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The turks and Islam in the sixteenth century

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Chapter Summary

Islam, dressed in Turkish garb, was as big of a problem to sixteenth century Europe as it was during the Middle Ages. The radical authors of the Reformation urged a pacifist response to Ottoman imperialism with a few expressing hope in a Turkish conquest of Europe. Before narrowing in on Martin Luther's writings, in order to establish the physical and literary context for his writings even further, this chapter surveys the major events and writings on the Turks and Islam in the late fifteenth and first half of the sixteenth century. The fall of Constantinople in 1453 prompted fresh calls for a crusade from nearly every successive pope since Nicholas V's initiative to recover the seat of the ancient Roman imperium shortly after its collapse. Writings on the Turkish threat were manifold during the sixteenth century, especially in German.

Keywords: Constantinople; Europe; German; Islam; Martin Luther; Nicholas; Ottoman imperialism; Roman; Turks



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