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Suleiman the Magnificent: Sultan of the East

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First Basemen

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Challenge of the First Embassies

And now the first fruit of his waiting appeared. The Hun garians themselves sent envoys to ask his aid in December 1527. In Hungary, inevitably, the two rival kings had come to conflict. The Hapsburg, Ferdinand, being better equipped and aided by the dour Bohemians, had made short work of occupying Buda and overrunning the middle plain, driving the people’s army of Zapolya before him.And, defeated in the field, Zapolya had appealed to Sulei man. The appeal pleased the Sultan, but not the manner of it. Ibrahim castigated his envoy sharply. “You come too late. You should have come before the crowning of your King. How dared your lord think of himself as lord of Buda? Do you not know that my master was there? Where the horse of the Sultan has trod, that ground is forever his .... Brother, you come here as if from a servant. If you have come with tribute, give it; otherwise there is no use talking.”
But when envoys appeared from the Hapsburgs, their recep tion was very different. The versatile Ibrahim played another part that of a courteous host, interested in all his guests had to say. ( He was curious to learn the intentions and the power of the Hapsburgs.)
The two Germans, Hobordanacz and Weixelberger, had the full benefit of ceremony, with the janizaris paraded at their entrance, and all the pashas sitting robed in the Divan. On their part the Germans had a train of four hundred knights, in full panoply. There was an imperial air to the meeting, and Ibrahim enjoyed himself vastly, asking if the envoys of the King of Bohemia and Germany he did not say Hungary had had a
pleasant journey, and if they were comfortable in their quar ters, and what had they to tell of their lord?
Hobordanacz said he was happy in the destiny that made him, the King of Hungary, such a near neighbor of the great Turkish emperor.
Ibrahim: “Did you not know that the Sultan has been to Buda?”
Hobordanacz (roughly): “He left signs enough behind him, for us to know he visited it.”
Ibrahim: “But the;  castle; how was that left?”
Hobordanacz: “Whole and undamaged.”
Ibrahim: “Do you know why?”
“Because it was the royal castle, apart from the town.”
“No, because the Sultan desired to preserve the castle for his own use. God willing, he will keep it.”
Hobordanacz: “We know that is the Sultan’s idea. Yet even Alexander the Great was unable to carry out such ideas/’ Ibrahim could not pass this answer over (knowing that Sulei man was listening, who had debated with him so often the ideas of Alexander). He challenged the envoy sharply. “Then you say that Buda does not belong to Suleiman?”
“I cannot say,otherwise than that my King holds Buda.” Ibrahim seized the chance to cross-question him about Fer dinand’s real nature and power. “Why do you call him wise ... what do you understand by wisdom ... what boldness and courage do you find in him ... what have you to say about the power of your master?”
Hobordanacz did not fare very well in trying to draw Ferdi nand’s portrait as an ideal monarch. By pretending naive curi osity and appearing skeptical, Ibrahim managed to get some useful information from the envoy. Only at the end did the Vizir drop his mask of guilelessness. The envoy had explained that Ferdinand was supported by the friendship of his strong neighbors.
Ibrahim: “We know that these so-called friendly neighbors are in reality his enemies.” And, as if absently, he asked, “Do you come as at war or in peace?”
“Ferdinand desires the friendship of all his neighbors, the enmity of none.”
Having sounded out the envoys, Ibrahim had them conducted into the presence of Suleiman with all splendor. Gifts were offered by the knights attendant on the envoys, and taken by janizaris of the guard, who displayed them to the onlookers. Meanwhile the envoys were kept at the door with their inter preter, until Suleiman asked them to state their master’s busi ness. Then each was led forward in turn between Ibrahim and Kasim, who held their arms, in ancient tribal fashion. Hobordanacz said he had come to request a truce, if not a peace. Giving no answer, Suleiman spoke aside to his Vizir, who demanded, “How do you dare speak of the power of your master here in the presence of the Sultan, to whose protection other princes of Europe have been willing to commend them selves?”
Unguardedly Hobordanacz asked who those princes might be.
“The King of France,” he was told, “the King of Poland, the Voevode of Transylvania, the Pope, and the Doge of Venice.” That silenced the blunt Austrian, who realized the essential truth of it. Ibrahim added ironically that all but one of these princes were supreme heads of Europe. After a moment’s thought Hobordanacz changed his tone, but it did him no good. His mission was an impossible one. During later conferences with Ibrahim he had to admit that Ferdinand expected his sovereignty to be acknowledged over all fortified places in Hun gary, in return for an agreed peace.
“I am surprised,” Ibrahim commented, “that he does not ask for Constantinople as well.”
The Germans made matters worse by suggesting that com pensation would be paid Suleiman. Ibrahim, really angry, went to a window and pointed out the ancient city wall. “Do you see that wall? At the end of it there are the Seven Towers, all of them filled with gold and treasure.” As for offers, he added, both Charles and Ferdinand seemed incapable of keep ing faith.
Not until their dismissal did they go before Suleiman again. And their dismissal was most ominous.
“Your master has not yet felt our neighborly friendliness,” Suleiman informed them, “but he shall soon feel it. Tell him plainly that I am coming in person with all my power to give back to Hungary the fortified places that he demanded of me. Tell him to make ready to receive me well.”
Nor were the unfortunate Germans allowed to depart with their message. For a year they were kept confined, to meditate upon their message, while the Turks prepared for war. Suleiman had decided to remove Hungary entire from the nascent middle Europe dominion of the Hapsburgs. The coun try of the inviting prairies and lakes would become Magyaristan, the land of the Magyars, self—ruled tinder Suleiman’s pro tection and authority. He had waited long to make this decision. A suitable ruler for the Hungarian state was at hand in John Zapolya, who held the allegiance of the common folk.
Zapolya was acknowledged King of Hungary, freed from
paying any tribute in return for his armed supportand given Gritti as a permanent envoy in Constantinople. “Tell your mas ter,” Suleiman informed him, “that now he can sleep with both ears shut.”

Road to Vienna

In the rain-drenched May of next spring, 1529, Suleiman marched north to his first defeat.The great moving encampment of the Turks threaded the familiar roads, past the Roman ruins of Adrianople, up into the mountain gorges, bridging its way, sometimes crossing floods on walks laid over tree branches, swinging through the bare Serbian valleys, sighting again its old frontier at the broad gray sweep of the Danube. As before, the Army of Asia, the horse men of Anatolia, Syria and the Caucasus, caught up with it and fell in behind.
This time, however, there was a change. A division of Croats came in from the western ranges, and was given a place in the camp beside the contingents of Bulgars and Serbs. On the familiar grassy plain of Mohacs, Zapolya appeared with 6000 Hungarians, and Ibrahim rode out to escort him in, to be greeted as King and as ally of Suleiman. Another lord, Peter Pereny, brought in the iron crown of Hungary. Beside these Hungarians Luigi Gritti pitched his tent. Few as they were these men represented the nucleus of the nations that acknowl edged Suleiman’s rule from the Black Sea to Venice. Later Pau’ Verday appeared from Gran, with the keys of that strong city, yielded by its archbishop.
Something rather surprising was taking place. Towns like Szegedin and Stuhlweissenburg which the Hapsburgs had ex pected to resist the Turks opened their gates to Suleiman’s ad vance detachments. And the Turkish asker marched under rigid discipline, without looting, or damaging crops. Suleiman’s diary had a laconic entry one day: “A Spahi executed for grazing his horse on growing crops.”
Hungary was being protected as a land at peace. The great army forged across the central plain without encountering re sistance. There was no sign of Ferdinand or his court. The army marched to Buda as quietly as if to Adrianople. Then Suleiman made a proclamation^ to it. There would be a new Serasker or Marshal of the Army, and he would be Ibrahim, the First Vizir, the victor at Mohacs, already commander of the Army of Europe.
More than that, the new Serasker might carry before him a standard of five horsetails. His commands would be ’as the commands of the Sultan. “... all my people, vizirs and peas ants, shall hold all he says, or believes fit, as an order from my mouth.”
No Osmanli sultan had made such a gift of power to a min ister before. Did Suleiman hope to efface himself still more, or to share his popularity with his friend during a spectacular and successful campaign? More probably, since Osmanli custom re quired the Sultan to march at the head of his forces, he sought to authorize Ibrahim as a commander at need.
Coming into Buda, he met resistance for the first time. A Ger man garrison had been left there, and they made an attempt to defend the citadel, but surrendered in four days. For the next day the diary has the entry: “Sale of slaves.”
At Buda news from the west reached Suleiman. Ferdinand was far away at a German Diet endeavoring to raise troops for the defense of Vienna. And in Italy the unpredictable French King had signed a treaty of peace with his supposed foe, the German Emperor. This peace of Cambrai had been agreed on only a month before, after Charles had heard that Suleiman had started north to the Danube. Charles, aware of the danger in the east, had granted the unfortunate Francis speedy and easy terms. On his part Francis had agreed to furnish aid in resisting the Turks!
What Suleiman thought of this about-face of his pledged ally is not on record. He went hunting for two days, while Zapolya was installed in his new palace. Then he started with the Turkish army up the highroad along the Danube toward
He went fast. Leaving the heavy artillery at Buda, his army pressed on, ignoring harassing attacks in the Austrian hills and bombardment from the guns of Pressburg, covering a hundred and seventy miles by road and river to the wooded suburbs of Vienna in a week.

