Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/125

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check the evil by transporting suspected persons to Greece. The Shah Ismail then came forward as the protector of the Shiites, and called upon the Turkish Sultan to allow adherents of that belief to leave his realm. But, though the Shah is said to have insulted the Sultan by giving the name of Bayazid to a fattened swine, war did not break out in Bayazid's days. The Persian monarch showed his anticipation of trouble by entering into negotiations with the western powers, as Uzun Hasan had done before; and a Persian embassy was welcomed at Venice though the Signory openly declared that there was no intention of breaking the peace: two years before they had given up Alessio in Albania, in order to avoid a breach.

On the side of the south too, Bayazid's dominions had been threatened. The Mamluk Sultan of Egypt, Sayf ad-Din (1468-95), had espoused the cause of Jem, to whose mother he had given an asylum; had interfered in the affairs of Sulkadr, a small Turcoman lordship in Cappadocia; and had asserted authority in the regions of Lesser Armenia,—even as in ancient days the Ptolemies had thrown out an arm to grasp Cilicia. Tarsus, Adana, and other places passed under Egyptian rule, and in 1485 war openly broke out between the Mamluk and the Ottoman Sultans. An important victory was won by the Egyptian in 1488; but a peace was patched up in 1491, and lasted during the rest of Bayazid's reign.

The tremendous earthquake which sent a thrill through the world in 1509 laid Constantinople in ruins; the Sultan himself fled to Hadrianople. But an oriental autocrat in those days could rebuild quickly; and with a host of workmen, worthy of a Pharaoh or a Babylonian King, Bayazid restored the city in a few months. The last days of the old Sultan were embittered by the rebellion and rivalry of his sons, Ahmad, Corcud, and Selim. He destined Ahmad as his successor, and thought of abdicating the throne in his favour; but Selim, a man of action and resolution, was determined that this should not be. From the province of Trebizond of which he was the governor, he marched to Europe at the head of an army, and appearing at the gates of Hadrianople, demanded to be assigned an European province. He wished to be near the scene of action when the moment came. He demanded too that his father should not abdicate in favour of Ahmad. Both demands were agreed to. But at this juncture news arrived that Corcud had revolted; and thereupon Selim seized Hadrianople. This was too much. His sire took the field and defeated him in a battle; and he fled for refuge to the Crimea. But the cause of Ahmad was not won. The Janissaries, whose hearts had been captivated by the bold stroke of Selim, broke out in mutiny and riot when Ahmad drew nigh to take possession of the throne, and were pacified only by a pledge from Bayazid that this design should not be carried out. Ahmad thereupon sought to get Asia Minor into his power; Corcud intrigued at the same time for