17 February 1568 The Treaty of Edirne / Drinápoly
After the fall of Szigetvár castle in 1566, peace had to be made between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans. Although Szigetvár, this strategic Borderland castle of Hungary was lost, the Turks paid a huge price for it. Not only did 20,000 Ottoman soldiers perish during the siege but Sultan Suleiman ended his life there. In the 17th century, Cardinal Richelieu described the siege of Szigetvár as “the battle that saved civilization.” Indeed, the heroic last stand of Croatian and Hungarian soldiers, led by Zrínyi Miklós (Nikola Šubić Zrinski) have saved western Europe from the onslaught of the Ottoman Empire. Here is more about Szigetvár:
With the fall of Szigetvár castle, Baranya County was completely lost to the enemy and the Hungarians’ ethnic rate suffered further damage in the whole trans-Danubian Region because the Turks could extend their borders to the west. Let us not forget, the Hungarian Kingdom was still existing, with a Habsburg king who had to keep the Hungarian laws and constitution. The Holy Roman Empire could never consume Hungary because the Hungarian warriors were essential to defending Vienna.
These lands were not only perfect bumper states and battlefields but good income, too. Hungary and Croatia, the Bulwark of Europe, along with the fabulous Mining Towns of North Hungary were feeding the HRE, not to mention the rapidly developing cattle trade. Some modern historians already dare say that the Habsburgs pumped less money into paying the soldiers on the Hungarian Borderland than the amount they earned from the situation.
It was the Habsburg empire that sent envoys to the sultan to plead for peace in the summer of 1567. The talks began in Drinápoly (Edirne). Emperor Maximilian II (we call him Miksa) wanted a truce for 10 years but Sultan Selim II was willing to agree to an 8-year-peace. However, he remarked that the treaty could be renewed after the expiration date. The negotiations lasted for more than six months. The Habsburgs were represented by Bishop Verancsics Antal (aka Antun Vrančić, Antonius Wrancius Sibenicensis Dalmata) and Teuffenbach Kristóf.
The envoys of Maximilian could achieve slightly better terms than in 1547, but the result still remained quite disadvantageous. First of all, the emperor had to acknowledge the Ottoman conquest between 1552 and 1566. Both parties were banned to launch new campaigns to gain more lands. It was the “status quo”. They agreed not to attack Transylvania, and Transylvania was not allowed to attack the Habsburgs or the Ottomans either. Read more about Transylvania and find out whether it was a mere vassal state of the Ottomans or not:
Also, the Treaty guaranteed the safety of their subjects and granted them the freedom to move. The trade with slaves and prisoners of war was banned, too. Envoys were supposed to travel unhurt. Certain lands, castles, towns, and villages belonging to Transylvania (laying between Transylvania and the Tisza river) could be bartered with lands and settlements belonging to the Ottoman Occupied Lands, mainly on the border. On top of these, the Habsburgs were obliged to pay an annual tax of 30,000 Hungarian gold Forints to the sultan.
We should note, this sum was bigger than the tax paid by the Transylvanians. The Transylvanians paid 10,000gold pieces at the beginning, then it rose to 15,000 in the 1570s. This tax was reduced to 10,000 Forints after 1606, though. There were periods, like during the reign of Prince Bethlen when Transylvania paid no taxes. Later, prince rákóczi volunteered to pay 20,000 Forints just to bribe the Ottomans, hoping they would let him grant more independent foreign politics. However, after his disastrous Polish war, in the worst days of Transylvania, after the fall of Várad in 1660, the tax was doubled to 40,000 Forints.
The Treaty of Edirne marked the end of the period of the so-called “Great Castle-Wars” between the Ottomans and the Hungarians. There was a relatively peaceful period when military actions were limited and sieges with artillery were not allowed. Yet, the “small war” was raging all the same on the Borderland: the Ottomans were “softening” up the castle chain, as usual, isolating the Borderland castles from their supporting villages by burning and pillaging the countryside. At the same time, the Hungarian hussars were ambushing them wherever they could. The new war began only in 1591/93 and it was the devastating 15-Year-War that caused even more destruction than any wars before. To learn more about the lay of the land a bit better, you can find more maps on my page:
If you like my writings, please feel free to support me with a coffee here:
This article contains Amazon ads. By purchasing through these links, you can help my work at no added cost to you. Below, you can find my books in various editions (color/black-and-white, paperback, hardcover, ebook) Thank you very much.
My work can also be followed and supported on Patreon: