[192] A common title applied to the sultan.

[193] Von Hammer quotes the use of this title by Ibrahim, from
_Suleiman’s Journal_, vol. v, p. 231. _Cf._ also Petchevi, p. 65.

[194] _Cf._ Osmanzadeh, Solakzadeh, and Abdurrahman Sheref.

[195] This story is told by all the Turkish historians, generally with
sympathy for Iskender. _Cf._ Abdurrahman, Petchevi, Solakzadeh.

[196] Cantimir, vol. ii, p. 313. Also Trevisano, _op. cit._

[197] The testimony of the Venetian bailli here seems to us to outweigh
the probably legendary tale told by Baudier, which however I will
give. “The Sultanas (Suleiman’s mother and his wife Roxelana) observe
the murmuring of the people against the favorite, and what the great
men speak of him, and tell Suleiman. Moreover as they were busy to
destroy his greatness, they discover that the pasha favored the house
of Austria, and had secret intelligence with the Emperor Charles V.
This treachery being told to Suleiman, he decided upon Ibrahim’s death,
but required a dispensation from his oath never to disgrace Ibrahim
while he lived. One of his learned men gave him a pleasant Expedit
to free himself of the pasha and yet keep his word. ‘You have sworn,
Sire, not to put him to death while you are living; cause him to be
strangled while you are asleep. Life consists in vigilant action, and
he that sleeps doth not truly live; so you may punish his disloyalty
and not violate your oath.’ Suleiman sends for Ibrahim, and after they
have supped he shows him his crimes by his own letters to Charles V and
Ferdinand, reproaches him for his ingratitude, and commands his mutes
to strangle him while he himself is asleep. He then goes to bed.”

The story of the evasion of the oath through the ingenuity of a “wise
man” is plausible, being in entire keeping with Turkish custom, but
Baudier gives no sources, and I have found none of the facts above
stated, in any other record.

[198] Solakzadeh, Petchevi.

[199] Trevisano, III, i, p. 115.

[200] _Histoire de l’Empire Ottomane_, vol. ii, p. 338.

[201] One private note was as follows, and surely was not written
to a traitor: “Pro ea tamen confidentia et existimatione in qua vos
apud Dominum vestrum merito esse scimus, omittere non potuimus qum
vobis tamquam rerum omnium directori secreto et optimo atque etiam
scientissimo ea super literis vestris significaremus que pro nunc
requiruntur.” Gévay II, 23.

[202] Iskender’s testimony is reported by Cantimir and Trevisano.

[203] Hadikatul Vuzera, p. 26.

[204] Soleymannameh, p. 123.–

[205] Solakzadeh. “Ibrahim caused the death of a dear old man
(Iskender) who was innocent and unjustly treated. So his own end
was according to the verse: ‘Verily all‐glorious Allah is master of

[206] Albèri, III, vol. i, p. 12.


  Page 12, line 1: for “Leon” read “Léon.”

    ”  ”   note 1, line 1: for “Leon” read “Léon.”

    ”  ”   note 2: for “Vambêry” read “Vambéry.”

    ”  15, line 22: for “Busbeq” read “Busbequius.”

    ”  ”   line 24: for “Charrier’s” read “Charrière’s.”

    ”  ”   line 25: for “Négocêations” read “Négociations.”

    ”  ”   line 25: for “Actenstücken” read “Actenstücke.”

    ”  ”   three lines from bottom: for “Abdurrahman” read

    ”  16, note 1, line 2: for “Morgenländichen” read

    ”  18, note 2, line 2: for “Actenstücken” read “Actenstücke.”

    ”  19, note 4, line 1: for “Moldavi” read “Moldavie.”

    ”  23, note 1: for “Abdurrahman” read “Abdurrahman.”

    ”  25, line 4: for “the sister of Suleiman” read “a sultana.”

    ”  ”   line 14: for “sister” read “relative.”

    ”  29, note 2, line 1: for “Muselmanes” read “Musulmanes.”

    ”  31, note 1, line 3: for “Muslimisches” read “muslimischen.”

    ”  34, note 1: for “dell” read “dell’.”

    ”  38, note 1, line 6: for “Abdurrahman” read “Abdurrahman.”

    ”  39, line 18: omit comma at end of line.

    ”  54, note 1, line 2: for “la jouet” read “le jouet.”

    ”  ”   note 1, line 4: for “cette” read “cet.”

    ”  55, line 19: for “was” read “had been.”

    ”  ”   line 20: omit the words “after the Peace of Cambrai.”

    ”  57, line 8: for “steadily‐encroaching” read without hyphen.

    ”  ”   line 21: for “Europe,” read “Europe;”

    ”  ”   line 22: for “the West” read “Europe.”

    ”  ”   line 20: for “Bayezid” read “Bayazid.”

    ”  58, line 2: after “fifteenth century” omit the rest of the sentence
             up to “the Turks.”

    ”  ”   line 9: omit the words “heresy and.”

    ”  ”   line 14: for “King Louis” read “King Lewis.”

