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A native of western Flanders, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq served in several posts as diplomatic representative for the Habsburg ruler Ferdinand I (King of Bohemia and Hungary (1526 - 64) and Holy Roman Emperor (1556 - 64)). Busbecq's most famous mission was to the Ottoman Empire at the zenith of its power and glory during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. In four letter A native of western Flanders, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq served in several posts as diplomatic representative for the Habsburg ruler Ferdinand I (King of Bohemia and Hungary (1526 - 64) and Holy Roman Emperor (1556 - 64)). Busbecq's most famous mission was to the Ottoman Empire at the zenith of its power and glory during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. 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. Suleiman (spelled Soleiman in the translation) the Magnificent is perhaps the most distinguished figure in Turkish history, and his reign saw the greatest extension of Turkish power. His devotion to his own religion and his tolerance of other faiths, his munificence and generosity, won him the fidelity of his subjects and the respect of his enemies. 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. He returned from Constantinople in the autumn of 1562 with an established reputation as a diplomat. Busbecq's Turkish Letters is a treasure of early travel literature, reflecting Busbecq's rich literary talent, classical education, love for collecting antiquities, and remarkable power of observation. Delightfully entertaining reading, it also offers invaluable lessons on understanding and bridging cultural divides.


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A native of western Flanders, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq served in several posts as diplomatic representative for the Habsburg ruler Ferdinand I (King of Bohemia and Hungary (1526 - 64) and Holy Roman Emperor (1556 - 64)). Busbecq's most famous mission was to the Ottoman Empire at the zenith of its power and glory during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. In four letter A native of western Flanders, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq served in several posts as diplomatic representative for the Habsburg ruler Ferdinand I (King of Bohemia and Hungary (1526 - 64) and Holy Roman Emperor (1556 - 64)). Busbecq's most famous mission was to the Ottoman Empire at the zenith of its power and glory during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. 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. Suleiman (spelled Soleiman in the translation) the Magnificent is perhaps the most distinguished figure in Turkish history, and his reign saw the greatest extension of Turkish power. His devotion to his own religion and his tolerance of other faiths, his munificence and generosity, won him the fidelity of his subjects and the respect of his enemies. 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. He returned from Constantinople in the autumn of 1562 with an established reputation as a diplomat. Busbecq's Turkish Letters is a treasure of early travel literature, reflecting Busbecq's rich literary talent, classical education, love for collecting antiquities, and remarkable power of observation. Delightfully entertaining reading, it also offers invaluable lessons on understanding and bridging cultural divides.

30 review for The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq: A Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    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 in Istanbul which rather limits his value as a witness to life among the Ottomans at the beginning of the 1560s. Busbecq, then in his early thirties, had been sent to finalise a peace treaty and as a result of the foregoing warfare between the Hapsburgs and the Ottomans, he was very concerned about the strength and power of t 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 in Istanbul which rather limits his value as a witness to life among the Ottomans at the beginning of the 1560s. Busbecq, then in his early thirties, had been sent to finalise a peace treaty and as a result of the foregoing warfare between the Hapsburgs and the Ottomans, he was very concerned about the strength and power of the Ottoman Empire. The letters were apparently written to a friend in Hapsburg service but Busbecq published them some years later. Quite possibly they were written with publication in mind in which case the letters may not be simply journalism but in places he may have been seeking to use his experiences as something of a mirror to Western Europe. This is the impression you get when he tells us that in the Ottoman Empire promotion in the army or government service more generally is purely on the basis of merit and not birth, the army is experienced and used to hardships, the people are frugal, pious, and willing to take up new inventions and innovations. However this is undercut by his frequent descriptions of the role of bribery in getting anything done, the behaviour of the Janissaries - begging for money, being unwilling to march in muddy conditions (until they are given a desert made of eggs, wine, spices and sugar for breakfast) their occasional riotousness and apparent willingness to support rivals for the Sultan's throne, the sailors who set fire to houses in Constantinople in order to loot and rob the neighbourhood under the pretext of fire-fighting, or the haphazard equipment of the cavalry and the unwillingness of the horsemen to start to use muskets instead of the traditional bow and arrows. Aside from his natural interest in warfare, Busbecq also discusses the court intrigues relating from the rise of Roxelana (one of the wives of Suleiman), over the succession, and the threat of rebellion by one of Suleiman's surviving sons which, Busbecq believes, helps to keep up the impetus towards concluding a peace treaty. The remainder of the letters are filled out with anecdotes about the animals he kept in his house (which included monkeys, wolves, bears, deer, mules, weasels, and a pig) the habits of the Turks (though his contacts with them are limited by his status and house arrest) the (now extinct) Gothic speakers of the Crimea (he had two of them brought to his house, recorded a few dozen words of their language and wondered if they really were Goths or the descendants of settlers from Saxony) and an embassy from modern Georgia. This edition has been abridged. The translation was made in 1927 and the spelling conventions are now old fashioned. This isn't a critical edition - the introduction and endnotes are basic.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Yann

