… your brethren who live in the east are in urgent need of your help, and you must hasten to give them the aid which has often been promised them. For, as the most of you have heard, the Turks and Arabs have attacked them and have conquered the territory as far west as the shore of the Mediterranean and the Hellespont… They have occupied more and more of the lands of those Christians, and have overcome them in seven battles. They have killed and captured many, and have destroyed the churches and devastated the empire. If you permit them to continue thus for awhile with impurity, the faithful of God will be much more widely attacked by them. On this account I beseech you as Christ’s heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends… Urban II


The Grand Turk : Sultan Mehmet II – conqueror of Constantinople, master of an empire  John Freely Hardcover.  xvii, 265 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., maps, ports. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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Sultan Mehmet II, known to his countrymen as “the Conqueror” and to much of Europe as “the Terror of the World,” was once Europe’s most feared and powerful ruler. Freely brings to life this eastern hero of one of the least known histories in the west.

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Mehmet was barely twenty-one when he conquered Byzantine Constantinople, which he decimated into Istanbul and the capital of his mighty empire. Mehmet reigned for thirty years, during which time his armies extended the borders of his empire halfway across Asia Minor and as far into Europe as Hungary and Italy. Three popes called for crusades against him as Christian Europe came face to face with a ruthless new Muslim empire.

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Revered by the Turks and seen as a brutal tyrant by the West, Mehmet was an accomplished military leader as well as a renaissance prince. His court housed Persian and Turkish poets, Arab and Greek astronomers, and Italian scholars and artists – many, if not most, enslaved as the spoils of war. In the first biography of Mehmet in thirty years, Freely finds nothing but praise as he whitewashes this tyrant attempting to illuminate a man – and not a monster – behind the myths.

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Comments Off on … your brethren who live in the east are in urgent need of your help, and you must hasten to give them the aid which has often been promised them. For, as the most of you have heard, the Turks and Arabs have attacked them and have conquered the territory as far west as the shore of the Mediterranean and the Hellespont… They have occupied more and more of the lands of those Christians, and have overcome them in seven battles. They have killed and captured many, and have destroyed the churches and devastated the empire. If you permit them to continue thus for awhile with impurity, the faithful of God will be much more widely attacked by them. On this account I beseech you as Christ’s heralds to publish this everywhere and to persuade all people of whatever rank, foot-soldiers and knights, poor and rich, to carry aid promptly to those Christians and to destroy that vile race from the lands of our friends… Urban II

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