Online Encyclopedia

SWAN PASHA (1515-1596)

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Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 141 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SWAN PASHA (1515-1596), Turkish soldier and statesman, was an Albanian of low origin. In 1569 he was appointed governor of Egypt and was occupied until 1571 in the conquest of Yemen. In 1574 he commanded the great expedition against Tunis, which, in spite of the brave defence by the Spanish and Italian garrison, was added to the Ottoman empire. In 1580 Sinan commanded the army against Persia and was appointed grand vizier, but was disgraced and exiled in the following year, owing to the rout of his lieutenant Mahommed Pasha, at Gori, in an attempt to provision the Turkish garrison of Tiflis. He subsequently became governor of Damascus and, in 1589, after the great revolt of the Janissaries, was appointed grand vizier for the second time. Another revolt of Janissaries led to his dismissal in 1591, but in 1593 he was again recalled to become grand vizier for the third time, and in the same year he commanded the Turkish army against Hungary. In spite of his victories he was again deposed in February 1595, shortly after the accession of Mahommed III., and banished to Malghara; but in August was in power again and on the march to Wallachia. The unhappy course of this campaign, culminating in the fall of Gran, brought him once more into disfavour, and he was deprived of the seal of office (November 19). The death of his successor, Lala Mahommed, three days later, was looked on as a sign from heaven, and Sinan became grand vizier for the fifth time. He died suddenly on the 3rd of April 1596. Bold, overbearing and unscrupulous, Sinan recoiled from no baseness to put a rival out of the way; while his insolence was not confined to foreign ambassadors, but was exercised towards his opponents in the sultan's presence. He had a barbarous hatred not only for Christians but for all civilization. The immense fortune which he left is a proof of his rapacity. Another Sinan Pasha was governor of Anatolia at the time of Mahommed II.'s death in 1481. He was a brother-in-law of Bayezid II. and defeated Prince Jem's troops at Brusa. In Selim I.'s reign he served with great distinction in the Persian and Egyptian campaigns and fell at the battle of Ridania, where the Mamelukes were defeated, in 1517. A third Sinan Pasha, brother of the grand vizier Rustem Pasha, was grand admiral under Suleiman I. and died about 1553. See J. v. Hammer-Purgstall, Gesch. des Osmanischen Reiches (2nd ed.. Pesth. 1840), and authorities there cited.
End of Article: SWAN PASHA (1515-1596)
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