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Athens
 
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Athens

Attica, Greece

Coordinates: 37° 58' 0" N, 23° 43' 0" E

766 [742]

K. Henry. 7. Mahumetes. The sacking of Athens and Constantinople.

a taile, and before on the forehead it is garnished with golde and siluer. They were woont to vse bowes and launces in the fielde, but nowe they vse dagges as oure horsemen do.

At the first institution there were but 8000. in theyr garrison, but now they be twise so many. This of all bondage and seruitude that the Christians suffer vnder the Turke is most intollerable, and greatly to be of all true Christians lamented. For what can godly mindes behold more to their griefe, then to see their children pulled from the faith of Christ, wherein they were baptised, and by whose bloud they should eternally be saued, and to be instructed and nourished with the blasphemous doctrine of Mahumet, and to be professed enemies of Christ and hys Churche, to make warre against heauen, and to perish euerlastingly? MarginaliaA lamentable slauery of Christian mens children vnder the turke.And finally, what a lamentable thing is it, to see and beholde our owne children borne of our owne bodies, to become our mortall and cruell enemies, and to cut our throtes with their owne hands? This seruitude of minde is farre greater then death it selfe, which if oure Princes would well consider, it would cause them the rather to agree, and bende their whole force and power against this cruell enemy.

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¶ Mahumetes second, the ix. after Ottomanus.

MarginaliaMahumetes the 9. turke after Ottomannus.AMurathes left 

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There are two basic sources for Foxe's account of the reign ofMehmed II. The first is Casper Peucer's chronicle, which he relies on for theoverall course of the reign. The second is Giovan Ramusio's history as excerptedin Laonicus Chalkokondylas, De origine et rebus gestis Turcorum (Basel, 1556), which Foxe uses for the siege of Constantinople. This will increasingly become the pattern in Foxe's history of the Turks. As Foxe gets nearer to his own era, he reliesincreasingly on more detailed sources than Munster and Peucer.

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behind him three sonnes, Mahumete borne of the daughter of Despota, Prince of Seruia, being twentie yeares of age, the second sonne called Turcines, the third named Calepinus. This Turcines being an infant, and but eighteene moneths old, was strangled at the commandement of the Turke, by his seruant Moses, himselfe being there present, and beholding the horrible murther. MarginaliaThe tyranny of Mahumets in murthering hys brethren.And when Moses the executour of þe murther had desired him not to pollute his handes with the bloud of his brother, he answered, that it was the manner of all the Ottoman Turkes, that all the other breethren being destroied, none should be lefte aliue but one to gouerne the Empire. Wherefore Moses was commaunded by the tirant, there presently, and in his sight, to kill the infant. This horrible fact when the mother of the childe vnderstoode, she crieng out, and almost mad for sorrowe, cursed the tirant to his face. But he to mitigate the rage of his mother, at her request being desirous to be reuenged vpon the executour of her sonnes death, deliuered the said Moses bound into her hands, who then in the presence of the tirant, thrust him to the hart with a knife, and opening his side, tooke out his liuer, and threw it to the dogges to be deuoured.

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The third sonne called Calepinus, which was but sixe moneths old, the foresaid Amurathes his father commended to the custody of MarginaliaHalibassa a traitour to his maister.Halibassa one of his Nobles, who to gratifie and please þe tirant, betraied the infant, & brought him vnto him, and thereupon he at the tirants commandement was strangled. MarginaliaHorrible paricide of the abhominable turke Some affirme, that in the stead of Calepinus, another child was offered vnto the tirant, and that Calepinus was conueied to Constantinople, and after the taking of Constantinople, was caried to Venice, and then to Rome to Pope Calixt, where he was baptised, and afterward came into Germany to Fridericke the Emperour, and there was honorably enterteined, & kept in Austrich during his life. MarginaliaGods prouidēce can fetch out of the deuils mouth whom he list to saue.Where note how the mercifull prouidence of God, whom he list to saue, can fetch out of þe diuels mouth. And note moreouer touching the foresayde Halibassa the bretraier of þe infant, how he escaped not vnreuēged: MarginaliaNote here gods punishment vpon the betraer of innocent bloud. For Mahumet vnderstanding him to be a man of great substance and richesse, thorough forging of false crimes, with great torments put him to death to haue his richesse: for this tirant was geuen to insatiable auarice. 

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On ascending the throne on 1451, Mehmed II had his only brother,Ahmed, murdered. Ahmed's mother was married to a slave.

Thus this bloudy Mahumete began his regiment with horrible murther, after þe example of other cursed tirants his predecessours.

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Although this Manhumete, notwithstandyng that hee came of a Christen mother, being the daughter of Despota prince of Seruia, and by her was brought vp and instructed from his childhood in the precepts of Christian religiõ and maners, yet he soone forgetting all, gaue himselfe to Mahumetes religion 

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Halil Canderli was the Grand Vizier (whom Mehmed inherited from his father Murad) and a powerful Turkish noble. Halil oppossed the attack on Con-stantinople and soon after the city fell, Halil was executed. The story of Halil killinga son of Murad is pure fiction.

, and yet so, that he being addicted to neyther Religion, became an Atheist, beleeuing and worhipping no God at all, but onely the Goddesse of good Fortune, irriding and mocking þe mindes and iudgemēts of men, which beleue that God by his prouidence, gouerneth and regardeth the state of humaine things on earth.

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After that 

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Up until this point, Foxe was following Casper Peucer, ChroniconCarionis (Wittenburg, 1580), p 652. From here, through the conquests of Constantinople and Pera, Foxe follows Giovann Battisto Ramusio's history as excerpted in Laonicus Chalkokondylas, De origine et rebus gestis Turcorum (Basel, 1556), pp. 191-3.

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this Mahumete heard of the victories and conquests of other his predecessours, and had vnderstanding how Baiazetes lay eight yeares about Constanti-nople, and could not winne it: he dispraising Baiazetes, and disdaining that so long time should be spent aboute the siege thereof, and yet no victory gotten, bent all hys studie and deuice how to subdue the same. But first hauing a priuie hatred against the Citie of Athens, MarginaliaMahumete first setteth vpon Athēs. and hauing his hands lately embrued with the bloud of his brethren, this murthering Mahumete first of all taketh his viage to subuert and destroy the Citie aforesaid 
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The chronology is in error here, Mehmed did capture Athens, but not until 1456, after Constantimople fell.

, being a famous Schoole of all good learning and discipline. MarginaliaThe fury of Mahumete the turke agaynst the Citie and schoole of Athens.Against the which Citie he did so furiously rage for the hatred of good letters, that the thought he ought not to suffer the foundation thereof to stand, because that Citie was a good nursse and fosterer of good Artes and Sciences: wherefore, he commaunded the Citie to be rased, and vtterly subuerted: MarginaliaAthens destroyed.and wheresoeuer any monuments or bookes could be found, he caused them to be cast into durty sinkes, and the filthiest places of the Citie, or put to the most vile vses that could be deuised, for extirping and abolishing of all good literature, and if he vnderstood any to lament the case and ruine of that noble place, those he greeuously punished and put to death.

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Thus the famous and auncient Schoole of Athens being destroied and ouerthrowne, he returned his army & power into Thracia, where in all haste he gathering hys power together both by sea & by lãd, MarginaliaThe siege & taking of Constantinople.with a mighty multitude compassed the Citie of Constantinople about, and began to lay his siege against it, in the yeare of our Lord 1453. and in the 54. day of the said siege it was taken, sacked, and the Emperour Cõstantinus slaine. As touching the cruelty and fearcenes of the Turkes in getting of this City, and what slaughter there was of men, women, and children, what calamitie and misery was there to be sene, for somuch as sufficient relation, with a full description thereof, hath bene made before, pag. 708. MarginaliaVid. supra. pag. 708. it shall be superfluous now to repeate the same. This only is not to be omitted touching three principall causes of the ouerthrow of this City: MarginaliaThree causes specially noted in the winning of Constantinople.whereof was the first the filthy auarice of those Citizens, which hiding their treasures in the groūd, would not imploy the same to þe necessary defence of their City. For so I finde it in story expressed, that when the Turke, after the taking of þe City, had found not so much treasure as he looked for, suspecting with himselfe (as the truth was) the treasures and riches to be hidden vnder the ground, commaunded the earth to be digged vp, and the foundations of the houses to be searched: where when he had found treasures incredible, what (quoth he) how could it be that this place could euer lacke munition and fortification, which did flow and abound with such great riches as heere is, and plenty of all things? MarginaliaEx Ioanne Ramo lib. 2. rerum Turcicarum. The second cause was the absence of the Nauy of the Venetiãs, which if they had bene ready in time, might haue bene a safegard against the inuasion of the enemies. A third cause also may be gathered vpon occasion incident in stories, either for that the City of Constantinople fifteene yeares before did yeeld to the Bishop of Rome, as is before to be seene, pag. 76. MarginaliaVid. supra. pag. 67. or else because (as in some writers it is euident) that Images were there receaued & mainteined in their Churches, and by the Turkes the same time destroyed.

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Ioannes Ramus writing of the destructiõ of this Citie, MarginaliaEx Ramo.amongst other matters maketh relation of the Image of the Crucifixe, MarginaliaAn image of the Crucifix in Constantinople. being there in þe high temple of Sophia: which Image the Turke tooke, and writing this superscription vpon the head of it Hic est Christianorum deus. I. This is the God of the Christians, gaue it to his souldiours to be scorned, and commaunding the sayde Image with a trumpet to be carried through all his army, made euery man to spit at it most contumeliously. Wherin thou hast (good Reader) 

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Foxe is translating the incident of the crucifix accurately from Ramusio (as printed in Laonicus Chalkokondylas, De origine et rebus gestis Turcorum (Basel, 1556), p. 192. The moral for Christian's to give up 'superstition', however, is Foxe's insertion.

by the way to note, MarginaliaWhat offences be giuen to the infidels, by Images in Christian Churches.what occasion of sclaunder and offence we Christians geue vnto the barbarous Infidels by this our vngodly superstition, in hauing Images in our temples, contrary vnto the expresse commandement of God in his word. For if Saint Paule writing to the Corinthians, saith: we knowe Christ now no more after the flesh: how much lesse then is Christ to be knowne of vs in blind stockes and Images set vp in our Temples, seruing for none other purpose, but for the Infidels to laugh both vs & our God to scorne, and to prouoke Gods vengeance? which by þe like example (I feare) may also fall vpon other Cities, where such Images and Idolatrous superstition is mainteined, MarginaliaVienna admonished.whereof God graunt Vienna to take heede betime, which hath bene so long, and yet is in such great danger of the Turke, and polluted with so many Images, and plaine Idolatrie.

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MarginaliaThe cruell murther by the turkes in the citie of Constantinople.In summa, to make the story short, such was the cruelty of these Turkes in winning the Citie, that when Mahumete had geuen licence to the souldiours three dayes together, to spoile, to kill and to do whatsoeuer they listed,

there
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