    ”  ”   line 2 from bottom: for “Reformation” read “Protestant

    ”   ”  note 2, line 1: for “gives notice of” read “records.”

    ”  59, note 2, line 1: for “Memoire” read “Mémoire.”

    ”  60, note 1, line 4: for “(Buntniss)” read “(Bündniss).”

    ”  62, line 23: for “Hieronymous” read “Hieronymus.”

    ”   ”  line 5 from bottom: for “Siebenbergen” read “Transylvania.”

    ”   ”  note 3, line 1: for “Hoberdanacz” read “Hobordanacz.”

    ”  64, note 1: for “Ottoman” read “Ottomane.”

    ”  ”   note 4: for “Charrières” read “Charrière.”

    ”  68, line 2: for “Krain” read “Carniola.”

    ”  ”   line 15: for “Barbarosa” read “Barbarosa.”

    ”  ”   line 24: for      ”        ”        ”

    ”  69, line 2: for “Barbarosa” read “Barbarosa.”

    ”  ”   line 4: for       ”        ”        ”

    ”  ”   line 8: for “forms” read “formed.”

    ”  ”   note 1: for “Ambassadors” read “Ambassadeurs.”

    ”  ”   note 1: for “Memoire” read “Mémoire.”

    ”  ”   note 2: for “Charrières” read “Charrière.”

    ”  72, line 6: for “Urkunde” read “Urkunden.”

    ”  85, note 1, line 2: for “zechinen” read “sequins.”

    ”  ”   note 1, line 9: after “Covas” insert a comma.

    ”  ”   note 1, line 10: for “Hoefflingen” read “Hoeflingen,”
             and for “Ludwig” read “Ludwigs.”

    ”  ”   note 1, line 13: for “auszuselzen” read “auszusetzen.”

    ”  ”   note 1, line 14: for “Grossvizere” read “Grossviziere.”

    ”  ”   note 1, last line from bottom: for “den” read “dem.”

    ”  88, line 9: for “Francois” read “François.”

    ”  ”   line 10: for “preventions” read “préventions,” and for
             “contemporaries” read “contemporains.”

    ”  ”   line 11: for “veritable” read “véritable.”

    ”  94, note 2, line 9: for “Kupelwieser” read “von Kupelwieser.”

    ”  ”   note 2, line 10: for “Oesterreichen” read “Oesterreichs.”

    ”  98, line 6: for “shiek” read “sheik.”

    ” 104, lines 4 and 10: for “Jurischitz” read “Juritschitz.”

    ”  ”   note 1, line 1: for “Jurischitz” read “Juritschitz.”

    ” 105, line 3: for “Barbarosa” read “Barbarosa.”

    ” 109, note 6, line 1: omit “Grimeston,” and before “quoted” insert

    ” 110, line 5: for “over‐lenient” read same words without hyphen.

    ” 111, note 1: for “Abdurrahman” read “Abdurrahman.”

    ”  ”   note 2: for “Republique” read “république.”

    ” 112, note 3, line 2: for “Abdurrahman” read “Abdurrahman.”

    ” 116, line 16: for “Abdurrahman” read “Abdurrahman.”

    ” 118, fifth line from bottom: for “Sokolly” read “Sokolli.”

    ” 120, line 3: for “Ambasciatore” read “Ambasciatori.”

    ”  ”   _sub verbo_ “Aristarchi”: for “Legislation” read

    ”  ”   _sub verbo_ “Gévay”: for “Actenstücken” read

    ”  ”   line 8: for “reglements” read “règlements.”

    ”  ”   line 14: for “Correspondence” read “Correspondance,”
             and for “Memoires” read “Mémoires.”

    ”  ”   line 16: for “Ambasadeurs” read “Ambassadeurs.”

    ”  ”   line 28: for “Venétiens” read “Vénétiens.”

    ” 121, _sub verbo_ “Busbecq” read “Busbequius.”

    ”  ”   _sub verbo_ “Hakluyt”: omit the whole line.

    ”  ”   line 17: for “Sclaven” read “Sklaven.”

    ”  ”   _sub verbo_ “Vambery” read “Vambéry.”

    ”  ”   _sub verbo_ “Abdurrahman” read “Abdurrahman.”

    ”  ”   _sub verbo_ “Abdurrahman”: insert a new title as follows:
             Armstrong, Edward, _The Emperor Charles V_. London,

    ”  ”   _sub verbo_ “Cahun”: for “Leon” read “Léon.”

    ”  ”   _sub verbo_ “Cantimir”: insert a new title as follows: Coxe,
             William, _History of the House of Austria_. London, 1899.

    ” 122, line 17, and line 31: for “Leipsig” read “Leipzig.”

    ” 123, _sub verbo_ “Hakluyt’s Voyages”: insert “Edition of 1812.”

    ”  ”   line 21: for “Memoires” read “Mémoires.”

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber’s note:

Errors in ERRATA pages have been corrected and the pages moved to the
end of the book.

At least two instances of unpaired double quotation marks could not
be corrected with confidence and were transcribed without change.

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