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INTRODUCTION

Oh Lord God on the highest throne Look at this great misery The Turkish raging Turkish tyrant Has carried out in Vienna Woods Murdering virgins and wives Cutting children in half And impaling them on pikes Oh our shepherd Jesus Christ You who are gracious and merciful Turn your wrath away from the people Save us from the hand of the Turk.1

Erhard Schoens 1530 broadsheet illustration Turkish Atrocities in Vienna Woods (Figure I.1) is among the most iconic representations of the direct military threat to innocent civilians by the Ottoman forces during the 1529 Siege of Vienna. The accompanying Hans Sachs poem further strengthens the message of the print that the Ottoman Turkish army was considered a foreign enemy without morals or scruples. The woodcut depicts two Turkish soldiers wading through a mound of bodies of slain women and babies impaled on spikes, thereby showing the wrath of God as well as the direct danger Turkish soldiers posed to the most innocent members of society. The location in the woods just outside Vienna further indicates just how far the Ottoman Empire had expanded into Christian Europe. This woodcut shows some of the complex and varied attitudes of early modern European society as it was confronted with the perpetual threat of religious and territorial war and with exposure to an alien and traditionally enemy culture. In the sixteenth century, Turks, or the Islamic inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire, were a source of fear and fascination in the Christian areas of Northern and Central Europe. As the Ottoman armies closed in on the German-speaking territories of the Holy Roman Empire, Islam and the Ottoman Turk found their way into Reformation and Counter-Reformation discourse. Following the increased contact between the Holy Roman and Ottoman empires through diplomacy and scholastic research, often by theologically trained humanists, more nuanced ideas

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Images of Islam, 14531600: Turks in Germany and Central Europe

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about the Turk, the Ottoman Empire and Islam developed. The texts produced during this period, together with their corresponding prints, are found in broadsheets, news pamphlets, encyclopaedias, costume works and art prints. This book examines printed images of the Ottoman Empire in the sixteenth century circulated in German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire as key historical sources. These directly illuminate the many changing, sometimes conflicting, perspectives on Ottoman Turks within the evolving political, theological and military climate of Reformation and Counter-Reformation Germany. The wide scope of depictions and descriptions of the many perceptions of the Ottoman Turk also reflect directly upon the people writing and producing the texts and their own sense of emerging identity in a rapidly changing world. Printed images of Turks were not limited to representations of bloodthirsty enemies, but could also display courtly elegance and power through depictions of sultans and the inhabitants of Constantinople. By bringing together seemingly disparate images and conceptions of the Turk, this book explores sixteenth-century German attitudes during a time of social, political and religious upheaval. Sources document the increasing diplomatic contact and changing perceptions of the Ottoman Turk from military enemy to exotic emblem and were further reused in chronicles, encyclopaedias and bibles. Sixteenth-century German print images illustrate the multiple interpretations of the Turk beyond their attendant texts within the growing knowledge of the world and fascination with the Other. Such courtly elegance and power is displayed in Pieter Coecke van Aelsts Les moeurs et faons du Turcs. The final two panels of his panorama depict Sultan Suleiman I (r. 152066) leading his troops through the Hippodrome to Friday Prayers (Figure I.2).2 First published in 1553, the full panorama shows the Ottoman sultan as the supreme stately and military leader of an exotic empire. The city of Constantinople spreads across the background of the last two panels and includes mosques, notably the Hagia Sophia, and an obelisk. These landmarks were significant in highlighting the change of Constantinople from the last vestige of the Roman Empire to the cultural and political centre of Islamic Ottoman rule. Turkish cavalry lead Coecke van Aelsts procession, followed by the sultans foot soldiers, known as janissaries, while the sultan, flanked by two bodyguards, takes up the rear. This is one of seven scenes of the panorama depicting the journey to the Ottoman Empire and the court at Constantinople, scenes created from drawings made during van Aelsts visit to Constantinople in 1533.3 As Figures I.1 and I.2 show, the sultan and the Ottoman Empire were depicted in divergent ways in printed images produced between the late fifteenth and early seventeenth centuries in German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire. German printed images depicting the Turk, together with their accompanying text, highlight the complex relationship between the Ottoman and Holy Roman empires. They emphasize fear of the Ottoman Empires military power and its

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Figure I.1: Erhard Schoen, Turkish Atrocities in Vienna Woods (Nuremberg: Hans Guldenmund, 1530). Courtesy of Abaris Books.

Images of Islam, 14531600: Turks in Germany and Central Europe

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Islamic faith, while showing fascination with the courtly elegance and splendour of the sultans and the city of Constantinople. Wars significantly impacted the pictorial and written depictions of Islamic peoples within Northern European consciousness from the times of the Crusades onwards.4 However, following the Fall or Capture of Constantinople, in 1453, interest became concentrated on the military expansion of the Ottoman Empire. Initially, Venetian publications directly influenced many of the earliest depictions of the Ottoman Turk from the Holy Roman Empire, rather than German artists who had seen Turks first-hand.5 Nevertheless, the changes made in the Ottoman Empire under the sultans determined much of its interaction with the Holy Roman Empire.6 As this period coincided with the advent of print with movable type in Northern Europe, information about and images of the Ottoman Turk could be disseminated at a far more rapid rate and over a far broader geographical area than previously possible. The advance of Ottoman armies into Habsburg-controlled territory in the 1520s resulted in an outpouring by artists and writers in German-speaking areas.7 The increasing direct contact following Habsburg diplomatic missions to the Ottoman Empire from the 1530s onwards resulted in first-hand accounts and depictions from the Ottoman court.8 This included costume and other Ottoman objects brought back to Europe.9 It constituted part of a broader interest in the expanding geographical knowledge of the world following other Christian encounters in the New World, Asia and Africa.10

Figure I.2: Sultan Suleiman Leading his Troops through the Hippodrome to Friday Prayers, detail from Pieter Coecke van Aelst, Les moeurs et faons du Turcs (1553). Trustees of the BritishMuseum.

Introduction

By focusing specifically on printed images of the Ottoman Turk as historical sources, this book engages with various new methods of communication available in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as different genres of print media were developed and refined. It will cut across boundaries of production, dissemination and reception, considering images found in works of scholarly and theological debate, bibles, broadsheets, pamphlets, costume books, chronicles, histories and maps. The fascination with the Ottoman Turk continued until and beyond the Thirty Years War (161848). Renewed interest in the Ottoman Empire appeared at the end of the seventeenth century following the second Siege of Vienna in 1683. However, the printing techniques, resultant prints and issues raised differed significantly enough from those of the sixteenth century, so that they will not be considered in this book. Sixteenth-century historians, humanists and scholars relied on a large variety of sources to expand their knowledge about the Ottoman Turk. These sources included classical works, biblical texts and tales brought back from the expanding Ottoman Empire by escaped captives as well as by diplomats. Consequently, the understanding of the history of the Ottoman Turk by sixteenth-century humanists often conflicts with more recent scholarship.11 Many artists created illustrations for a variety of genres concerned with Turks and the Ottoman Empire, and these were often reused in different contexts, sometimes literary, rather than illustrated.12 Later print illustrations in encyclopaedic works, such as chronicles and costume books, interpreted the place of the Turk within the growing knowledge of the world. 13 Although there was no single way in which German print artists depicted the Turk or Islamic people of the Ottoman Empire, prints differed from contemporary portrayals in Ottoman manuscripts, as well as those from other Near Eastern areas during this period.14 The Ottoman Empire at this time consisted of many religious, ethnic and linguistic groups, which were not distinguished in Christian European sources. While earlier the terms Saracens or Sarraceni referred to Islamic groups more broadly, it was only during the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries that the German Trken and Latin Turci or Turcae began to be used to describe the Islamic people of the Ottoman Empire specifically.15 This Muslim group was thereby distinguished from the other inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire, including Greeks (Orthodox Christians) and Jews. This is also how the terms Ottoman Turk and Turk will be used within this book. However, it is to be noted that there was an overlap between this usage of Trken and Turci and the descriptions of a variety of other Islamic and Asian tribes in the East, who were sometimes at war with the Ottoman Empire. These groups included Moors (from Southern Spain and Africa), Tartars (a variety of Asian tribes such

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Images of Islam, 14531600: Turks in Germany and Central Europe

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as Mongols), Arabs, Persians and others from the territories coming under Ottoman rule during this time, including Egyptian Mamluks.16 As part of a growing knowledge of the world and fascination with the Other, sixteenth-century German print images reached beyond their texts to display elements in the presentation of the Near East in a way that ultimately led to early Orientalism. Within the last fifty years historians and art historians have studied and emphasized the overall conflict between Christian Europe and the Muslim world, including the Ottoman Empire. Often emphasizing terms such as exotic and the Other, they have employed a broader and less focused time frame and geographical area than covered by this book.17 These terms are strongly linked to Edward Saids identification of Orientalism as a colonial perspective in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.18 They also influenced the focus of later colonial periods, on subjects such as Oriental despotism, Oriental splendour, cruelty, [and] sensuality.19 However, in the context of sixteenth-century writings and illustrations, this type of analysis does not consider the scholarly background of those creating the works, whether as humanists considering classical sources, theologians considering biblical sources or a combination of these. Sixteenth-century German printed images of the Turk often reveal as much about the background, culture and prejudices of the artists as of the Ottoman Empire, though without the superiority of the colonial narrative developed during later centuries. On the other hand, it would be oversimplistic to summarize the sixteenth-century interest of artists and writers in other cultures as completely identifying with, or being completely estranged from, their own society.20 In addition, many sixteenth-century theologians considered battles between the Ottoman and Holy Roman empires as good versus evil, or Christianity versus Islam, within the perspective of Reformation and Counter-Reformation discourses.21 Humanist-trained theologians were interested in the history, language and culture of the Ottoman Empire, as well as how it related to classical and biblical sources. However, many proponents equated their religious and political opponents, whether Lutheran, Catholic or Reformed Protestant, with the Turk.22 Writers and artists from the sixteenth century considered the people of the Ottoman Empire in terms of differences in religion, culture and clothing, often highlighted within biblical scenes.23 Near Eastern figures appear in many biblical illustrations of the period, often drawing on earlier illuminated manuscripts.24 In contrast, artists including Drer, and later Rembrandt and Rubens, used Ottoman and other Eastern figures from newer sources as reference points within their artworks.25 Images need to be considered in terms of the historical events occurring at the time of their production, rather than as a broader colonial narrative of cultural superiority, a concept not yet established. This book is a cultural history of images of the Ottoman Turk during a period of immense cultural, religious and technological change. It will explore images of

Introduction

Turks and Ottomans within popular German prints and scholarly texts as a cultural history, using historical sources to amplify the crossover between text and image. From the 1970s onwards, early German print has been examined using the concepts of high versus low or popular art and culture.26 However, due to the nature of production and distribution, sixteenth-century prints were viewed by a large cross section of society, rather than only by a specific class or segment. Several recent studies have also considered how popular prints were used in the religious and secular realms in German-speaking lands during the Reformation and Counter-Reformation.27 These recent studies can be contrasted with those concerning texts and images from France, the Italian states, England, Spain, Eastern Europe and the Low Countries.28 Other relevant media such as paintings, tapestries, statues, carvings and artefacts are also outside the scope of this book. No single specific image or text is indicative of all sixteenth-century attitudes towards the Turk and the Ottoman Empire. Rather, the prints and the works they illustrated might bring the attitudes of individual artists, theologians and humanist scholars to a broader audience than previously possible.29 While several print and digital catalogues have listed print images of Turks, they have not placed them into the wider social context of the relationship between the Ottoman and Holy Roman empires in this period.30 Textual sources, including books and pamphlets, have also been catalogued in a variety of forms, though without necessarily considering how reproduction and transmission of printed images helped to influence depictions and descriptions of Ottoman Turks.31 Those that do rarely consider how the reproduction and transmission of printed images helped to influence the changing perceptions of Ottoman Turks in German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire. However, Carl Gllners extensive bibliography and study of printed pamphlets and broadsheets was instrumental in detailing many of the works within the genre, but it is incomplete and relies heavily on early twentieth-century catalogues.32 Thomas Kaufmann, Gregory Miller and John Bohnstedt have all contributed to the knowledge of Turkish sources, though again not making use of the images themselves.33 The present study regards text and image as complementary to each other and considers both in order to study how Turks were presented to sixteenth-century German audiences. This book gathers many seemingly disparate sources from a variety of media within many contexts in order to gain a full cultural understanding of how the Turk and the Ottoman Empire were presented by early modern German writers and artists. The images come from a combination of sixteenth-century scholarly and popular works produced for highly educated and semi-literate readers by both established and unknown artists.34 Examined together with their accompanying text and within their political, military and social contexts, these images are representative of broader groups, which were often reused. The repeated

