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j.c. i4»4» liberty of Andronicus, the Greek emperor's
to I429...' . . r
Heg. 8z7, brother, who commanded in the place, and had
to 832. r
«—.v—.> since sent deputies to Venice, to offer to become subjects of that republic, if they would undertake its defence. Calcondilus and Phranzes assure us, that the violence offered to Andronicus was a feint, and that the Thessalonians had recourse to the republic of Venice, only in concert TheVene- with the Greeks. Be that as it may, as the Asrbbfits Venetians wished ardently for a town so advanA^rath tageously situated for commerce, they accepted b obliged tne proposal without hesitation. They imme
to besiege r 1'
"*• diately sent a governor thither, who gave An
dronicus the liberty of retiring to Constantinople; and for fear lest the natives, who had not thought themselves sufficiently strong to defend their homes, should talk of submitting to the Turks, they transported a great many families, some to the islands of Euboe and Candia, and others to Venice, under pretence, that there were not provisions enough in the place, and that it would be difficult to introduce any. In the place of these useless stomachs, they sub, _ , stituted disciplined and determined soldiers. Amurath was at Seres in Macedonia, when he learned, that the Venetians had undertaken the defence of a place, which the Greeks had ceded to him. Surprised to find himself opposed by an enemy which he had not thought of, he sent an embassy to Venice, to represent to the
republic, republic, that as he was not at war with them, J-c- 14*4.
r to ij;.29.
they ought not to shut against him the gates of a Heg. 827, town, which had never belonged to them. The wv—> sultan not having received any satisfactory answer from the Venetians, it became necessary for. him to prepare for besieging a strong place defended by determined soldiers. The emperor wrote to Amza his vizier to bring, by the gulf of Thefsalonica, all the troops that he could take from Asia, assuring him that he would soon join him. Amza appeared the first, at the head of an suge of
r l. !_ L r Thessalo
army so numerous, that the behegers were more mca. than a hundred to one. Notwithstanding this ^udTM* large number,'the Venetians- defended them- j",,*8^ selves with incredible courage, making frequent j£f^? and bloody sallies, contenting themselves with^"*a very frugal nourishment, and threatening instant death to all those that should talk of surrendering. The fortifications of this town were such, that few war machines could affect them. Though the use of cannon was already known in almost every part of Europe, the Turks did . not yet know how to employ them. They endeavoured to corrupt some of the besieged. In effect, some of them not being able to support the extremities to which they were reduced, undertook the continuation of a subterraneous passage, known only to a few people, in order to open a communication with the outside of the walls, and, by that mean, to introduce the enemy.
J;c-h=4»This being discovered, the authors of it were so Hte8-g827»cruelly punished, that several, before they were »—v—.» convicted, precipitated themselves from the top of the ramparts into the Turkish camp, to avoid the torments which their accomplices were put to. These examples kept in order the feeblest. The war engines and battering rams made very little effect, and the siege began to lengthen The vizier wrote to the emperor, that his presence became necessary, not to augment the number of the besiegers, already too large, but to add new vigour to the troops, who began to despair. Amurath tore himself from the arms of his sultanesses. As soon he arrived at the camp, he caused to be published by sound of trumpet, that he gave the soldiers every thing that should be found in Thessalonica, men, women, children, gold, silver, furniture, and wares, and that he reserved to himself, only the place and buildings. This declaration renewed the ardour j.c. 14*9- of the soldiers. The assault was given with such
Heg. 832. # &
vigour, that they reached at length, though in a small number, the top of the walls; those, who Were able to get up, cut their way through the middle of some discouraged soldiers and an enervated populace. They found means to open a gate to the Turks, who rushed instantly into the city. There was less slaughter in Thessalonica than is generally seen in towns taken by assault. Amurath's abandoning all the slaves
to the soldiers. was the cause of there being J,c- 1w*
° to 1436.
but little bloodshed. The Turks killed only Heg. s3a, those that made resistance, and they put in chains <—-»—J all that submitted to them. The town was rich; the gold, the silver, the rich furniture, and everything of value, was a prey to the troops, as the sultan had promised them. Each, soldier sold as many slaves as he could take. The town, become a desert, was repeopled by some families from the country. Amurath introduced likewise, some of its old inhabitants, who had been" ransomed. He converted all the churches into mosques, except one, which he left the Christians. The Greek emperor had the boldness to complain of the sack of Thessalonica. Amurath complained in his turn against John Paleologus's neglect of the treaty. He saw, or was willing to fee, a connivance with the Latin Christians in the defence which they had made of this town, and he designed to punish the Greeks for it, by continuing the war with them, though they had paid the tribute. He took several towns without resistance in He takes
Achaia and Etolia, which the Greeks yet posses- in Etoiia, fed. They opened their gates to him as soon as eludes a they could perceive the horse-tails.* The Vene- the Venetians, interested in the preservation of a free in
* This is a mark of dignity carried besore the viziers. An officer who has a right to have three borfc-tœih carried besore him, is stiled a vizier of three tails; and when the emperor is going to declare war, he causes the Jberfe-taiis to be hung out. Tranjlatcr.
j.c. 14*9, tercourse with all nations by sea. were eager to
to 1436. J' °
Heg. 832. fen(j an embassy to the Turkish emperor to con
*—v—» elude a peace. We do not find that this prince
made them purchase it; he contented himself
with undermining the Greeks, and weakening by
degrees, under the most frivolous pretences, the
princes his tributaries and neighbours.
Amurith For twelve whole years Amurath made war with
ITth'scve- his vassals in Europe and Asia. He dispossessed
"'thlTn- them in order to give their possessions to some of
fligationof nis creatures, or he reduced them to heavy tributes.
Jus wives.' *
Some female intrigues, which are always so dark at the Ottoman court, but which are often more powerful there, than any where else, were the occasion of almost all these events. Besides a great number of concubines shut up in the -haram, Amurath had three( legitimate) wives there, all daughters or sisters of his vassals, who had been given him by them, in order to procure his protection, or purchase peace: Helen, daughter of Lazarus Ogli, p/ince of Servia in Europe; Fatma, daughter of Isfendar Beg, prince of Sinope in Asia; and Mary, sister of George, become despot of Servia after the death of Lazarus Ogli. These princesses, giving themselves up to their jealousies, endeavoured to have the war carried into the dominions of their rivals. Mary, princess of Servia, the last of the sultanesses, had at first effaced the two others from the heart of the inconstant Amurath. But her beauty and success