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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He returned from Constantinople in the autumn of with an established reputation as a diplomat. Beside the translators of the former sometimes wrote translation in French and not English and wrote very long painful footnotes. This isn’t a critical edition – the introduction and endnotes are basic. 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. Dec 10, Sincerae rated it it was amazing Shelves: 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’s writing is an effervescent nusbecq.

Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq

For the duration of his service in the Ottoman lands, Busbecq constantly wrote letters to a friend in the Netherlands. 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.

In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikisource. May 01, Norain rated it liked it Shelves: Busbecq and the Ottoman Grand Vizier, Semiz Ali Pasha, were instrumental in sustaining the uneasy peace which suited both parties. These letters describe his adventures in Ottoman politics and remain one of the principal primary sources for students of the 16th-century Ottoman court. He identified its origin from his reading of Suetonius and published a copy of parts of it in his Turkish Letters.

Busbecq’s four Utrkish Letters were written in Latin and dated 1 September14 July1 June and one after his return to Vienna in Morality, integrity, equity and fairness, as well as merit, are some of the principles that may guide nations towards progress and prosperity. Careful and accurate scholarship, however, has revealed that this was certainly not the case.


Chip Banister rated it really liked it Nov 22, Return to Book Page. His devotion to his ,etters religion and his tolerance of other faiths, his munificence and generosity, won him the fidelity of his subjects and the respect of his enemies. They will also be remembered forever. The rest of the army is badly off, unless they have provided some supplies at their own expense.

The majority of historical sources and archives have so far disclosed highly advanced administrative skills in the Ottoman state affairs. It is by merit that men rise in the service, a system which ensures that posts should only be assigned to the competent.

After this they would thrust into my hand a nosegay of’ the hyacinth or narcissus; then they would run back to the door almost as quickly as they came, taking care not to turn their backs, for this, according to their code, would be a serious breach of etiquette. He also wrote in enormous detail about the plant and animal life he encountered in Turkey. The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq covers two periods when he was the ambassador from the court of lftters Hapsburg ruler Ferdinand I to the court of the Turkish sultan Suleima ‘ On their side is the vast wealth of their empire, unimpaired resources, experience and practice in arms, a veteran soldiery, an uninterrupted series of victories, readiness to endure hardships, union, order, discipline, thrift and watchfulness.

But their number was very limited. They remind us that the foundations of great civilizations and military power were lofty values and virtues. This edition has been abridged. Among the Turks, therefore, honours, high posts, and ltters are the rewards of great ability and good service. The Ottoman experience of social and cultural life provides valuable lessons for those nations that live in these regions today: A major resource for anyone interested in the Ottoman Empire at the height of its powers.

Then I got this book and read this instead since this newer book obviously has less tendency to fall apart. Though a man of high principles de Ldtters shows in his writing his human flaws which makes the writing more honest.


Thus, Buusbecq sets out several universal virtues and ethical and moral principles as belonging to the Janissaries. Being awarded with a position is based on qualifications and past accomplishments rather than social status and rank. 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.

Home Issue 78 November – December After reaching the door, they would stand respectfully with their arms crossed, and their eyes bent lettters the ground, looking more like monks than warriors. No permission is granted for commercial use of the Sourcebook. Amin rated it it was amazing Jul 19, Among the Turks, therefore, honors, high posts, and judgeships are the rewards of great ability and good service.

Books by Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq. This normative statement certainly has political and social implications. 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.

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If a man be dishonest, or lazy, or careless, he remains at the bottom of the ladder, an object of contempt; for such qualities there are no honours in Turkey!

Nobody is held responsible for the misfortunes or sins of their parents. No trivia or quizzes yet. Overall this is a fascinating piece of travel literature and a very easy read for anyone interested in Ottoman history. He died a few days later.

Internet History Sourcebooks

Christian soldiers on a campaign refuse to put up with their ordinary food, and call for thrushes, becaficos [a small bird esteemed a dainty, as it feeds on figs and grapes], and suchlike dainty dishes! Andrew rated it really liked it Jan 31, Thanks for telling us about the problem. This page was last edited on 16 Julyat

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