Discussion:
AHC: a 500 year + Muslim occupation of Italy south of Papal states
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Rob
2017-10-11 22:41:25 UTC
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How could such a result, applying much of the Spanish experience to the southern half of Italy, occur?

How will it change the history of the Papacy, the HRE and all portions of Italy?
Insane Ranter
2017-10-12 02:45:08 UTC
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Post by Rob
How could such a result, applying much of the Spanish experience to the southern half of Italy, occur?
How will it change the history of the Papacy, the HRE and all portions of Italy?
Not sure the Catholic West lets this happen or stay that way long. Its too close to "home" and the seat of Christianity in the West etc etc. You hear cries of "Deus vult!!!" Across England, Scotland, France, "Germany", "Italy", into Sweden, and even Ireland.

You might see some push to retake Greece and even Constantinople....reform the Roman Empire and other such AB territory.
Rich Rostrom
2017-10-12 17:59:20 UTC
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Post by Insane Ranter
Post by Rob
How could such a result, applying much of the
Spanish experience to the southern half of Italy,
occur?
Idunno.
Post by Insane Ranter
Post by Rob
How will it change the history of the Papacy, the
HRE and all portions of Italy?
And of Islam.
Post by Insane Ranter
Not sure the Catholic West lets this happen or stay
that way long.
If the initial Arab Moslem surge conquers Naples and
Sicily... In the 700s, Catholic Europe is not in a
position to re-conquer the area; nor does it have the
collective identity that supported the OTL Crusades
in the 1000s. Only with the rise of Charlemagne's empire
does that capacity arise, and Naples is a long way off
for the Franks.

By 900-1000, the Moslems would be entrenched in Naples
and it would require a major effort to get them out.
Unlike Iberia, there is no scope for multiple Christian
states to attack. Christian Europe would get used to
Moslem Naples.

Hohenstaufen-type Emperors might lead the required
effort, but again, it's a long way off, and not an
urgent problem for Germans.

One might see the Papacy relocated permanently north
of the Alps.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Old Man
2017-10-12 19:40:09 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
One might see the Papacy relocated permanently north
of the Alps.
One might also see the fear of God put into the Church, telling them that southern Italy was lost because of the Church's wicked, wicked ways, which in turn might (just possibly) short-circuit the Reformation - or the need for one.

Regards,
John Braungart
Alex Milman
2017-10-12 20:51:19 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by Insane Ranter
Post by Rob
How could such a result, applying much of the
Spanish experience to the southern half of Italy,
occur?
Idunno.
Post by Insane Ranter
Post by Rob
How will it change the history of the Papacy, the
HRE and all portions of Italy?
And of Islam.
Post by Insane Ranter
Not sure the Catholic West lets this happen or stay
that way long.
If the initial Arab Moslem surge conquers Naples and
Sicily... In the 700s, Catholic Europe is not in a
position to re-conquer the area; nor does it have the
collective identity that supported the OTL Crusades
in the 1000s. Only with the rise of Charlemagne's empire
does that capacity arise,
and Naples is a long way off
for the Franks.
Actually, the Duchy of Benevento was attacked by Charlemagne and then by his sons more than once so it was not such a long way.
Post by Rich Rostrom
By 900-1000, the Moslems would be entrenched in Naples
and it would require a major effort to get them out.
Unlike Iberia, there is no scope for multiple Christian
states to attack. Christian Europe would get used to
Moslem Naples.
But here comes the obvious question about the Muslims' support base. In OTL the Arabs conquered Sicily but were defeated by the Normans in the XI century. They were getting some support from Northern Africa but this support was seemingly inadequate. For how long such a support would exist in ATL and from whom? Just on their own the local Muslims would not be strong enough to resist a continued (or just "regular") pressure from the Christian neighbors. Not to mention their tendency to disintegration (as happened in Spain and Sicily).
Pete Barrett
2017-10-13 21:11:53 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Actually, the Duchy of Benevento was attacked by Charlemagne and then by
his sons more than once so it was not such a long way.
Once Charlemagne had taken over the Lombard kingdom, he was operating in
Italy itself (with Papal approval), so it wasn't a long way at all.

It *was* a long way for the Normans, however, and it didn't seem to
trouble them unduly, so the distance isn't the main problem. Operating
without local allies might be a problem, but any putatively Christian
power trying to conquer southern Italy from the Muslims is going to have
Papal support.
Post by Alex Milman
By 900-1000, the Moslems would be entrenched in Naples and it would
require a major effort to get them out. Unlike Iberia, there is no
scope for multiple Christian states to attack. Christian Europe would
get used to Moslem Naples.
But here comes the obvious question about the Muslims' support base. In
OTL the Arabs conquered Sicily but were defeated by the Normans in the
XI century. They were getting some support from Northern Africa but this
support was seemingly inadequate. For how long such a support would
exist in ATL and from whom? Just on their own the local Muslims would
not be strong enough to resist a continued (or just "regular") pressure
from the Christian neighbors. Not to mention their tendency to
disintegration (as happened in Spain and Sicily).
If the Normans turn up in Italy on schedule (ca. 1000), then they'll be
fighting (and probably taking service with) Muslim emirs instead of
Lombard dukes. In fact, why should it look very different from the
contemporary Taifa period in Spain? Adventurers carving out
principalities for themselves, then fighting among themselves, Christian
against Muslim, Muslim against Muslim, Christian against Christian.

The one big difference would be that on the Christian side there would be
no competing kingdoms, as there were in Spain - instead, the Norman
adventurers would have to get their authority from either the Pope or the
Byzantine Emperor. OTL history suggests that the Popes were quite happy
to recognise the Normans as princes and dukes, if they could make their
territorial claims stick. The Byzantines would be less likely to do so, I
think, but those who had come off worse might ask for and get Byzantine
recognition - what would the Byzantines have to lose?
--
Pete BARRETT
Alex Milman
2017-10-13 22:24:26 UTC
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Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Alex Milman
Actually, the Duchy of Benevento was attacked by Charlemagne and then by
his sons more than once so it was not such a long way.
Once Charlemagne had taken over the Lombard kingdom, he was operating in
Italy itself (with Papal approval), so it wasn't a long way at all.
And after him quite a few emperors had been operating in Italy. Of course, mostly in Northern or Central but nonetheless.

I'd say that there is another potentially interesting aspect. In OTL (XIII century) Charles of Anjou (with Papal blessing) marched into the Southern Italy, defeated Manfred at Benevento and conquered Naples and Sicily. It seems that the resources of the Southern Italy were not enough to defend it even if he had reasonably strong heavy cavalry (Charles had much more of it). Now, if Charles is acting against the Arabs holding Naples his advantage is even greater because the Arabs did not have heavy cavalry (and Mamluks are far away).
Post by Pete Barrett
It *was* a long way for the Normans, however, and it didn't seem to
trouble them unduly, so the distance isn't the main problem.
Not at all. And they destroyed Arab emirates in Sicily.
Post by Pete Barrett
Operating
without local allies might be a problem, but any putatively Christian
power trying to conquer southern Italy from the Muslims is going to have
Papal support.
Papal support is guaranteed and there are Christian states just to the North of Neapolitan border so if the <whatever> force advancing from the North, it marches all the way across more or less friendly territory.