    Oghier Ghiselin de Busbecq(1522-1592) est un flamand du seizième siècle, à l'époque où cette contrée était sous la protection de l'Empereur Ferdinand Ier. L'immense empire de ce dernier s'étendait depuis la péninsule ibérique jusqu'en Europe Centrale, sans parler des territoires en Afrique, en Asie et dans le Nouveau Monde. Il était aux prises avec les français en Italie, et avec les Ottomans sur plusieurs fronts: Europe Orientale, Afrique et Méditerranée. (view spoiler)[ 1656:bataille de F Oghier Ghiselin de Busbecq(1522-1592) est un flamand du seizième siècle, à l'époque où cette contrée était sous la protection de l'Empereur Ferdinand Ier. L'immense empire de ce dernier s'étendait depuis la péninsule ibérique jusqu'en Europe Centrale, sans parler des territoires en Afrique, en Asie et dans le Nouveau Monde. Il était aux prises avec les français en Italie, et avec les Ottomans sur plusieurs fronts: Europe Orientale, Afrique et Méditerranée. (view spoiler)[ 1656:bataille de Foja (hide spoiler)] Envoyé comme ambassadeur, à Constantinople, à la cour du roi Soliman entre 1554 et 1562, son sujet, Oghier Ghiselin de Busbecq, nous a laissé quatre longues lettres écrites en latin dans lesquelles il fait une relation de son périple. Ce qui m'a immédiatement séduit chez cet auteur, c'est son éducation humaniste. Toute son récit respire l'esprit antique. Il ne laisse jamais de glisser ici une allusion à Plutarque, là un adage tiré d'Erasme(view spoiler)[ Erasme (hide spoiler)] , ou reprendre des thèmes chers à la culture antique. Oghier est donc loin d'être un simple politicien ou aventurier, c'est un érudit ouvert sur l'universel, taraudé par une immense soif de découvertes et de connaissances. On le voit battre la campagne pour découvrir des inscriptions antiques, et recueillir chez les marchand de vieilles pièces de monnaies romaines. Il ramène en Europe dans la bibliothèque des Habsbourg pas moins de deux cent livres grecs! Mais son intérêt n'est pas tourné que vers la culture antique: il est aussi passionné par les sciences naturelles. Rien n'échappe à sa curiosité: les poissons, les oiseaux, les animaux de toutes sortes, qu'elles hantent, la terre, la mer ou le ciel, toutes les plantes, il les répertorie, et les accueille chez lui au point de transformer sa maison en ménagerie. Il observe leur comportement avec pas moins d'acuité et de passion qu'un Elien ou un Aristote, et nous régale d'anecdotes touchantes et édifiantes, comme cette grue qui se prend d'affection pour un soldat espagnol qu'il avait recueilli au point de ne pas le quitter. On se croirait dans l'intelligence des animaux de Plutarque! Il ramène en Europe la tulipe (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] , dont on sait qu'elle deviendra un symbole de sa patrie, mais aussi le lila, l'acacia, le marronnier d'inde et bien d'autres essences... Ses voyages lui permettent également d'être en relation avec les différents peuples de l'empire Ottoman, d'apprécier leur cultures, leur chants, leur langues, leur mœurs, leurs musiques. Il relate ainsi les chants évoquant notre Roland national, en pleine Anatolie. Il recueille le lexique d'un peuple goth, en mer noire, qui ressemble à l'allemand. Il se régale de légume nouveau, et d'ὀξύγαλα (oxygala), la fameux lait aigre vanté par le médecin grec Galien, connu chez les turcs sous le nom de yohgourt, au moyen-orient sous le nom de lebné, en Finlande de piimä, en Bretagne de lait ribot. Rien n'échappe à son désir d'apprendre et de gouter à tout. Une autre chose délicieuse le fascine: le sorbet, préparé avec de la neige fraiche, et permet de supporter les fortes chaleurs. Il est très favorablement impressionné par les caravasérails, où chacun est accueilli avec libéralité quelle que soit sa condition, avec un repas chaud. C'est intéressant d'avoir un autre regard sur les Ottomans, à une autre époque, par une autre personnalité que celle du Baron de Tott, agent de l'ambassade de France au XVIIIème siècle. On peut noter qu'à la différence du XVIIème siècle, les Ottomans inspirent alors à leurs ennemis une grande crainte, du fait de leur puissance. (view spoiler)[ Armée de Soliman, 1554 (hide spoiler)] Oghier ne la dément pas, et montre sur quoi elle repose: sans relâche, il vante la sobriété, le courage, le fait que l'avancement soit du au mérite et non à la naissance, la puissance des armées turques, avec lesquelles son empereur doit faire preuve de prudence et ne pas lancer imprudemment ses forces. Il fait un vibrant éloge de son monarque, orné de réflexions politiques pétries de culture antique. On note que son enthousiasme pour l'esprit antique va parfois un peu loin, comme lorsqu'il loue les Turques pour la pratique de l'esclavage, qu'il juge meilleure que de laisser des pauvres en liberté, sans ressources autres de souffrir, l'esclavage leur permettant d'échapper à la misère. Pour ce qui est des mœurs, j'ai finalement retrouvé la plupart des éléments relatés par Tott ou Volney. Les usages visant à préserver la pudeur des femmes, le penchant à l'ivrognerie malgré l'interdit religieux, le racket et la corruption constante, les avanies souffertes par les juifs et les chrétiens, le dogme du fatalisme qui excuse les actes immoraux par le fait accompli. Il relate un épisode curieux d'une femme, qui éprise d'une autre rencontrée au bains, élabore une mystification pour se marier avec elle. (view spoiler)[ LA GRANDE PISCINE À BRUSA, Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1885 (hide spoiler)] J'ai par contre été surpris par certains points, comme le tabou du papier tombé à terre, que l'on retrouve dans le judaïsme. On note au fur et à mesure de ses voyages que son opinion se dégrade, à mesure qu'il pratique les locaux. Les dernières ambassades qu'il fait sont le théâtre du début des problèmes de succession dans l'Empire, avec les cruautés commises entre le père et ses fils qui se révolte, prélude d'une tradition bien malheureuse de cette dynastie. Autant dire que je me suis régalé avec cette lecture, et que j'ai conçu la plus vive estime pour son auteur, tant pour sa personne que pour le texte qu'il nous a laissé, et les merveilles qu'il a diffusé en Europe. C'est assez étonnant qu'il semble être devenu à ce point inconnu.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sincerae

