Dukes of Burgundy – the Protagonists of the 15th Century Crusade and the Georgian Kings’ and Rulers’ Respective Stance

DOI: 10.55804/jtsuSPEKALI-17-1


In the 15th century, the result of the expansionist policy of the Ottomans was so impressive that the Europeans, traditionally, considered all potential allies in their crusade plans, including the Georgian kings. Based on the comparison of European sources and local materials, the article aims, on the one hand, to highlight the political and socio-economic factors related to the position-involvement of the Georgian rulers in one of the most problematic international issues; on the other hand, the complex processing of 15th century sources (reports of trade agents, travelers, representatives of religious missions and spies, etc.), some of which are still not included in scientific circulation, will explore the situation in the Black Sea region and Georgia of that period – insight into the development prospects and perceptions and apart from the Roman Curia, who and why could be an ally and supporter among the political leaders in the West. To outline why the article considers the Dukes of Burgundy consistent with the crusade ideology and how this support was manifested. The relevance of the research question is determined by the need to know the historical prerequisites, which make the current dynamics in the Western integration more understandable.

Since the end  of the 14th century, the peoples of the Black Sea coast, South-Eastern Europe and the Danube coast, together with the weakened Byzantine Empire, had to face the Ottoman threat. Even in far Western Europe, prescience people realized that if no measures had been taken, the whole Europe would have faced a similar challenge. Without a proper response, the positions obtained in the Levant, the Black Sea, the Balkans, and the Aegean Sea archipelago, as well as the established trade and communication network, would have been doomed for an inevitable gradual transformation. By having the Ottomans control important trade routes [1], the well-thought out mechanism of international transit trade would have been destroyed. However, not everyone perceived the danger in the same way  [2].

King Sigismund of Hungary was rather concerned about the Ottomans’ advances in the Balkans - he managed to influence both Pontifices,[3]  who were in the Schism process, to declare Crusade, which even Venice could not avoid now [Кардини, 2007:155].  In the West, out of country officials and rulers, Philip II the Bold, duke of Burgundy was the one who pledged his support to the Crusade; he allocated finances and assigned his son, John the Fearless,[4] the head of the military campaign [5]. However, as it is known, the promising initiative in the territory of today's Bulgaria ended unfavorably - the defeat at Nikopol was a dark moment in the history of the Crusades and, together with the Black Plague, created fertile ground for the apocalyptic prophecies spread in Europe at the end of the 14th century. Not even separate chivalric expeditions from the West could change the general situation and mindset of that time [6]. The perspectives in Europe radically changed by the appearance of Timur (//Tamerlane - his appearance was no less dramatic for the peoples of the Near and Middle East and the Caucasus, including Georgians, causing irreversible processes in this region). Narratives about John the Presbyter, magic, miracles, and the help coming from the far Asia at the aid of Christians were given a new perspective; also, the idea of a unified empire similar to the Mongols - "pax mongolica", which would provide fast and safe trade routes for Europeans was reconsidered [Кардини, 2007:157].  In such a situation, it was still relevant to resort to one of the tried-and-tested routes, which was also important for Georgia’s positioning on the international arena – the route was the following: route through the Black Sea - to the Caucasus and through Iran - to Far East. Byzantine Empire also happened to opt for an additional move on the political “chessboard”, which was doomed for defeat [7]. Indeed, “if Genoa and Venice had offered suitable ships to the brilliant Mongol warlord to block the Bosphorus-Dardanelles, the course of history would have altered” (translated from Georgian) [Кардини, 2007: 158]. The outcome of the Battle of Ankara in 1402 is well known. Despite the devastating strike, territorial decrease or weakening of military and economic potential, the Ottoman empire did not become a part of the Timur’s  Empire, and the empire itself, after the death of its creator, dominated by different rulers (Qara-Yusuf, Ahmad Jalayir, Timur’s  predecessors – Miran  shah and Abu Sa’id Mirza), became an arena of merciless battles, which led the Turkic peoples’ occupying the dominant positions in the Middle East. The marauding invaders did not go beyond the Caucasus countries, including Georgia, ending the lives of two royals in the fight against them [ჯავახიშვილი, 1982:228-234].  Instead of taking advantage of the weakening of the Ottomans, acting with a joint force and using an opportune moment, “the Crusades of the 15th century in the Eastern Mediterranean were manifested in the confrontation between Venice and Genoa that was backed by France” (translated from Georgian) [Кардини, 2007:158]. However, the 15th century did not have the crusading ideas fade away, nor did it have a noticeable lack of idealists.

In 1421, the Duke of Burgundy, Philip III (the Good),[8] who soon after the beginning of the third stage of the Hundred Years’ War became an ally of the King of England and the creator of the Treaty of Troyes,[9] decided to revive the crusading ideals of his predecessors, his father and grandfather. The King of England, Henry V Lancaster, after declaring himself the ruler of England and France, immediately planned a crusade against the Turks, which called for the monarchs of Christendom, and which was to be led by Henry V himself. A possible crusade was a manifestation of Christian World under one ruling (an ambition most clearly expressed by Charles V of Habsburg in the following century). Therefore, Henry V heavily relied on his most valuable ally on the continent, the Duke of Burgundy, and his statesman with outstanding diplomatic skills in Europe of that time, namely the Flemish Guillebert de Lannoy, who was an eager traveler, an adviser to the Duke of Burgundy, and an active figure in the diplomatic arena.[10] The extent of Lannoy’s travels (both missionary and political) and diplomatic communications is rather impressive [Wade Labarge, 2005:156-157]. This is evidenced in the journal that he kept not only for formal diplomatic trips, but also for any type of travel, regardless of goals, tasks or location. The fact that Lannoy was a brilliant observer, driven by curiosity and distinguished with accuracy and, at the same time, with the ability to be laconic and emotionally neutral, makes his notes (Voiages et Ambassades) a valuable source for reconstructing the realities of that turbulent epoch. And even though there were number of prominent diplomats specializing in the East-West relations at the court of the Duke of Burgundy, who (except for the Roman Curia with centuries-old experience) was the most consistent and faithful supporter of the crusading perspectives among the Western European leaders of the 14th-15th centuries, it was no accidental that by the 1420s, Philip the Good and Henry V Lancaster had settled on Gilbert de Lannoy in their search for a candidate to send to the East.

It was Gilbert de Lannoy who had to study the political climate, military readiness and sentiments among Christians of that time to make the said expedition possible. Interestingly, the surveillance mission in the Holy Land was not known even to most members of his team; there were many details that were kept secret in the formal meetings held by Gilbert de Lannoy throughout the route - accordingly, there were separate reports devoted to such  meetings [Wade Labarge, 2005:156-157]. To fulfil his true aims, it was required to conduct formal visits and form diplomatic ties with rulers who controlled certain parts of the potential route of a feasible military campaign in Syria and Palestine. Their support would become necessary if the army was to advance. This whole initiative is rather interesting to explore the traveling diplomat’s personality [Wade Labarge, 1976], as well as the scale of the joint platform of the potential Crusade and the geographical and economic-political details that the implementers of the initiative should have considered; the route of the journey itself and the political figures that Lannoy visited is rather fascinating. From the list of visited figures, there were the following: Master of the Teutonic Order at the territory of Northern Poland; King of Poland, Władysław V to the South – he was Turkey’s ally against Hungary; Vytautas the Great (Witold) at the territory of modern Ukraine, which was part of Lithuania at that time – his territories served as a kind of a buffer zone, a border between the East and the West; along with the Wallachian, Russian and Tatar guides assigned by the Lithuanian Voivode, Lannoy traveled to the Danube, and by meeting with the Voivode of Wallachia and Moldavia, Alexander I, specified how difficult the confrontation in the Ottoman Sultanate was after the death of the Sultan (whom he was going to visit), both on Greece and Asian lands [Halecki, 1944: 314-331].  That time, the diplomat had to face a change of plans [11] – he did not cross the Danube to continue his journey overland to Constantinople; instead, he set off for the Genoese port of Kaffa on the Black Sea, but faced many dangers in the territories controlled by the Crimean Tatars and had to go through great struggles to reach the city [Wade Labarge, 2005:159-160].

