Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, The Turkish Letters, 1. Ogier de Busbecq () was a Flemish nobleman who spent most of his life in the service. Busbecq, a Fleming, was the ambassador of the Holy Roman Emperor at the Sublime Porte (the Turkish Sultan’s court in Constantinople) from A native of western Flanders, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq served in several posts as diplomatic representative for the Habsburg ruler Ferdinand I (King of.

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The emperor purchased it after Busbecq’s recommendation; the manuscript is now known as the Vienna Dioscorides. There is no district with any considerable amount of population, no borough or city, which has not a detachment of Janissaries to protect the Christians, Jews, and other helpless people from outrage and wrong.

Then I got this book and read this instead since this newer book obviously has less tendency to fall apart. View all 16 comments. On ours are found an empty exchequer, luxurious habits, exhausted resources, broken spirits, a raw and insubordinate soldiery, and greedy quarrels; there is no regard for discipline, license runs riot, the men indulge in drunkenness and debauchery, and worst of all, the enemy are accustomed to victory, we to defeat.

In making his appointments the Sultan pays no regard to any pretensions on the score of wealth or rank, nor does he take into consideration recommendations or popularity, he considers each case on its own merits, and examines carefully into the character, ability, and disposition of the man whose promotion is in question.

His letters also contain the only surviving word list of Crimean Gothica Germanic dialect spoken at the time in some isolated regions of Crimea. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

A must read for any history student. Mustafa Gundogan rated it it was amazing Nov 24, These are not our ideas, with us there is no opening left for merit; birth is the standard for everything; the prestige of birth is the sole key to bbusbecq in the public service.

It is how a child is raised and educated that really matters in society. De Busbecq’s writing is an effervescent artifact.

One of the letters is of particular interest as it sheds light on certain historical aspects related to the Janissaries, the well-trained Ottoman guards. In one section of these letters de Letteds describes a visit to Soleiman’s court by a member busbfcq Black Sea buwbecq ‘royalty’ to request military assistnace in a battle being waged with a neighboring Black Sea tribe.


Interesting as its a display of one of the few early diplomats of a foreign diplomat at the height of the Ottoman power. Kegan Paul,leetters,, The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq covers two periods when he was the ambassador from the court of the Hapsburg ruler Ferdinand I to the court of the Turkish turiksh Suleima ‘ Sarah rated it liked it Feb 04, This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

He died a few days later. The Turkish state has 12, of these troops when the corps is at its full strength. The letters were apparently written to a friend in Hapsburg service but Busbecq published them some years letterd.

When they were admitted to my dining room they first bowed, and then came quickly up to me, lerters but running, and touched my dress or hand, as if they intended to kiss it… After reaching the door, they would stand respectfully with their arms crossed, and their eyes bowed to the ground, looking more like turkisb than warriors… To tell you the truth, if I had not been told beforehand that they were Janissaries, I should, without hesitation, have taken them for members of some order of Turkish monks, or brethren of some Moslem college.

Busbecq and the Ottoman Grand Vizier, Semiz Ali Pasha, were instrumental in sustaining the uneasy peace which suited both parties. This is the reason that they are successful in their undertakings, that they lord it over others, and are daily extending the bounds of their empire. He praises the care and empathy the Ottomans show in training their horses, contrasting this with the cruel methods employed by Europeans. There is no fighting for precedence; a man’s place is marked out by the duties he discharges.

Busbecq was given the assignment of using diplomacy to check the raids of the Turks into Hungary, and he proved very effective with his quick sympathy, appreciation of the Turkish character, and patience.

Internet History Sourcebooks

Augerius Gislenius Busbequius ; sometimes Augier Ghislain de Turjish was a 16th-century Flemish writer, herbalist and diplomat in the employ of three generations of Austrian monarchs.

Several uprisings by local populations in different parts of the Ottoman State occurred. The Ottoman experience of social and cultural life provides valuable lessons for those nations that live in these regions today: The lofty character of a mother and father does not pass to the children at birth.

The rest of the army is badly off, unless they have provided some supplies at their own expense. This normative statement certainly has political and social implications.


The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq: A Biography

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Yet these are the famous Janissaries, whose approach inspires terror everywhere. The ambassadors would often record their experiences as notes or letters, which have proven to be of indispensable value for us today in studying an era and civilization about which not much is known.

When they were admitted to my dining room they first made a bow, and then came quickly up to me, all but running, and touched my dress or hand, as if they intended to kiss it. As ambassador of the Hapsburg Emperor to Suleiman the Magnificent, Ogier de Busbecq seems to have spent most of his time in the Ottoman Empire effectively under house arrest lstters Istanbul which rather limits his value as a witness to life among the Ottomans at the beginning of the s.

They remind us that the foundations of great civilizations and military power were lofty values and virtues. On the contrary, when in the hands of a tyrant, power causes chaos and anarchy in the world. I guess I will tuurkish for 3. From this you will see that it is the patience, self-denial and thrift of the Turkish soldier that enable him to face the most trying circumstances and come safely out of’ the dangers utrkish surround him.

Open Preview See a Problem? Of this they eat once or twice a day, according to the quantity they have, without any bread, unless they have brought some biscuit with them The house of Othman is the sole busnecq to this rule, being the letterd family in which birth confers rank.

At Buda I made my first acquaintance with the Janissaries; this is the name by which the Turks call the infantry of the royal guard. In four letters to his friend Nicholas Michault, who had been Busbecq’s fellow student in Italy and afterwards was imperial ambassador to the Portuguese court, he details impressions on everything he saw and experienced in Turkey, including landscapes, plants, animals, Islam, ethnic groups, architecture, slavery, military matters, court practices, clothing, gender and domestic relations, and the Sultan himself.

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