Advertisement

The Clashing of Cultures and Religions (1352–1526)

  • Philip Longworth

Abstract

In 1352 an earthquake damaged the ramparts of the harbour town of Gallipoli, facilitating its capture by the Turks. Thus the Ottoman Sultans gained their first base on the continent of Europe. The arrival of the Turks and their subsequent advances presented Christendom with a cultural and religious, as well as a political challenge. Yet Christendom itself remained divided. In the decades that followed, the longstanding differences between Catholics and Orthodox proved irreconcilable. The Orthodox camp itself tended to division between the proponents of asceticism and of more worldly views, while Catholics split between the devotees of rival Popes, and soon faced a serious religious rebellion in Bohemia. At the same time linguistic separatism first emerged as a cultural and political force, and Latin began its long decline as a Catholic lingua franca. This was also the age of the Black Death. Yet, for all these threats and divisions, the later fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were not devoid of opportunities for Eastern Europe.

Keywords

Fifteenth Century Fourteenth Century Rival Pope Bubonic Plague Great Schism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    According to Henryk Samsonowicz’s calculation of population densities in fourteenth-century Europe, Poland, Bohemia and the Balkans averaged about ten people per square kilometre and Hungary eight. The figure for Russia and Lithuania, as for Sweden, is only two people per square kilometre. See H. Samsonowicz and A. Maczak, ‘Feudalism and capitalism: a balance of changes in East-Central Europe’ in A. Maczak et al. (eds), East-Central Europe in Transition: from the Fourteenth to the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, 1985) pp. 8–10. The uneven impact of the Black Death is considered to have helped Moscow gain preeminence over the other Russian principalities. See R. Crummey, The Formation of Muscovy 1304–1613 (London, 1987) pp. 42–3; also p. 25 on its overtaking Novgorod in size of population.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    D. Obolensky, The Byzantine Commonwealth (Oxford, 1971).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    On Maxim Trivolis’s activities in Venice and Florence see E. Denisoff, Maxime le Grec et l’Occident (Paris, 1943); also D. Obolensky, ‘Maximos the Greek’ in his Six Byzantine Portraits (Oxford, 1988) pp. 201–19. Aside from Italians and Greeks the Russians of the period also brought in experts from Germany, Denmark, Scotland and Hungary. See A. Khoroshkevich, Russkoe gosudarstvo v sisteme mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenii (Moscow, 1980) p. 224.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    On the emergence of Moldavia which seems to have become independent under Prince Bogdan in 1363, see D. Deletant in Deletant and H. Hanak (eds.), Historians as Nation-Builders (London, 1988) pp. 32–45; but see the discussion in V. Spinei, Moldavia in the llth–14th Centuries (Bucharest, 1986) pp. 200ff.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See J. Fine, The Late Medieval Balkans (Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1987) pp. 345–77.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    The precise date has been disputed for reasons described by E. Zachariadou, ‘The Conquest of Adrionople by the Turks’ in her Romania and the Turks c.1300–c.1500 (London, 1985) pp. xii, 211–17. (‘Romania’ in this context is the Balkans south of the Danube, not present-day Romania.)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    G. Ostrogorsky in J. Hussey (ed.), The Cambridge Medieval History, vol. IV, part 1 (Cambridge, 1975) p. 368.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    ‘Cyprian of Kiev and Moscow’ in Obolensky’s Portraits, op. cit., pp. 173–200.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    F. Dvornik, The Slavs in European History and Civilization (New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1962) p. 343.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    P. Knoll, ‘The Urban Development of Medieval Poland with Particular Reference to Krakow’, S. Fiszman (ed.), The Polish Renaissance in its European Context (Bloomington, 1988) pp. 63–136, especially 123–4; and on the academic operation of the University, A. Wroblewski, ‘The Cracovian Background of Copernicus’ in ibid., pp. 147ff..Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Another Hungarian foundation of the period, the University of Obuda, also foundered. On the early history of Prague University, see R. Berts, ‘The University of Prague: the First Sixty Years’ in R. Seton-Watson (ed.), Prague Essays (Oxford, 1949) pp. 53–68.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    F. Seibt, Hussitenstudien [Veroffentlichungen des Collegium Carolinum, 60] (Munich, 1987) especially pp. 123–4.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Dvornik, op. cit., p. 196.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Quoted by Betts in Seton-Watson, op. cit., p. 64. The sentiment that still attached to the Old Church Slavonic liturgy led the Bohemian crown in the later fourteenth century to attempt the foundation of several monasteries that would use it; but the Pope would only sanction one.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Translation adapted from Count Lutzow, Lectures on the Historians of Bohemia (London, 1905) p. 37.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    See inter alia E. Jacob, ‘The Bohemians at the Council of Basel, 1433’ in Seton-Watson, op. cit., pp. 81–123.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    For a convenient account, see S. Runciman, The Fall of Constantinople (Cambridge, 1990) pp. 16ff..Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    See Runciman, op. cit., pp. 86–144.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Cited by H. Inalcik in ‘The Rise of the Ottoman Empire’ in M. A. Cook (ed.), A History of the Ottoman Empire to 1730 (Cambridge, 1976) p. 40.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Inalcik, loc. cit., pp. 41–2; S.J. Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, vol. I (Cambridge, 1978) pp. 23–4.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    A useful summary of the Ottoman system is to be found in P. Sugar, Southeastern Europe Under Ottoman Rule 1354–1804 (Seattle, 1977). See especially the diagram on p. 32. On the status of the Orthodox Church see Runciman, The Great Church in Captivity (Cambridge, 1985) especially pp. 171–2. On Gabriel of Rila, see D. Petkanov and G. Neshev in D. Kosev et al. (eds.), Istorii na Bulgariia, IV (ed. D. Gandev et al) (Sofia, 1983) p. 262, col. 2.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Shaw, op. cit., I, pp. 59–60; also Inalcik in Cook, op. cit., pp. 51–3; also Inalcik’s ‘The Foundations of the Ottoman Economico-Social [sic] System’ in N. Todorov (ed.), La Ville Balkanique xve–xixess. (Sofia, 1970) pp. 17–24.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Practice and timing tended to vary, however. For a useful study of landholding in Albania see S. Pulaha, Pronesia Feudale ne Tokat Squiptare (Tirane, 1988) (French summary, pp. 441–512).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    The analogy is A. Bryer’s in ‘Rural Society in Matzouka’ in A. Bryer and R. Lowry (eds.), Continuity and Change in Late Byzantine and Early Ottoman Society (Birmingham, 1986) pp. 53–95.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    See R. Crosskey, ‘Byzantine Greeks in Late Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century Russia’ [separatum], pp. 33–56.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    The Library was dispersed after his death. For a partial reconstruction of it see L. Csapodi et al, Bibliotheca Corviniana (Budapest, 1967).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    A. Bonfini, Rerum Ungaricarum Decades (Basel, 1568) p. 654. Some pertinent extracts from this work (indifferently translated) can be found in A. Kubinyi, ed., Saecula Hungariae 1438–1526 (Budapest, 1985).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    For a recent, succinct, discussion see J. Bak in P. Sugar (ed.) A History of Hungary (Bloomington, Indiana, 1990) especially pp. 70–6.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    On Vlad Tepes (Dracula) see N. Stoiescu, Vlad Tepes (Bucuresti, 1976).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    On the formation of the Dracula legend see M. Cazacu, L’Histoire du Prince-Dracula en Europe Centrale et Orientale [Ecole pratique des hautes etudes — ive section, V (Hautes etudes medievales et modernes) 61] (Geneve, 1988). On Vitez and Pannonius as humanists, see L. Czigany, The Oxford History of Hungarian Literature (Oxford, 1984) pp. 28–32.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    For the details see O. Odlozilik, The Hussite King: Bohemia in European Affairs 1440–1471 (New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1965) especially pp. 151–89. Though Francis Dvornik was a Catholic priest as well as a Czech patriot, he was right to point out (The Slavs, op. cit., pp. 290–3) that the Czech humanists were mostly Catholics (and opposed to George), and that the reformed University of Prague constituted an obstacle to the penetration of humanistic learning until the later sixteenth century.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    See inter alia Cazacu, op. cit., pp. 55–81.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    S. Kashtanov, Finansy srednevekovoi rusi (Moscow, 1988) pp. 22–40 and 244.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    A.A. Zimin, Formirovanie boiarskoi aristokratii v Rossii (Moscow, 1988) pp. 283–4 and 297–8. Kliuchevskii was mistaken in holding that many of the newly-subject princes were included in the Duma.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Khoroshevich, op. cit., pp. 243–5; Crummey, op. cit., pp. 196–7.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    As Vasily III was informed, ‘You are the only Caesar of Christians in all the world.... All the Christian realms have been gathered into thy realm. After this we await the eternal kingdom.... Two Romes have fallen but the third stands and there will not be a fourth’.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    T. Ulewicz, ‘Polish Humanism and its Italian Sources’, in S. Fiszman (ed.) The Polish Renaissance in its European Context, (Bloomington, Indiana, 1988) pp. 215–35, especially 216 and 222; also his Wsrod impresrow krakowskich dobu Renesansu (Cracow, 1977); also J. Bialostocki in Fiszman, op. cit., p. 281 and his ‘The East-Central European Renaissance’ in Maczak, op. cit., pp. 153–66.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    F. Sigel, Lectures on Slavonic Law (London, 1902) pp. 110–21; J. Tazbir in Gieysztor et al, History of Poland (Warsaw, 1979) pp. 149–50.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    See A. Maczak, ‘The Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania’ in Economy and Culture in the Baltic 1650–1700 [Acta Visbyensia VIII], pp. 8 and 16.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    M. Rady, Medieval Buda, pp. 75 and 112.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Seibt, op. cit., pp. 61ff., 127 and 148.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    See M. Bogucka in Maczak, East-Central Europe, op. cit., p. 105 (plus the source on the demographic decline of the merchants of Cracow). Similar considerations may help to explain the extinction of earlier dynasties such as the Premyslids of Bohemia who had died out in 1306, for primogeniture was not practised among the Slavs — see Chapter 9.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    F. Maksay, ‘Le pays de la noblesse nombreuse’, Etudes Historiques Hongroises, 1980, vol. I, pp. 167–90; I. Bibo quoted by J. Szucs, ‘The Three Historical Regions of Europe’, Acta Historica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 29 (2–4) 1983, p. 155.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    For a wider context see J. Bak in J. Bak and B. Kiraly (eds.), From Hunyadi to Rakoczi (New York, 1982) pp. 12–13, and for Dozsa his article in East-Central Europe, I, 1974, pp. 153–67.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Tripartitum opus iuris consuetudinarii, 1514.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Philip Longworth 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Longworth
    • 1
  1. 1.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations