Wednesday, June 28, 2017

1463, A Really Strange War


This year in north Europe
                     [took place a battle at the river Vistula mouth,
while the Venetians,
                     [were fighting with the Ottomans in the south.

In north the navy of the Prussian Confederation,
is battling the navy of the Teutonic Order
                                                [in a war with unclear causation,
a really strange war, according to books and other sources,
between the Teutonic knights and the Prussian-Polish forces...

It was the largest naval battle of the Thirteen Years' War,
the biggest victory of Poles and Prussia at sea and ashore ...

Same time in south Europe,
               [the First Ottoman–Venetian War was fought
between the Venice and the Ottoman Empire,
                            [which border changes brought.....

Fought shortly after the capture of Constantinople
                                                             [and the remnants,
of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottomans,
                                                       [which caused resentments,
of the Venetians who were dominated,
                                 [at many of these territories ....

In a lot of the books mentioned Crusader stories,
there is a description of the bloody conquest
                [of those Greek lands by coreligionists Christians...
Stories that are not forgotten,
                                      [despite the great temporal distance...

''IT COULD BE OTHERWISE  in verse''  
Texts and Narration: Odysseus Heavilayias - ROTTERDAM //
Language adjustments and text
adaptation: Kellene G Safis - CHICAGO//

Digital adaptation and text editing: Cathy Rapakoulia Mataraga - PIRAEUS//

The Fourth Crusade, In April 1204, the crusaders and Venetians captured and brutally sacked Constantinople, and set up a new Latin Empire as well as partitioning other Byzantine(Greek) territories among themselves.
The Crusaders looted, terrorized, and vandalized Constantinople for three days, during which many ancient and medieval Roman and Greek works were either stolen or destroyed. 
The famous bronze horses from the Hippodrome were sent back to adorn the façade of St Mark's Basilica in Venice, where they remain. As well as being stolen, works of immeasurable artistic value were destroyed merely for their material value.
One of the most precious works to suffer such a fate was a large bronze statue of Hercules, created by the legendary Lysippos, court sculptor of Alexander the Great. Like so many other priceless artworks made of bronze, the statue was melted down for its content by the Crusaders. The great Library of Constantinople was destroyed as well.
Despite their oaths and the threat of excommunication, the Crusaders systematically violated the city's holy sanctuaries, destroying or stealing all they could lay hands on; nothing was spared, not even the tombs of the emperors inside the St Apostles church.
The civilian population of Constantinople were subject to the Crusaders' ruthless lust for spoils and glory; thousands of them were killed in cold blood. Women, even nuns, were raped by the Crusader army, which also sacked churches, monasteries and convents. The very altars of these churches were smashed and torn to pieces for their gold and marble by the warriors. Although the Venetians engaged in looting too, their actions were far more restrained. Doge Dandolo still appeared to have far more control over his men. Rather than wantonly destroying all around like their comrades, the Venetians stole religious relics and works of art, which they would later take to Venice to adorn their own churches.
It was said that the total amount looted from Constantinople was about 900,000 silver marks, or 600,000 troy pounds. The Venetians received 150,000 silver marks that was their due and the Crusaders received 50,000 silver marks. A further 100,000 silver marks were divided evenly between the Crusaders and Venetians. The remaining 500,000 silver marks were secretly kept back by many Crusader knights.
The Fourth Crusade is considered to be one of the final acts in the Great Schism between the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church.
Byzantine resistance based in unconquered sections of the empire such as Nicaea, Trebizond, and Epirus ultimately recovered Constantinople in 1261.

* The Thirteen Years' War,  The Battle of Vistula Lagoon (Polish: Bitwa na Zalewie Wiślanym or Polish: Bitwa w Zatoce Świeżej) was fought on September 15, 1463 between the navy of the Teutonic Order, and the navy of the Prussian Confederation which was allied with the King of Poland, as part of the Thirteen Years' War. The battle was the largest naval battle of the war, and one of the two battles (along with Battle of Świecino) which decided the final outcome of the war.
The Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Ludwig von Erlichshausen, led the Teutonic fleet, in an attempt to come to the aid of the city of Mewe ("Gniew") via the Vistula River, which had been besieged by Polish forces since July, 1463. The Teutonic knights assembled 44 ships, mostly fishing boats, along with several galleys, staffed by 2500 men, of which around 1500 were armed.
The Prussian ships were led by privateers Vincent Stolle and Matthew Kolmener, of Gdańsk; and Jacob Vochs of Elbląg; with support from troops of the Polish king, Casimir IV Jagiellon. Initially the Gdańsk sailors, facing the incoming Teutonic flotilla alone, had only ten "szniks" (light sail boats common in the Baltic in the 15th century) which were staffed with five hundred men armed with crossbows and arquebuses. To delay the enemy, they sank a galley at a narrow part of the Vistula, which blocked the entrance from the lagoon to the river. Coming upon the obstacle, von Erlichshausen stalled long enough for the Elbląg ships to join up with those of Gdańsk. Together, the two cities had around 30 ships of various types, 600 to 700 armed men, and a similar number of sailors manning the ships themselves. Von Erlichshausen ordered a withdrawal into the lagoon where his ships bunched up close to the shore. The cities' ships on the other hand, came out of the river into the lagoon and formed themselves into a crescent formation.
Despite having fewer ships, the Prussians (as more experienced sailors) were victorious. They gained control of the Vistula. Among the captured knights was Hans Hetzel, the komtur of Memel (Klaipėda).
As a result of the battle, Mewe capitulated to Polish forces in 1464, and the Teutonic Navy was eliminated as a viable force. A number of mercenaries in the Order's service, including Bernard Szumborski, left the Teutonic side and signed an independent peace treaty with the Polish king, and the Poles and the Prussian Confederation seized the initiative in the Thirteen Years' War. The war itself ended with the signing of the Second Peace of Toruń in 1466 and the incorporation of Royal Prussia, including Gdańsk and Elbląg into Poland.

* The First Ottoman–Venetian War, was fought between the Republic of Venice and her allies and the Ottoman Empire from 1463 to 1479. Fought shortly after the capture of Constantinople and the remnants of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottomans, it resulted in the loss of several Venetian holdings in Albania and Greece, most importantly the island of Negroponte (Euboea), which had been a Venetian protectorate for centuries. The war also saw the rapid expansion of the Ottoman navy, which became able to challenge the Venetians and the Knights Hospitaller for supremacy in the Aegean Sea. In the closing years of the war however, the Republic managed to recoup its losses by the de facto acquisition of the Crusader Kingdom of Cyprus.

 ELEGHOS... at history 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

1462, Prince Vlad the III Dracul

      1462 Romania

Transylvania Moldavia, Wallachia, ie today's Romania,
which use to be  Hungary, up through  the Balkans, 
                                                (and perhaps soon up to Lithuania),
Now, in the Medieval era all they are under
                                                [the Turk Muhammad II occupation....

From the events of this year I will write about one,
                                        [actually a person is my real temptation,
Count Dracula, whom we all know from,
                        [various movies, that scare viewers,
banishing crosses are his pursuers......

The Turks allowed Wallachia to have autonomy,
according to the usual Ottoman political economy,
provided that they will appoint the Voivode,
                                                      [ie Wallachia's leader...
In essence he was a tax collector,
                           [otherwise Sultan's feeder,
with money, as the conquered were paid annual tax

One of these Voivodes stopped paying,
                  [and picked up the sword, the cross and the ax ....

It was Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler.
The Turks called him, tumbler, saboteur, derailer,
because he fought them, proud victories he attained,
and trust and admiration of his people gained ...

He was a horribly cruel man but an effective warlord and disciplinarian.

For the Saxons he was an obstacle, as he controlled the trade routes, 
                                                               [and treated him with a way vulgarian.....

They distributed grotesque poems hardness and other propaganda,
                                        [demonizing Vlad III Dracula as a vampire, a blood drinker.
But the truth no one has ever been able to hide,
                                   from a well-known person, a thinker ...

''IT COULD BE OTHERWISE  in verse''  
Texts and Narration: Odysseus Heavilayias - ROTTERDAM //
Language adjustments and text adaptation: Kellene G Safis - CHICAGO//
Digital adaptation and text editing: Cathy Rapakoulia Mataraga - PIRAEUS//

Vlad's signature
  * Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler (Romanian: Vlad Țepeș or Vlad Dracula was voivode (or prince) of Wallachia three times between 1448 and his death. 
He was the second son of Vlad Dracul, who became the ruler of Wallachia in 1436. 
Vlad's reputation for cruelty and his patronymic gave rise to the name of the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.
The Saxons were furious with Vlad III Dracula for strengthening the boarders of Wallachia, which interfered with their stranglehold on the trade routes. 
In retaliation, the Saxons distributed grotesque poems of cruelty and other propaganda, demonizing Vlad III Dracula as a drinker of blood. 
These tales strongly influenced an eruption of vampiric fiction throughout the West and, in particular, Germany.

 ELEGHOS... at history