OTTOMAN CONQUESTS OF PARTS OF CENTRAL-SOUTHERN EUROPE IN THE LATE 14TH CENTURY: THE AMBIGUITY OF THE SOURCES

94(560)”13”(093)
94(497)”13”(093)
(1.01 Original scientific article)

Prof. Dr. Boban PETROVSKI
University “Ss.Cyril and Methodius in Skopje”, Republic of Macedonia
Faculty of Philosophy, Institute of History, boban@fzf.ukim.edu.mk

ABSTRACT

The only sources which offer systematic information about the Ottoman conquests of parts of Central – Southern Europe at the end of the 14th century are the Ottoman chronicles. Because of this reason they are of a significant importance for History as a science. A few of the Ottoman chroniclers who debated the course of the Ottoman campaign in 1385 give different information about the conquered towns. The campaign which started in town Serres was aimed towards the central parts of Macedonia and Albania up to the Albanian coast. Regarding the conquest of town of Shtip, as part of this campaign, the Ottoman chroniclers offer diametrically opposite data. On one hand, there is data given by the chroniclers who lived in the time close to this event, such as the eminent Ashik Pasha-Zade and Idris Bitlisi, as well as the later chroniclers Mehmed-Pasha Kucuk Nisanci and Ahmed Dede Müneccimbaşi, who claimed that Shtip was not conquered. On the other hand, there was a small group of later chroniclers such as Hoca Sadeddin (or Sa`düddin)-Effendi, Khoja Hussein and Solak-Zade, who recorded that town of Shtip was conquered during the Ottoman campaign in 1385. Apart from the above stated information given by the chroniclers, contradictory data are given by the world known traveler Evliya Çelebi and a very respectable Ottoman geographer Haji Kalfa. It seems that sources in which town of Shtip is recorded as a conquered town during this campaign a trivial mistake had been made based on the words’ orthographical similarity in Ottoman Turkish language between (I)Shtip and (I)Shpat. Namely, instead of (I)Shpat, insignificant number of Ottoman chroniclers made an unintentional slip recording (I)Shtip as a conquered town by the Ottoman army led by Timurtash Pasha.
Keywords Ottoman sources, Ottoman chroniclers, Central – Southern Europe, Macedonia, (I)Shtip.

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