Position of Venetian Republic would be an interesting issue: unlike OTL the Muslims are holding Western coast of the entry into Adriatic which may mean more problems than there were in OTL and could move Venice into the action.
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Alex Milman
By 900-1000, the Moslems would be entrenched in Naples and it would
require a major effort to get them out. Unlike Iberia, there is no
scope for multiple Christian states to attack. Christian Europe would
get used to Moslem Naples.
But here comes the obvious question about the Muslims' support base. In
OTL the Arabs conquered Sicily but were defeated by the Normans in the
XI century. They were getting some support from Northern Africa but this
support was seemingly inadequate. For how long such a support would
exist in ATL and from whom? Just on their own the local Muslims would
not be strong enough to resist a continued (or just "regular") pressure
from the Christian neighbors. Not to mention their tendency to
disintegration (as happened in Spain and Sicily).
If the Normans turn up in Italy on schedule (ca. 1000), then they'll be
fighting (and probably taking service with) Muslim emirs instead of
Lombard dukes. In fact, why should it look very different from the
contemporary Taifa period in Spain?
It would not be too different from OTL Norman conquest of Sicily: they started by signing treaties with the local Muslim leaders (as in Spain, emirate kept disintegrating into quarrelling entities).
Post by Pete Barrett
Adventurers carving out
principalities for themselves, then fighting among themselves, Christian
against Muslim, Muslim against Muslim, Christian against Christian.
And Christians with Muslims against Christians or Muslims (El Sid was just the most famous but not unique example).
Post by Pete Barrett
The one big difference would be that on the Christian side there would be
no competing kingdoms, as there were in Spain - instead, the Norman
adventurers would have to get their authority from either the Pope or the
Byzantine Emperor.
OTL history suggests that the Popes were quite happy
to recognise the Normans as princes and dukes, if they could make their
territorial claims stick. The Byzantines would be less likely to do so, I
think, but those who had come off worse might ask for and get Byzantine
recognition - what would the Byzantines have to lose?
In campaign of 1038 in Sicily the Normans had been fighting as a part of Byzantine army. Of course, when they started conquest of their own Papal blessing became more probable.
Pete Barrett
2017-10-14 14:25:48 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by Pete Barrett
Operating
without local allies might be a problem, but any putatively Christian
power trying to conquer southern Italy from the Muslims is going to
have Papal support.
Papal support is guaranteed and there are Christian states just to the
North of Neapolitan border so if the <whatever> force advancing from the
North, it marches all the way across more or less friendly territory.
Position of Venetian Republic would be an interesting issue: unlike OTL
the Muslims are holding Western coast of the entry into Adriatic which
may mean more problems than there were in OTL and could move Venice into
the action.
OTL, both sides were held by the Byzantines, and in 814 Venice was
considered subject to Byzantium. I don't know whether that subjection was
any more than nominal (to keep them out of Charlemagne's orbit), but if
there was anything to it at all, if they fight, they'll be doing so to
conquer southern Italy for Byzantium. Otherwise, I'd think they'd remain
neutral - their ships should be able to get out of the Adriatic by
skirting the eastern coast, keeping well away from the Arab-held
coastline. I take it was something like that which made you suggest they
might have an interest.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Alex Milman
By 900-1000, the Moslems would be entrenched in Naples and it would
require a major effort to get them out. Unlike Iberia, there is no
scope for multiple Christian states to attack. Christian Europe
would get used to Moslem Naples.
But here comes the obvious question about the Muslims' support base.
In OTL the Arabs conquered Sicily but were defeated by the Normans in
the XI century. They were getting some support from Northern Africa
but this support was seemingly inadequate. For how long such a
support would exist in ATL and from whom? Just on their own the local
Muslims would not be strong enough to resist a continued (or just
"regular") pressure from the Christian neighbors. Not to mention
their tendency to disintegration (as happened in Spain and Sicily).
If the Normans turn up in Italy on schedule (ca. 1000), then they'll be
fighting (and probably taking service with) Muslim emirs instead of
Lombard dukes. In fact, why should it look very different from the
contemporary Taifa period in Spain?
It would not be too different from OTL Norman conquest of Sicily: they
started by signing treaties with the local Muslim leaders (as in Spain,
emirate kept disintegrating into quarrelling entities).
I think we agree about this.
--
Pete BARRETT
Alex Milman
2017-10-14 14:38:33 UTC
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Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Pete Barrett
Operating
without local allies might be a problem, but any putatively Christian
power trying to conquer southern Italy from the Muslims is going to
have Papal support.
Papal support is guaranteed and there are Christian states just to the
North of Neapolitan border so if the <whatever> force advancing from the
North, it marches all the way across more or less friendly territory.
Position of Venetian Republic would be an interesting issue: unlike OTL
the Muslims are holding Western coast of the entry into Adriatic which
may mean more problems than there were in OTL and could move Venice into
the action.
OTL, both sides were held by the Byzantines, and in 814 Venice was
considered subject to Byzantium. I don't know whether that subjection was
any more than nominal (to keep them out of Charlemagne's orbit), but if
there was anything to it at all, if they fight, they'll be doing so to
conquer southern Italy for Byzantium.
Or rather to provide a safe passage to the Med. Their relations with Byzantine Empire had been quite "dynamic" over the years but their trade interests were a long term factor.

