Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/124

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fell; and, after its fall, the Turks made a terrible incursion, through Carniola and Friuli, into the Venetian territory, advancing as far as Vicenza. The next object of Bayazid was to drive Venice out of the Morea; and when she sued for peace he demanded the cession of Modon, Coron, and Nauplia. To this she would not consent; but in the following year Modon was besieged by Bayazid himself, and the garrison, seeing that they could not hold out, set the place on fire and perished in the flames. Hereupon Coron, Navarino, and Aegina capitulated, and nothing was left to the republic but Nauplia, which boldly and successfully defied the foe. But the Venetian fleet suddenly bestirred itself, recaptured Aegina, and, reinforced by a Spanish armament under the greatest captain of the day, Gonzalo of Cordova, conquered Cephalonia. These successes were followed up by neither side in 1501; and when Venice conquered Santa Maura in 1502, a peace ensued. Santa Maura was given back; Cephalonia remained to Venice; Lepanto and the places captured in the Morea were kept by Turkey. In the same year in which this peace was concluded (1503) a treaty for seven years was made between the Porte and Hungary; this was intended to include all the powers of Europe—France and England, Spain, Portugal, and Naples, the Pope and the various States of Italy, Rhodes and Chios, Poland, and Moldavia.

From this moment for the next seventeen years Europe had some respite from the Eastern Question. There was incessant fear of what the Turk might do next, incessant talk of resisting him, incessant negotiations against him; but there was no actual war; almost no Christian territory was won for Islam, and no Christian territory won back for Europe. The attention of the Sultan was drawn eastward; where he had to reckon with a new power; for the lordship of Persia had once more changed hands. The decline of the Turcomans of the White Sheep was clearly shown in the circumstance that on the death of Uzun Hasan nine dynasts (not to speak of rival claimants) succeeded in twenty-four years. Murad, the last of these, succumbed to the power of Ismail, a sheikh of Ardabil, who traced his descent to the Prophet. The decisive battle was fought at Shurur in 1502; and, from his new-won capital at Tavriz, Ismail advanced to the conquest of Persia and Khorasan. The history of modern Persia begins with Ismail, the first Shah—the first of the Safavid dynasty which endured till the middle of the eighteenth century (1736). He called himself a Safavi, from Safi, an ancestor illustrious for piety; and hence to contemporary Europe he was known as the Sofi.

A collision between the new Persian power and the Turks was rendered inevitable by religious fanaticism. To orthodox Sunnites like the Ottomans, the heresy of the Shiites is more obnoxious than the infidelity of the Giaours, who are altogether outside the pale; and, when Bayazid discovered that the Shiite doctrines were being propagated and taking root in certain parts of his Asiatic dominion, he took steps to