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T.C. 1516. that their oppressors were at a distance, they Heg. 922.

Naughtered the feeble garrison which was left them; they chose from among them a prince called Mahomet-Beg, and declared themselves tributary to the Ottoman empire. - Karakhan (that was the name of the. Persian fatrap) having discovered the imposition, endeavoured to recover the Diarbekar by force; but the troops which had been sufficiently strong to oppress this province and keep it in obedience to the Persian, were not enough to recover it. The war became bloody, but always to the ad

vantage of the rebels. The following year, the Heg. 923: emperor of the Turks furnished his new subjects

with succours, which aslifted them in driving out entirely those whom they regarded as their tyrants, and which irrevocably attached them to

the Ottoman power. Selim has Selim believed himself indebted to religion extermi-o for this conquest, without considering, that it Christians, was the persecution of the Persians, rather than His minif-oh nd the Sunna, which had brought it under his go

vernment. In order to thank God for his suchim from cefs, he resolved to persecute in his name. We

have observed, that at the taking of Constantinople, Mahomet II. reserved the churches of one entire quarter for the worship of the Christians. The sultan saw with grief 'these stone edifices, so rare at Constantinople, occupied by those whom he called Infidels, he was irritated,

ters find means to diffuade




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that, under his eyes, a people of flaves should dare 1.C.1517.

Heg. 923. thew a horror for his prophet, and treat him as an impostor. In a fit of zeal, he sent for the mufti or chief of the religion. · After the emperor, this is the person most revered in the empire. Whenever the monarch wants to make some considerable change, he procures a sentence from this priest, called a fetfa, because, as there is no other written law in Turkey than the Alcoran, the fetfa, which passes for an interpretation of this pretended divine book, gives a mark of divinity to the edict of the prince. Selim publicly demanded of the mufti, which would be most agreeable to God, to conquer all the Chriftian territories, and to procure, by imposts, the riches of these Infidels, in order to apply them to the glory of Inamism, or to convert to the Mahometan faith a great number of these abused wretches. The chief of the religion replied, without hesitating; that, as the Christians could not hope for salvation in the law of Jesus Christ, it would be much more meritorious before God, to convert several of them to the truth and to the lawful worship, than to oppress the whole. Then the emperor, sending for the caimacan, ör grand vizier's lieutenant, in that quality governor of Constantinople, ordered him to take immediately all the churches from the Christians, convert chem into mosques, and publish in Constantinople, that all the followers of Jesus Christ were to


J.C. 1517. get themselves circumcised and take the turban Heg. 923. w within a limited time, upon pain of death.

Selim left Conftantinople immediately, in order to give the caimacan an opportunity of executing his orders, for this officer has no authority in the city but in the absence of the grand seignior. This decree, visibly contrary to the letter, even to the meaning of the Alcoran, greatly afflicted the viziers and the mufti, who never had dreamed that an improper use would be made of his fetfa, but who was not sufficiently courageous to explain it. The grand vizier Ali bashaw was fensible how prejudicial this falfe zeal would be to the state, by the quantity of blood that it would cause to be spilt, and the number of Greek and Latin Christians, all creditable merchants or industrious artisans, whom it would oblige to leave the empire. Ali bashaw secretly directed the Greek patriarch, how to conduct himself when the caimacan should sige nify the grand seignior's order to him. This patriarch, who, as we have seen, received from the emperor the investiture of his church, by the pastoral staff and the ring, replied to the chiau, charged with the execution, that he' appealed from the order of the caimacan to his highness himself.

The mufti, consulted on this answer, assured Selim, who was at that time at Adrianople, that he could not refuse to hear the patriarch. The


latter was sent for and introduced into the divan, J.C.1514,

'Heg. 923. accompanied by several Greek priests, in presence a of the mufti and all the bashaws of the bench. After having bowed three times to the earth at the foot of the throne, he said, with a modest, confident tone, chat the order signified to the Christians had been surprised from his highness, since it wounded the justice and text of the Alcoran; that at the time of the taking of Conftantinople, Mahomet II, the grandfather of the emperor, had solemnly permitted the Greeks the free exercise of their religion, provided they paid tribute ; that he had granted them the exclusive right of all the churches which they still poffeffed in virtue of this royal grant; that with respect to the apostacy required of all the Christians, it was not only contrary to the promise of Mahomet II. but manifestly interdicted by the text of the

Alcoran, of which he quoted the words : That i no one shall be forced to follow the religion of Mahomet from the time that be shall beve attained the age of discretion, provided be pays annually, by way of tribute, thirteen drachms of pure silver.

The patriarch having called the mufti to wit-, ness the accuracy of the quotation and the true meaning of the words, the defterdar effendi, who was his oppofer, was obliged to acknowledge it; but he defied the patriarch to shew the act which ceded the propriety of the churches to him. The prelate acknowledged, that the paper



Heg. 923•

J.C. 1517. demanded had been consumed'in á fire, but he

produced three janissaries, each more than a hundred years old, who affirmed their having been witnesses of the promise made by Mahomet II. Notwithstanding this testimony, the emperor, who envied the Christians their stone churches, ordered that they ihould be converted into mosques ; that the Giaures* should preserve the free exercise of their religion, agreeably to the law of Mahomet, and that they should be at liberty to build churches of wood, to supply the

loss of those that were taken from them. War with The martial Selim could not remain inactive.' melukes. He was not ignorant of the danger of leaving their'ful his troops in that situation; besides, Egypt ofLilled in a fered a vast field to his ambition. The foudan which he Gauri, sovereign of the Mammelukes, had, as

well as the king of Persia, harboured one of Aleppo.

the sons of Achmet. Though this prince was
dead, as well as his brother, the sultan bore a
much stronger resentment of it in his heart, be-
cause the revenge might be useful and glorious.
The relation of the war, which overturned the
throne of the Mammelukes, has been written by
a Turk, an eye witness, who executed the office
of cadilesker or provost in Selim's army. We
fhall principally follow this author, whose details
appear to us to wear the face of truth. The

. reader * The Turks call all the Christians, Jews, and generally all those who are not Muffulmen, by this name.

The manuscript is deposited in the king of France's library.




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