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736 [712]

K. Henry. 7. The origine and history of the Turkes.

strength about hym, of the Arabians, which Arabiãs then had occasion to rebell agaynst the Emperour, because theyr stipends were not payd them of Heraclius the Emperours officers: he began to raunge wyth force and violence in the partes of Syria borderyng neare vnto hym, and first subdued Mecha MarginaliaDamascus subdued of the Saracens. then Damascus: and further encreasing in power, entered into Egypt, and subdued the same. From thence he turned hys power agaynst the Persians, MarginaliaMahumet put to flight by Cosroes king of the Persians. with whome Cosroes the kyng of Persia, encountering with a puissant army, ouerthrew the Saracēs, and put Mahumet to flight. Of these Persians came the Turkes, which afterward ioinyng with the Saracens, mainteyned them agaynst þe Christians. Ex Munster.

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After the death of this beast, which, as some saye, was poysoned in hys house 

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For his account of Mohammed's immediate successors Foxe is relyingon Theodore Bibliander, Machumetis Saracenorum principis…Alcoran (Basel,1550), I, p. 218.

succeeded Ebocara, or Ebubecer his father in law, or as Bibliander affirmeth, his sonne in law, who tooke vpon hym the gouernment of the Saracens, and gotte the Citie Gaza, MarginaliaHierusalem besieged. and besieged also Hierusalem two yeares. He raigned two yeares, hauyng for his chiefe Citie, Damascus.

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After hym followed Omar, or Ahumar, who conquered a great part of Syria, and got Egipt.

The 4. kyng of the Saracens after Mahumete, was Odmen. Then followed Haly, & after him Muhanias: MarginaliaCesaria got of the Saracens. Which after the siege of 7. yeares, obtayned and got the christiã Citie of Cesaria: MarginaliaThe kingdome of the Persians subdued to the Saracens. also ouercame the Persians, with their kyng Orimasda, and subdued that countrey to his law.

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MarginaliaArabia, Palestina, Phenicia, Syria, Egipt, and Persia subdued of the Saracens. Thus the wicked Saracens in the space of 30. yeares, subdued Arabia, got Palestina, Phenicia, Syria, Egypt, and Persia: which came directly to the 666. yeares, prophecied of in the Reuelations of S. Iohn, as is aforesayd. And not long after they proceeded further, and got Affrike, and then Asia, as in the processe of theyr story shall appeare, the Lord willyng.

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MarginaliaConstance the Emperour ouercome by the Saracens. Not long after, Heraclius 

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For the accounts of Heraclius and Constans, Foxe is following Sebastian Munster, Cosmographiae universalis (Basel, 1559), p. 947.

Emperour of Constantinople, succeded Constans hys nephew, who in the 13. yeare of his Empire, fightyng vnluckely agaynst the Saracens in Licia was ouerthrown of Muhanias aforesayd in þe yeare of our Lord. 655. MarginaliaMurther cõmonly prospereth not wyth the Lord. Which Constans if he were not prospered by the Lord in hys warres, it was not great maruell, consideryng that he had slayne his brother Theodosius before at home: moreouer lyued in incestuous matrimony: also beyng inclined to certayne new sectes, could not abide the contrary teachers, but slue them which admonished him therof. The sayd Constans goyng afterwarde to Italy, was also ouercome of the Lumbardes. &c. MarginaliaRhodes spoyled of the Saracēs. the Saracens after this victory spoyled also Rhodes.

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Although these cursed Saracens 

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The following summary of pre-Ottoman Turkish history down to 1330,is taken from Casper Peucer, Chronicon Carionis (Wittenburg, 1580), pp. 583-6.

, in these their great victories and conquestes, were not without domesticall seditions and diuisions among themselues, MarginaliaSultanes first called. yet the princes of the Saracens, beyng called then Sultans, had in theyr possession, the gouernment of Syria, Egypt, Affrike, and of a great part of Asia, about the terme of 400. yeres: till at length the Saracen kyng which ruled in Persia, fightyng agaynst the Saracene of Babilon, MarginaliaThe first rising of the turkes. sought ayde of the Turkes, to fight with hym agaynst þe Sultane of Babilon. The which Turkes by little & little surprised vpõ þe Sultan of Persia, & not long after puttyng hym out of place, vsurped þe kingdõ of Persia: which afterward went further, as ye shal heare the Lord willyng. And this is the first beginnyng of the Turkes dominion.

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These Turkes after they had thus ouercome great coūtreys and prouinces: and made their power large and mighty both in Asia and Europa, begã to deuide their kingdoms and countreys amongest themselues. But when they coulde not agree, but with deadly warre contended for the bounds of those kyngdomes and dominions: MarginaliaThe turkes dominions parted into 4. familyes. in the meane tyme iiij. of the principall families conqueryng and subduyng all the rest, parted the whole Empire amongst themselues. And yet they also not so contented, fell to such cruell hatred, contention, warre and slaughter (no doubt by the iust iudgement of God agaynst hys blasphemous enemies) that there was no ende therof, vntil the remnant of the auncient Turkes was vtterly rooted out.

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For it is euident, that there are fewe now remaynyng which are Turkes in deede by birth and bloud, and that the state of that great empire is not vpholden, but by þe strength and power of souldiours, which haue bene Christians, and nowe are turned to Mahumetes Religion: so that euen theyr owne naturall language is now out of vse amongest them, sauyng in certayne families of theyr nobilitie and gentlemen.