    '...for in Turkey, even among the Turks themselves, no value is attached to anything but personal merit. The house of Othman is the sole exception to this rule, being the only family in which birth confers rank.' Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq never intended that his letters to a friend would end up in the public eye. 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 sultan Suleima '...for in Turkey, even among the Turks themselves, no value is attached to anything but personal merit. The house of Othman is the sole exception to this rule, being the only family in which birth confers rank.' Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq never intended that his letters to a friend would end up in the public eye. 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 sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (spelled Soleiman in this book). De Busbecq has a strong love for his boss the Hapsburg ruler, and even though he is on the enemy side he has great respect for the Ottoman Turkish sultan. This book is comprised of four long letters which are a collection of detailed vignettes of de Busbecq observations of life in and around Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) and at the Turkish court. 500 years have passed and being that I have been to Turkey several times it's apparent that today's Turks are not alien in some of their behaviors and attitudes from their ancestors, which I think in some cases is a good thing. The second time that de Busbecq travelled to Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) to try to broker a peace between the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottomans, his state becomes almost that of a prisoner. Throughout he shows keen observation skills, but he is a humble man who sometimes denigerates his own powers of description. However, his writing skills show that he is learned. De Busbecq attempts to try to understand the Turks, but sometimes he also becomes frustrated, and I think his frustrations are shown in his occasional but rare outbursts calling the Turks "barbarians." I don't think he is a complete bigot because throughout the letters he often expresses favorable opinions of the Turks including Suleiman, whereas he only uses such a disparaging term about three times throughout all the letters. His position and duties were rather irksome at times, and I feel that his frustrations with the roadblocks created to slow down his mission erupts into the "b" word. Though a man of high principles de Busbecq shows in his writing his human flaws which makes the writing more honest. De Busbecq's writing is an effervescent artifact. I found the spelling of some Turkish names of people and places quite amusing: Koniah (Konya), Broussa (Bursa), Bajazet (Beyazit), and others. I highly recommend it for history and cultural lovers.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ufuk Savaş

