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Euboea, Greece

Coordinates: 38° 28' 0" N, 23° 36' 0" E

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Island of Patmos [Pathmos]

Aegean Sea, Greece

Coordinates: 37° 19' 0" N, 26° 33' 0" E

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Otranto (Hydruntum)

Puglia, Italy

Coordinates: 40° 9' 0" N, 18° 29' 0" E

781 [757]

K. Hen. 7. The history of the Turkes. The great effusion of bloud by the Turkes.
The Authors of the Turkes storyes.
MarginaliaAuthours of the turkes stories.Laonicus Chalcondila.Isiodorus Rutherus.
Nicolaus Eboicus Episc.Marinus Barletus.
Saguntinus.Henricus Penia
Ioan. bello Rhodio.
Andræas a Lacuna.Melchior Soiterus.
Wolfgangus Drechslerus.Paulus Iouius.
Ioan. Crispus.Ioan. Martinus Stella.
Ioan Faber.Gaspar Peucerus. &c.
Ludouicus Viues.Nicolaus a Moffen
Bernardus de Breyden-Burgundus.
bach.Sebast. Munsterus.
Mityleneus Archiepisc.Baptista Egnatius.
Sabellicus.Barthol Peregrinus.
¶ A Notice touching the miserable persecution, slaughter and captiuity of the Christians vnder the Turkes. 
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Turkish captives

This section of Foxe's account of the Turks consists of two parts: onedescribing Ottoman massacres and rapine during their wars and the other describingtheir harsh treatments of captives. This section may seem disgressive, but it links thethe history of the Turks which preceded it, and the exegesis of Biblical and extra-Biblical prophecies that follow it. The depiction of the Turks as persecutors is, asas Foxe's comments will reveal, absolutely central to his identification of the Ottoman Empire as Antichrist. This emphasis is also part of Foxe'smessage that even with the accession of Elizabeth to the throne, God's true churchwas being persecuted, as indeed it would be (in Foxe's view) until the imminent second coming of Christ.

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Apart from his quotation of an oration printed in Ortwin Gratius's com-pendium, Fasciculus rerum expetendarum ac fugiendarum (Cologne, 1535) and,of course, his own opinions, Foxe drew the material in this section from twobasic sources. The first was the collection of historical works printed in LaonicusChalkokondylas, De origine et rebus gestis Turcorum (Basel, 1556). The varietyof authors Foxe drew on from this work - including some such as the history ofChalkokondylas himself and the narrative of the German pilgrim Bernard ofBreydenbach, which he had previously used sparingly, or not at all - stronglysuggests that Foxe combed this compendium for particularly graphic stories ofTurkish cruelty. Foxe also relied heavily on the narrative of Batholomaeus Georgevits. He was a native of Transylvania, who had been captured by a Turkish raiding party. After eight attempts to escape, he finally succeeded in 1458. Some time thereafter, he entered the Dominican order, and, in his old age, wrote his memoirs, which also contained an account of Ottoman society and culture. This work, was published in numerous editions and translated into most major European languages. (Foxe probably originally came to know of Georgevits's work through theextensive excerpts of it printed in Theodore Bibliander's edition of the Koran). Foxewas quite selective in his use of Georgevits's accont. He repeated the Transylvanian'sstories of Ottoman abuse of their prisoners, but largely ignored Georgevits's accountsof Ottoman social and religious life.

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Thomas S. Freeman
University of Sheffield

MarginaliaPersecution vnder the turkes.HEtherto thou hast heard (Christian Reader) 

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The beginning of this section, depicting the Turks, along with the Roman emperors and the papacy, as the great persecutors of the True Church isFoxe's own opinion.

the lamētable persecutions of these latter dayes, wrought by þe Turkes agaynst the people and seruauntes of Christ. In the reading wherof, such as sitte quietly at home, & be farre frō ieopardy, may see what misery there is abroad, þe knowledge and reading wherof, shall not be vnprofitable for all christians earnestly to wey & consider, for that many there be, which falsely deceauing themselues, imagin that Christianity is a quiet and restfull state of life, full of pleasure & solace in this present worlde, when in deede it is nothing lesse, testified by the mouth of our Sauiour himselfe, who rightly defining his kingdome, teacheth vs that his kingdome is not of this world, premonishing vs also before, þt in this worlde we must looke for affliction, but in hym wee shall haue peace. Examples hereof in all partes of thys hystory through all ages are plenteous and euidēt to be sene, whether we turne our eyes to the first x. persecutiōs in the primitiue Church during the first 3. hundreth yeares after Christ: or whether we consider the latter 3. hūdreth yeares in this last age of the Churche, wherein the poore flocke of Christ hath bene so afflicted, oppressed & deuoured, MarginaliaComparison betwene the persecutions of the primitiue church and of the latter church. þt it is hard to say whether haue bene more cruell agaynst þe Christians, the infidel Emperors of Rome in the primitiue age of the Church, or els these barbarous Turkes in these our latter times of the Church now present.

