Online Encyclopedia

MURAD I

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 14 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MURAD I., surnamed Khudavendighiar (1319–1389), was the son of Orkhan and the Greek princess Nilofer, and succeeded his father in 1359. He was the first Turkish monarch to obtain a definite footing in Europe, and his main object throughout his career was to extend the European dominions of Turkey. The revolts of the prince of Caramania interfered with the realization of this plan, and trouble was caused from this quarter more than once during his reign until the decisive battle of Konia (1387), when the power of the prince of Caramania was broken. The state of Europe facilitated Murad's projects: civil war and anarchy prevailed in most of the countries of Central Europe, where the feudal system was at its last gasp, and the small Balkan states were divided by mutual jealousies. The capture of Adrianople, followed by other conquests, brought about a coalition under the king of Hungary against Murad, but his able lieutenant Lalashahin, the first beylerbey of Rumelia, defeated the allies at the battle of the Maritsa in 1363. In 1366 the king of Servia was defeated at Samakov and forced to pay tribute. Kustendil, Philippopolis and Nish fell into the hands of the Turks; a renewal of the war in 1381 led to the capture of Sofia two years later. Europe was now aroused; Lazar, king of Servia, formed an alliance with the Albanians, the Hungarians and the Moldavians against the Turks. Murad hastened back to Europe and met his enemies on the field of Kossovo (1389). Victory finally inclined to the side of the Turks. When the rout of the Christians was complete, a Servian named Milosh Kabilovich penetrated to Murad's tent on pretence of communicating an important secret to the sultan, and stabbed the conqueror. Murad was of independent character and remarkable intelligence. He was fond of pleasure and luxury; cruel and cunning. Long relegated to the command of a distant province in Asia, while his brother Suleiman occupied an enviable post in Europe, he became revengeful; thus he exercised great cruelty in the repression of the rebellion of his son Prince Sauji, the first instance of a sultan's son taking arms against his father. Murad transferred the Ottoman capital from Brusa to Adrianople, where he built a palace and added many embellishments to the town. The development of the feudal system of timars and ziamets and its extension to Europe was largely his work.
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