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use of individual images identifies their importance as sources for the place of the Ottoman Turk in the broader consciousness of the sixteenth century. This book compares different pictorial and textual representations of Turks and their relationship to the political and social climate of the sixteenth century. It demonstrates their importance for constructing complex and quite varied perceptions of the Turk within German culture and society in the sixteenth century. The technology in the production of and subject matter within printed images of Turks changed dramatically from the 1450s until the beginnings of the seventeenth century. The woodblock images featuring the Fall of Constantinople differed strongly from the detailed etchings of battle plans of Rudolf IIs armies, though both featured many of the same themes. In addition, the detail within images changed as more information and source material were brought back from the Ottoman Empire within all genres, whether military depictions, biblical illustrations, costume studies or encyclopaedic or geographical works. Furthermore, interplay between text and image was significant to the ways the print medium developed and how it was used, especially in German vernacular literature. Techniques used to examine the images have been shaped by developments in cultural history. For instance, these prints can be regarded as historical sources in themselves, rather than as individual artworks, or merely as illustrations. Within this study of the images of the Ottoman Turk, their context and social history, I draw on concepts established in iconology as developed by Aby Warburg and his followers, that is, the study of images within the context in which they were produced. 35 Some of the artists in this book have traditionally been viewed in terms of aesthetic appeal. In contrast, the historical and social context of pamphlet title pages and mass-produced broadsheets has been regarded as less important to the developing field of art historical scholarship. 36 However, within recent decades, art critical techniques have been re-established to consider the cultural history of early modern German-speaking territories. 37 While these techniques have informed my approach to the use of images as historical sources, I also rely on the accompanying text in order to explain the full impact of how text and image were presented together to a sixteenth-century audience. During this period of innovation and experimentation in printing techniques, text and illustration complemented one another more often than has been previously recognized. 38 This book argues that advances in printing technology and a greater interaction between German-speaking territories and the Ottoman Empire facilitated significant changes in images and interpretations of the Turk. The different types of source material and literary genres in which prints of the Turk appeared have determined how this book concentrates on specific aspects of German perceptions. I use the images of the Turk and the context of their presentation to explore the cultural significance of the Ottoman Empire to the peoples of the Holy Roman Empire.

Introduction

The evolution of print with movable type in German-speaking areas occurred very close in time to the 1453 Fall of Constantinople. This meant that news of the expanding Ottoman Empire, its rulers and inhabitants was widely reported, discussed and depicted in the new print medium. The first chapter of this book focuses on how medieval and fifteenth-century images of Islam, Saracens and the early Ottoman Empire evolved in incunabula print and images within Christian Europe. These became a foundation for many of the themes and issues highlighted in sixteenth-century depictions of the Turk, within all genres. The chapter specifically considers the way in which the people of the Ottoman Empire attained new prominence within incunabula following the Fall of Constantinople and its rise as an Ottoman imperial city. Illustrations include those found in chronicles and histories of the Turkish people, in works on Christian pilgrimage and Ottoman expansion, in bibles and lives of the saints. Many of these images of Turks were set within theological and humanist frameworks for understanding the world and employed biblical and classical texts to explain the history and social context of the Ottoman people. The chapter introduces many issues prominent in sixteenth-century print, including depictions of battles, Muhammad as the Antichrist, travellers tales and specific aspects of Ottoman costume representing all Turks, including turbans and scimitars. As the expansion of Ottoman territory began to threaten Habsburg interests and therefore the German-speaking areas of the Holy Roman Empire more specifically, the interest in the Turk evolved to become more focused on military events. The second chapter concentrates on the military conflict between European powers and Ottoman armies, focusing on how the production and dissemination of prints increased following the 1529 Siege of Vienna. The siege provided the most direct exposure to the Turk for Northern European artists. It helped shape a violent image of the Sultans armies, just as it signified the greatest expansion of the Islamic world into the heart of Habsburg territory. As there were over ninety major battles and even more skirmishes between the Ottoman army and European military forces from the late fifteenth to early seventeenth centuries, I will limit my examination to battles that inspired a significant body of representation. The chapter discusses how images in single-leaf woodcuts, print series, broadsheets, pamphlets, theological works and cityscapes exemplify and perpetuate these themes. Many of the most topical issues of sixteenth-century society and culture, including the place of Islam and the expanding Ottoman Empire in relation to Christian Europe, were considered within religious contexts. The third chapter examines the Turk as depicted in sixteenth-century biblical illustrations, which mirror the changing relationship between the Christian and Islamic worlds in German theological and intellectual opinion. It examines the ways that theological debate about these issues was heightened by the events of the Reformation,

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such as the translation of the Bible into German, as well as the Koran into Latin. The chapter examines how Ottoman costume was used to illustrate Near Eastern figures from the Old and New Testaments. These included kings and emperors, especially when there was a need to distinguish them from the key figures of the Judaic and Christian traditions, such as Old Testament prophets or Christ and his apostles. The Turk and the expanding Ottoman army also signified the Apocalypse and Last Days for both Catholic and Reformed theologians, especially following the direct threat to Habsburg territory in the later 1520s. The fourth chapter of this book examines the images produced by, or in association with, the many Northern Europeans who travelled to the Ottoman Empire during the sixteenth century. Writers and artists mostly travelled in diplomatic entourages representing Northern European rulers. Many were also antiquarians and humanist scholars, fascinated by the history of Constantinople as the last vestige of the old Roman Empire. These writers and artists were able to present the events of the Ottoman Empire to their Northern and Central European audiences, who were curious about the people of such an alien culture. The resulting images and texts included descriptions and representations of the sultan and his court, together with many social groups, such as Greek and Jewish merchants and a variety of Islamic sects. This chapter helps to explain how diplomatic missions assisted sixteenth-century German viewers to gain information about the daily lives, costume and habits of Ottoman people. These missions also shaped an identity for Turks different from that of a military enemy, but rather as a distant and exotic culture, and they did so within an expanding knowledge of the wider world. Many of the images of Turks and the Ottoman Empire were fascinating to viewers within the German-speaking world due to the exotic nature of the clothing and customs. Costumes were also used within individual studies and collections of costume prints, as well as influencing theatre and pageantry. The fifth chapter details the ways in which the Turk was made more familiar to a sixteenth-century Christian and European world through a process of costume collection and comparison between the exotic and more familiar. Such works serve as important sources for understanding the visual construction of the Turk in early modern German territories. They show how artists used costume studies to categorize and explain fundamental aspects of the people of the Ottoman Empire and how they differed from those of the Holy Roman Empire in terms of custom and clothing. Methods of arranging the people and cultures of the known world within costume books were also current in encyclopaedic and geographical works of the period. The sixth chapter examines images of the Turk within histories, chronicles, cosmographies and geographies dealing with customs and people of the Ottoman Empire. It considers the Ottoman Empire and its people in the

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context of the theological and humanist scholarship and historiography of the sixteenth century, together with the printed illustrations found in such texts. The classical and biblical sources used by medieval scholars provided a genealogical, historical and geographical framework within which sixteenth-century German-speaking historians and theologians might locate the Ottoman Empire and the Turk. The chapter examines how knowledge gained through direct contact with the Ottoman Empire via travel, diplomacy and military conflict, as discussed in earlier chapters, informed many of these printed illustrations. The images examined in this book display and encapsulate the many ideas held by German-speaking peoples about the Turk and the Ottoman Empire during the Reformation period, as well as the different contexts of their production and presentation. This work draws from a variety of sources to compare the many conflicting images of Turks that contributed to a broader and richer understanding of the Ottoman Empire among German-speaking viewers. No single image is representative of the concept of the Turk, and not all German speakers were exposed to the range of images that circulated, nor was this the way Ottoman people saw themselves. Examination of the different images and their contents shows how greater knowledge of the Ottoman Empire and its inhabitants gradually refined, but also strengthened, perceptions of the Turk, whether seen as fierce military foes or as representative of an alien and exotic culture. How these images changed and how this reflected the cultural history of the period will be examined in the following pages.

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