The Kartnertor

The siege of Vienna by Suleiman in the autumn of 1529 has become a landmark of history. It has been said so of^en that the invasion of the Osmanli Turks reached as far as Vienna in that year and was stopped there by the siege.The most remarkable thing about this “siege of Vienna” is that it never took place. What did occur there on the Danube in that late September was an odd battle which did not at all stop the Turkish expansion. To realize that, consider what hap pened day by day.
Suleiman, remember, was making forced marches out of Hungary into Austria (a Land of War) with an army mounted for the most part on horses. The horses could no longer graze on frost-blighted pastures; forage had to be provided. Both men and horses were on short rations by then.
Turn to the diary.
September 21. “Citadel of Istergrad [Pressburg they were passing it under fire]. Difficult stage. Infidels harass the army with continued fire [Austrian detachments firing from the hills along the road].”
September 22. “The army passes three rivers and crosses numerous swamps, At Altenburg we reach the Hungarian
frontier. The army enters enemy territory where it finds sup plies in abundance.”
Once on Austrian soil, the light horsemen are loosed to gather in the all-important forage, supplies, and to ravage the valley hamlets. Some of them penetrate to the forests around Vienna and engage the Christian cavalry.
Suleiman learns that Ferdinand may or may not be in Vienna, but a sizable army is certainly there. He presses on. In 1529 Vienna was a small city. The castles of the Margraves had not grown into the great Hofburg of later days. It was really pretty much a city of churches and monasteries, grouped around the beloved spire of St. Stefan’s, occupying the ground now enclosed by the inner “Ring” and backed against the broad Danube. The wall, except for some of the gates, remained the high narrow city wall of medieval times unlike the bastioned fortifications of Rhodes.
The large southern gate, on the side away from the river (and the modern Prater park) the Kartnertor, with the nunnery of Santa Clara just inside it led toward Schonbrunn village, and had been fortified.
Vienna was then the capital city of its Archduke, Ferdinand, who had retired prudently to Spires. His brother the Emperor also remained far away in Italy, sending only 700 veteran Span ish cavalry to Vienna. The Diet at Spires named a certain Elector Palatine to be commander at Vienna, who was hardly heard from during the action.
The officers who actually led the defense of Vienna were the experienced Marshal of Austria, William von Rogendorf, and a captain, Nicholas Count of Salm, a veteran of Pavia. They had mobilized a serviceable force of 16,000, mostly professional soldiery, and had also the Spaniards and detachments of volun teer knights, with the Burgher guard of the city to put out fires and repair battle damages. An earth rampart had been raised inside the brittle outer wall. All boats along the river had been sunk and the bridges readied for demolition.
At Vienna, for the first time, Suleiman was faced by well-armed Christian forces, German-led and—disciplined. His ap proach was very rapid. On the twenty-third, Turkish cavalry began to drive in the Christian outposts. By the twenty-sixth, the main Turkish army was quartered opposite the southern wall, with the cavalry withdrawn along the Wiener Wald (across the small Wiener stream). Suleiman’s own camp was close behind the Serasker’s, opposite the Kartnertor. On the twenty-seyenth the first of the Turkish flotilla arrived up the Danube, after passing through the barrage at Pressburg. It was used to cut communication between the city and the north bank of the river. Farther to the north Austrian reinforce ments were coming in, but they kept their distance. Meanwhile the Turkish light horsemen were fanning out at speed through lower Austria.
By then Salm and Rogendorf had withdrawn all their forces into the city wall, but they had no intention of staying there. By then, or very soon, Suleiman had obtained information from a prisoner that Ferdinand was not with his army in Vienna, But he was not yet certain of that.
His Turks sent a message of greeting to the Austrians: “On the third day we will eat breakfast within your walls.” As soon as they came up, Turkish engineers started to push trenches toward the Kartnertor wall, and to move guns tip through the trenches. The defending captains, surprised that the city was not invested as a whole, puzzled by the fact that the Turkish encampment was only visible in the south, decided to sally out, to sweep away the Turkish engineers and their works.
What happened in the next twelve days is clear in the Sul tan’s diary and the accounts of the Viennese.
September 29. “The unbelievers make an attack but are driven back as soon as the cavalry mounts to the saddle.” (They sallied out on the east side, by the Stuben gateway, across the Weiner Bach, 2500 of them, and circled around to the Kartnertor, demolishing trenches on the way, and almost capturing Ibrahim, escaping the counterattack of the Turkish horse from the Wiener Wald. )
By October 1 some of the Turkish guns which, being only light pieces, have to be advanced close to the wall are firing. October 2. “The Bey of Semendria drives back a sortie, killing thirty men and taking ten prisoners.”
(The Turkish infantry begins a covering fire from arque buses, while the real work is undertaken, the shafts of two mines being started toward the Kartnertor wall. The diary records the wounding of janizaris in the trenches and cannon balls from the walls falling in the tents near Suleiman. The Austrians de tect the mine shafts and blow them in; others are started at once toward the gate. Salm sends out a message to the Turks: “Your breakfast is getting cold by now.”
October 6. “Attack by the besieged. Five hundred of our men are killed, the Alaibey of Gustendil among them.”
( This is a major attack by the Austrians, 8000 strong, emerg ing on the river side and sweeping around more than half the circuit of Vienna, to demolish the Turkish works; but this time it is caught by a counterattack and pinned against the Kartnertor where the rearmost Austrian regiments, unable to make their way through the narrow entry, fall into disorder and are cut up. The garrison does not risk another sally.)
October 7. “Mining and cannonading continue. We hear that all the grandees of the kingdom are united inside the walls .” October 8. “Arrival of several fugitives from the city. All pashas and commanders remain afoot that night, expecting an other sortie.”
October 9. “Our two mines are exploded. Assaults fail at the two breaches. Heavy fighting, especially on the sector of the Pasha of Semendria.”
(This is the attempt of the Turks to break through the wall to get at the army inside. The Austrians, prepared for it, have inner defenses of beams and wooden shields ready to set in place, and they hold the breaks in the wall.)
October 10. “The Vizir presents himself before the Sultan. At his departure all the commanders accompany him.”
( Suleiman does not record it, but at this conference of com manders he gave the order to retire from Vienna and begin the long march of more than seven hundred .miles back to Con stantinople. Autumn cold is setting in, forage is scanty for the vital horse herds which must be preserved during the march homeward; the foraging akinjis are coming in with what they could glean from the countryside. Only too clearly, Suleiman remembers the cold, the sickness and hunger of the months of the siege of Rhodes. Here in the heart of Europe, he will not risk a repetition of the ordeal. Apparently many commanders agree, but Ibrahim does not, and others support the new Serasker. They have the viewpoint of field commanders, that an action begun must be carried out; they have the superior force, and it can only be a matter of time before the old-fashioned wall of Vienna is demolished .... Certainly this wall cannot hold as long as the great ramparts of Rhodes .... Against such arguments the officers who favor breaking off the engagement point out that the Viennese have an earth rampart raised inside the brittle outer wall that the fugitives from the city have given definite information that the Archduke is not in his city that winter will set in within a few days, blocking the mountain passes with snow, and endangering the flotilla on the river ... they have stayed too long as it is. )
Suleiman makes the decision to retreat. But as often happens in such situations, he agrees to a compromise. One more assault will be tried, before leaving.
Probably the pashas and aghas at the conference are ordered not to speak of the decision to withdraw from Vienna; but the news leaks out, or the veteran troops sense that they are pulling out.
For two days work is pushed on new mine shafts. The Al banian regiments probe at a fresh narrow breach, losing two hundred men. Suleiman and Ibrahim go up to inspect the wall, discarding their distinctive head ornaments and putting on woolen kaftan hoods to do so. The janizaris are promised a bo nus of about twenty ducats eacha rich fief and promotion to the soldier first over the defenses.
On October 13 the trial assault is made, and fails completely. Nicholas of Salm and Rogendorf are ready for it with cannon placed at a barrier of wine tuns filled with earth and stones. The German professional infantry holds confidently and well. On the other hand, the storming forces have no heart; officers are seen beating men with the flat of sabers. By three o’clock in the afternoon the last efforts are at an end. The Turkish askeris, who know the army is to retreat, will not go forward with the officers. At midnight great fires rise along the Turkish lines where sur plus stores and huts are burned.
The defenders on the walls of Vienna hear long-drawn outcry where adult captives are being killed the younger ones are spared to be taken off.


