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The Ottoman Turks and the Routes of Oriental Trade

Albert H. Lybyer

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .FNanchor_5_6">5 These were still pagan in 1291, though the western divisions turned Moslem soon after that date. The routes which entered at Trebizond and Lajazzo nourished the small Christian states of Trebizond and Lesser Armenia, which served as vestibules to the Mongol lands.6 Between them lay Asia Minor, the land of the Turk, broken at the time into ten small emirates, hostile in the interior to Christian strangers, but dealing freely at its ports with Western traders, and beginning to develop a commercial and piratical shipping.7 Palestine and Egypt were under the Mameluke sultans, who permitted no foreign Christian to cross their dominions,8 but who, as well as their subjects, derived great profit from a large trade between West and East. Christian cities, especially Venice, Genoa, and Barcelona, traded regularly at Alexandria.

The popes never forgave the Mamelukes for expelling Western Christians from the Holy Land,9 and after repeated efforts they suc. . . Read More