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Foreign Correspondence: European Accounts of Sultan Süleyman I’s Persian Campaigns, 1548 and 1554

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European sources for Süleyman I’s Persians campaigns of 1548 and 1554 have been little noticed. This essay reviews a journal of a French ambassador’s campaign travels (1548), a Venetian merchant’s account of the 1553–1555 war, and the dispatches of Vienna’s ambassadors at the Porte, relaying what are said to be letters from the sultan’s camp. No definitive assessment of these sources is offered, since Ottoman and Persians sources are used only in translation. But the European accounts add unfamiliar material for a still-needed discussion of logistical problems. They corroborate one another, and they combine to give a concrete idea how difficult it was to supply a huge army in mountainous terrain 2,000 km from the Ottoman capital.

Affiliations: 1: University of Minnesota,


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