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These foure families aboue mentioned, with theyr captaynes and armies, about the yeare of our Lorde: 1330. went ragyng throughout all Asia and Europa, and euery one of them conquered some parte of the countreyes where they passed.

MarginaliaThe dissensiõ of the Christians do make the turkes so strong. The causes of these great inuasions and victories were the dissension and discorde, falsehoode, idlenes, vnconstancie, gredye auarice, lacke of truth and fidelitie among Christian men of all states and degrees, both hie and lowe. For by the wilfull defection and backeslydyng of the Christiaus 

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Foxe is explaining the Turkish conquests as being due to the disunityand backsliding among the Christians whom they conquered. In part, this explanation fits Foxe's homiletic purposes. But it also fits in with his apocalyptic interpretation ofTurkish history and his exegesis of 2 Thess. 2..

, the Turkishe power dyd excedyngly encrease, in that many desiring the licentious life & libertie of warre, & allured with the prosperous successe of thynges, forsooke the Church of God, and made them selues bonde slaues to Mahumet and his deuilishe secte: both because that fleshly libertie is delightyng to all men, and partly also because, as fortune fauoreth, so commonly the willes of men encline: And agayne such as be prophane and without the feare of God (wherof there is an infinite number in the church) in all ages, are wont commonly to iudge of Religion, accordyng to the successe of realmes and kyngdomes. For many, not onely for the varietye of opinions, but also for the diuersitie of euentes and fortune amongest men, haue inquired and do enquire, whether there be any Churche of God distincte from other nations: what it is, and where it is: especially, for somuche as the greatest parte of men, both in the olde tyme, when as the iiij. Monarchies flourished in order, was ignoraunt of this doctrine, whiche is peculier to the Churche alone: and nowe also the barbaritie of Mahumet preuayleth & reygneth in the most parte of the worlde. And howe standeth thys with mans reason, that a small number, both miserable and also febled and broken with many battailes, should bee regarded and beloued of God, and the other flourishyng in all wealth, prosperitie, victories, authoritie and power, should be reiected and despised of God, seyng there is no power and authoritie, but by the ordinaunce of God? Albeit therefore, the power of the Turkes hath bene, for these two hundreth yeares, of greater force, then anye other Monarchy of the world besides: MarginaliaNo imperiall dignitie in all the turkishe dominions. yet is there no Imperiall dignitie to be estemed in that Turkishe tyranny: but amongest those nations onely, where the heauenly doctrine of the Gospell is preached, and other disciplines necessarye for the Churche of God, and the commõ life of man maynteyned and regarded: where the lawes of God, and other honest and ciuill ordinaunces agreable to the same, do flourish and reigne: where lawfull iudgement is exercised: where vertue is honoured and rewarded: where sinne and wickednes is punished: where honest families are mainteined and defended.

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These things are not regarded amongest the Turkes, the enemies of the sonne of God, and all lawfull Empyres: MarginaliaThe description of the turkes vnordinate Empyre. because they dissolue and reiect all godly societies, honest discipline, good lawes, policies, righteous iudgementes, the ordinaunce of matrimonie, and godly families 

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This is a stark statement of Foxe's beliefs that the Ottomans represented a diabolical inversion of God's social order.

. For what hath the Empire of the Turkes bene hetherto, but most deadly, cruell, and perpetuall warre, to worke all mischief, destruction and desolation? to subuert good lawes, Cities, kingdomes, policies, and to enlarge their cruell power and dominion? The staye and strength wherof, is not loue and fauour procedyng of vertue and iustice, as in lawfull and well gouerned Empyres: but feare, violence, oppression, swarmes and infinite thousandes of barbarous and most wicked people, ministers of Satans malice and fury, Which kynde of dominion and tyranny hath ben condemned by the voyce of God, many yeares agoe: MarginaliaEzech. 39.
Apoc. 20.
the testimonies whereof the Lorde would haue to remayne in the Churche, least the godly beyng moued with the power & successe therof, should fall away and forsake the sonne of God.

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Wherefore, let vs not seeke for any Imperiall state in that barbarity: but let vs be thankefull, and acknowledge the great benefite of God, for that he hath reserued to vs certain remnauntes of the Romaine Empire: and let vs call vpon hym daily with harty petitions and grones, and wyth zeale and loue to the house of God, that this Turkish power ioyned with the malice of Sathan, agaynst the sonne of God, preuayle not against the poore congregations and little remnant of hys church, MarginaliaThe Christē kingdomes & churches destroyed by the Turkes, are a warning for vs whom God hath yet spared. as it hath hitherto done agaynste those strong and noble christian kyngdomes and churches, where now we see the Turkish tyranny to raigne and Sathan to haue taken full possession. Whose state was once farre better then oures is now, and more lyke to continue without such horrible ouerthrowes and desolation. Oh that we myghte foresee a little the great daūger that hangeth ouer our heds. For though the Turke semeth to be farre of, yet do we nourish wythin our owne brestes at home, that may soone cause vs to feele hys cruell hande and worse, if worse may be, to ouer runne vs: to lay our land waste: to scatter vs amongst the Infidels, the enemies and blasphemers of the sonne of God. Now, although these 4. families aboue mencioned, long

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