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892 [892]

K. Henry. 7. Pope Iulius. 2. The Turkes storye.


In Gallum vt fama est, bellum gesturus acerbum,
Armatam educit Iulius vrbe manum:
Accinctus gladio, claues in Tibridis amnem
Proiicit et sæuus talia verba facit:
Quum Petri nihil efficiant ad prælia claues,
Auxilio Pauli forsitan ensis erit.

¶ The sense of these Epigrames in Englishe is this.


When Iulius Pope agaynst the French
Determynde to make warre:
As fame reportes, he gathered vppe
Great troupes of men from farre.
And to the bridge of Tybur then
Marching as he were woode,
His holy keyes he tooke, and caste
Them downe into the floode.
And afterward into hys hand
He tooke a naked sworde.
And shakyng it, brake forth into
Thys fearce and warlike worde:
Thys sworde of Paule (quoth he) shall now
Defend vs from our foe.
Since that thys keye of Peter doth
Nothyng auayle therto.

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MarginaliaThe popes law geueth leaue to kill all that be accursed by hym.Of thys Iulius it is certainly reported, that partlye with hys warres, partly with hys cursinges, within the space of vij. yeares, as good as two hundreth thousand Christians were destroyed. MarginaliaThe warres and bloudshed of pope Iulius 2.Fyrst he besieged Rauenna agaynst the Venetians, then Seruia, Imola, Fauentia, Foroliuium, Bononia, and other cities which he gatte out of princes handes, not without much bloudshed. The chronicles of Iohn Sledane maketh mencion, that when thys Iulius was made pope, he tooke an othe, promising to haue a Councell within ij. yeares: but when he had no leasure therunto, being occupied with hys warres in Italy amongest þe Venetians, and with the French king, and in Ferraria, and in other countreyes: ix. of hys Cardinalls departing from him, came to Millaine, and there appoynted a councell at þe citie of Pise, amonges whom the chiefe were, Bernardinus Cruceius, Gulielmus Prenestinus, Franciscus Constantinus, with diuers others: amonges whom also were adioyned the procuratours of Maximilian the Emperour, and of Ludouicke þe French kyng. So the Councell was appoynted the yeare of our Lord. 1511. to beginne in the Kalendes of September. MarginaliaThe pope periured.The cause why they did so call this Councell, was thus alledged, because the pope had broken hys othe, and all thys while he gaue no hope to haue any councell, and also because there were diuers other crimes, wherupon they had to accuse him. MarginaliaA councell called to depose pope Iulius.Their purpose was to remoue him out of hys seate, the which he had procured thorow brybes and ambition. Iulius hearing thys, geueth out contrary commaundement, vnder great paine, no man to obey them, and calleth him selfe an other councell agaynst þe next yeare, to be begonne the xix. day of Aprill. The French kyng vnderstanding Pope Iulius to ioyne with the Venetians, & so to take their part agaynst him, conuented a councell at Thurin in þe moneth of September, in þe which councell these questions were proposed.

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Whether it was lawfull for the Pope to moue warre agaynst any prince without cause.
Whether any prince in defending hym selfe, myght inuade hys aduersary, and denye hys obedience.

Vnto the which questions it was aunswered, that neither the byshop ought to inuade, & also that it was lawfull for the kyng to defend hym selfe. Marginalia The Pragmaticall Sanction established, mentioned before pag. 817.Moreouer that the Pragmaticall sanction was to be obserued thorowe the realme of Fraunce: MarginaliaNo vniust excommunication to be feared.Neyther that any vniuste excõmunicatiõs ought to be feared, if they were found to be vniuste. After thys the kyng sent vnto Iulius, the aunswere of his councell, requiring him either to agree to peace, or to appoynt a generall councell some other where, where thys matter might be more fully decised. Iulius would neyther of both these, but forthwith accursed Ludouickethe French king, with all hys kingdome, and so the next yeare after, thys warlyke pope dyed. At þe length, at Rauenna in a great warre, he was ouercome by þe French king, and at last, after much slaughter and great bloudshed, and mortall warre, thys Pope dyed in the yeare of our Lord. 1513. the. xxj. day of February.

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IF it were not  

Commentary  *  Close
History of the Turks to Sulieman I

In a number of ways the sudden inclusion of a large - even by A&Mstandards - section on the history of the Turks in an ecclesiestical history is somewhatsurprising. Virtually no attention had been paid to this subject in either of Foxe'sLatin martyrologies. There were, moreover, only cursory references to the Turks in the 1563 edition (pp. 422 and 442): although the characterization of the Turks' 'extreme cruelty and tirrany' in the first of these passages is revealing of Foxe'sattitudes. Foxe himself recognized that his account of the Turks was an unusual ex-cursus and offered several justifications for it: that an understanding of the history ofthe Turks was necessary for an understanding of Biblical prophecy; that it was impor-tant to understand the danger the Turks presented to the survival of the Church; thatit enabled the reader to recognize the Turks as God's scourge and to repent sin; thatit would inspire Christians to unite against the Turks; that it showed that the Turkswere backed by the Devil and could only be defeated with God's aid and finally thatthe English tended to minimize the imminence of the Turkish threat and needed to bealerted to it.

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All of these reasons were inter-connected. The importance of understanding the Turkish role in prophetic history, at least to Foxe, is demonstrated by the fact thathe devoted a section of his account of the Turks to the subject. Two thingsare essential to understanding Foxe's view of the Ottoman empire. The first is that hethought, whether or not it was Antichrist (as we shall see, Foxe was unsure about this), it was unquestionably in league with Satan. Moreover, the rise of the Ottomanempire took place in what - in Foxe's eyes, at least - was the the final days of theworld, with the Apocalypse imminent. Thus the Ottoman empire was not a politicalpower, posing a military threat, it was a spiritual power, posing a supernatural threatand it had to be fought by spiritual means. Yet the Turks were also part of God's planand should inspire people to repentance and right conduct. By emphasizing the powerand the cruelty of the Turks (which he would do stridently), Foxe was following whathe believed was his duty: alerting God's flock to danger and exhorting them to repentance.

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The interesting question is why did Foxe believe that the Ottomans were adiabolical threat? One reason was their invincibility. Foxe wrote his account of theTurks in 1566, at the very end of the reign of the greatest sultan of the Ottomanempire, Süleyman I (reined 1520-1566). From this vantage point, the trajectory of theOttoman empire was one of almost unbroken success. Secondly, and probably mostimportantly, the Turks seemed to fit the descriptions of Antichrist in certain key respects, such as their cruelty and their hostility to Christianity. Less obviously, butof equal importance to Foxe, was that their state was tyranny without law, order ormorality; a diabolical parody of a godly commonwealth. But above all, at least inFoxe's eyes, the Turks had no true family structure. Instead of godly monogamousmarriage, the Turks had concubines and harems; instead of an orderly successionfrom father to son, there were assassinations and civil wars.

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Finally Foxe was greatly influenced in his perception of the Turk by hisexile. Continental writers, particularly those in Germany and Italy, were greatly concerned about the Ottoman threat, for obvious reasons, and in Basel, Foxe wasexposed to their writings on the subject. In fact, much of his history of the Turkswould be based on two works, both of which were printed in Basel. One of theseworks, De origine et rebus gestis Turcorum, was printed by Foxe's employerJohann Oporinus in 1556; Foxe may well have corrected. The other work wasTheodore Bibliander's Latin translation of the Koran, which was printed in 1550,a few years before Foxe arrived in Switzerland. It is not easy to perceive Foxe's indebtedness to these books. Both works were actually compilations of texts about the Turks. De origine is a collection of histories of the Ottomans by different authors; it is usually attributed to the Greek humanist Laonicus Chalkokondylas, but, in fact, he was only the author of the first work in the collection. Bibliander's translation of the Koran was also bound with works on the history and religion of the Turks. Foxe did not cite these works, but rather the individual works contained in them, giving the impression that he had read dozens of books when he had read two books.

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Apart from these two works, Foxe also drew on a few reliable and obvious sources: Sebastian Munster's Cosmographia and Caspar Peucer's edition of Carion'schronicle. Foxe also consulted Johann Cuspinian's De Turcorum origine. These sources, although secondary, were some of the finest works on the Ottomans in sixteenth-century Europe. As a result, Foxe's history of the Ottomans was the bestavailable in English during the sixteenth century.