    Bu kitabı Bernard Levis in “hata neredeydi” isimli kitabındaki bir alıntıdan öğrendim. Türkçe baskısı olmasına çok sevindim. Kitap bir zaman makinası gibi sizi 1555 in Osmanlı’sına götürüyor ve sadece savaşlar ve siyasi olayları incelemenin ötesinde toplum yapısı günlük alışkanlıklar, yemekler i, hayvanlar ve bitkilere kadar hemen her konudan bilgiler sunuyor. Düşündüğümden çok daha önemli bir Metin olduğunu ve tarihi bir çok belgenin bu kitaptan alıntılar edindiğini farkettim. Müthiş!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Meaghan

    Fascinating and insightful. Gives interesting comparisons of Europe and the Ottoman Empire during the 16th century. Somewhat limited in scope given the author was an international diplomat, with a specific task in mind. However, his curiosity, luckily for the reader, means the author gives the most random details such as plant life, as well as the most outrageous facts such as slavery. A must read for any history student.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Laila

    "uzun soluklu" elçilik döneminde Kanuni dönemini ve ülke ortamını eldeki imkanlar dahilinde gözlem şansı olan Busbecq'in mektuplarından oluşan eserde elçilik göreviyle ilgili anlatılarından ziyade seyahati esnasında gözlemlediklerine dair verdiği bilgiler dikkatimi çekti. Dil hakimiyeti tartışmasız olan yazarımızın özellikle Amasya seyahati burada hünkarın huzuruna kabulü sonrası tespit ettikleri çok değerli. Aynı zamanda Ankara'da gördüğü Augustus yazıtına dair verdiği bilgiler ilk olması bağla "uzun soluklu" elçilik döneminde Kanuni dönemini ve ülke ortamını eldeki imkanlar dahilinde gözlem şansı olan Busbecq'in mektuplarından oluşan eserde elçilik göreviyle ilgili anlatılarından ziyade seyahati esnasında gözlemlediklerine dair verdiği bilgiler dikkatimi çekti. Dil hakimiyeti tartışmasız olan yazarımızın özellikle Amasya seyahati burada hünkarın huzuruna kabulü sonrası tespit ettikleri çok değerli. Aynı zamanda Ankara'da gördüğü Augustus yazıtına dair verdiği bilgiler ilk olması bağlamında çok değerli. Busbec sıradan bir elçi değildi. Bildiği diller, eski para merakı, bitki bilime olan ilgisi mektupları sayesinde döneme ışık tutuyor. Öğretici bir eser. Kanuni döneminde Macaristanla ilgili meselelere ışık tutması bağlamında da değerli. Sıkılmadan okursunuz.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carla

    Other than some of the big names fromt this period of Turkish history - Suleiman, Roxelanna - I was unfamiliar with a lot of the details surrounding this period prior to reading this book. De Busbecq's letters are a fascinating and enjoyable read, even for the Turkish history novice. His letters are chatty, sometimes gossipy, and full of fascinating details about Turkish daily life and the intrigues of the Sultan's court. De Busbecq also has a lot of information about 'Mohamedism' in these lette Other than some of the big names fromt this period of Turkish history - Suleiman, Roxelanna - I was unfamiliar with a lot of the details surrounding this period prior to reading this book. De Busbecq's letters are a fascinating and enjoyable read, even for the Turkish history novice. His letters are chatty, sometimes gossipy, and full of fascinating details about Turkish daily life and the intrigues of the Sultan's court. De Busbecq also has a lot of information about 'Mohamedism' in these letters and he lays out the history/reasoning behind some basic religious practices. I know very little about the Muslim faith, so learning the history of the 'why' and 'how' behind these beliefs was fascinating. The tone of De Busbecq in his letters when describing the Turks is overall very polite and at times reverential - he is clearly very impressed by the orderliness of the Turkish court and people, and he praises everything from their personal groomimg habits to the way Suleiman's army sets up camp. In one section of these letters de Busbecq describes a visit to Soleiman's court by a member of Black Sea nomadic 'royalty' to request military assistnace in a battle being waged with a neighboring Black Sea tribe. De Busbeq's description of these people is extremely critical, and his clear disrespect for this culture is evident. He goes on at such length to describe the Black Sea tribes in negative fashion that his comments and descriptions of their customs, beliefs, and history sound almost fantastical, and I found his thoughts on this culture inadvertently hilarious. De Busbecq does this I think to show them in sharp contrast to the Ottoman court, although he does cast a very critical eye on the Turkish people at times. Overall this is a fascinating piece of travel literature and a very easy read for anyone interested in Ottoman history.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Taha Ibrahim Bayram

    Türk İmparatorluğu'nun en güçlü olduğu dönemde en büyük düşmanlarından birisi olan Avusturya İmparatorluğu'ndan Türkiye'ye gelen bir elçinin Türkler hakkındaki birinci elden düşünceleri o dönemi anlamak isteyen, bir de bizim değil de onların tarafından görmek isteyenlerin kesinlikle okuması gereken bir kitap. Türkler'den bahsederken hem yabani demesi hem de kendi milletiyle kıyaslarken ahlaken kendi milletinden üstün tutması, Türk askerinin düzeniyle kendi askerlerini kıyaslaması. Günlük hayat, d Türk İmparatorluğu'nun en güçlü olduğu dönemde en büyük düşmanlarından birisi olan Avusturya İmparatorluğu'ndan Türkiye'ye gelen bir elçinin Türkler hakkındaki birinci elden düşünceleri o dönemi anlamak isteyen, bir de bizim değil de onların tarafından görmek isteyenlerin kesinlikle okuması gereken bir kitap. Türkler'den bahsederken hem yabani demesi hem de kendi milletiyle kıyaslarken ahlaken kendi milletinden üstün tutması, Türk askerinin düzeniyle kendi askerlerini kıyaslaması. Günlük hayat, dini yaşam, yemek kültürü, sokak hayvanları ve birçok konuyu bir yabancının sözleriyle dinlemek gerçekten ilginç oldu benim açımdam. Seyehatname okumanın en keyifli yanı da bu olsa gerek; birinci elden, tarihsel ve mekansal olarak doğrudan bir kişinin şahsi görüşlerini dinlemek.

  9. 5 out of 5

    DoctorM

    A classic account of Ottoman Constantinople and Ottoman politics in the mid-16th-c. by the Imperial ambassador to the court of Suleyman the Magnificent--- wide-ranging, witty, clever letters back to a friend in the West. Read it as a traveler's memoir, read it for its store of tales of Ottoman life and customs, read it for the tales of court intrigue. A major resource for anyone interested in the Ottoman Empire at the height of its powers. A classic account of Ottoman Constantinople and Ottoman politics in the mid-16th-c. by the Imperial ambassador to the court of Suleyman the Magnificent--- wide-ranging, witty, clever letters back to a friend in the West. Read it as a traveler's memoir, read it for its store of tales of Ottoman life and customs, read it for the tales of court intrigue. A major resource for anyone interested in the Ottoman Empire at the height of its powers.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Necati

    Dönemin Osmanlı sını anlamak için mükemmel bir eser Osmanlı nasıl bir süper güçtü ? Bunu destekleyen Osmanlı Toplum Yapısı nasıldı ? Devlet yapısı nasıldı ?

  11. 5 out of 5

    ksenophon

    Yani öyle bir kitap ki neresinden tutsan elinde kalıyor. Çevirmen bazı yerleri çevirmeden kısaltarak sadece ne olduğunu anlatmış. Bu kitabın o zaman kısaltılmış versiyon ve bir de tam çevirisinin yayınlanması lazım. Yanlı bir şekilde, tek taraflı bir kitap okumak bana pek bir zevk vermedi. O dönemin gündelik hayatını anlattığı şeyler bile kulaktan dolma çünkü kendisi sadece elçilik hanında kalarak dışarı çıkartılmamış. Barış görüşmelerinin 8 yıl sürmesi ve o barış maddelerinin ne olduğunun kitap Yani öyle bir kitap ki neresinden tutsan elinde kalıyor. Çevirmen bazı yerleri çevirmeden kısaltarak sadece ne olduğunu anlatmış. Bu kitabın o zaman kısaltılmış versiyon ve bir de tam çevirisinin yayınlanması lazım. Yanlı bir şekilde, tek taraflı bir kitap okumak bana pek bir zevk vermedi. O dönemin gündelik hayatını anlattığı şeyler bile kulaktan dolma çünkü kendisi sadece elçilik hanında kalarak dışarı çıkartılmamış. Barış görüşmelerinin 8 yıl sürmesi ve o barış maddelerinin ne olduğunun kitapta olmaması, bu arada antlaşma sırasında çıkan karışıklıkları kısaca geçiştirilmesi sadece bunun batılı birinin kendince tuttuğu bir günlük seviyesine indiriyor. Hele sayfalarca imparatoruna övgüler dizmesi ve bunların hiç kısaltılmamasını okuyanların taktirine bırakıyorum.

  12. 5 out of 5

    keko

    Okurken ilgiyi yeterince ayık tutuyor. Silivri civarında Anastasius surlarının bahsi, "Çakal" kelimesinin o zamanlar da şimdiki anlamı -sıfat- ile kullanılıyor oluşu, Büyükada günleri... Kimi yerlerde çok da güldüm. Bazı konularda o dönemin bizdekine göre ne kadar farklı olduğunu görmek güzel, ama asıl hayret ettiren, daha temel bazı meselelerin, inceliklerin değişmiyor oluşu. Okurken ilgiyi yeterince ayık tutuyor. Silivri civarında Anastasius surlarının bahsi, "Çakal" kelimesinin o zamanlar da şimdiki anlamı -sıfat- ile kullanılıyor oluşu, Büyükada günleri... Kimi yerlerde çok da güldüm. Bazı konularda o dönemin bizdekine göre ne kadar farklı olduğunu görmek güzel, ama asıl hayret ettiren, daha temel bazı meselelerin, inceliklerin değişmiyor oluşu.

  13. 5 out of 5

    K's Bognoter

    ‪Den tysk-romerske diplomat Busbecqs breve fra Süleyman den Prægtiges hof er både interessant og underholdende læsning‬. Læs hele anmeldelsen på K's bognoter: ‪http://bognoter.dk/2017/10/15/ogier-g...‬ ‪Den tysk-romerske diplomat Busbecqs breve fra Süleyman den Prægtiges hof er både interessant og underholdende læsning‬. Læs hele anmeldelsen på K's bognoter: ‪http://bognoter.dk/2017/10/15/ogier-g...‬

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zeynep

    Such a delight to read Busbecq’s observations on Ottoman land and Turkish people.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Recep Pehlivan

    Interesting as its a display of one of the few early diplomats of a foreign diplomat at the height of the Ottoman power.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Graeme Purves

    Ogier Ghislen de Busbecq was ambassador of the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand I, to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent at the height of Ottoman power. Ferdinand and Suleiman were already getting on in years. Ferdinand was all too aware of his military weakness, while Suleiman was distracted by the threat posed by Persia and the tussle over the succession between his sons Selim and Bayezid. Busbecq and the Ottoman Grand Vizier, Semiz Ali Pasha, were instrumental in sustaining the uneasy peace which s Ogier Ghislen de Busbecq was ambassador of the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand I, to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent at the height of Ottoman power. Ferdinand and Suleiman were already getting on in years. Ferdinand was all too aware of his military weakness, while Suleiman was distracted by the threat posed by Persia and the tussle over the succession between his sons Selim and Bayezid. Busbecq and the Ottoman Grand Vizier, Semiz Ali Pasha, were instrumental in sustaining the uneasy peace which suited both parties. Busbecq reveals himself as ambivalent about Ottoman society and culture. He lauds the social mobility and preferment through merit he discerns in the Ottoman Empire as a way of criticising the nepotism and incompetent leadership of Europe's aristocracy. He praises the care and empathy the Ottomans show in training their horses, contrasting this with the cruel methods employed by Europeans. He credits the Ottomans with military prowess and discipline far superior to European soldiery, but mocks their reluctance to embrace advances in military technology. Of the fall of Constantinople and the subjection of Greece to Ottoman rule he writes: "The land which discovered all the arts and all liberal learning seems to demand back the civilisation which she has transmitted to us and to implore our aid, in the name of our common faith, against savage barbarism."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Norain

    At first, I read 'Life and Letters of Oghier Ghiselin de Busbecq' vol I. A very ancient copy. Then I got this book and read this instead since this newer book obviously has less tendency to fall apart. Beside the translators of the former sometimes wrote translation in French and not English and wrote very long painful footnotes. A very interesting book reviewing the culture of the Turks of the Ottoman, mostly in Constantinople, during the reign of Sulaiman the Magnificent. But do not expect to l At first, I read 'Life and Letters of Oghier Ghiselin de Busbecq' vol I. A very ancient copy. Then I got this book and read this instead since this newer book obviously has less tendency to fall apart. Beside the translators of the former sometimes wrote translation in French and not English and wrote very long painful footnotes. A very interesting book reviewing the culture of the Turks of the Ottoman, mostly in Constantinople, during the reign of Sulaiman the Magnificent. But do not expect to learn about Islam here - Busbecq was, after all, a very devoted Christian. I cannot say he was unbiased since he admired his Master, the Roman emperor to the point of stating that 'the sun has never shone on a nobler prince'. But he was honest in stating his opinions, such as when he showed admiration about the Turkish soldiers [but he told his friend (to whom the letters were sent) not to make any fuss about him mentioning such issues, I guess for fear of offending 'certain people':]. Honestly three stars is too little but four is a bit too much. I guess I will go for 3.5.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Onur Bülbül

  19. 4 out of 5

    Funda Körpe

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  22. 4 out of 5

    Murat Şevki Şahin

  23. 5 out of 5

    İlker Özten

  24. 5 out of 5

    Yavuz

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jolon

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steph Holmes

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mustafa Gundogan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Siret U

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

  30. 5 out of 5

    Irene

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