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Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, The Turkish Letters, 1. Ogier de Busbecq () was a Flemish nobleman who spent most of his life in the service. Busbecq, a Fleming, was the ambassador of the Holy Roman Emperor at the Sublime Porte (the Turkish Sultan’s court in Constantinople) from A native of western Flanders, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq served in several posts as diplomatic representative for the Habsburg ruler Ferdinand I (King of.

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His letters are chatty, sometimes gossipy, and full of fascinating details about Turkish daily life and the intrigues of the Sultan’s court. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. In and again in[1] Ferdinand named him ambassador to the Ottoman Trkish under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent.

Selflessness, humility, simplicity, integrity, and honor are among the virtues that Busbecq attributes to the Janissaries. However this is undercut by his frequent descriptions of the role of bribery in getting anything done, the behaviour of the Janissaries – begging for money, being unwilling to march in muddy conditions until they turkjsh given a desert made of eggs, wine, spices and sugar for breakfast their occasional riotousness and apparent willingness to support rivals for the Sultan’s throne, the sailors who set fire to houses in Constantinople in order to loot and rob the neighbourhood under the pretext of fire-fighting, or the haphazard equipment of the cavalry and the unwillingness of the horsemen to start to use muskets instead of the traditional bow and arrows.

This is the reason that they are successful in their undertakings, that they lord it over others, and are daily extending the bounds of turkksh empire.

Dictionaries in early modern Europe. In four letters to his friend Nicholas Michault, who had been Busbecq’s fellow student in Italy and afterwards was imperial ambassador to the Portuguese court, he details impressions on everything he saw and experienced in Turkey, including landscapes, plants, animals, Islam, ethnic groups, architecture, slavery, military matters, court practices, clothing, gender and domestic relations, and the Sultan himself.

It is how a child is raised and educated that really matters in society. Several uprisings by local populations in different parts of the Ottoman State occurred. For the letters used in written Turkish, see Turkish alphabet. This is the impression you get when he tells us that in the Ottoman Empire promotion in the army or government service more generally is purely on the basis of merit and not birth, the army is experienced and used to hardships, the people are frugal, pious, and willing to take up new inventions and innovations.

Busbecq and the Ottoman Grand Vizier, Semiz Ali Pasha, were instrumental in sustaining the uneasy peace which suited both parties.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ogier Gisleen van Busbeke. He served as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in Constantinople and in published a book about his time there, Itinera Constantinopolitanum et AmasianumOgier Ghiselin de Busbecq — October 28, ; Latin: He goes on at such length to describe the Black Sea tribes in negative fashion that his comments and descriptions of their customs, beliefs, and history sound almost fantastical, and I found his thoughts on this culture inadvertently hilarious.


Views Read Edit Letetrs history. On receiving bhsbecq few buxbecq coins which was what they wanted they bowed again, thanked me in loud tones, and went off blessing me for my kindness.

The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq: A Biography

Among the Turks, therefore, honors, high posts, and judgeships are the rewards of great ability and good service. Sarah rated it liked it Feb 04, De Busbecq does this I think to show them in sharp contrast to the Ottoman court, although he does cast a very critical eye on the Turkish people at times.

Busbecq, then in his early thirties, had been sent to finalise a peace treaty and as a result of the foregoing warfare between the Hapsburgs and the Ottomans, he was very concerned about the strength and power of t As ambassador of the Hapsburg Emperor to Suleiman the Magnificent, Ogier de Busbecq seems to have spent most of his time in the Ottoman Empire effectively under house arrest in Istanbul which rather limits turkisg value as a witness to life among the Ottomans at the beginning of the s.

Delightfully entertaining reading, it also offers invaluable lessons on understanding and bridging cultural divides. During his stay in Constantinople, he wrote his best known work, the Turkish Lettersa compendium of personal correspondence to his friend, and fellow Hungarian diplomat, Nicholas Michaultin Flanders and some of the world’s first travel literature.

It makes me shudder petters think of what the result of a struggle between such different systems must be; one of us must prevail and the other be destroyed, at any rate we cannot both exist ]in safety. Brianne Galgano rated it it was amazing Jun 04, However, his curiosity, luckily for the reader, means the author gives the most random details such as plant life, as well as the most outrageous letterd such as slavery.

View all 5 comments. View all 16 comments. These visits considerably increased in number with the agreement of concessions granted by the Ottomans. Among the Turks, therefore, honours, high posts, and judgeships are the rewards of great ability and good service. Ferdinand was all too aware of his military weakness, busebcq Suleiman was distracted by the threat posed by Persia and the tussle over the succession between his sons Selim and Bayezid.

The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq: A Biography by Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq

Those who receive the highest offices from the Sultan are for the most part the sons of shepherds or herdsmen, and so far from being ashamed of their parentage, they actually glory in it, and consider it a matter of boasting that they owe nothing to the accident of birth; for they do not believe that high qualities are either natural or hereditary, nor do they think that they can be handed down from father to son, but that they are partly the gift of’ God, and partly the result of good training, great industry, and unwearied zeal; arguing that high qualities do not descend from a father to his son or heir, any more than a talent for music, mathematics, or the like; lettefs that the mind does not derive its origin busecq the father, so that the son should necessarily be like the father in character, our emanates from heaven, and is thence infused into the human body.


He died a few days later. Feb 17, Meaghan rated it really liked it Shelves: Can we doubt what the result must be? He died a few days later. Read it as a traveler’s memoir, read it for its store of tales of Ottoman life and customs, read it for the tales of court intrigue. Busbecq’s Turkish Letters is a treasure of early travel literature, reflecting Busbecq’s rich tukish talent, classical education, love for collecting antiquities, and remarkable power of observation.

Busbecq’s intellectual gifts led him to advanced studies at the Latin-language University of Leuvenwhere he registered in under the name Ogier Ghislain de Comines.

A Biography by Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq. De Busbeq’s description of these people is extremely critical, and his clear disrespect for this culture is evident. Overall this is a fascinating piece of travel literature and a very easy read for anyone interested in Ottoman history. Refresh and try again.

He lauds the social mobility and preferment through merit he discerns in the Ottoman Empire as a way of criticising the nepotism and incompetent leadership of Europe’s aristocracy. Busbecq reveals himself as ambivalent about Ottoman society and culture.

As ambassador of the Hapsburg Emperor to Suleiman the Magnificent, Ogier de Busbecq seems to have spent most of his time in the Ottoman Empire effectively under house arrest in Istanbul which rather limits his value as a witness to life among the Ottomans at the beginning of the s. De Busbecq’s letters are a fascinating and enjoyable read, even for the Turkish history novice. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. On his part, the Caliph also sent many gifts to Charlemagne, one famous one being a clock.

Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq – Wikipedia

Busbecq continues in his claim even further:. Among the best known of his discoveries was a 6th-century copy of Dioscorides ‘ De Materia Medicaa compendium of medicinal herbs.

I found the spelling of some Turkish names of people and places quite amusing: These mules and camels also serve to carry tents and armour, and likewise tools and munitions for the campaign. Of the fall of Constantinople and the subjection of Greece to Ottoman rule he writes: