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notes that Ialabi, presumably an Ottoman-Muslim merchant by the name
of Celebi,90 lived at that time in Pera together with his wife and family.
¸
If the identi¬cation of Ialabi as an Ottoman on the basis of his name is
correct, then we are in the presence of a rare piece of evidence showing
an Ottoman-Muslim merchant settled in Pera with his family, unlike the
other merchants we have seen so far who were transitory visitors. Although
Ialabi™s place of residence was Pera rather than Constantinople, the evidence
is valuable because it offers a hint as to the degree of the incorporation of
Ottoman merchants into the region™s daily social and economic life.
We have another piece of evidence that does not directly concern Con-
stantinople but is important in giving a glimpse of how merchandise
changed hands in the general region between Ottoman, Byzantine, and
Italian traders. In a letter written from Constantinople at the end of 1438,
Fra Bartolomeo di Giano states that large quantities of goods which were
in high demand among the Turks, steel in particular, were transported
on Italian ships to places such as Adrianople, Gallipoli, and Pera. There
the Italians sold these commodities to Greek and Jewish merchants, who
in turn sold them to the Turks. As Fra Bartolomeo had been living in
88 Cananos, L™assedio di Costantinopoli, p. 60, § 8. Kananos de¬nes the military group as “o¬
strati¤tai” and “o¬ –pistžmonev e«v t‡ ko…rsh kaª toÆv pol”mouv”; the religious group as
“o¬ Tourkokalog”roi,” who were under the leadership of a certain “Mhrsa¹thv” (i.e. Emir Seyyid
Buhari); and the commercial group as “o¬ sarl©dev, tout”sti pragmate“tai, katall†ktai,
muroyoª kaª tzagk†roi.” On Emir Seyyid Buhari, see H. Alg¨ l and N. Azamat, “Emˆr Sultan,”
u ±
™a
T¨ rkiye Diyanet Vakf± Islˆ m Ansiklopedisi, vol. 11 (Istanbul, 1995), pp. 146“8.
u
89 Roccatagliata, Notai genovesi, vol. i, no. 13, pp. 69“71.
90 It is also conceivable, however, that he was a Persian.
207
Constantinople (1403“1453)
Constantinople since 1435, it is likely that he would have had occasion to
be an eyewitness of transactions of this kind that took place in Pera.91
And last but not least, the widespread use of the Ottoman currency
within Constantinople ought to be mentioned as a further indicator of
the signi¬cant role played by the Ottomans in the trade of the eastern
Mediterranean, including the Byzantine capital itself. The frequency of
Badoer™s references to asperi turcheschi and ducati turcheschi in his account
book gives one a clear sense of the regularity with which the Ottoman cur-
rency circulated in the international market of Constantinople during the
¬fteenth century.92 In fact, western merchants trading with the Ottomans
usually changed their money into akces at Constantinople, where bankers
¸
are known to have charged 1 percent on such transactions in the late 1430s.93
Thus, it is not surprising that some people among those ¬‚eeing the city in
1453 had Ottoman akces in their possession.94
¸
In conclusion, the foregoing discussion has demonstrated the indis-
putable Ottoman presence in the economic life of the Byzantine capital,
particularly during the second quarter of the ¬fteenth century. If in the
immediate confusion following Bayezid I™s defeat at the battle of Ankara
Byzantine authorities had grasped the opportunity to do away with the
Turkish quarter, mosque, and kadi of Constantinople, approximately three
decades later circumstances had changed again to allow the re-entry of
Ottoman traders into the city.95 The question that immediately arises is
why or how the Ottoman element was able to regain the place it occupied
in the economic life of the city prior to the battle of Ankara. It would
have been helpful in answering this question to know precisely when this
development took place. While the available evidence reveals that the
activities of Ottoman merchants in the Byzantine capital became especially
intense during the fourth decade of the ¬fteenth century “ whereas between
1403/4 and 1422 the Ottomans appear to have conducted their commercial
transactions with Constantinopolitan traders more frequently in their own

91 Fra Bartolomeo di Giano, “Epistola de crudelitate Turcarum,” in PG 158, col. 1063d. See also col.
1058a, for slave trade through the port of Gallipoli.
92 Badoer, pp. 6, 7, 33, 37, 59, 66, 72, 73, 88, 89, 93“7, 102, 110, 112, 115, 121, 157, 179, 186, 236, 264,
265, 306, 308, 336, 362, 375, 396, 499, 572, 579, etc. Cf. Fleet, European and Islamic Trade, pp. 13“21,
142“6 (Appendix 1).
93 Fleet, European and Islamic Trade, p. 17 and n. 27.
94 A. Roccatagliata, “Con un notaio genovese tra Pera e Chio nel 1453“1454,” RESEE 17 (1979), 224.
95 It should be noted that a similar break did not occur in Thessalonike, where the Ottomans
maintained some role in social and economic affairs even after the battle of Ankara and the
subsequent restoration of the city to Byzantium. This is hardly surprising given that Thessalonike
had been subject to nearly sixteen years of direct Ottoman rule between 1387 and 1402/3. See above,
ch. 5, pp. 101“2.
208 Constantinople
town of Scutari “ it is impossible to establish a conclusive dating in the
absence of sources such as Badoer from the earlier decades of the century.
Nevertheless, in the light of contemporary political developments, it could
be postulated that in 1424 the re-establishment of Byzantium™s status as a
tributary vassal of the Ottoman state played a determining role in the revi-
talization of the activities of Ottoman merchants inside Constantinople. It
may well have been following the peace treaty of 1424 that Ottoman mer-
chants effectively re-entered the Constantinopolitan market and assumed
the economic role which they are known to have played there during the
reign of Bayezid I, when Byzantium had once again been in the position
of a tribute-paying vassal state of the Sultan.
It is worth speculating at this point about the possible effects of the
presence and activities of Ottomans in Constantinople on the Byzantines™
perceptions of and attitudes towards them. While the inhabitants of the
capital were no doubt disturbed and threatened on the whole by the grow-
ing presence of the enemy in their midst, the conditions established thereby
for contact between Byzantines and Ottomans at the personal level must
have encouraged nonetheless greater knowledge of the dreaded enemy,
their society, and their way of life. Consequently, the conventional nega-
tive image of the Ottomans inspired by hostile relations in the political and
military sphere may have become somewhat modi¬ed in an environment
of increased personal contact and day-to-day communication occurring
mainly in the realm of economic life. It is conceivable that under such cir-
cumstances some of the population of Constantinople, rather than main-
taining the stereotypical image of the Turks as “barbarous,” “cruel,” “god-
less,” “lawless,” “licentious,” “lustful,” “ignorant” people, came to regard
the Ottomans and certain aspects of their society in a more favorable and
humane light.96 In this context, the presence of merchants of Byzantine ori-
gin among the Ottomans active in Constantinople must have played some
role, too, in the development of favorable attitudes, by way of exposing
Constantinopolitans to the conditions of their fellow Greeks living under
Ottoman domination. Thus, along with the disappointment and dilemma
caused by the steady decline of Byzantium before the growing power of
96 For earlier examples of Byzantines™ negative image of Turks, see N. Oikonomid`s, “The Turks in
e
the Byzantine rhetoric of the twelfth century,” in Decision Making and Change in the Ottoman
Empire, ed. C. E. Farah (Missouri, 1993), pp. 149“55. For a parallel case of development of
ambivalent attitudes among Italians, see K. Fleet, “Italian perceptions of the Turks in the four-
teenth and ¬fteenth centuries,” Journal of Mediterranean Studies 5/2 (1995), 159“72. See now also
N. Bisaha, Creating East and West: Renaissance Humanists and the Ottoman Turks (Philadelphia,
2004).
209
Constantinople (1403“1453)
the Ottoman state, better knowledge of the Ottomans acquired through
personal encounters and experiences may well have given rise to a more
positive overall assessment of them. After all, it may not have been by pure
coincidence that Makarios Makres composed his four discourses, addressed
to the citizens of Constantinople who were becoming increasingly well-
disposed towards the Ottomans and their religion shortly after the
peace treaty of 1424,97 which, as suggested above, enabled the penetra-
tion of the Ottomans into the commercial market of the Byzantine capital,
thus opening the way for greater interaction and communication between
the two groups.
In the political history of Constantinople during the ¬rst half of the
¬fteenth century, one of the most momentous events after the Byzantine“
Ottoman peace treaty of 1424 was the Council of Ferrara“Florence (1438“9).
As pointed out earlier, the conclusion of the union at the end of this Council
led to an open breach in Byzantine“Ottoman diplomatic relations which
ended the period of external peace that had been in effect since 1424. Even
more importantly, inside Constantinople differences of opinion about the
union resulted in serious problems that left the city™s population divided
during the next fourteen years preceding its conquest by the Ottomans.
Although neither the numbers nor the relative proportion of the unionists
and anti-unionists can be estimated from the sparse statistical evidence, in
general the upper classes, especially people grouped around the imperial
court, were favorably disposed towards the union, whereas opposition to
it came primarily from the lower ranks of society, including monks and
nuns, the lesser clergy, and lay folk.98 As with all generalizations, however,
there were exceptions to the rule. For example, Doukas writes about an
aristocratic woman who was an adversary of the union. This unidenti¬ed
woman had come under the sway of an anti-unionist monk called Neophy-
tos, who served as confessor in the palace and in the homes of magnates,
suggesting that he may have in¬‚uenced other people of high social stand-
ing as well.99 Conversely, Leonardo of Chios reports the existence of a few
unionist monks in Constantinople in 1453.100
Among the upper-class supporters of the union of the Churches, families
or individuals who had extended associations with Italy and Italians can

97 See note 62 above.
98 For a general treatment of the Union of Florence, see Gill, Council of Florence.
99 Doukas“Grecu, XXXVII.6, p. 325. On Neophytos, see PLP, no. 20129 and PG 159, cols. 925c, 930b
(Leonardo of Chios).
100 PG 159, col. 925b.
210 Constantinople
be detected. It might be best to begin with the Goudeles family, since we
have already seen in the previous chapter the close economic and political
ties which two prominent members of this family (George Goudeles and
his son John Goudeles) established with the Genoese in the late fourteenth
century.101 We possess evidence, moreover, suggesting that the family main-
tained its business links with the Italians through the years leading up to
the Council of Florence. During 1437“8, for instance, a cloth merchant by
the name of “Manoli C(h)utela” (Manuel Goudeles?) ¬gures among the
clients of the Venetian merchant Giacomo Badoer, who was stationed then
in Constantinople.102 Supposing that the name “C(h)utela” does indeed
stand for Goudeles, then the presence of this name in Badoer™s account
book signi¬es, ¬rst, that the economic interests of the Goudelai remained
tied in with the Italians during the following generation, and, secondly,
that at this time, if not earlier, the family™s association with the Italians
extended beyond the Genoese to include the Venetians as well. Again, dur-
ing the 1430s a tavernkeeper called Goudeles who was reputed to sell “the
¬nest Cretan wine” is attested in Constantinople. His tavern, which was
situated on the Golden Horn in the vicinity of the Plateia Gate, may well
be identical with a tavern, also run by a Goudeles, where back in 1390 the
Genoese podest` of Pera used to buy his wine.103 In this case too, then, the
a
family™s joint ties with the Genoese and the Venetians (the latter because
of the Cretan connection) are disclosed by the evidence at hand. Another
relevant detail to add is that two sisters belonging to the Goudeles family,
who fell captive to the Ottomans during the conquest of Constantinople,
were ransomed a few years later by the Veneto-Genoese brothers, Troilo
and Antonio Bocchiardi, via Chios.104
Insofar as the family™s stance towards the union of the Churches is
concerned, we know that in the course of Emperor John VIII™s negotia-
tions with the papacy on this matter Nicholas Goudeles was dispatched
as imperial ambassador from Constantinople to Russia with the task of
urging the grand duke of Moscow to participate in the future Council of

101 See above, ch. 7, pp. 157, 159“61.
102 Badoer, pp. 120, 121, 352, 353, 498. It must be noted that the name Ko…telav and its variants
(KoutalŽv, KoutelŽv, Kout†lhv) are attested in Byzantium, which might cast doubt on the
identi¬cation of Badoer™s “C(h)utela” with Goudeles: see PLP, nos. 93900, 13613, 13615“17, 92456.
103 “Com´die de Katablattas,” ed. Canivet and Oikonomid`s, 66“9; Sp. Lampros, “ « O buzantiak¼v
e e
o²kov Goud”lh,” NE 13 (1916), 216“17.
104 According to an unpublished Genoese document, the sisters Erigni and Atanasia Goudelina were
ransomed at the end of 1455/beginning of 1456 for the high sum of 640 ducats of Chios, i.e.
approximately 533 Venetian ducats: see Ganchou, “Le rachat des Notaras,” pp. 222, 226 and
n. 311.
211
Constantinople (1403“1453)
Ferrara“Florence, and from Russia he traveled on to Ferrara.105 Thus, it
may be deduced from his active involvement in the preparations for the
Council that Nicholas was favorably disposed towards the union, which
therefore reveals a consistency between his religio-political stance and the
economic interests of his wider family, even though we have no clue as
to whether Nicholas himself ever personally engaged in trade.106 Further
information about the political or religious dispositions of other mem-
bers of the family points in the same direction too. In 1453 we can trace
two Goudelai among the aristocrats who took active part in the defense
of Constantinople against the Ottomans: the aforementioned Nicholas
Goudeles (eparch of Constantinople according to Ubertino Pusculo and
Nestor-Iskander) and one Manuel Goudeles (who may perhaps be identical
with the cloth merchant in Badoer™s account book). Fighting against the
Ottomans side by side with Nicholas Goudeles was also his father-in-law,
Demetrios Palaiologos, who has recently been fully identi¬ed as Demetrios
Palaiologos Metochites.107 The latter, a high-ranking court of¬cial and gov-
ernor of Constantinople who died together with his sons at the time of the
city™s fall, was one of the imperial legates sent to the Council of Basel in
1433.108 Another son-in-law of Metochites, John Dishypatos, worked even
harder to promote the union of the Churches, going as legate twice to
Basel, in 1433 and 1437, then to Ferrara in 1438, and ¬nally to Florence in
1439. John Dishypatos™ two brothers, George and Manuel, were likewise
deeply involved in the negotiations for union, and later, in 1449 and 1453,
Manuel Dishypatos went on embassies to Pope Nicholas V and to King
Alfonso V of Aragon in order to demand aid against the Ottomans and to

105 Syropoulos, “M´moires,” pp. 162“4, 296, 596. In 1438, Nicholas Goudeles also attended a Diet in
e
Nuremberg as John VIII™s representative: Acta camerae apostolicae et civitatum Venetiarum, Ferrariae,
Florentiae, Ianuae, de Concilio Florentino, ed. G. Hofmann (Rome, 1950), no. 56; cf. Gill, Council
of Florence, p. 137; PLP, no. 4341.
106 At Ferrara Nicholas sold his well-bred horses to John VIII and his brother Demetrios Palaiologos,
who wished to go on a hunting expedition; yet this would not indicate that he engaged in trade
on a regular basis: see Syropoulos, “M´moires,” p. 296.
e
107 Ubertini Pusculi Brixiensis Constantinopoleos Libri IV, in Analekten der mittel- und neugriechischen
Literatur, ed. A. Ellissen, vol. iii (Leipzig, 1857), pp. 64, 80; Leonardo of Chios, in PG 159, col. 935b;
Nestor-Iskander, The Tale of Constantinople (Of its Origins and Capture by the Turks in the Year
1453), trans. W. K. Hanak and M. Philippides (New Rochelle, 1998), pp. 58“9, 60“1, 92“3; cf. p. 126
(n. 68); Belagerung und Eroberung von Constantinopel im Jahre 1453 aus der Chronik von Zorzi Dol¬n,
ed. G. M. Thomas (Munich, 1868), p. 21. See Th. Ganchou, “Le m´sazon D´m´trius Pal´ologue
e ee e
Cantacuz`ne, a-t-il ¬gur´ parmi les d´fenseurs du si`ge de Constantinople (29 mai 1453)?” REB
e e e e
52 (1994), 257ff., esp. 262“3 (for the identi¬cation of Demetrios Palaiologos Metochites). For an
evaluation of the reliability of the sources cited above, see also Th. Ganchou, “Sur quelques erreurs
relatives aux derniers d´fenseurs grecs de Constantinople en 1453,” Qhsaur©smata 25 (1995), 61“4.
e
108 PLP, no. 17981.
212 Constantinople
obtain provisions for Constantinople.109 Presumably, Demetrios Palaio-
logos Goudeles, mesazon, oikeios, and cousin of Manuel II, who signed
the Byzantine“Venetian treaties of May 22, 1406, October 30, 1418, and
September 30, 1423 may also be counted among members of the Goudeles
family with pro-Latin sympathies.110
Viewed collectively, then, all this information leads to the conclusion
that the Goudeles family and its immediate circle not only upheld strong
economic ties with the Italians but also maintained a corresponding polit-
ical/religious allegiance to the Latin world which was complemented in
several cases by a visible opposition to the Ottomans. In other words, the
economic interests that drew members of this family to Italian-dominated
markets also in¬‚uenced their religio-political stance, which was typically

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