Not sure that they would be overly excited over a possibility of Byzantine control of BOTH sides of entry into Adriatic so they'd probably opt, if they could, for some 3rd party.
Post by Pete Barrett
Otherwise, I'd think they'd remain
neutral - their ships should be able to get out of the Adriatic by
skirting the eastern coast, keeping well away from the Arab-held
coastline. I take it was something like that which made you suggest they
might have an interest.
Well, Adriatic Sea is not wide enough to make any passage secure and for Venice this would be an issue of survival.
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Alex Milman
By 900-1000, the Moslems would be entrenched in Naples and it would
require a major effort to get them out. Unlike Iberia, there is no
scope for multiple Christian states to attack. Christian Europe
would get used to Moslem Naples.
But here comes the obvious question about the Muslims' support base.
In OTL the Arabs conquered Sicily but were defeated by the Normans in
the XI century. They were getting some support from Northern Africa
but this support was seemingly inadequate. For how long such a
support would exist in ATL and from whom? Just on their own the local
Muslims would not be strong enough to resist a continued (or just
"regular") pressure from the Christian neighbors. Not to mention
their tendency to disintegration (as happened in Spain and Sicily).
If the Normans turn up in Italy on schedule (ca. 1000), then they'll be
fighting (and probably taking service with) Muslim emirs instead of
Lombard dukes. In fact, why should it look very different from the
contemporary Taifa period in Spain?
It would not be too different from OTL Norman conquest of Sicily: they
started by signing treaties with the local Muslim leaders (as in Spain,
emirate kept disintegrating into quarrelling entities).
I think we agree about this.
Yes, we are.
Pete Barrett
2017-10-15 14:22:45 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by Pete Barrett
OTL, both sides were held by the Byzantines, and in 814 Venice was
considered subject to Byzantium. I don't know whether that subjection
was any more than nominal (to keep them out of Charlemagne's orbit),
but if there was anything to it at all, if they fight, they'll be doing
so to conquer southern Italy for Byzantium.
Or rather to provide a safe passage to the Med. Their relations with
Byzantine Empire had been quite "dynamic" over the years but their trade
interests were a long term factor.
Not sure that they would be overly excited over a possibility of
Byzantine control of BOTH sides of entry into Adriatic so they'd
probably opt, if they could, for some 3rd party.
Post by Pete Barrett
Otherwise, I'd think they'd remain neutral - their ships should be able
to get out of the Adriatic by skirting the eastern coast, keeping well
away from the Arab-held coastline. I take it was something like that
which made you suggest they might have an interest.
Well, Adriatic Sea is not wide enough to make any passage secure and for
Venice this would be an issue of survival.
This page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
History_of_the_Republic_of_Venice) has a couple of interesting points:

"Around 841, the Republic of Venice sent a fleet of 60 galleys (each
carrying 200 men) to assist the Byzantines in driving the Arabs from
Crotone, but failed."
and
"Starting from Pietro II Orseolo, who reigned from 991, attention towards
the mainland was definitely overshadowed by a strong push towards control
of Adriatic Sea. Inner strife was pacified, and trade with the Byzantine
Empire boosted by the favourable treaty (Grisobolus or Golden Bull) with
Emperor Basil II. The imperial edict granted Venetian traders freedom
from taxation paid by other foreigners and the Byzantines themselves."
Basil died in 1025, but the Venetian privileges were Alexius Comnenus in
1082.

So it would look as if earlier than the 10th century, Venice's activities
were limited to the Adriatic and the Italian mainland. It was their
privileged trading position in the Byzantine Empire which was the basis
for their later prosperity. Assuming that they get that position in the
ATL as well (why not?), the ability to safely exit the Adriatic in to the
Mediterranean would become important to them some time in the 10th
century (ie. no earlier than 900, and by 1000 it would definitely be
important to them).