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Thus from time to time the Churche of Christ almost hath had litle or no rest in this earth, what for the Heathen Emperours on the one side, MarginaliaThree speciall enemies of Christes Church.what for the proude Pope on the other side, and on the third side what for the barbarous Turke: for these are and haue bene from the beginning the three principall & capital enemies of the Church of Christ, signified in the Apocalips by the beast, the false Lamb, and the false Prophet, from whom wēt out three foule spirites like frogges, to gather together all the kinges of the earth to the battell of the day of the Lord God almighty. Apocal. 16. 

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Rev. 16:13.

MarginaliaApoc. 16. The cruelty and malice of these 3. enemyes agaynst Christes people hath bene such, that to iudge which of thē did most exceed in cruelty of persecution, it is hard to say: MarginaliaThe crueltie of the furious turkes described.but þt it may be thought that the bloudy & beastly tyrannye of the Turkes especially aboue the rest, incomparably surmounteth all the afflictions and cruell slaughters that euer were seene in any age, or read of in any story: 
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This is an excellent example of Foxe's emphasizing alleged Ottomancruelty as a means of depicting the Ottomans as diabolical or even the Antichrist.

In so much þt there is neither history so perfect, nor writer so diligēt, who writing of the miserable tyranny of the Turkes, is able to expresse or comprehend the horrible examples of theyr vnspeakable cruelty and slaughter exercised by these 12. Turkish tyrants, vpon poore Christē mens bodies, within the compasse of these latter 3. hūdreth yeares. Wherof although no sufficient relation can be made, nor nūber expressed: MarginaliaTwo things to bee noted in the turks: how many victories they haue got, & howe cruelly they haue vsed their victories.yet to geue to the Reader some generall gesse or viewe thereof: let vs first perpend and consider what dominions & Empyres, how many countries, kingdomes, prouinces, cities townes, strong holdes and fortes, these Turkes haue surprised and wonne from the Christians. In all which victories, being so many, this is secondly to be noted, that there is almost no place, which the turkes euer came to and subdued, where they did not either slay all þe inhabitants therof, or led away the most part therof into such captiuity and slauery, that they continued not long after aliue: or els so liued, that death almost had bene to them more tollerable.

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Like as in the time of the first persecutions of the Romayne Emperors, the saying was, that no man could step with his foote in all Rome, but should tread vpon a Martyr: so here may be sayd, that almost there is not a towne, city, or village in all Asia, Grecia, also in a great part of Europa, and Aphrica, whose streetes haue not flowed with bloud of the Christians, whom the cruell turks haue mur-thered. Of whom are to be sene in histories, 

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All of the examples of Ottoman slaughter, from here down through thecapture of the island of Lesbos, are drawn from Marino Barleito's report to theVenetian senate on Turkish offensives in the Aegean, as excerpted in Laonicus Chalkokondylas, De origine et rebus gestis Turcorum (Basel, 1556), pp. 462-3. These examples came from an oration in Barleito's report which was purportedly made torouse the defenders of a city to resistance against the Turks.

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heapes of souldiours slaine, of mē & womē cut in pieces, of childrē sticked vpō poles & stakes, whō these detestable turks most spitefull (& þt in the sight of theyr parentes) vse to gore to death: some they drag at theyr horse tailes & famish to death: some they teare in pieces, tying theyr armes and legges to foure horses: other some they make marks to shoot at: vpō some they trye theyr swords, how deep they can cut and slash, as ye before haue read, pag. 777, The aged & feeble they tread vnder theyr horses: womē wt child they spare not, but ripp theyr bodyes, and cast the infants into the fire, or otherwise destroy them. Whether the Christians yeld to them, or yeld not, all is a matter As in theyr promises there is no truth: so in theyr victoryes there is no sense of manhood or mercy in them, but they make hauocke of all.

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MarginaliaEx Marino Barletio de Scodr. ex pugnat. lib. 2.So the Citizens of Crosa, after they had yelded & were all promised theyr liues, were all destroyed and that horribly. In Mysia, after the king had geuen himselfe to the turkes hand, hauing promise of life, Mahumet the Turke slew him with his owne hands. The Princes of Rasia had both theyr eies put out with basens redde hoate set before them. Theodosia, otherwise called Capha, was also surrēdered to the Turke, hauing the like assuraunce of life and safety: & yet contrary to the league, the Citizens were put to the sword and slaine. At the winning and yelding of Lesbos, what a number of young men and children were put vpon sharpe stakes and poles, and so thrust thorough? At the winning of the Citty of Buda, 

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This anecdote is taken from the German historian Mechior Soiterus'saccount of the wars in Hungary, De bello Pannico, as excerpted in LaonicusChalkokondylas, De origine et rebus gestis Turcorum (basel, 1556), p. 514.

what tyrannye was shewed and exercised agaynst the poore Christians, whiche had yelded themselues, and agaynst the two Dukes Christopher Bisserer and Ioannes Tranbinger, cōtrary to the promise and handwriting of the Turke, MarginaliaEx Michael. Soitero. lib 1. de Bello Pannonico fol. to be sene in the story of Melchior Soiterus, de Bello Pannonico.

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The like also is to be read in the story of Bernardus de Breydenbach, MarginaliaEx Bernardo de Breydenbach Decano Eccl. Magunt. who writing of the taking of Hydruntum, a City in Apulia, testifieth of the miserable slaughter, of the young men there slayne, of old men troden vnder the horse feet, of matrons & virgines rauished, of women with child cut & rent a pieces, of the Priestes in the Churches slayne, & of the Archbishop of that Citty, who being an aged man and holding the crosse in his hands, MarginaliaThe superstitious vse of the materiall crosse. was cut a sonder with a woodden saw. &c. 

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Foxe is taking these stories of atrocities that allegedly took placewhen Otranto was sacked, from the narrative of Bernard of Breydenbach, a Germancleric and pilgrim to the Holy Land, as excerpted in Laonicus Chalkokondylas, Deorigine et rebus gestis Turcorum (Basel, 1556), p. 382.

The same Bernardus also wryting of the ouerthrow of Nigropontus, otherwise called Chalcides, an. 1471. 
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Contrary to what Foxe claims, these accounts of rape and slaughter after the Turks took the island of Negroponte in 1470, do not come from Bernardof Breydenbach. They are instead from the work of the great Venetian historianMarco Antonio Sabellico, as excerpted in Laonicus Chalkokondylas, De origineet rebus gestis Turcorum (Basel, 1556), pp. 371-2.

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describeth Marginalia

Vide supra. pag. 755.

Ex Bernardo Breydenb.

the like terrible slaughter: whiche there was exercised: where the Turke, after hys promise geuē before to the cōtrary, most cruelly caused all the youth of Italy to be pricked vpon sharp stakes: some to be dashed against the hard stones, other some to be cut in sonder in þe middest, and other mo with other kinds of torments to be put to death: in so much that all the streetes and wayes of Chalcides did flowe with the bloud of them, whiche were there slayn. In which history the foresayd writer recordeth one memorable example of maydēly chastity, worthy of all Christians to be noted and commended. MarginaliaA notable example of maydenly chastitie.The story 
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This story, including its emotive language, is virtually a word-for-word translation of Marco Antonio Sabellico's account of the taking of Negroponte,as excerpted in Laonicus Chalkokondylas, De origine et rebus gestis Turcorum(Basel, 1556), pp. 331-2.

is tolde of the Pretors daughter of that City, who being the onely daughter of her father, & noted to be of an exceeding singuler beuty, was saued out of the slaughter, & brought to Mahumet the turke, to be his concubine: But she denying to consent to his turkishe appetite and filthynes, was commaunded therewith to be slayne and murthered, and so died she a Martyr, keping both her fayth and her body vndefiled vnto Christ Iesus her spouse. Ibid.

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The like cruelty also was shewed vpon them whiche kept the Castle, & afterward yelding themselues vpō hope of the turkes promise, were slayne euery one. What should I speake of the miserable slaughter of Methone, & the Citizēs therof dwelling in Peloponesus: who seing no other remedy but needes to come into the Turkes hands, set the barne on fire where they were gathered together, mē, women, and children: some women also with child volūtarily cast themselues into the Sea, rather then they would sustayne the Turkes captiuity. 

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Foxe is repeating an account he gave earlier: This account of Bayezid II's reign is largely taken from Casper Peucer, Chronicon Carionis (Wittenburg, 1580), pp. 657-63, although the narrative of Selim's accession to the throne is taken from Giovann Battisto Ramosio's history, as excerpted in Laonicus Chalkokondylas, De origine et rebus gestis Turcorum. One detail came from Johannes Cuspinian, De Turcorum origine.

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MarginaliaVid. supra. pag. 734.Vide pag. 734.

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Miserable it is to beholde, 

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These examples are Foxe's list, with the examples taken from Foxe's account of Turkish history.

long to recite, incredible to beleue all the cruel parts and horrible slaughters wrought by these miscreantes, agaynste the Christians, through all places almost of the world, both in Asia, in Africa, but especially in Europa. MarginaliaThe miserable spillyng of Christen mens bloud by the wretched turks. Who is able to recite the innumerable societyes and companyes of the Grecians Martyred by the Turkes sword in Achaia, Attica, Thessalia, Macedonia, Epirus, and all Peloponesns? besides þe Iland of Rhodes and other Ilandes, and Cyclades adiacēt in the sea about, numbred to 52. of the which also Pathmos was one, wher S. Iohn being banished, wrote his reuelations. Where did euer the Turkes sette any foote, but the bloud of Christians there, without pitty or measure, went to wracke? & what place or prouince is there almost thorow þe world, wher þe turks either haue not perced, or are not like shortly

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