Gilbert de Lannoy seems to have been instructed by Henry V and Philip, duke of Burgundy, to mark all possible routes for the effective movement of the military contingent. This is thought to be the reason of his persistent quest for a guide who could lead him around the Black Sea to Jerusalem. If having chosen the said route, Georgian lands should also have been included in his observation project,[12] although Lannoy’s final decision was to arrive in Constantinople by ship. The Byzantine capital was his official diplomatic port of call, where he was presented with letters and gifts from King Henry V. In the background of the gloomy situation in Constantinople, which was caused by the effective advances of the Turks, the diplomat emphasized the importance of the agreement reached between England and France by the Treaty of Troyes and put forward the two ruler’s desire to encourage Byzantine Empire to overcome the Schism between the Latin and Greek churches.  Moreover, at that time, papal legates were also present there to discuss certain religious matters with Emperor Manuel and his successor, the future John VIII.[13]

After his departure from Constantinople, Lannoy left some of his followers and baggage on the island of Rhodes, and, accompanied by a herald, set out for the Holy Land as a pilgrim, at the same time, acting as an observer of the terrain of the Holy Land and its general environment. Upon his return, the king of England had already been deceased and it was no longer possible to proceed with the planned crusade.[14] The close political connection between England and Burgundy was also no longer relevant. However, among Western European leaders, the biggest supporter of the crusading ideals still had a strong desire to fight this war: even 10 years later, the duke of Burgundy, this time without the king of England, continued to send agents and observers to the East for the same purpose. In addition, he supported the Balkan patriots.

As mentioned earlier, in the 20s and 50s of the 15th century, throughout Western Europe, Philip the Good, the representative of the third generation of the Dukes of Burgundy, was most actively interested in the search for potential military allies in the east, alternatives to the movement of troops and, in general, the encouraging of the crusading initiative (excluding the popes). He did make consistent efforts to realize this idea. The relationship between the Ottomans and Venice along with Genoa was indeed difficult and complex, although they were not distinguished by their loyalty to the idea of the Crusades - parallel to the common initiatives of the Christian West, their negotiations with the Ottomans and betrayal of the common cause of the Crusaders were not that uncommon.

Ten years after Gilbert de Lannoy’s journey, there was another observer from the Dutchy of Burgundy who set out for the East. It was Knight Bertrandon de la Broquière.[15] According to his report, Bertrandon de la Broquière’s travels were intended to inform anyone who planned to take Jerusalem and lead his armies across the sea. The report would assist the main initiator to learn the significance and purpose of every town and geographical unit to be passed. As it seems, the duke of Burgundy (whether being an ally of the King of England or not) was still trying to create a set of reports that would be useful for a future crusade. Consequently, he commissioned Broquière to explore the Turkish lands, which Lannoy had been unable to pay a visit to ten years earlier due to the civil war raging there. Essentially, Broquière’s main task was to gather information about alternative routes.

The traveler, who was heading to eastward, had to take the following route in Europe: after arriving in Rome, Italy, he set sail for Venice, from where he sailed to Jaffa. When traveling to the Holy Land and, especially, when visiting Jerusalem, he presented himself as an ordinary pilgrim; however, unlike his predecessor from Flanders, Broquière rarely included detailed descriptions of shrines and ports in his notes [Wade Labarge, 2005: 222-229].

The search for alternatives encouraged the traveler to travel back using the internal roads – he travelled from Damascus with a caravan (which included many Muslims from Eastern countries - Moors, Turks, Tatars, Persians, etc.) to reach Aleppo and after crossing the Taurus Mountains and the harsh terrain of Anatolia, he arrived in Constantinople. This route demonstrates that he managed to study the places and roads little known to Europeans, the places, which his predecessor had been unable to explore [Wade Labarge, 2005: 222-229].

Because Bertrandon de la Broquière was a courier for one of the most ardent Western European rulers, he was given unhindered opportunity to explore Constantinople properly and was easily integrated into Byzantine high society. This explains why his narration and description of places he saw are so lively, authentic and interesting - he liked the condition of the walls of Constantinople, although noticed the lack of maintenance; he attended the ceremonies in the church and was fascinated by the beauty of the princess of Trebizond, John VIII’s spouse; Bertrandon de la Broquière even mentioned talking to the emperor about Joan of Arc.

Observing the Turks, Bertrandon de la Broquière noted that their expulsion was not that unattainable: according to him, if noble people and excellent rulers from France, England and Germany united, and if they were in sufficient numbers, it was quite possible to reach Jerusalem by land [Bertrandon de la Broquière, 1892 :150-165; Васильев,  2013: 318 ].  Bertrandon de la Broquière travelled back from Constantinople to France via the Balkans, Hungary, Austria and Germany, and interestingly, on the way back, he made rather informative notes on alternative routes, as well as on the fighting skills, military potential, and military styles and methods of the peoples of Eastern Europe – he managed to provide this information due to the fact that he travelled using the routes that were different from the ones his predecessor had embarked on.

Thanks to the reports of two eager and capable observers, Philip the Good had the opportunity to be equipped with the new and enriched information about the Muslim lands that were under the control of the Ottomans and beyond, the former characteristics and fighting potential of the locals, which might have been useful if resorting to the crusade against them. Both travelers had similar views on the military potential of the Turks and similar estimations that fighting them would not be easy. However, Philip the Good never gave up on the idea of a crusade, which as he considered, could serve as a kind of leverage to resolve the tension with the Holy Roman Emperor over its attempted expansion into Burgundy. The Pope’s recognition of the Duke of Burgundy as the sole leader of the crusade would allow Philip the Good to assume the status of the warrior king (Belator Rex), whom the ideologues of the war against the Muslims had been desperately seeking for half a century [Кардини, 2007:161].

Neither the union offered by Ferrara-Florence [Ozment, 1980:174-175], nor the alliance of Karaman’s ruler of Asia Minor, Ibrahim Bey, related to the Ottomans [Menage, 1976:570-584], could not avoid the disaster of the Battle of Varna (1444) due to continued disagreements as well as Genoese’s alliance with the Ottomans, which, in turn, contributed to the Ottomans’ advancements towards the Balkans and Anatolia even more. It is difficult to speculate why the duke of Burgundy avoided activel involvement in the Varna campaign.[16] However, he clearly had a consistent approach to fighting the Ottomans. Notwithstanding the fact that the second battle of Kosovo in 1448,[17] essentially shattered the hopes of stopping the Ottomans in the Balkans, Murad II and afterwards, his successor, were seriously threatened by Giorgi Kastrioti’s (Skanderbeg) desperate actions and therefore, humiliated in several occasions. Giorgi Kastrioti’s self-sacrificing struggle must have encouraged the supporters of the crusading idea in Western Europe. Along with the Pope, the King of Naples and the Hungarian leader, one of his prominent supporters with finances and provisions was the duke of Burgundy himself [Кардини,  2007:169].   However, the disunity of the Christian kings in the West, the Balkans and the East led to new advancements of the Ottomans, which eventually ended with the conquest of Constantinople by Murad II’s son, young Mehmed II.

The study of the records of Philip the Good’s couriers and spies, is believed, on the one hand, to reveal the Duchy of Burgundy’s consistent approach to the crusading idea and the measures it took in this rrespect; and, on the other hand, these records are thought to contain rather important information for the study of the external vector of the Georgian kingdoms. Shortly after the cconquest of Constantinople, in early July of 1454, the Ottomans attacked the Black Sea coast [მამისთვალიშვილი, 2009:456-458] and burned down Sebastopolis (Tskhumi). Naturally, after the capture of the Empire of Trebizond, the Ottomans’ attempts to fully control the Black Sea area became more vivid, including attacks on the coast of Georgia. The blocking of the waterway obviously meant Georgia’s isolation.[18] Moreover, the Western world must have considered the still-surviving Eastern Christian state (albeit on the verge of collapse) an interesting prospective ally in anti-Ottoman coalitions and possible crusades. To confirm the above, it will be sufficient to provide the visit of the member of the Maronite Order and the papal nuncio, Ludovico da Bologna as an example. Following his visit, there was Roman Curia’s epistolary correspondence with the King of Georgia and Qvarqvare Atabag.[19] Surely, the end to the Empire of Trebizond was near, and its ruler, with ties to Uzun-Hasan [Шукуров, 2001].  and connections with Rome via Ludovico da Bologna, struggled and clung to hope for survival. Those Western groups, who viewed the rapid growth of Ottomans as a serious threat, fully comprehended that in order to retrieve Constantinople, it was necessary to overthrow the entire power of the Turks, which would be possible only if the Ottomans lost their power in Asia Minor as well. In order to achieve this goal, it was vital to have the Christians residing in Asia Minor [and the Caucasus as well – author’s assumptions.] support European crusaders against the Ottomans. Even more, the situation in Georgia remained the same in the 15th century as well [თვარაძე, 2004:170]. As Hans Schiltberger writes, then came the Kingdom of Georgia along - its people were Christians, had their own language and were real warriors [Schiltbergers Reisebuch, 1885: 38-57-66; See also: თვარაძე, 2004: 170].

It is logical to assume that it was the responsibility of the Roman Curia to organize  such type of undertaking, notwithstanding the fact that the political leaders dealt with mobilizing military forces. It is known that the head of Samtskhe, Qvarqvare Atabeg, and the King of Georgia, George VIII, did not stop at receiving the reply letters from the Pope and sent a delegation to Europe. David, the last emperor of Trebizond, behaved likewise - his ambassadors left for Europe together with the Georgian ambassadors.[20] In 1458, Ludovico da Bologna, who had visited Georgia for the second time heading from Rome, arrived in Europe with these ambassadors in 1460. They could not make it in time for the Congress of Mantua of 1459 [პაიჭაძე, 1989:59-75], but still, the Georgian ambassadors’ European trip turned out to be fascinating [ქველიაშვილი, 2005: 76-125].

The part of the correspondence of the Georgian leaders, whose addressee is the duke of Burgundy sparks particular interest. The format of the article does not allow for these letters to be presented in detail, although Georgian scholarly circles are in the know of their full content [თამარაშვილი, 1902: 56-60;   ქართული... 2004: 240-243]. This article will present only small passages of the said correspondence that perfectly show a special attitude towards the duke of Burgundy. In his letter, King Giorgi explains the existing situation to duke of Burgundy, assuring him of Georgians’ readiness to fight and the seriousness of their intention to join the war: “We, all the Christian leaders who live in this country, established a mutual truce, union and swore to each other to fight the Turks with all our knowledge and strength...” (translated from Georgian into English). The Qvarqvare Atabag’s letter addressed to the duke is even more eloquent: “...therefore, together with the Patriarch, we are sending our ambassadors to all the Latin princes and leaders, because we have learned that you have been longing to conquer the holy places for a long time. Now you know from our ambassadors how eager we all are in the cause of this faith and what we have done for the faith. We are very anxious to hear from you, and we beg you to inform our ambassadors of everything, whether you are ready to start the crusade so that they may also inform us at what time we should get ready for the war...“ [თამარაშვილი, 1902: 58].

According to this passage, and the pathos of the entire letter, the following assumptions could be made: 1) since they were facing a permanent threat, the Georgian kings and rulers were closely following the anti-Ottoman activities of the Europeans, and they were quite well informed of the fact that at that time,  the axis of the anti-Ottoman union was represented by the Vatican and Burgundy;[21]  2) more credibly, the Roman Curia that knew about the Christian states of the East, the situation  and the people there much better than any European political leader, was convincing the Georgian ambassadors to address European political ruler who was most inspired by the crusading idea. They should, at last, have been in know of the activities, some of which the duke of Burgundy initiated in the 1920s and 1930s, even before the fall of Constantinople.[22] This fact itself indicates the high authority of the ambassadors that were sent to Europe - if necessary and stemming from the situation, they could make decisions independently while taking into account and benefiting the common interest.

Pope Nicholas V’s bull on the Crusades issued on September 30, 1453, as known from subsequent course of events, was issued belatedly and had no effect, although the duke of Burgundy was among the few who publicly took an oath in Lille to join the Crusade movement.

Nevertheless, it turned out to be impossible to overcome the confrontation between the hostile states - they were reluctant to engage in a war that would bring honor to one state and its ruler at the expense of others. Accordingly, the frenzy caused by the fall of Constantinople slowly subsided among Western Europeans, and crusader enthusiasm began to fade.[23] Even the duke of Burgundy himself, whose constant readiness and sincere desire to engage in the crusade did not cause any doubts, could not completely turn his attention to this matter for fear that if the French would have been able to avert England’s threat to the French monarchy, it would have attacked the Duchy of Burgundy [Кардини, 2007:179],  which was a historical regularity and it happened as was expected. However, the Duchy of Burgundy may undoubtfully be considered the most consistent out of the Western European states to the idea of the crusade. Therefore, it is not at all unexpected that the main subject of interest of the Georgian ambassadors attending the Council of Mantua with Ludovico da Bologna in 1459, together with the Pope, was the duke of Burgundy.


[1]Routes existing through the Levant, the Black Sea, the Danube and Eastern European countries (authors).

[2]Byzantine Emperor Manuel II even offered the Island of Lesbos to the Venetians in exchange for help, to finance their journey, although the Venetians were reluctant to confront the Sultan at that point and advised the emperor to restrain from taking harsh steps.

[3]Pope Benedict XIII of Avignon and Pope Boniface IX of Rome.

[4]Presumably, it must have been in the interests and visions of Duchy of Burgundy to have at hand the collection of reports containing information about the East, known as the Book of Wonders, written in 1407 on the order of John the Fearless (Tvaradze A., Georgia and the Caucasus in European sources, Cézanne, Tb., 2004, p. 153.)

[5]England and France, being at war with each other, managed to have agreed a truce to demonstrate their readiness to join the common cause. Enthusiastic crusader knights from France, England, German lands and Italy took part in the crusade campaign organized in 1396 -  King Sigismund and the ruler of Wallachia also joined them on the Hungarian lands. The fleet with the Venetians, Genoese and Rhodesian Hospitallers approached the Danube Delta through the Black Sea.

[6]Despite the success stories of Jean II le Meingre’s (Boucicaut), sent by the French king to the Levant, breaking through the Ottoman resistance in the Dardanelles and entering Constantinople; from there, together with Emperor Manuel, Jean II le Meingre organized a number of attacks on the eastern coast of the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea coast (Vasiliev A. (2013), Glory of the Byzantine Empire, Moscow, Algorithm, p. 305).

[7]Emperor Manuel’s son (the future John VIII), left as a regent instead of his father, who left for Western Europe, decided to establish a solid ally with the help of the Genoese living in Galata and through the mediation of the Empire of Trebizond, and to offer the tribute that was paid to the Ottomans to Timur  instead. France as well, with the help of Dominican missionaries, was willing to call for Timur Lang  regarding the joint military campaign against the Ottomans. However, at that stage, Genoa, under the protection of France, had a chance to seize the advantage in the Levant (Cardini F. Europe and Islam… p. 158).

[8]The grandson of Philip the Bold and the son of one of the leaders of the Nikopolis Crusade, John the Fearless.

[9]The Treaty of 1420 was concluded in the French city of Troyes between the kings of England and France, following Henry of Lancaster’s successful military campaign in the Hundred Years’ War. According to the Treaty of Troyes, after the death of the current king of France, Charles VI, the crown of France was to pass to the descendants of Henry V (who was married to the daughter of Charles VI of Valois).

[10]He rose rapidly in his service to the Duke of Burgundy through his participation in the Battle of Agincourt and the Treaty of Troyes. Philip the Good expressed his gratitude and respect for him with many acts of kindness and, most importantly, by blessing him as a member of the prestigious Order of the Golden Fleece.

[11]The conflict - the civil war between the European and Anatolian parts of the Ottoman state and the Ottoman princes at the beginning of the ruling of Sultans, Mehmed I and Murad II - was still underway. This war clearly reflected the involvement of the Janissaries, Anatolian Beys and the Sultan of Karaman Zachariadou  Elizabeth A. (1983)  Ottoman Diplomacy and Danube Frontier (1420-1424), Harvard Ukrainian Studies, vol. 7, pp. 680-690, Harvard: Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, https://www.jstor.org;   see also: Balfour J. P., Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire, XIV-XX cent. Tsentrpoligraf, 2018, pp. 74-77.

[12]As it nearly cost Lannoy his life to reach Capha, it is quite likely that afterwards, he abandoned his plans to set off on an overland journey to Jerusalem via the eastern or southern shores of the Black Sea.

[13]It is known that the Roman curia, which, on the one hand, fought in against conciliarism, the spread of the ideas of the predecessors of the reformation, and the Schism of the Catholic world (Duffy E. Saints and Sinners – A History of the Popes (third edition), Yale Univ. Press, New Haven and London, 2006, pp.170-173), on the other hand, demanded the unification of the Western and Eastern churches as a reasonable precondition to assist the Byzantine Empire.

[14]It is well known that Henry V, the monarch who had spent his entire life trying to subjugate France, stopped the psalm singing on his deathbed and declared for all to hear that the biggest aim of his life, to which he wished to devote himself fully, as soon as he had settled all the affairs of the kingdom, was always to liberate the Holy City. Similarly to Saint Louis (Louis IX - Authors), his last word was “Jerusalem”. See Cardini F. Europe and Islam - A History of Misunderstanding, St. Petersburg, ALEXANDRIA, 2007, p. 159.

[15]Knight Bertrandon de la Broquière was a young man of about thirty years of age when he left the court of the Duchy of Burgundy from Ghent in February 1431 and crossed the Alps (Mont-Seine Pass).

[16]However, it is also known that there were Burgundian ships participating in blockade of both the Dardanelles and the Bosporus strait. Thus, among the Western Europeans, the involvement of the Burgundians in this unsuccessful Christian campaign is also undeniable.

[17]Throughout that period, unlike the Western Europeans and the Pope, Hungarian regent John Hunyadi, Albanians - Giorgi Kastrioti and the despot of Mystras, as well as Constantine Palaeologus (later, the last emperor of Byzantine) were most active. They were driven by revenge for Varna; however, in 1448 Murad II defeated the Hungarian-Albanian-Wallachian resistance, which blew John Hunyadi’s reputation of a great strategist.

[18]As the following passage confirms, the route along the Black Sea and the Danube was of great importance: “The above-mentioned patriarch [according to the authors - Ludovico da Bologna] and two Georgian ambassadors, Nikoloz Tbileli and Kasadan Karchekan, along with other ambassadors, passed through Samegrelo and crossed the Danube river to arrive in Hungary; from there they went to Germany and greeted Emperor Frederick...” (translated from Georgian)- Tamarashvili M., History of Catholicism among Georgians - introducing and interpreting authentic documents from the 13th century to the 20th century, Tiflis, 1902, p. 61.

[19]In 1459, Qvarqvare Atabag wrote to the duke of Burgundy stating that there had not been  the truce of that significance in their countries for 50 years already (Tamarashvili M., History of Catholicism... p. 58).

[20]During their visit of 1460 in Western Europe, the Georgian ambassadors did not keep it secret from the local Christians and the Pope that the Georgians had a great enmity recently and even fought with each other (Tamarashvili M., History of Catholicism among Georgians …, Tiflis, 1902, p. 61).

[21]This assumption seems to be controversial; however, after the occurrence, the severity of the situation was well perceived by those Greeks who preferred the Muslim ruling to the “Pope’s tiara”, as well as the West and the rulers of Georgia and Trebizond. However, on the conquest of Constantinople and the growth of the Ottoman Empire, I. Javakhishvili also notes the following:  “It is amazing, but if we look at the Georgians rivals of that time, they give the impression that Georgian had missed out on all these news, as if carried away with domestic wars and massacre of each other, they could not even notice how a new, great and powerful Ottoman state was created near them, which with its unstoppable might wiped the once glorious Byzantine Empire from the face of the earth” (translated from Georgian - Javakhishvili I. History of the Georgian Nation, vol. 3, p. 287). Also, due to the enormous significance of the fall of Constantinople for Georgia (both from a political and cultural perspective, as well as for the Georgian royals – in terms of having King George’s daughter engaged to Constantine XI Paleologos - authors), I. Javakhishvili is rather astonished to have found such little information, in the form of annals only about the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in Georgian historical sources (ibid, p. 290).

[22]as Iv. Javakhishvili writes, the Pope could not conceal from the Georgian ambassadors that all his efforts turned out to be in vein. In such conditions, he had no choice but to advise the Georgian princes and their allied ambassadors to personally see the duke of Burgundy and the king of France and urge them to participate in the fight against the Ottomans (History of the Georgian Nation, vol. 3, p. 299). The letters of the Georgian kings (probably, due to the circumstances, drawn up in Europe - authors) suggest that the Duke of Burgundy was a must-see person, while the king of France appeared on the list of potential allies merely due to his being a king.

[23]The fact that the church insisted on collecting the tithe caused more and more dissatisfaction. For example, when the Holy Roman Emperor convened an assembly in Regensburg in the April of 1454, both the Duke of Burgundy and the rulers of Italy were invited, although only the former attended. The rest, including the Holy Roman Emperor himself, avoided to attend the assembly where it might have been challenging to turn down the request of the Church (Cardini F. Europe and Islam..., p. 179).



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ისტორია კათოლიკობისა ქართველთა შორის. სიესტა. თბილისი.
თვარაძე ა.
საქართველო და კავკასია ევროპულ წყაროებში. „სეზანი“. თბილისი.
მამისთვალიშვილი ე.
საქართველოს საგარეო პოლიტიკა და დიპლომატია. ტ. 1 (XV-XVI სს.). თბილისი.
პაიჭაძე დ.
ევროპის ქვეყნების ანტიოსმალური კოალიცია და საქართველო მე-15 საუკუნის 60-იან წლებში. თბილისი.
ქართული დიპლომატიის ისტორია - ქრესტომათია. თსუ გამომცემლობა. თბილისი.
ქველიაშვილი თ.
პოლონეთი და საქართველო ევროპის „დიდ საჭადრაკო დაფაზე“ XV საუკუნის II ნახევარში. თბილისი.
ჯავახიშვილი ივ.
ქართველი ერის ისტორია. თხზულებანი თორმეტ ტომად. ტ. 3. თსუ გამომცემლობა. თბილისი.
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