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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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. Busbecq reveals himself as ambivalent about Ottoman society and culture. However, his writing skills show that he is learned. Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq — October 28, ; Latin: This isn’t a critical edition – the introduction and endnotes are basic.

There is no district with any considerable amount of population, no borough or city, which has not a detachment of Janissaries to protect the Christians, Jews, and other helpless people from outrage and wrong. De Busbecq’s letters are a fascinating and bbusbecq read, even for the Turkish history novice.

Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in tuurkish form for educational purposes and personal use. All words Any word Exact Phrase Wildcard.

Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq.

Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq

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. On the contrary, when in the hands of a tyrant, power causes chaos and anarchy in the world. Ferdinand was all too aware of his military weakness, while Suleiman was distracted turrkish the threat posed by Persia and the tussle over the succession between his sons Selim and Bayezid.

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. 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 leetters 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 s.


He died a few days later. Can we doubt what the result must be? For the leyters used in turkixh Turkish, see Turkish alphabet. A very ancient copy.

The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq: A Biography

He was born the illegitimate son of the Seigneur de BusbecqGeorges Ghiselin, tturkish his mistress Catherine Hespiel, although he was later legitimated. On receiving a few small coins which was what they wanted they turkkish again, thanked me in loud tones, and went off blessing me for my kindness.

This is the reason that they are successful in their undertakings, that they lord it over others, and are busbrcq extending the bounds of their empire. Want to Read saving…. When they were admitted to my dining room they first bowed, and then came quickly up to me, all but running, and touched my dress or hand, as if they intended to kiss it… After reaching the door, they lehters stand respectfully with their arms crossed, and their eyes bowed to the ground, looking more like monks than warriors… To tell you the truth, if I had not been told beforehand that they were Janissaries, I should, without hesitation, have taken them for members of some order of Turkish monks, or brethren of some Moslem college.

Internet History Sourcebooks

Augerius Gislenius Busbequius ; sometimes Augier Ghislain de Busbecq was a 16th-century Flemish writer, herbalist and diplomat in the employ of three generations of Austrian monarchs. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ogier Gisleen van Busbeke. According to Busbecq, these soldiers were ready to act even under extremely harsh conditions, accepting with resignation all that happened due to their faith.

In making his appointments the Sultan pays no regard to any pretensions on the score of wealth or rank, nor does he take into consideration recommendations or popularity, he considers each case on its own merits, and examines carefully into the character, ability, and disposition of the man whose promotion is in question.


In a similar vein, many ambassadors had the chance to see and study Ottoman life closely during their visits. 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.

Everybody is accountable for his or her own deeds. I cannot say he was unbiased since he admired his Master, the Roman emperor to turkiwh point of stating that ‘the sun has never shone on a nobler prince’.

On se croirait dans l’intelligence des animaux de Plutarque! He praises the care and empathy the Ottomans show in training their horses, contrasting this with the cruel methods employed by Europeans. Delightfully entertaining reading, it also offers invaluable lessons on understanding and bridging cultural divides. Throughout he shows busbecs observation skills, but he is a humble man who sometimes denigerates his own powers of description.

These visits considerably increased in lettfrs with the agreement of concessions granted by the Ottomans.

These were later on published many times, most recently by Forster and Daniel in as the Turkish Letters. Jun 03, DoctorM rated it really liked it Shelves: These are not our ideas, with us there is no opening left for merit; birth is the standard for everything; the prestige of birth is the sole key to advancement in the public service. I highly recommend it for history and cultural lovers.

They remind us that the foundations of great civilizations and military power were lofty values and virtues. Edward Seymour Forster Translator. Busbecq goes on to comment about the gentle and polite disposition of Janissaries.