Advertisement

Greeks and Turks

  • Anthony Bryer

Abstract

Other papers in this book are on Greeks and Romans, Greeks and Byron (and I presume the philhellenes too), and our editors might have added Greeks and Slavs. With friends like these, what do Greeks need Turks for? The difference is that the Turks were something more intimate than friends. Eager suitors, they asked not only for the Greeks’ board, but their bed too. So I am dividing my paper into the three stages of intimacy, indeed three of the ages of Man: courtship, marriage, and separation (or its alternative, integration). I am going to emphasise how real and lively that courtship of Greek and Turk was from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries — the heroic years of the first encounter of the people of Rum with the Seljuks and Türkmans, celebrated in Turkish epic poetry; and of how, among the Greeks and Türkmans at least, came the first warning light of any engagement — the realisation of economic disparity between the two parties. But courtship was followed by a series of marriages, albeit shotgun, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, finally consummated by the Ottomans in 1453. This age is best symbolised by an actual marriage that took place one day in May 1346 at Selymbria on the sea of Marmara: that of the beautiful Theodora, daughter of the Emperor John VI Kantakouzenos, to the ageing Ottoman Sultan Orhan.

Keywords

Fifteenth Century Fourteenth Century Twelfth Century Warning Light Dung Cake 
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.

Notes

  1. * The wording of this chapter differs little from the paper delivered at the University of Warwick on 80 November 1978, which explains why some of the demoticisms in it are more appropriate to a public lecture than a printed article. References have been kept largely to original sources quoted, beyond which the general reader may reasonably expect that such a large subject has attracted a synthesis readily available in English. This is true for the earlier period, where Speros Vryonis, Jr. , The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the Eleventh through the Fifteenth Century (University of California, 1971) is a fundamental analysis.Google Scholar
  2. But despite such useful recent surveys as Steven Runciman, The Great Church in Captivity (Cambridge, 1968)Google Scholar
  3. D. A. Zakythinos, The Making of Modern Greece From Byzantium to Independence (Oxford, 1976); andGoogle Scholar
  4. A. E. Vacalopoulos, Origins of the Greek Nation (New Brunswick, 1970), there is no satisfactory account of the Tourkokratia, particularly from the Ottoman side —Google Scholar
  5. where H. Inalcik, The Ottoman Empire: The Classical Age 1300–1600 (London, 1973) is the most recent survey. The Birmingham-Harvard project in late Byzantine and early Ottoman Demography (1978–82) is yielding evidence of how Ottoman conquest, conversion and assimilation worked and of the process of how some Greeks became Turks in two specific areas. But there remains a growing demand for a larger synthesis of the whole subject, towards which this paper can offer only a partial approach.Google Scholar
  6. 2.
    S. Runciman, ‘Teucri and Turci’ , in Festschrift for Professor A. S. Atiya (Utah, n.d.) 344–8; G. Parthey (ed.) Hierocks Synecdemus et Notitiae Graecae Episcopatuum (Berlin, 1866; reprinted Amsterdam, 1967) pp. 20, 62, 105, 156, 168, 183, 204, 246.Google Scholar
  7. 3.
    Benjamin of Tudela, Sefer Masa’ot (Itinerary), trans. A. Asher (London, 1907) vol. I, p. 310, vol. II, pp. 172–5; A. Sharf, Byzantine Jewry from Justinian to the Fourth Crusade (London, 1971). Benjamin adds that they were friends with the Jews and that (like all pastoralists who have no fixed ovens or fields) they ‘eat no bread and drink no wine, but devour the meat raw and quite unprepared’. He calls them ‘Kofar Turakh’, ‘kafir’, ‘gavur’ or ‘infidel’ Turks — the same root as ‘Gabras’. I am grateful to Dr Martin Goodman for transliterating the Hebrew.Google Scholar
  8. 4.