Volleys of cannon and a tocsin of church bells sounded in rejoicing from the walls of Vienna. Hearing it, Ibrahim asked a prisoner of war, the standard-bearer Zedlitz, what the noise meant. The Austrian explained that it was rejoicing. After being given a silk robe of honor, he was sent in to arrange for the ex change of prisoners, as the Turks began their march out the next day. Oddly enough some of the Christian soldiers who were sent back caused suspicion in the excited town because they had been given money by the Turks, which they proceeded to spend promptly in the taverns. For a while they were in dan ger of hanging as renegades or spies. Only three Turks were re turned from the town.The letter given Zedlitz to take in (written by Ibrahim in bad Italian) had in it an explanation of their leaving. “I, Ibrahim Pasha ... generalissimo of the army, to you, noble and spirited captains ... Know that we did not come here to cap ture your town but to give battle to your Archduke. That is what made us lose so many days here, without being able to come up with him ....”
Although the Turks had been seen to load their artillery and heavy stores on their Danube flotilla, and to evacuate their lines after the exchange of prisoners of war, there seems to have been doubt in Vienna as to whether they were not waiting in ambush behind the Wiener Wald. Some of the returned prison ers were actually tortured to discover if that were not the case. Naturally, under torture, they confessed that it was. The next day, October 17, snow began to fall. Cavalry de tachments brought back word that the Turks had gone. Where upon the soldiery, the arquebusiers and Landsknechts, who had defended the wall so stoutly, took over the town, ignoring their officers and threatening to loot Vienna if they were not paid a “threefold gratuity.”
For the first time the official commander of the city, the Count Palatine, appears in the records. He appeased the Ger man infantry by pledging payment of a “twofold gratuity” as soon as the money could be raised by the Archduke and the Emperor.
The forays of the Turkish light horse caused consternation throughout the Empire. The flying columns had cut a wide swath during the twenty days that the army had been across the border. They had reached the environs of Ratisbon, and gained the river Inn. From the foot of the Khalenberg to the castle of Lichtenstein, the countryside had burned. The fords of the river Inn had been held by John Starhemberg, but the speeding horsemen had overrun Brunn, Enzersdorf , Baden and Klosterneuburg. Here and there German troops had defended themselves in mills and castles; the length of the Danube had become a swift-moving battlefield; the Styrian mountains had been devastated. Captives had been taken by the thousand. No count was ever made of the victims, but the chroniclers speak of ten to twenty thousand.
In Cologne the chronicle of Brief World Happenings relates of 1529 that it was a year “most grievous and full of calamity for the Germans. The Turks broke in savagely ... “
Perhaps Hobordanacz and his lord, Ferdinand, had reason to remember at the end of it what Suleiman had promised to do the year before. As he said he would, he had given back to Hun gary the twenty-seven fortified towns that Ferdinand had named as a condition of peace; he had installed another ruler in Ferdinand’s place; he had visited Austria in person. He had tried for fourteen days to break into Vienna, to get at the army inside.
He had been turned back at Vienna only by the skill and courage of two men, Nicholas of Salm and William von Rogendorf, as Ibrahim acknowledged. Nonetheless, he had been de feated. The Osmanli armies, victorious for seventeen years, had been checked. It is doubtful if Suleiman was much concerned about the battle of Vienna. But as Sultan and son of Selim, he felt the loss of prestige keenly.
He rewarded the janizaris as he had promised, and made a gift to two thousand ducats to “the son of the Doge of Venice” (Gritti). And he sent Gritti with the Hungarian officers to crown Johnny (“Yanush”), as they began to call John Zapolya, with the iron crown of Hungary. Then they raced home against the coming of winter.
His diary, casual at Vienna, shows distress during that six-hundred-mile march over mountain passes and flooding rivers under the lash of snow and hail. “Today, again the army loses a quantity of baggage ... we leave behind a great number of horses in the swamps; many men die ... the Sultan, angry at the Agha of Messengers and the Chief of Supply, reduces their fiefs; many soldiers are dying of hunger ... forced march ... many transport animals lost ... a measure of grain sells for five thousand aspers ... forced march with horses dying as before ... a great portion of the baggage lost in crossing the Danube ... severe rains ... we enter into deep snow ....”
Although the armies scattered to take different routes, once the Danube was left behind, Suleiman remained with his own troops. Reading between the lines of the diary, we realize that he stormed at commanding officers, issued grain to the men in the ranks, coaxed the immense column along, and brought it safely in mid-December to Constantinople.
As at Rhodes, this winter march home through the Balkans left an indelible impression on him. After Rhodes he no longer believed in war as a weapon to be used; after the retreat from Vienna, he revolted against the pageantry of warfare. Only once thereafter did he lead the Turkish asker to the pro longed siege of a city, and that was when he was dying. The attack on Vienna aroused the European courts as noth ing else had done. Luther prayed publicly—for deliverance from the “terror of the Turks.” Suspending his polemics against the papacy, he wrote as in duty bound his De Bello Turcica, ac knowledging the Turks to be the true enemies of God.
Suleiman had been gone for months when Charles V visited the German portion of his inchoate Empire for the first time in 133 ‘
nine years. After paying the ransom of Vienna to the troops that had defended it, he learned the price the Austrian countryside had paid the ravaging Turkish horsemen. He had just been crowned as Emperor by the Pope at Bologna, he was expected to play the role of defender of Christendom, and that particular part of Christendom fully expected the Turks to return in the next year.
Behind this greatest of the Hapsburgs his archantagonist Francis I while muting down his own accord with the Turks, gave money and aid to the league of German nobles supporting the Reformation against Charles. Francis even tried to strike up an alliance with John Zapolya, friend of the Turks in eastern Hungary, while Ferdinand nagged his brother for money and troops to carry the war against Suleiman into Hungary. (Fer dinand had just been given a, new title, “King of the Romans/’) The Reformation was spreading. In Bavaria the Wittelsbachs prayed openly for the victory of Zapolya.
Thus bedeviled, Charles saw very clearly the only way out of his troubles. Since he could have no truce with the forces of the Reformation, he must have a truce with the Turk.
So early in 1530 Europe witnessed the strange spectacle of the victors at Vienna sending envoys to the man who by all official accounts had been vanquished, to ask for terms. Charles acted wisely. Unfortunately his prestige as Emperor would suffer if he, the defender of the Christian Commonwealth, should sue for peace with the Turks. The envoys, then, were sent by Ferdinand, and the younger Hapsburg liad an amazing knack of doing the wrong thing at the most critical time. His envoys had been ordered to speak only in German in presenting Ferdinand’s conditions, which were: recognition as King of Hungary, possession of Buda (then held for Zapolya by a Turk ish garrison) and the other large towns. In return the emissaries were to offer to bribe Ibrahim, and to pay Suleiman a “pension.” Nothing could have been better calculated to defeat the pur pose of the elder Hapsburg, and to anger the Turks. These had by then a new name for the King of the Romans. It was simply Ferdinand.
When Ferdinand’s spokesmen had been conducted past a line of tame, roaring lions and a full turnout of the janizaris, Ibrahim gave them a display of his virtuosity. “You say that your mas ters,” he retorted, laughing, “the King of Spain and Ferdinand, have come to a truce with the Pope. It does not seem to us to Be such a sincere truce, after your armies pillaged the Holy City and made the Pope himself a prisoner ... as to Ferdinand, who would like to be King of Hungary, when we came to seek him at Buda, we did not find him. We went on to Vienna. It is a beautiful city, well worthy of being the capital of an empire, but we did not find its Archduke there. The Sultan, my master, left marks upon the walls as evidence that he had visited it. We did not come to conquer but to overrun the country of Austria. The akinjis galloped through it to show that the real emperor had appeared .... Where does Ferdinand keep himself? , .. You say he will return to Hungary, but that is not likely when his own troops like the Bavarians refuse to follow him thither they prefer Johnny Zapolya as King. No, Ferdinand knows tricks enough, yet he does not show the qualities of a king. How can a man be king unless he keeps his word?”
Anxious as he was to come to agreement with Charles, Sulei man refused to disown Johnny Zapolya, or to give up Buda. The Hungarians did not belong to the Hapsburg empire. He would hear no argument about that.
The odd thing about this peace mission is that the Europeans sought for Suleiman’s word, which they knew would guarantee a truce. The vital thing is that Suleiman and Charles were kept at a war they both wished to avoid. The duel imposed on them was to last until the death of Charles in a Spanish monastery near a coast terrorized by Turkish raids.
The mission from the Hapsburgs had one effect. It restored the prestige of the Turkish Sultan. The Hapsburgs had sued for peace after Vienna and had been refused.

Evidence of the Hippodrome

Unmistakably the Sultan of the Osmanlis was glad to return from the European war to his family and his people. As he had seized three years of quiet after Mohacs, he surprised the Europeans by doing the same after Vienna. Not without much truth had Ibrahim declared to the objectionable Hobordanacz, “The Lord of the Two Worlds has more important matters to attend to than you/*At the beginning of summer, 1530, when the judas trees and magnolias flamed along the Bosphorus, Suleiman staged his second festival of the new Constantinople. This time he thought or Ibrahim did of some displays, which the European specta tors found grotesque, but which pleased the Turks. Trophies, including the three notorious statues from the Buda palace, were paraded around the Hippodrome.
The gifts brought to Suleiman, as he sat on his gold throne of ceremony, were costly enough, but were also products of his vast country cotton stuffs from Egypt, “damask” cloth from Damascus in Syria, “muslins” from Mosul workshops, along with silver plate and cloth of gold set with jewels, crystal bowls and basins of lapis lazuli.
There were imports too. Suleiman’s favorite Chinese porce lain, furs from Muscovy and the Krim Tatars, Arabian pacing horses, Turkoman mustangs, “mameluke” slaves from upper Egypt, black boys from Ethiopia.
Each day of the festival revealed a different spectacle to the watching throngs. Battle exercises staged the storming of wooden forts and the jousting of Mameluke and Turkish riders; acrobats swarmed up the ancient obelisk and walked tightropes stretched from the summit of the obelisk. Melody swept the arena, from the skirling bagpipes of the Croats, from gypsy flutes and the cymbals and bell-staffs of the janizaris. One day they brought Piri Pasha out from his garden to sit beside the Sultan, now in the prime of life.
“Do you think/’ Suleiman asked his former Vizir, “that the hope you had ten years since has become reality?”
The aged recluse was confused by the crowd and the sight of such great riches. “Your father Selim, upon whom be the blessing of the Almighty, never beheld such splendor in his camps. It is well. Here you receive the gifts of the world, and in turn you make gifts to all the world.”
The weak eyes of the old courtier caught only the colors of pavilions, the flutter of banners, the gleam of cloth of gold spread beneath the Throne of Felicity by which he sat. He did not see the two foreigners who sat apart in drab garments for the green of the Moslem faith, the white of the Sultan s rank, the blue and yellow of the janizaris, and the red in the panta loons of the spahis were all forbidden to foreigners, whether Christians or Jews.
Suleiman noticed them, because they were only two, Luigi Gritti and Mocenigo. To this festival he had invited Francis I and the Doge of the Illustrious Signory to come in person; yet Francis had excused himself, promising that some other time when he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land he would visit the court of the great Sultan (a promise he never kept). The Doge, Andrea Gritti, father of Luigi, had sent gifts by the hand of an envoy extraordinary, Mocenigo. It hurt Suleiman s pride that of all the reigning princes of Europe who sought aid or alliance from him, not one had been willing to be his guest. In truth, he had not been taken into their brotherhood. The reason for that he could suspect. In their eyes he stood alone, a pagan. In him, the Grand Turk, they believed the teaching of the Prophet to be centered, and accordingly the wiles of Satan. Sometimes he wondered if Francis or Charles had ever spoken face to face with a Moslem, as he had done with so many Christians Lifting his eyes, he watched sails moving over the blue water of Marmora. Greek fishing luggers coming in, Venetian galleons anchored where some boys swam and a fast caique speeding by they were all at home in his waters. Beside him the robed Mufti listened with closed eyes to the vibrant voice of a Koran reciter. The voice sang and rose in ecstasy, echoing through the arena. The young reciter, sweating in his effort, lifted his clasped hands. Then he caught at his chest and fell to his knees, his voice failing.
“Corpo di Dio what struck him down?” Mocenigo asked
softly. “A dagger thrown?”
Gritti shook his head. “His own effort. Probably the boy fasted the night to gain intensity for this hour. It is their Pater Noster he was chanting.”
Gritti had managed to reward himself richly by his service to Ibrahim, who in turn seemed to have the gift of coining into gold every transaction that passed under his hand. While Ibra him’s choice of display ran to liveried servants, splendid stables, jewels and gold embroidery worked into saddlery, and cos tumes that copied Suleiman’s (“His master refuses him noth ing/’ Gritti assured his companion), Gritti had enlarged his mansion and his stock of the finest precious stones, which could be packed into a girdle wallet and sold on any market. In spite of the power he wielded now, the son of the Doge had an un easy feeling that he tempted fate with each year that he stayed serving Venetians and Turks as go-between. “Their dervishes dance and pray, both,” he mused. “At least, they do so when the spirit seizes them .... Has Your Magnificence noticed this intensity in. them?”
“I have been more struck by their silence. In their mosques a silence falls on them like a plague of meditation.”
“Silence can mask the fever heat of thought. A panther moves silently until it strikes. It is your garrulous man who is harmless as a braying donkey. And their new mosques, each huger than the last, with giant columns of stone thrusting up through the dimness of light from colored glass, to the golden circle of the dome are they not prayers in stone, speaking ever louder?”
Murmuring polite assent, Mocenigo wondered. It was strange that these Turks should erect great buildings only for the dead or for prayer. “Is there then a cult of the dead here, that they serve it in such fashion?” What concerned him at the moment was that these same mystical Turks had put a tax of ten percentum on Venetian imports for the Mocenigos, like the equally noted Cornaros and Grittis, were deeply involved in Venetian trade as well as policy, What disturbed him was that Luigi Gritti had only skepticism for the latest overture from Paris Francis had urged that the Serene Republic join the alli ance against the Hapsburgs’ empire, and had guaranteed in that event the good will of the Turks, through his own offices. That and the city of Cremona, which had once been a posses sion of the Mocenigos. Cremona and the Po Valley a tempting price. Very tempting, and safe to take. Yet Grittfs warped mind perceived danger in it, because said he the Turks now dis trusted Francis whom they praised, and held in regard Charles whom they mocked. Of course a truce between the Emperor and the Turk would be disastrous to the French alliance “Haven’t we Venetians our own cult of the dead?” Gritti de manded suddenly. “Our palaces and pageantry, our paintings—are they not memories of what is dead, that we would restore?
Can we bring back a grandeur that is lost? We who have be come merchants, carrying trade in our ships?” With sudden feeling, he cried, “We must remain merchants and Venetians, nothing else.”
Silently the envoy decided that the renegade sought to keep Venice neutral in the coming war. Idly he echoed, “Nothing? The word falls strangely upon my ear, spoken by the Dragoman of the Porte!”
Gritti grew pale with anger, and restrained himself when he caught the flicker of the other’s smile. “Then will Your Magnifi cence hear another word? Our city,” he said slowly, “must never be drawn into war against the Turk”
Mocenigo nodded, understanding perfectly that conflict between the Republic and the Sultan would be the downfall of Luigi Gritti, who had feathered his nest so nicely here. “It will be my privilege to bear your message to your illustrious father. Corpo di Dio, are we such fools as to oppose the will of your Sultan?” Curiously he glanced at the bizarre tent where a hand some, silent man waited patiently for a boy reader to recover from a faint and go on with the infidel chant. “I shall tell your father of Suleiman’s magnificence/*
Gritti had wanted to journey back with Mocenigo to the embarcadero of Venice. By now he had jewels worth a quarter of a million ducats hoarded away. But the other’s amused con tempt made it impossible for him to do so
Again the boy’s voice rose in the chant from the Koran: “... and say not with a lie upon your tongue, this is lawful and that is forbidden, for so will ye invent a lie concerning God. And they who invent a lie upon God shall not prosper ... “ The voice drew Suleiman’s mind toward it. He shared in it, and in the meditation of the Mufti at his side; he did not sit apart from them as from the Europeans, who said one thing and willed another. How long had he tried with Ibrahim’s aid to educate the best of his people to become part of the brother hood of Europe? Yet wherein lay that brotherhood?
Although he showed no sign of it, the slow-reasoning Osmanli was losing faith in the Europeans, who came to him only with words of war or prices of trade. He had agreed readily to what his friends asked. But were they truly his friends? And could he trust even Ibrahim?
He gave no sign of it but from that time he began to put his confidence in a woman who was also a foreigner born.

End of the Three Gentle Souls

Suleiman’s excuse for the festival had been the circumcision of Roxelana’s two sons, growing from childhood to boyhood, Selim and Bayazid. For those few days the shy boys joined their father, becoming the center of the rejoicing of the people. After that the Ayin required them to be confined with tutors in the harem of the old palace. There they played around the fountain in the courtyard of the Sultan Valideh. Although ail ing to death, Suleiman’s mother still dominated her world of women. Confined to her sleeping mattress of velvet, hung about with tissue of gold, Hafiza gave her orders after sunrise daily to the Captain of the Girls, the Mistress of the Rooms, and the Head Nurse. Roxelana she almost never saw. Yet she had formed her own opinion about the two sons of the Russian woman. “Selim snares birds with lime, and he is secretive, hiding things from me. He is slight but pudgy, silent but willful.” Feeling death near her, Hafiza dared speak openly to Sulei man. “In acts as in looks, he resembles his mother the Khasseki Khurrem. Now Bayazid is both gentle and clever. His face and his spirit bear your image.”As usual, Suleiman listened without comment. “Paradise lies at a mother’s feet.”
Hafiza, however, was not to be diverted. “Ai, you say nothing of a mother’s sharp tongue. Well, I will warn you. Do not forget my words. Trust Bayazid. Be kind to Selim, and take care that he does not fear you as I think he does now. But never trust him.”
Evidently Hafiza assumed that Suleiman’s sons would grow to maturity unharmed. Because the eldest was Mustafa, her favorite, who had been taken from the harem for training, she did not mention him.
Hafiza as well as Suleiman knew that Gulbehar’s boy had grown in popular favor. Mustafa seldom looked at his books; he liked better to talk with his elders, and he made friends readily. He had his father’s instinctive skill with sword or horse or in the water. Often enough he came into his camp with his head bruised from the wooden javelins thrown in sport on horse back. Tall and active himself, he never shirked injury. The men of the pen who taught Mustafa logic reported that he showed the true Osmanli traits of endurance, and leadership in strife. It pleased Hafiza that Mustafa had been given the govern ment of Magnisiya, which had been Suleiman’s before he came to the throne. This seemed to make certain that Mustafa would be his father s heir, by Suleiman’s determination as well as by old custom. Hitherto nothing had been able to alter what the Sultan had determined to be.
Like a shadow Roxelana’s youngest son drifted between Mustafa’s court at Magnisiya and the palace at Constantinople. Sickly and a hunchback, Jahangir was morbidly attached to the healthy Mustafa. And of all the boys, he was Suleiman’s fav orite.
Then the Sultan Valideh died. For three days Suleiman mourned, clad in dark garments torn from throat to skirt, fasting, commanding the splendid rugs of his palace to be taken up, and the ornaments turned to the walls. No music was heard in the streets of the city.
Suleiman was thirty-nine years old, in the fullness of his strength. Probably, so deeply was he obsessed with Roxelana, he could not perceive how greatly his household changed. For one thing his mother had been the last member of the trio that held to the old ways with the gentle Piri Pasha, and the un thinking Gulbehar. Then, too, Gulbehar should have occupied the apartment of the Sultan Valideh. But she chose to stay with Mustafa at Magnisiya. That left Suleiman to the companionship of his two intimates, the dynamic Ibrahim and the resourceful Roxelana. Outwardly the Russian woman made no attempt to influence Suleiman, or to challenge the primacy of Gulbehar, his first love. She seemed to take Mustafa’s right to inherit for granted. For Suleiman, sensitive to influence, was adamant in matters of justice. Surprisingly to the black Captain of the Girls and the observant attendants, Roxelana gave little heed to her own boys, devoting herself to Suleiman.
Yet by degrees she managed to accompany him out of the cloistered harem, sometimes following his horse to reviews and to Friday prayers in her closed carriage, sometimes joining him disguised when he ventured out in the excursions he enjoyed so much on the water. Suleiman would let the loose folds of his turban down over his forehead, to sit by her in the cabined stern of the swift rowing barge. In this fashion they went up the Bosphorus to the Sweet Waters, or across to the cedar-grown cemeteries of the Chamlija.
Within the harem also a change took place. Roxelana’s temper showed when, as happened rarely now, a new girl came into the eye of the Sultan. Then the Khasseki Khurrem had a way of taking such an attractive woman into her own service, so that Suleiman would meet the other only in her presence. By de grees the eunuch was certain that his master took enjoyment from no other woman.
Hitherto Hafiza had watched over every member of her con fined world. Now there was no mistress of the harem. Roxelana, still Second Kadin, might be the favorite, but she had authority only when Suleiman spoke for her.
Since he did not call the other kadins to him, they remained in their quarters as pensioners, still clad in the special garments of those chosen for the Sultan’s bed. Since Roxelana disliked them, they were friendless. It was not hard for the Russian to persuade him, as if in kindness, to give them away in marriage to deserving officers of the spahis or the palace guard. When that happened Roxelana reminded Suleiman that her own position was becoming unendurable. Those others had be come wives, with privileges and property of their own. She, virtually the wife of the Sultan, remained in the eyes of her own servitors no more than a slave. Was not that unjust?
The careful Venetians, who had begun to pay close attention to rumors about Roxelana in the harem, took note of her new influence over Suleiman. “He loves her so much and keeps faith so with her that it astonishes his people. They say that she has become a witch, using her power over him. Because of that the army and the court also hate her and her children; but because he loves her so greatly, no one dares protest.”
By tradition, for six generations, no Osmanli sultan had taken an acknowledged wife. But Roxelana knew that Suleiman would not hesitate to break with tradition. In the end he did so. It was done quietly, in the palace. Before a judge of the Law, Suleiman touched the hand of the veiled Roxelana, and testi fied, “This woman, Khurrem, I set free from slavery, and make her a wife. All that belongs to her shall be her property.” Apparently those close to Suleiman would not speak of the marriage to foreigners. But he gave a feast afterward, and ob servers of the bank of St. George, of Genoa, have left this record of it. “This week took place in the city an event without precedent in the annals of previous sultans. The Grand Signior took to himself as Empress a slave woman from Russia called Roxelana, and great feasting followed ... at night the streets are illuminated, with music played, and wreaths hung from balconies. In the old Hippodrome a stand was set up with gilded latticework to screen the Empress and her ladies while they watched riding and tournament of riders, both Christian and Moslem, as well as jugglers and trainee! beasts including giraffes with necks that reached to the sky.”
So while the absent Gulbehar remained the Sultan Valideh-to-be, Roxelana had made herself Suleiman’s acknowledged consort. Again, she exerted herself to draw Suleiman’s attention toward her old homeland of the north, in the mAntains of Hungary.