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Because of its quality, the relative popularity of the Acts and Monuments, and the authority Foxe's work enjoyed, his account of the Turks was quite influential. This was especially true in two areas. One of these was in the exegesis of Revelationand the development of apocalyptic thought in England. The other wasin English literature, particularly drama. Christopher Marlowe based his drama Tamburlaine on the Acts and Monuments. (See William J. Brown, 'Marlow'sDebasement of Bajazet: Foxe's Actes and Monuments and Tamburlaine, Part I',Renaissance Quarterly 24 [1971], pp. 24-38 and Roy W. Battenhouse, Marlowe'sTamburlaine [Nashville, 1964]).

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

that I feare to ouerlay this our volume with heapes of foreine histories, whiche haue professed chiefly to entreat of Actes and monumentes here done at home: MarginaliaThe Turkes doinges requisite to be knowen of Christians.I would adioyne after these Popes aboue rehearsed, some discourse also of the Turkes story: of theyr rising, and cruell persecutiõ of the sanctes of God, to the great anoyance & perill of Christendome: yet notwithstanding certaine causes there be which necessarely require the knowledge of their order & doynges, & of theyr wicked procedynges, their cruell tyranny, and bloudye victories, the ruine and subuersion of so many Christen Churches, with the horrible murders and captiuitie of infinite Christians, to be made playne and manifest, as well to this our countrey of England, as also to other nations:

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MarginaliaThe first cause.First for the better explainyng of the Prophecies of the new Testament, as in S. Paules Epist. ad Thessal. and also in the reuelations of S. Iohn. Whiche Scriptures otherwise, without the opening of these histories, can not so perfectly be vnderstand. Of the whiche Scriptures we minde hereafter (Christ graunting) orderly, as the course of matter shall leade vs, to make rehearsall.

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MarginaliaThe second cause.An other cause is, that we may learne therby, either with the publique Church, to lament with our brethren such a greate defection and decaye of Christian fayth, through these wicked Turkes: or els may feare thereby our owne daunger.

MarginaliaThe thyrd cause.The thyrd cause, that we may ponder more depely with our selues, the scourge of God for our sinnes, and corrupt doctrine, which in þe sequele hereof, more euidētly may appeare to our eyes, for our better admonition.

MarginaliaThe fourth cause.Fourthly, the consideration of this horrible persecution of the Turkes, rising chiefly by our discord & dissension among our selues, may reduce vs again frõ our domesticall warres, in killyng & burning one of another, to ioyne together in Christian pacience and concord.

MarginaliaThe fifth cause.V. but chiefly these greate victoryes of the Turkes and vnprosperous speede of our men fightyng agaynst them, may admonish and teach vs, folowyng the example of the old Israelites, how to seke for greater strength, to encounter with these enemyes of Christ, then hetherto we haue done. First we must consider, that the whole power of Satan, the prince of this world, goeth with þe Turkes. Whiche to resist no strength of mans arme, is sufficient, but onely the name, spirite, and power of our Lord Iesus the sonne of God, goyng with vs in our battailes, as among the old Israelites, the Arke of Gods couenaunt and promise went with them also, fighting agaynst the enemyes of God. For so are wee taught in Scripture, þt we Christen men haue no strength, but in Christ onely. MarginaliaAdmonition to fight against the Turke.Whether we warre against the deuil, or agaynst the Turke, it is true that þe Scripture sayth: Sine me nihil potestis facere. i. without me you cã do nothing. Otherwise there is no puissance to stãd agaynst þe deuil, or to cõquere þe world, Nisi fides nostra: MarginaliaChristiã fayth necessary to be ioyned with outward force agaynst the Turke.that is, our faith onely in the sonne of God: Whiche faith ioynyng with our armye, maketh our battaile stronge. To this fayth onely all the promises of God (touchyng saluation) bee annexed: beyond whiche promises we must not goe, for the worde must be our rule. He that presumeth beyond the promises in the word expressed, goeth not, but wandereth, he cã not tell whether. Neither must we appoint God, how to saue the worlde, but must take that waye whiche he hath appointed. Let vs not set our God to schole, nor cõprehend his holy spirit within our skulles.

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He
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