Now that, as it happens, is just the time the Normans would be showing
up. No doubt they'd want to remove the Arabs (the Arabs dabbled in
piracy, among other things, which would not please the Venetians), but if
it came to a choice between the Normans and the Byzantines, they wouldn't
want to risk their trading position with the Empire.
--
Pete BARRETT
Yusuf B Gursey
2017-10-15 17:28:52 UTC
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Post by Pete Barrett
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Pete Barrett
OTL, both sides were held by the Byzantines, and in 814 Venice was
considered subject to Byzantium. I don't know whether that subjection
was any more than nominal (to keep them out of Charlemagne's orbit),
but if there was anything to it at all, if they fight, they'll be doing
so to conquer southern Italy for Byzantium.
Or rather to provide a safe passage to the Med. Their relations with
Byzantine Empire had been quite "dynamic" over the years but their trade
interests were a long term factor.
Not sure that they would be overly excited over a possibility of
Byzantine control of BOTH sides of entry into Adriatic so they'd
probably opt, if they could, for some 3rd party.
Post by Pete Barrett
Otherwise, I'd think they'd remain neutral - their ships should be able
to get out of the Adriatic by skirting the eastern coast, keeping well
away from the Arab-held coastline. I take it was something like that
which made you suggest they might have an interest.
Well, Adriatic Sea is not wide enough to make any passage secure and for
Venice this would be an issue of survival.
This page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
"Around 841, the Republic of Venice sent a fleet of 60 galleys (each
carrying 200 men) to assist the Byzantines in driving the Arabs from
Crotone, but failed."
and
"Starting from Pietro II Orseolo, who reigned from 991, attention towards
the mainland was definitely overshadowed by a strong push towards control
of Adriatic Sea. Inner strife was pacified, and trade with the Byzantine
Empire boosted by the favourable treaty (Grisobolus or Golden Bull) with
Emperor Basil II. The imperial edict granted Venetian traders freedom
from taxation paid by other foreigners and the Byzantines themselves."
Basil died in 1025, but the Venetian privileges were Alexius Comnenus in
1082.
So it would look as if earlier than the 10th century, Venice's activities
were limited to the Adriatic and the Italian mainland. It was their
privileged trading position in the Byzantine Empire which was the basis
And, when not fighting them, they enjoyed a privileged trading
positions with the Ottomans as well.

I had told this before, the fashionable district of Pera in Istanbul
(think Pera Palas Hotel with its clientelle of international spies from
both sides during WWII)is known in Turkish as Beyoğlu "Son of the Bey".
The "Bey" in this context is the Dodge of Venice, because his son had a
residence in the area now occupied by the Italian Consulate.

The earliest batch of Turkish "international words", most still in use
in Turkish, are of Italian origin in Venetian dialect (a few are from
Genoese). See Kahane and Tietze, "The Lingua Franca in the Levant ..."
Post by Pete Barrett
for their later prosperity. Assuming that they get that position in the
ATL as well (why not?), the ability to safely exit the Adriatic in to the
Mediterranean would become important to them some time in the 10th
century (ie. no earlier than 900, and by 1000 it would definitely be
important to them).
Now that, as it happens, is just the time the Normans would be showing
up. No doubt they'd want to remove the Arabs (the Arabs dabbled in
piracy, among other things, which would not please the Venetians), but if
it came to a choice between the Normans and the Byzantines, they wouldn't
want to risk their trading position with the Empire.
Rich Rostrom
2017-10-15 06:17:53 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Actually, the Duchy of Benevento was attacked by
Charlemagne and then by his sons more than once so
it was not such a long way.
But they ultimately failed to conquer south Italy,
and were more concerned with areas and affairs
closer to home.

The political center of the Franks was Paris and
the Rhineland; _northern_ Italy was some weeks
travel away, for messages, much less troops.

Charles only campaigned once in south Italy, and then
went home for good.

I don't say a Moslem principality in south Italy
would be immune to attack by the Frankish Empire;
only that it would be a _long_ reach for the Franks,
and medieval polities had a lot of trouble reaching
out so far.

If a Crusading impulse took hold, yes... But Spain
was Moslem, and rather closer by. Yet the Franks
confined actions in Iberia to conquering a marcher
realm along the Pyrenees, and never made a concerted
effort to redeem Iberia for the Cross.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
Yusuf B Gursey
2017-10-15 08:39:08 UTC
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Post by Rob
How could such a result, applying much of the Spanish experience to the
southern half of Italy, occur?
How will it change the history of the Papacy, the HRE and all portions of Italy?
Mehmed The Conqueror started an expedition, obtained a foothold in
Otranto (IIRC with the collusion of Florence) shortly before he died,
but his succesor was not interested interested an the expeditionary
force withdrew.
Rob
2017-10-15 17:09:21 UTC
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Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Post by Rob
How could such a result, applying much of the Spanish experience to the
southern half of Italy, occur?
How will it change the history of the Papacy, the HRE and all portions of Italy?
Mehmed The Conqueror started an expedition, obtained a foothold in
Otranto (IIRC with the collusion of Florence) shortly before he died,
but his succesor was not interested interested an the expeditionary
force withdrew.
Most discussions I've read about potential Ottoman conquests in Italy, tend to not be optimistic about the Ottomans' ability to hold any significant parts of Italy for a sustained period. What's your thoughts?
Yusuf B Gursey
2017-10-15 17:31:48 UTC
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Post by Rob
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Post by Rob
How could such a result, applying much of the Spanish experience to the
southern half of Italy, occur?
How will it change the history of the Papacy, the HRE and all portions of Italy?
Mehmed The Conqueror started an expedition, obtained a foothold in
Otranto (IIRC with the collusion of Florence) shortly before he died,
but his succesor was not interested interested an the expeditionary
force withdrew.
Most discussions I've read about potential Ottoman conquests in Italy, tend
to not be optimistic about the Ottomans' ability to hold any significant
parts of Italy for a sustained period. What's your thoughts?
I agree. But Mehmed the Conqueror thought of himself as heir to the
Roman Empire and was keen on it.
Yusuf B Gursey
2017-10-15 17:33:13 UTC
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Post by Rob
Post by Rob
How could such a result, applying much of the Spanish experience to the
southern half of Italy, occur?
How will it change the history of the Papacy, the HRE and all portions of Italy?
Mehmed The Conqueror started an expedition, obtained a foothold in Otranto
(IIRC with the collusion of Florence) shortly before he died, but his
succesor was not interested interested an the expeditionary force
withdrew.
Most discussions I've read about potential Ottoman conquests in Italy, tend
to not be optimistic about the Ottomans' ability to hold any significant
parts of Italy for a sustained period. What's your thoughts?
I agree. But Mehmed the Conqueror thought of himself as heir to the Roman
Empire and was keen on it.
He was interested in taking Rome, not just south of the Papal States.
Yusuf B Gursey
2017-10-15 18:07:47 UTC
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Post by Rob
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Post by Rob
How could such a result, applying much of the Spanish experience to the
southern half of Italy, occur?
How will it change the history of the Papacy, the HRE and all portions of Italy?
Mehmed The Conqueror started an expedition, obtained a foothold in
Otranto (IIRC with the collusion of Florence) shortly before he died,
but his succesor was not interested interested an the expeditionary
force withdrew.
Most discussions I've read about potential Ottoman conquests in Italy, tend
to not be optimistic about the Ottomans' ability to hold any significant
parts of Italy for a sustained period. What's your thoughts?
As I said, I agree. Most of the Ottoman court did not have the apettite
for it either. After Mehmed's death, it was difficult enough to get
relief for the Otranto garrison and evacuate them. The successor.
Bayezid II (also known in Turkish as Sofu Bayezid "Bayezid the Pious")
was an inward looking conservative and traditional Muslim, critical of
father's cosmopolitanism. Under Bayezid II military activity slowed
down. It returned under his son, Selim I, Yavuz Selim "Selim the Grim".
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