The Utopia of 1531

Suleiman had no least desire to return to Hungary, where the embers of war smoldered. Yet precisely at this time the Europeans expected him to do so. More and more they kept their eyes on him through the eyes of their spies and in their thoughts he appeared to be the dangerous and dynamic head of the Moslem east. Was he not successor to the kalifs, armed champions of that archfiend Mahomet? Were not his Turks a new incarnation of the Saracens who had captured Jerusalem from the crusaders? Even Luther said so, now.Did not ambassadors who had stood before his throne return home to repeat what they had heard: “Where the hoofs of the Sultan’s horse have trod, there the land is his forever?” In the bitterness of religious antagonism the European courts and universities conceived of the Grand Turk only as a con queror riding forever against them. Unlike the Croats and Hungarians, they had never met with Turks in the flesh. There was no Raymond Lull at that time, to tell them what the Turks were like. The mingled culture of Moslem Spain, of Andalusia, that had created the beautiful Granada, was being obliterated. The Moors were being driven out, across the sea to Africa. Some took refuge under Suleiman.
His dream, that where the hoofs of his horse had trod there could be peace, was becoming impossible to realize. He still had hope for it.
Perhaps there was no way to blend the cultures of the east and west in his generation of Turks. But could there not be a Turkish culture, standing alone yet respected by Europeans and Asiatics alike? His city at the junction of the seas and the lands could it not be filled with a population of uprooted people who would owe nothing to and claim nothing from the other peoples of east and west? Like the queen city of Alexandria planned and built by the great Alexander?
Suleiman thought only of finished practical things. A dwelling was a shelter against rain and cold, for a family. He ordered his architects to tear down fortification walls to build aque ducts. He desired a new, Turkish design. Must mosques always be built as the Byzantines had designed the Aya Sofia? Must the practice of religion always follow the rules of the Koraish, the Arab clan that had once followed Muhammad the Prophet? Must literature always be Persian?
In those years of his glory he was called Suleiman the Mag nificent, and the Grand Turk. Visitors caught the flash of jewels in the floss silk of his turbans, and harkened to Ibrahim’s boasts of treasure piled up in the Seven Towers. Yet what he was striv ing for with silent determination, few of them saw.
It was not much of a utopia. It had no visible acropolis, or any favored class of nobility. It protected only the home dwell ers. One of them might own a stone hut, a field of grapevines or cherry trees with a small sheep herd. Such a family man paid in taxes the value of one ducat each year for his house, and one asper for each two head of sheep. (The rough equivalent in modern money of five dollars for his real estate, and one dime for two sheep. ) He sent his children to the mosque school to learn to read the Koran, and he took cases for judgment to the village kadi or religious judge.
From that moderate household tax came the chief revenue of Suleiman’s Treasury. Beyond that, there was also a regular tax on undertakings, such as metal mines and salt mines, customs paid by foreign merchants, and fees for drawing documents. Some tribute came in from the outer provinces like Greece proper or Syria, and especially Egypt. Even the Venetians paid a token tribute of 30,000 ducats. All in all the revenues totaled 4,100,000 ducats according to Yunis Bey, the head interpreter of the Serai, or 6,000,000 in the opinion of the merchant Zeno. Gritti said they were 4,000,000, but both he and Yunis Bey may have meant the yearly expenditures of the Treasury. Certainly all agree that Suleiman’s Treasury took in more each year than it paid out-perhaps 6,000,000 as against 4,000,000.
That was a very small revenue for a dominion as large as western Europe beyond Venice. Moreover, it was fixed, by custom. “What has been, will be,” the saying ran. When Euro peans saw the Sultan ride forth with the splendor of his entourage, they imagined vast riches under the hand of the Grand Signior which did not exist. Suleiman protected ‘first of all the Turkish hearth.
“In all things the Turks are so great lovers of Order/’ a Frenchman related long afterward, “that they omit nothing to observe it. Because economy and the regulation of provisions is one of the chief things that serve to maintain it, they take a special care of that, so all things are to be had in plenty and at reasonable rates. They never sell cherries or other fruits when they first come in at the weight of gold, as is done in this coun try .... If their officers who go the daily rounds find any man with weights that are too light, or selling his goods too dear, he would be soundly drubbed or else brought to Justice. So a child may be sent to Market, for none dares cheat the child; and sometimes the officers of the Market meeting a child will ask what it paid for so much goods, and will weigh them to see if the poor thing be cheated. I saw a man who sold ice at five deniers the pound receive blows upon the soles of his feet .... A man who sells at false weights may have his neck put into a Pillory which he carries on his shoulders, being hung with little bells to be laughed at by all who see and know him .... “As to disorders and quarrels that happen in the streets, everyone is obliged to hinder them. To prevent accidents in the night-time all persons whatsoever are prohibited to be abroad in the streets after dark, except it be in Ramadan.** This sense of order and of responsibility for the individual stemmed’ down from Suleiman to a chief of the watch in a frontier village. It was the peculiarity of his utopia that he made moral law supersede kanun law. He could do this only by a spoken decision, urf, which, being accepted, became a kanun in time. At this time he was working with Ibrahim on a revision of the Book of the Law of Egypt the most important of the Asiatic territories. When the annual revenue from Egypt in creased to 800,000 dinars, exceeding the established figure, Suleiman directed that the increase be spent within Egypt, on irrigation works.
For these few years he achieved something extraordinary. Under him more than with any previous sultan or monarch of Europe his few servants in the Organization managed to bring about the well-being of the multitudes whom he “fed and led.”
Suleiman, in spite of the magnificent appearance he pre sented, kept up no costly establishment. The clothing he wore, the thoroughbred horses he stabled and the festivals he gave made up the bulk of his expenses. Otherwise, the very pages who served him drew sustenance pay, and were in training for posts of higher responsibility. The gifts he made to all who sought him were compensated by gifts to him; the wealth ac quired by beylerbeys and aghas escheated to the common Treasury at their death.
Perhaps the most favored group beneath him were the spohioghlans or Young Eiders, three thousand of them, who marched always at his right hand. The Young Riders were given small land holdings from which they had to provide five or six horses and as many followers in time of war. They also were in train ing for command. “They are great people,” an observer relates. “From them the Signer is wont to choose his chief men.” But the Young Riders were growing in number, as was Sulei man’s personal establishment. Beylerbeys and aghas began to imitate the lavishness of their master, as well as the splendor of his attire. To do so, they tended to draw more than sustenance, especially from those beneath them.
Perhaps they envied Ibrahim too much. Elder men, men of the pen, and judges of the religious Law complained that the Vizir was taking to himself the authority of a second sultan. They distrusted Ibrahim not so much because he had been a Greek and a Christian most of the Organization had come from Christian f amilies as because he kept the Greek statues of Buda and took their Sultan to the home of an infidel, Gritti, and because he went about in garments copied from the Sultan’s. Such complaints Suleiman would not hear. He did hear the frank acknowledgment of most Moslems: “Never had the Turks such a sultan, or a sultan such a vizir.”
Then came the case of Kabiz.
It was almost without precedent, for Kabiz had been a mem ber of the ulema or interpreters of the sacred Law. By degrees he had become convinced that the teachings of Jesus were superior to those of Muhammad. (Moslem tradition held that Jesus had taught the Word of God, as a Prophet; but to a lesser extent than Muhammad, who came after him. )
Summoned to trial for disbelief, Kabiz had been sentenced to death by the judges of the army, on his own testimony, with out argument as to whether he might be right or wrong in his doctrine. Ibrahim, not satisfied with the sentence, had called Kabiz before the Divan for a rehearing. In this hearing Ibrahim argued and Suleiman listened to the argument that heresy was not a crime in itself; it could only be tried as a doctrine allowable or not, according to law.
Suleiman did not agree. “How is this?” he demanded of his Vizir in public. “The offender against the Prophet is allowed to go without punishment, and without an attempt to convince him of his error.”
Kabiz was brought before the Mufti and his old companions of the ulema. After his new belief was argued in full, he was sentenced to death by these judges of the religious Law. Never throughout his life did Suleiman escape this conflict between the civil rights of his people and the old Islamic tradi tion. As supreme head of the religion he was called upon to up hold the tradition, almost rigid, formed in the tribal stage of the Arabs. As head of the administrative Organization he had to decide upon the rights of individuals. And more than a third of his people were Christians Armenians, Greeks, Georgians, and many others. Kabiz’s guilt lay not in affirming the teaching of Jesus but in denying the base of Moslem tradition, when he had been an interpreter of that tradition.
A greater matter Suleiman decided against himself. His early triumphs in war, at Belgrade, Rhodes and Mohacs, had been gained at a cost to his people. Iskander Chelebi, the Chief Treasurer, informed him that a war levy had been laid during those three years, of a piece of silver for every head of live stock and measure of grain. So those years of war had been a drain on the country. The ensuing years of peace had repaired the damage.
Suleiman gave his decision that no added taxes for war should be levied henceforth. In his Vienna campaign the army gleaned enough from Austria to pay the cost The damage during the retreat Suleiman made good from his personal funds.
Yet after three years, in the spring of 1532, he had to lead the asker north again, this time against the Christian Emperor.

March of the Phantom Army

Ferdinand made it inevitable. Although the would-be King of Hungary had not been able to rally a following among the Hungarians, he had hired soldiery and gleaned forces from Charles, and re-entered the country. He had laid siege to Buda and had only been driven from the citadel by the Turkish garrison Suleiman had left there to hold itWith intermittent warfare breaking out along the Danube, Charles had gathered a large army around Vienna. To enable him to do so he had agreed on a truce with the Lutherans (June 1532) dismissing all charges against them before the imperial court. This is known as the religious truce of Nuremberg, and was a triumph for Luther. To face the Turk, it was necessary for Charles to have the German cities quiet behind him. The army at Vienna that June was perhaps the largest mobi lized within the Empire during that generation, for the German city troops as well as the professional soldiery marched at the Emperor’s command, and Charles drew in his veteran Spanish tercios from Italy and the Netherlands.
Good Richard Knolles, three generations later, described the Christian muster enthusiastically:
“... old, expert soldiers, and of them many whole com panies ... officers and men of mark in other armies now were content to serve as private men. It was thought that so many worthy captains and valiant soldiers were never before in the memory of man assembled together into one camp. For the princes and free cities had sent thither chosen and approved men, striving as it were among themselves who should send the best. All the flower and strength of Germany, from the river Vistula to the Rhine, and from the Ocean to the Alps, was sent ... or of themselves voluntarily came thither. A thing never before heard of, that all Germany should as it were with one consent be glad to take up arms for their common safety.” Charles, however, remained two hundred miles away, at Ratisbon on the headwaters of the Danube.
What befell this excellent army during the critical months from June to October was entirely unexpected. It mystified the Germans at the time, and it has puzzled Europeans ever since. Knowing that the Turkish host with its Sultan was approach ing swiftly from the south, the Germans prepared to defend the upper Danube, basing themselves on Vienna. There they stayed, steadfastly enough. They never saw Suleiman, or his main army.
They heard tidings enough of the Turks. In the mountains south of them, towns fell before Turkish assaults; refugees be gan to come in, from farther west. The Turks were seen where no one expected them to be, between Vienna and Europe proper. Other, terrible horsemen who were not Turks drove through the upland valleys, turning to sweep through unde fended villages, bridging rivers, or swimming them. These mysterious riders proved to be Tatars from Asia.
The flying columns appeared at Steyr and along the Enns, a hundred miles west o Vienna.
About that time, in the first week of August, messengers arrived from the Tauera range. They said the main Turkish army was besieging the small town of Guns, sixty miles south. Very soon after that the baffled commanders at Vienna received orders from Charles to hold their position and not to move beyond the mountains to the relief of Guns.
That small citadel held out valiantly, yet the great German army did not attempt to aid it. Its garrison consisted of no more than 700, most of whom had been caught there while on their way to the rendezvous at Vienna. For twenty days Suleiman remained at Guns, laying siege to it in desultory fashion. Then, on August 28, he accepted the surrender of the place in a mys tifying manner. He demanded only the keys of the demolished gates, gave the brave garrison immunity, and contented himself with stationing detachments of janizaris in the breaches, to act as guards to keep the rest of the army out, while he withdrew. The commanders at Vienna were still puzzling over the token surrender of the mountain hamlet when speeding columns of riders appeared behind them, pushing past them toward Sulei man, crossing the Danube and laying waste the forested valleys. They came so close that some of them felt their way through die adjacent Wiener Wald, and the Germans were able to about-face and block many ravines, cutting off the horsemen, inflicting heavy loss on them.
But most of the columns found their way back to lower Austria, where Suleiman was circling through the mountains, storming some towns, yet passing by largish cities like Graz and Marburg. His host threaded the rough Alpine region, getting across the swift Mur River and bridging the Drave. In his path there was no army to oppose him.
By October 9, when the autumn storms began, he was out of the Austrian uplands, safely back on the lower Danube, march ing down by easy stages to Belgrade.
Not until September 23, when the Turks were far away, cross ing the river Drave, did Charles appear in Vienna, to stay a few days. By early October he also was returning home, crossing Italy on his way to Barcelona.
So ended one of the strangest campaigns of history. The anticipated duel between the Sultan of the east and the Em peror of the west had never taken place. The mighty host Charles had gathered to defend middle Europe had stayed pas sively in camp at Vienna; the formidable Turkish asker had avoided it, while indulging in a great raid through most of Austria. The dreaded Suleiman himself had pkyed at war for nearly a month at little Guns.
All this made no sense from a European point of view; it made sense very clearly, when the actual happenings are under stood, from the Turkish viewpoint. The answer to the riddle of 1532 lies in Suleiman himself.
He had never intended to invade Almanya, as the Turks called Germany proper. Regardless of the speculations and the fears of western Europe, he had no thought of extending the Turkish conquests beyond western Hungary, where he did re take with ease the area necessary to protect Buda, which he now claimed as part of his dominion. To the Almanya beyond tiny Austria, encircled within its hills, and the bastion of Bohemia he had never made claim. Whatever his intentions had been re garding Vienna three years before, he relinquished that capital city now. The brothers Hapsburg could rule Viyana.
Suleiman, always reticent, seldom allowed his plans to be known. Ten years before he had followed out the Moslem cus tom of sending in advance to an enemy an offer of peace, against the alternative of attack upon a Land of War. In ten years conditions had changed; he was now in direct discussion with the envoys of the Hapsburgs. And the Sultan’s character had undergone a change. He no longer trusted in the efficacy of a war of conquest. Yet he was obliged to journey forth at least every three years with the heads of his Organization, and the Turkish muster for war. In spite of his efforts to substitute another leader, Ibrahim for example, the army would accept no substitute for the presence of the Sultan himself. The Turkish state was still based upon the army. Even Suleiman had no thought of disbanding the military organization of which he was the head. Instead, he was working very quietly to change its nature, and its functions. The Ferhad Pashas had disap peared from its command, and Ibrahim, nominally Serasker (Generalissimo), was not a natural soldier.
In his diary Suleiman noted the campaign cryptically as being against “the King of Spain.”
In the make-up of that particular army, however, there is a clue. While the regular contingents, the janizaris, spahis and the feudal cavalry of Europe and Asia, remained as usual in strength-45,000 to 48,000, which was about the force of the Germans at Vienna the light horsemen had been increased to more than 50,000 and the Krim Khan summoned from the
steppes with 15,000 Tatars. These Tatars, formidable in surprise raids, were not accustomed to attacking fortified positions. (Al though a half dozen years before they had broken into the distant city of Moscow.)
Suleiman, then, moved north with forces adapted to swift inroads rather than to siege operations. He had no heavy artil lery with him.
Remember that he was adamant in refusing to be drawn into the siege of a citadel like Rhodes; he had tested the resistance of Vienna when held by a much smaller force of Europeans; and he was determined to avoid another winter march like that of three years before, with its loss of valuable horses. Yet his supremacy had been challenged by the mobilization of the Europeans at Vienna.
What he attempted to do, and failed to do, is clear. He wanted to draw the German army out of its lines at Vienna, into the open plains. When his flying columns of Tatars and aldnjis (Sackmann, the Germans called them) did not bring out the Germans to defend the Austrian countryside, Suleiman moved to Guns. From Guns to Vienna there is a clear corridor of high prairie land, between the great lake, the Neusiedler See > and the eastern end of the Tauern mountain chains.
If the Germans had moved south into that corridor to relieve Guns, their infantry would have been out in open country, in fested on all sides by the Turkish horsemen. If a battle had ensued under those conditions, there might have been a second Mohacs and an end to the Hapsburg challenge to Hungary. Charles was wise in avoiding such a battle.
Evidently as soon as Suleiman realized that the Germans would not be tricked, he abandoned his staged performance o the siege of Guns and accepted the keys of the castle in the comedy of surrender.
There is another clue in the cryptic entries in his diary. “We camp by Graz, a great town lying under the rule of the King of Spain ... surrender of the castle of Posega .. , we burn the outer town of the castle of Kobasch ... the castle of Ghouriani belonging to the son of the despot makes its submis sion ... the army camps by the castle of Altakh on the bank of the Bozut River; surrender of the castle of Pancova, belong ing to King Ferdinand .. /*
Suleiman’s army appears to have gathered in the feudal pos sessions of Ferdinand while making its sweep through the Styrian mountains. Other cities were not molested in that way. A German chronicle relates: “The rage of the invaders took them into Lincium, a town in which Ferdinand was at the time/* Whether Ferdinand was present in Austria or not, his posses sions suffered “through the length and breadth of his lands/* And the Turkish army repaid the cost of the campaign. Whether Suleiman regretted that the absent Charles had not ventured out to meet him, we cannot know. Publicly, of course, Ibrahim made claim that although the Sultan had gone to meet him, the Emperor as usual had not been found. The diary itself dismisses the war indifferently.
November 13. “Death of the former Grand Vizir, Piri Pasha.” November 21. “The Sultan returns to the Serai at Constanti nople; five days of festival and illumination in the city and its suburbs of Ayub, Galata and Scutari. The bazaars remain open at night and Suleiman goes to visit them incognito.”
For the first time Suleiman ventured out among the crowds to hear their talk, after his absence. He was trying, in his slow, methodical way, to make a difficult decision without the aid of Ibrahim.

Truce on the Danube

Suleiman meant to end the Turkish penetration by land into Europe.At the same time realization seemed to grow upon him that he would never find the friendship he had sought in the west. Francis, who had appealed to him, had tried to use him as a weapon against Charles, to be discarded when not needed. For the nearest of them, Ferdinand of Austria, he had gained only contempt He had been willing to meet the western princes more than halfwaythey had never understood how far he had gone to meet them. In their society he would find no place. He would be alone, a Turk.
With this realization came the certainty that he could rely on no one except himself. He would turn his back on the west. Per haps he still clung to the idea that his state could be a bridge between the Bible and the Koran, but it would be Turkish, and alone. It would have no Ibrahim as his second self; from it he would send the tricky Gritti. And he himself would venture where he had not set foot in twelve years, into Asia. (Only once had he journeyed across Anatolia, to embark for Rhodes.) There he would follow after his father, but not as Selim had done; lie would seek the Moslem lands of peace, of the Koran. Yet by those years of change, from 1533 to 1536 (in which time he married Roxelana), Suleiman had rounded out a wide dominion for the Osmanlis in Europe. His new frontiers lay close to Venice on the Adriatic, some nine hundred miles from Constantinople., and in northern Hungary, seven hundred miles distant; northeasterly they extended through the tributary steppes of the Krim Tatars to Azov by the mouth of the river Don, eight hundred miles away. It was a journey of twelve hun dred miles or more from Azov on its inland sea to Zara on the Adriatic. These inner sea borders of his European state were held by the allied Tatars and the friendly Venetians. The Balkan peoples, from Greeks to Hungarians, formed the inner nations of his hegemony. Beyond lay the aliens, Italians, Germans, Slovaks, Poles and the Slavs of Muscovy.
At this line of demarcation, by Suleiman’s decision, the land ward expansion of the Turks into Europe ceased. This northern frontier was to remain little changed for a century and a half. Nearly at the end of the seventeenth century an ambitious Turk ish vizir was to attempt an actual siege of Vienna, and the young Peter Alexeivich (Peter the Great) was to march down the Don against the Turks in Azov.
The dominion bounded and set by Suleiman was no transitory conquest. What cemented it together was the nature of the Osmanli’s rule. For the remaining years of his life migrants would flee from war and hunger, coming over the Russian and Austrian frontiers, seeking food and the toleration of their churches, whether Eastern “Orthodox, /Greek Orthodox, the Armenian rite, the Moslem faith, or the Jewish. It was his pax Turcica that gave substance to his hegemony of the Danube. Again, as after Vienna, the brothers Hapsburg sued for a truce. Nothing could have suited Suleiman better, now that he intended to depart into Asia. This time he himself needed a truce with the Europeans, and he welcomed the envoys
In their new amiability, Suleiman and Ibrahim devised a new status for the brothers Hapsburg. The two ceased to be “Ferdinand and the King of Spain,” and became friendly sup pliants to be taken into Suleiman’s growing family, Charles as a brother, Ferdinand as a son.
This very informal title the envoy from Vienna was obliged to request publicly, with no little humiliation, after making a token surrender of the city of Gran by handing over the keys. From dictation he repeated: “King Ferdinand, your son, holds all things belonging to him as belonging to you, his father ... he did not know you wanted to possess Hungary, and if he had known it, he would never have gone to war over it ... ? And a special representative arrived from Charles, one Cornelius Schepper, who brought a letter with him. Suleiman, in his new role as a head of the European family, assured the gentlemen from Vienna that Ferdinand could have a truce. “Not only a truce, but a peace; not for seven years or a century but for all time as long as Ferdinand keeps it.”
Under the whimsicality and the dig at Ferdinand, the Sultan was expressing an earnest wish,
Ibrahim received Charles’s letter with all formality, rising and pressing it to his forehead (to make the most of this first missive from Suleiman’s rival). “He is truly a mighty lord, and so we honor him.”
But the letter itself caused trouble. “This is not written by a prudent prince or a wise one. Why does he set forth titles that are not his? How dares he style himself, to my lord, King of Jerusalem? Does he not know that my mighty emperor and not he Charles is lord of Jerusalem? Why, here he calls himself Duke of Athens, which is now Sethine, a small town belonging to usl ... My master has no need to steal titles from others—he has enough that are truly his own!”
Whereupon Ibrahim treated the German envoys to one of his dissertations on the state of Europe, this time with Charles as subject: “. ; . in Italy he threatened us with war, and promised the Lutheran followers peace; he came to Germany, and there did nothing for the Lutherans or against us. A great ruler should not begin what he cannot finish ... he announced publicly that he would have a council [to bring the Lutherans into the old religion]. He has not had one. We are not like that ... If I chose to do so, I could summon that council, putting Luther on one side and the Pope on the other, and making them agree.”
Of the two Hapsburgs, only Ferdinand got his truce, and ac knowledgment as King of the northern mountains of Hungary that he already held.
With Charles, Suleiman refused to come to any agreement ... “until he first makes peace with my friend and ally the King of France, and restores to him the lands he has taken from him/*
Was Suleiman overscrupulous in keeping his word to Francis? Or was he mocking Charles and ridiculing Francis* broken pledges?
During the negotiations, however, Ibrahim made an extraor dinary statement to the Europeans, who, like others before them, had learned to flatter the Vizir, and to make him costly gifts as the unacknowledged head of the Turkish state. Ibrahim exclaimed: “It is true that I govern this vast empire ... what ever I do is accomplished. If I wished I could make a stableboy into a pasha. What I wish to give is given, and cannot be takea away. My lord will say nothing against it If the great Sultan gives something and I do not wish it given, then it is taken away. The making of war, the granting of peace, the disposal of treasure all is in my hands. The Sultan is not better ckd than I. His powers he entrusts to my hands .... I do not say these things idly, but to give you courage to speak to me freely.” Whether this was sheer nervous exhaustion, or insane con fidence, is hard to say. Ibrahim was not boasting entirely, be* cause he held power and privilege, as he described. His most bitter enemy, Iskander Chelebi, dared complain to the Sultan that the Greek who had been a Christian was taking wealth from all his transactions. Suleiman paid little attention. He had given his word not to remove the Vizir in disgrace while they both lived. And Ibrahim’s fortune would return to the Treasury at his death. In a sense it was only borrowed.
Gritti, anxious now, shook his head at the self—intoxication of the great Vizir. “If Suleiman/’ he said, “should send one of his cooks to kill Ibrahim, nobody would prevent it*
The adroit son of the Doge survived only a year. Sent by Suleiman into northern Hungary to arbitrate the limits of the frontier a task that the Sultan knew would take him years Gritti lost his nerve or tried to reap a new fortune out of the assignment. (Ibrahim had given him very different instructions from Suleiman, who wished none of Zapolya’s territory given up. ) In either case, he tried to convince the Austrians that he could gain for them the cities of the great Hungarian plain. By so doing he roused the Hungarians of the countryside against him. They hunted him down and beheaded him at once. When they stripped his body they found a small casket strapped to his inner thigh, within it jewels worth four hundred thousand gold pieces.
And Ibrahim never gave another audience to European am bassadors. He was sent ahead of Suleiman into Asia.
So Suleiman tried to close the book of Almanya and Viyana. He meant to depart from Europe for years. Yet, putting no trust in a truce with a Hapsburg, he looked for something to occupy all the Europeans while he was gone. He found it to be a ven ture out to sea.
In turning to the sea as an expedient, he launched the for tune of the Osmanlis in a new direction, and by so doing he was to shift the kaleidoscope of Europe for more than thirty years. He might not have found the way to the sea if it had not been for one man, Barbarossa.

III. The Sea

The Impelling Forces

NOW it was strange that the greatest of the Osmanlis should go out, day after day, to his garden path to watch for the coming of one man from the sea. Yet invisible forces drove him to send for Barbarossa, and other forces impelled this Redbeard to shape his course to Serai Point, albeit reluc tantly.The same intelligent Frenchman who had observed children buying cherries in the bazaar saw the significance of this Serai Point “a point of the main knd jutting out toward the Bosphorus, and from it the passage over to Asia takes only a half hour. On the right hand it hath the White Sea [Marmora] by which there is easy passage to Egypt and Africa whereby it is supplied with all the commodities of those places. On the left hand it hath the Black or Euxine Sea and the Palus Maeotis [Sea of Azov]. This last, receiving a vast number of rivers and having many bordering peoples, furnishes this city with all the commodities of the North. So there is nothing pleasant, useful, or necessary which is not brought in plenty from all sides by sea to Constantinople. When the wind hinders vessels from coming by the one channel, it helps them in from the other * . the entry of the port is the loveliest in the world.” So Suleiman had behind him the waterways that carried the trade of nearer Asia. Ahead of him, beyond the stone castles of the Dardanelles, stretched the tranquil Aegean sprinkled with the islands that had once been Greek and were now Turk isheven to Rhodes.
For the Mediterranean, the Middle Sea as some called it, was no single thoroughfare of water like the mighty ocean be yond. It had its barriers of islands, and its arms stretching far inland, and all these were claimed by somebody or other. Be fore Suleiman’s time Mehmed the Conqueror had launched Turkish ships upon the Aegean, while Selim had sent forth fleets of galleys to hold this eastern arm of the sea. Beyond, past bare Zante and flowering Corfu, the Venetians still claimed the long arm of the Adriatic, swept by blasts of the Borro, the north wind.
Westward lay the narrow gut where Malta and Sicily made steppingstones, as it were, between Cape Bona and the toe of Italy. Beyond this barrier the western half of the sea, with rocky Sardinia and Corsica and the chain of the Balearics, was claimed by Charles for the Empire, and especially for Spain. It was to all purposes a Spanish sea to the mighty rock of Gibraltar. No Turkish ships had ventured that far, and it seemed im possible for them to do so. But there was a way thither by knd as well, along the African coast And as Monsieur de Thevenot had noted, the passage from the Golden Horn to Africa was an easy one.
Moreover, along the African coast smoldered age-old an tagonism to the Europeans north of the sea. The desert folk who migrated to this southern coast, whether Phoenicians, Berbers or Arabs, had always found enemies beyond the bar rier of the sea, whether Romans or Normans. In the early ages the more cultured people had occupied the southern shore, where St. Augustine had written his City of God in the small city of Hippo (Bona) and philosophers had dung to the library in Alexandria. Then the wave of Arabs had swept the flotsam and Jetsam of this ancient culture across the Strait of Gibraltar into the Spanish peninsula, bringing Aristotle as well as the kalifate to Spain, pouring the resources of Ask into the bar baric European coast, thus stimukting there the revival o the thirteenth century.
Drawn to these resources or simply pirating at sea, the Euro peans had reacted during the crusades, the Italian cities, Pisa, Genoa the Proud, and the Serene Republic o Venice, sending south their armed fleets. St. Louis died by the ruins of Car thage, besieging the port of Tunis. The cruelty of Normans and Italians was fed by the bitterness of religious war that left to the Mediterranean a heritage of pirating and the passage of armed fleets to loot and seize captives for die oar benches of their galleys.
In the lull that followed, the African coast lay under a lotus-eating quiet, the once powerful kalifates broken down into pacific family dynasties that ruled the small garden ports. Arabs or Berbers, they traded along the sea or wandered with the tribes back of the barrier mountains, following preaching mar abouts into the sandy desert or making pilgrimage to the holy city of Kairouan.
Upon such a heritage of drowsiness and bitter memories came the thrust of the Europeans outward across the oceans. It glanced against the African coast. The year that the Genoese Cristoforo Colombo returned from his discovery of islands be yond the ocean, the two monarchs of a Spain-to-be, Ferdinand and Isabelk, celebrated the conquest of Granada. Moorish refugees fleeing across the water to Ceuta and Mars El Kabir were followed by armored Spaniards who planted their flag over the nearest African ports. Isabella’s confessor, Cardinal Ximenes, looked toward a new dominion in Africa as in the New World, to be Spanish and Christian. From their caravels and galleons the conquistadors landed their horses and cannon, to fortify themselves along the infidel coast, particularly in the Island (Algiers). Against such invaders the fugitive Moors and the native Berbers could fling only their anger, being powerless in their light sailing feluccas and fregatas to do more than stab and snatch at the Spanish convoys.
Then like eagles sighting strife on the land appeared the first of the sea rovers from the east. Ruthless as eagles, obedient to no laws, these looters of the sea had no kinship with the dis tressed Arab and Berber population except the tie of religion and a mutual hatred of the wealth-ridden Spaniards who cov ered their bodies with steel and slew human beings in their path with powder and lead.
These adventurers of the sea had the ships and the sagacity to meet the Spaniards in combat. The one who made himself most feared was Khair ad-Din Barbarossa, who, called to the aid of Algiers, seized Algiers for himself.
(Do not think of these men as pirates, corsairs of the Barbary Coast, or even as “Algerine corsairs, from a pirates’ nest.” Those words did not exist at the time; they were coined later, to fit explanations in European histories. Think instead of the forces that met upon that sea, of the spread of two religions, the outward thrust of two continents upon the coast of a third, and the conflict that ensued between two empires, the Holy Roman and the Osmanli Turkish.)

Khair ad-Din Barbarossa

Suleiman was calling to him this man’s bitter anger. They say he was stout as a wrestler, and he trimmed his red beard close under his beak of a nose. They say he was good-natured but cruel when enraged. He was a seaman; he could sense the coming of a Borro, and he could pick his way through the sandy shallows of the Syrtes, and hide his vessels inside an island, in the hidden lagoon of Yerba. He had been afloat since he left his potter’s wheel as a boy, one of the four sons of Jacob the Albanian, on Mitylene Island. One of his brothers had been killed at sea by the Europeans. Another, the older Uruj, with a beard like flame and a generous nature to hold to, had fought the invading Spaniards west from Tim is., as far as the Balearics, losing first an arm and then his life in so doing. Whereupon the youngest, Khair ad-Din, had led his brother’s ships westward again in the same reckless course. His crews had given him the nickname of the dead Uruj, Redbeard.Grim Sultan Selim, pausing in his conquest of Egypt, heard the legend growing around the name of Barbarossa, and gave him the horsetail standard of a beylerbey, with a horse and sword added. From the Nile, Africa stretched westward before the eyes of the Turks, a new continent to be explored as the Europeans were exploring the Americas. Barbarossa found more use in the regiment of janizaris and the battery of heavy camion Selim added to his gift.
The legend of Barbarossa continued to grow among the
Europeans. He could not be found, yet he appeared everywhere. Spanish galleys caught him ferrying exiled Moors who had no place to go by themselves from Andalusia to Africa. Barba rossa added those galleys to his small fleet of thirty-five galliots. He collected papal royal galleys as well, and forced the crews to row them.
When Charles V, as King of Spain, ordered a purge of the remaining Moors (having first been released from his corona tion oath to convert no person by force), Barbarossa raided his coast, guided by Moslems in Spain toward churches and gar risons inland. Getting clear with his spoil, he took off the Mos lems as passengers. He ferried away seventy thousand in all, and these Moors, eaten by anger as deep as his own, made up the bulk of his crews.
Charles could not tolerate such vagabonds in the western Mediterranean. With Barbarossa there were Sinan, a Jew of Smyrna who could take the elevation of the sun by the butt of a crossbow, and Cacca-diabolo, Beat-the-Devil, with Salih Reis, a fat Arab of the Nile who steered Barbarossa’s barge. The difficulty was to get the sea rovers out of there. Scorched from. Bujeya, they turned up in Algiers. The Spaniards held the Island, the Penon de Alger, guarding the entrance to the scanty harbor. Tired of dodging past the island, which gave the city its name, Barbarossa pounded its fortifications down with cap tured cannon, and put its garrison to work building a service able breakwater out to sea.
What happened then at Algiers sent laughter far down the African coast. A Spanish relief fleet searching for the garrison on the island failed to recognize the changed shape of the island without its fort, or the city with a breakwater moving out to sea. So the Spaniards went on searching until they were hemmed in by Barbarossa’s flotilla and captured entire. So a Spanish capitana ship joined the rover’s fleet
Barbarossa’s luck, they called it. But it was more than luck he had. For one thing he intended to stay in Algiers where Charles least wanted him to be within reach of the strait where the treasure fleets came in from the New World, and across from the coast of Spain itself. The rover had conceived a fondness for the town that straggled up a sunny hillside between defending walls. The pakce of its late prince had pleasant palm gardens, an attractive home for a seaman. Around that home he settled Moorish artisans rescued from Spain. Around Algiers he scattered colonies of such industrious glassblowers, builders and metalworkers. They helped him set up foundries and dock yards in the enlarged harbor. After his fashion, Barbarossa was building a New Spain across from Barcelona.
This could not be tolerated. Charles gave the task of elim inating Barbarossa from the Spanish beachheads in Africa to the celebrated Andrea Doria, his Genoese admiral ( a veteran of politics ashore more than of service at sea). How the rover would have fared alone against such a dominant empire will never be known. After the sailing season was ended by autumn storms in 1532, he received a message from Suleiman at Con stantinople. The Sultan asked him to journey thither in person, to take command of the unhandy Turkish fleet.
Barbarossa was in no hurry to do so. In Algiers lie was his own master; at sea he had become a match for Doria. Now that he felt old age coming upon him he relished the sokce of rare wine, and the most shapely girls. Yet he recalled that Uruj had not lived as long; he wondered what he might accomplish against Charles and Andrea Doria with Osmanli wealth and power behind him. The thought was tempting, and Barbarossa for all his lusts was a devout Moslem. “If God has not appointed the hour of a man’s death, how else can he be slain?” he asked, and went.
Unwillingly, he went because only from Suleiman could he gain security for his haven of Algiers. When early summer brought the wind fair astern, with the oar sweeps lashed out board to catch the wind and the great lateen sail swelling over his loitering crew Redbeard would have no galley slaves on his own vessel he led the eighteen galleys of his fighting squad ron out to his rendezvous with fate.
The course he followed would have been taken by no one else. North he headed to pick up plunder from the Spanish island of Elba, then sou’east to find and take along a Genoese corn convoy. Wide he swung around Malta with his masthead look outs searching for a glint of red that ijiight be the dreaded gal leys of the Knights on cruise then over to the Greek shores where Doria had been lurking. Missing Doria (who had heard of his coming and put in to Brindisi), he paused to inspect a Turkish fleet he encountered. Then, not to appear unduly eager, he beached his vessels under Gallipoli light to repaint and re furbish them while he waited for a pressing invitation to enter Turkish waters!
When at last the impatient Suleiman beheld Barbarossa rounding Serai Point, it was with pennons flying over the gleam ing dark hulls and cannon firing a salute, and the captured Genoese craft towed behind. When the rover strode into Sulei man’s presence in the Hall of Audience, it was as an independent monarch of the sea with eighteen captains rolling after him, and the spoils of Elba to set before the Sultan.
There must have been a moment of mutual examination when the most powerful monarch of the land faced the man who had become a legend on the sea. Suleiman beheld a massive, im patient figure, old and bronzed, with gray in his clipped beard. This impatience jarred upon the careful Turks. Barbarossa wanted no landsmen or soldiery on a vessel; he wanted no ves sels ill found., with green wood in them such as he had seen in the Turkish fleet at sea. He wanted full command, alone. Suleiman wanted Barbarossa’s secret of success. The man from Algiers had no secret; he built ships and he fought them. Older members of the Divan shook their heads over Bar barossa.
“Have you not experienced pashas enough to serve you,” they asked Suleiman, “that you show favor to this outcast son of a Christian potter? How will you trust such a man?”
Unable to decide, Suleiman dispatched Barbarossa inland through Asia to be examined by Ibrahim. The temperamental Vizir approved of the sea rover. “This is the man for us,” he wrote his master. “Brave and careful, farsighted in war, en during at work, steadfast when he meets with misfortune.” On his own account Suleiman reasoned that while the Turk ish fleet had been unable to take the sea against Doria, that ad miral in turn had been able to accomplish nothing against Bar barossa. Likewise his own adversary the Emperor had proved elusive upon the land but showed every evidence of cherishing his western Spanish half of the Mediterranean. It seemed as if Barbarossa, loosed upon the sea, might be the means of occupy ing all the attention of the European powers while the Sultan was absent in Asia.
Once he had made up his mind Suleiman gave the adventurer every aid in the great task-a jeweled sword, the rank of Kaputan Pasha (Captain of the Sea), the Arsenal, and the Golden Horn to build an entire new fleet to suit him.
From that day Barbarossa’s restless energy transformed the Golden Horn, refitting vessels, launching new craft with officers on deck and salutes echoing, initiating Turkish shepherd boys and soldiers into the mysteries of rope and sail. Hugely he de manded, timber and cloth, hemp and tar, bronze cannon, brass astrolabes. Nowhere else could he have obtained all he wanted in that time. The Turks understood that he wanted a new fleet whole and manned, and eighty-four vessels were ready to put to sea in less than a year. Even so Barbarossa was not entirely satisfied. This new armada, he admitted, made a fine appear ance, but such vessels with inexperienced crews would be a trouble rather than an aid to him in actual battle.
Perhaps the Sultan suspected the rover of wanting to go off again upon his small raiding ventures in the west; more prob ably he meant to pin the impetuous Barbarossa down to the command of the great new fleet that might in time be able to hold the eastern waters for the Turks. Certainly he exacted a pledge that his new Kaputan Pasha would not put to sea with out all eighty-four sails following him. Barbarossa gave the pledge with mental reservation.
The two of them, however, evolved a plan of action that was startling in its scope. As kaputan of the Sultan, flying the green colors of the Osmanlis, Barbarossa faced potential enemies in papal shipping, in Neapolitan, Genoese, the galleys of the Knights of Malta, of Portugal as well as the sea forces of the Empire. Only the Venetian fleet was neutralized, by treaty, and the French by the inclination of its master, Francis. Under such circumstances they planned to do four things: to recapture one at a time the European-held ports of Africa; to seize in the same manner the islands that provided Doria with bases at sea; to set up an offshore blockade along the critical Spanish coast; to retaliate for every raid on Africa by a raid on the European coasts.
That was a great task for one man to perform. It would take years. Yet in attempting it, the new Turkish fleet would challenge Charles’s command of the Mediterranean. And whatever happened, Algiers would be well safeguarded.
In the spring of 1535 when Suleiman journeyed into Asia, Barbarossa rounded Serai Point with eighty-four sails following.

Charles Sails to Africa

He surprised the Europeans by appearing among them so promptly. He left the ill-found bulk of his new battle fleet be hind in the Aegean ports for convoy duty. With a handy strik ing force, he passed through the tide-torn Messina Strait, storm ing and stripping Reggio, surprising eighteen galleys at Cetraro, landing elsewhere along the Italian coast as far up as Fondi, where he sent a landing force by night to loot the castle and carry off the lovely Giulia Gonzaga, widow of one of the Colonnas, sister to Joanna of Aragon, whose beauty had been sung by a concourse of Italian poets of love. The equally ad mired Giulia was awakened by her servants only in time to run from her bed, to mount an unsaddled horse and ride into the night. Some witnesses said Giulia had a nightgown on, others said she had none. However that may be, the one esquire who rode with her to safety was assassinated afterward by the Gon zaga family.Nothing could have been better calculated to set the Euro pean courts by their—ears, and to draw their sea commands to the coast at Rome. Whereupon Barbarossa resumed his strategic mission by doubling back to the African coast and taking Tunis, which had been held by one of the neglected Spanish garrisons. Having taken it, as at Algiers, he proceeded to install his own rulers and to use it as a base.
This in turn brought immediate reaction from the Europeans. ( Suleiman was far distant in Asia by then. ) It was bad enough to have the rover sheltered at Algiers; it was unendurable to have him quartered in the lagoon of Tunis within easy sail of Sicily, at the African end of the knd bridge, where he could intercept merchant fleets passing from the western to the east ern Mediterranean.
The next summer Charles himself embarked with 20,000
Spanish and German veterans and Portuguese volunteers in an armada of 600 sail, convoyed across by Doria with 62 gal leys of the Empire, to retake Tunis.
By all the rules of warfare, whether on sea or land, Barbarossa should have withdrawn in his ships before the arrival of the Emperor. Whether he was too stubborn to do so, or whether he carried out the Sultan’s behest to keep their European ene mies occupied at all cost is not certain. But he stayed to defend Tunis.
Sinan the Jew and Beat-the-Devil were with him. The three brethren of the sea evidently expected that they might fare badly at the hands of the Emperor, because they hid away a dozen or fifteen of their handiest small galleys in the harbor of Bizerta, to the west. This escape fleet was concealed by stripping the masts, oars and cannon from the slender hulls and sinking them along the sandy beach.
These sixteenth-century war galleys, like modern destroy ers, had peculiarities. Their great kteen sails were used only in cruising. Driven by fifty or more long oars, they could close an enemy, firing from the heavy cannon on the f oredeck, strik ing with their massive bronze-tipped ram, throwing their force of two hundred or more fighting men across to the enemy’s deck. Built on the lines of modern racing shells (with beam less than one eighth their length), they were speedy enough under oars or sail to overhaul the lofty, tubby sailing galleons or cara vels in short spurts; but they could not transport supplies suf ficient for more than three or four days at sea, and in a storm they had to run for the nearest shelter. The galley slaves chained to die long oars also presented a problem, requiring food, and warders to guard them. When the crew and soldiers left the deck, in port, the oars had to be unshipped and towed away, to prevent the captive rowers taking the galley out to sea. In battle also the desperate galley slaves had to be watched. On Moslem craft the Gallienji, men chained to the ordeal of the oars, were captives from Christian vessels, and vice versa. Barbarossa would have only Turks on the galleys under his immediate command. That made the handling of his squadron easier, eliminated the useless slave guards, and about doubled his fighting force in action.
Like the Turks, the Venetians still kept to their galleys—galliots being the smaller type, royal galleys the larger-while the Portuguese and Spanish navigators had developed the oceangoing sailing vessel with lofty sides and broadside bat teries of guns. In a wind, they were a match for the more manageable war galleys. But the art of tacking was still novel, and in a calm the massive caravel type of vessel became little better than an inflammable drifting fort. A century would pass before it gained supremacy in the Mediterranean.
Charles had several of these broadside-gunned vessels in his armada, and one great carrack of the Knights of Rhodes, at Malta. In their passage to Tunis the Europeans failed to sight the galleys Barbarossa had hidden underwater at Bizerta. At Tunis he made what preparation he could. Guns taken from his ships were mounted in the Goletta, “The Throat,” the towerlike citadel that barred the way from the outer lagoon to the inner harbor. In that harbor he collected all the remain ing vessels. Over the Goletta he put the sagacious Sinan in command, giving him the best of the Moorish boat crews and the janizaris. In all Barbarossa had about 5000 trained men and as many Berber tribesmen. To the townsfolk he said, “YouVe had letters from the unbelievers. I shall go out and fight. What will you do remain in the city?”
“God forbid,” they answered.
For a space until then Tunis, like Yerba,