    E. L. Cutts, Christians under the Crescent in Asia (London, n.d.) pp. 46–7: ‘It is said that the proclamation made at midnight from this minaret, and made with the hand before the mouth so as to disguise the words, is not the usual proclamation of the muezzins, but is a proclamation of the Name of the Holy Trinity. … The office of muezzin has been handed down from father to son in the same family; and to this day [1876] the listener can hear the voice from the minaret of Zecharah begin ‘Kadoos Allah, kadoos, &c.’ [i.e. the trisagion] and go off into an unintelligible cry. …’ For other such examples, see F. W. Hasluck, Christianity and Islam under the Sultans (London, 1929).Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    S. Vryonis, Jr., ‘Evidence on human sactifice among the early Ottoman Turks’, Journal of Asian History, V (1971) 140–6; George Pachymeres, De Michaele et Andronico Palaeologis vol. I (ed.) I. Bekker (Bonn, 1835) p. 134.Google Scholar
  10. 6.
    S. Vryonis, Jr., ‘The Greeks under Turkish rule’ , in N. P. Diamandouros and others (ed.) Hellenism and the First Greek War of Liberation (1820–1830): Continuity and Change (Thessaloniki, 1976) pp. 51–2; and the same’s ‘Nomadization and Islamization in Asia Minor’, Dumbarton Oaks Paters, vol. XXIX (1975) 41–71.Google Scholar
  11. 7.
    Discussed in A. Bryer, The Empire of Trebizond and the Pontos (London, 1980) Study VII;Google Scholar
  12. see also C. Foss, ‘Late Antique and Byzantine Ankara’, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, vol. XXXI (1977) 42.Google Scholar
  13. 8.
    Nicetas Choniates (Acominatus), Chronicle (ed.) I. Bekker (Bonn, 1835) p. 50; cf. John Kinnamos, Deeds of John and Manuel Comnenus, trans. C. M. Brand (New York, 1975) p. 25.Google Scholar
  14. 9.
    C. Loparev, ‘On the Unionism of the Emperor Manuel Komnenos’, Yizantijskij Vremennik (1917) 344–57; cf. S. Runciman, The Eastern Schism (Oxford, 1955) p. 122.Google Scholar
  15. 10.
    I. Mélikoff, La Geste de Melik Danismend (Paris, 1960); cf. Bryer, The Empire of Trebizond, Study VI.Google Scholar
  16. 12.
    S. Vryonis, Jr., Decline (London, 1971) pp. 473–5;Google Scholar
  17. P. D. Whitting, Byzantine Coins (London, 1973) pp. 262, 274;Google Scholar
  18. C. Cahen, Pre-Ottoman Turkey (London, 1968) pp. 264, 391, 398, 402;Google Scholar
  19. D. Talbot Rice (ed.) The Church of Haghia Sophia at Trebizond (Edinburgh, 1968) pp. 46, 55–82; Bryer, The Empire of Trebizond, Study V, 124. The miniature is in Topkapi Saray, Hazinedar Album 2153, f. 48b.Google Scholar
  20. 13.
    Bryer, The Empire of Trebizond, Study V, 119. The latest significant addition to the growing literature on Dede Korkut is Kh. Koregly, Oguzskiy geroicheskiy epos (Moscow, 1976).Google Scholar
  21. 14.
    Doukas, Istoria Turco-Byzantina 1341–1462, (ed.) V. Grecu (Bucarest, 1958) p. 59; trans. H. J. Magoulias, Decline and Fall of Byzantium to the Ottoman Turks by Doukas (Detroit, 1975) p. 73.Google Scholar
  22. 16.
    P. Charanis, ‘Internal strife in Byzantium during the fourteenth century’, Byzantion, vol. XV (1941) 230;Google Scholar
  23. J. Meyendorff, A Study of Gregory Palamas (London, 1964) pp. 195–7.Google Scholar
  24. 17.
    The Letters of Manuel II Palaeologus (ed. and trans.) G. T. Dennis (Washington, D.C., 1977); Manuel II Paléologue, Entretiens avec un Musulman (ed.) T. Khoury (Paris, 1966);Google Scholar
  25. cf. J. D. G. Waardenburg, ‘The two lights, perceived: Medieval Islam and Christianity’, Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift, vol. XXXI (1978) 276.Google Scholar
  26. 18.
    A. D. Alderson, The Structure of the Ottoman Dynasty (Oxford, 1956);Google Scholar
  27. C. Issawi, An Arab Philosophy of History (London, 1958).Google Scholar
  28. 19.
    Cf. S. Vryonis, Jr., ‘The Byzantine legacy and Ottoman forms’, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, vol. XXIII–XXIV (1969–70) 251–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 21.
    Significantly, one of the earliest concerns of the first Ottoman patriarchs was the relaxation of Canon Law to preserve what could be done of Orthodox marriage and family structure. See, e.g., Ch. G. Patrinels, Ho Theodoros Agallianos tautizomenos pros ton Theophanen medeias kai hoi anekdotoi Logoi tou (Athens 1966) pp. 68–71.Google Scholar
  30. 22.
    R. Clogg, ‘The “Dhidhaskalia Patriki” (1798): an Orthodox reaction to French revolutionary propaganda,’ Middle East Studies (offprint) 87–115; cf. A. Bryer, ‘The great idea’, in A. Birley (ed.), Universal Rome (Edinburgh, 1967) pp. 100–17.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Tom Winnifrith and Penelope Murray 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Bryer

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations