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GEORGIEVITZ, Bartholomaeus. De Turcarum Moribus Epitome, Bartholomaeo Georgieviz Peregrino Autore, Lyon, Ioan. Tornaesium, MDLIII [=1553].

Bartholomaeus Georgievitz (1505/1510-1560) was of Croatian origin. He had settled in Hungary as attendant to prince Ladislauv Szalkai and fought in the battle of Mohács against the Ottoman army in August 1526. Young Georgievitz was taken captive, sold as a slave and ended up in Asia Minor. In the following ten years he was sold and resold again seven more times and repeatedly tried to escape, until he finaly succeeded in late 1536. He crossed Caramania and the Syrian desert and reached Jerusalem in the Easter of 1537. Georgievitz lived in that city for some time as guard of the Franciscan convent. He returned to Europe by land, settled in Antwerp and started writing and publishing. He published four different versions of his chronicle in 1544. He lived as an erudite pilgrim and moved to Rome in 1551, where he finally passed away in 1560.

The eight chronicles written by Georgievitz were translated into several European languages and republished approximately ninety times up until the 19th century. The present work was probably read by all later travellers to the East. It is not exactly a travel chronicle but rather a pamphlet on “mores and customs”. In addition, it includes advice to slaves wishing to escape captivity, a glossary of Slavic and Turkish as well as descriptions of the living conditions for slaves in the Ottoman empire.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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