Learn from Dukas: A Byzantine Historian Who Witnessed the Fall of Constantinople
Dukas Byzantine History PDF: A Valuable Source for Ottoman History
If you are interested in Ottoman history, you might want to read a book written by a Byzantine historian who witnessed the rise of the Ottoman Empire and the fall of Constantinople. His name was Dukas, and his work is called Bizans Tarihi in Turkish, or Byzantine History in English. In this article, we will introduce you to Dukas and his work, and explain why it is a valuable source for Ottoman history. We will also tell you how you can access a PDF version of his book online.
dukas bizans tarihi pdf
The Life and Work of Dukas
Dukas as a Byzantine historian and official
Dukas was born in the late 14th century, probably in Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. He belonged to a noble family that had connections with the imperial court. He received a classical education and became a scholar and a writer. He also served as a high-ranking official in the Byzantine administration, holding various positions such as logothete (secretary), protovestiarios (chamberlain), and megas doux (naval commander).
Dukas as a witness of the fall of Constantinople
Dukas lived in one of the most turbulent periods of Byzantine history, when the empire was under constant threat from external enemies, especially the Ottoman Turks. He witnessed several wars, sieges, and battles between the Byzantines and the Ottomans, including the famous siege and fall of Constantinople in 1453. He was one of the few survivors who managed to escape from the city after it was captured by Sultan Mehmed II. He later settled in Adrianople (Edirne), where he wrote his Byzantine History.
Dukas as a critic of the Byzantine emperors and the Ottoman sultans
Dukas was not only a historian, but also a critic of his own times. He expressed his opinions and judgments about the events and personalities he described in his work. He was especially harsh on the Byzantine emperors, whom he blamed for the decline and fall of the empire. He accused them of being incompetent, corrupt, tyrannical, or heretical. He also criticized some of the Ottoman sultans, such as Bayezid I, Murad II, and Mehmed II, for their cruelty, ambition, or arrogance. However, he also praised some aspects of Ottoman rule, such as their justice, tolerance, or patronage of culture.
The Content and Structure of Dukas Byzantine History
The scope and period of Dukas Byzantine History
Dukas wrote his Byzantine History in Greek, using a mixture of classical and vernacular forms. He divided his work into two parts: the first part covers the period from 1204 to 1462, while the second part covers the period from 1462 to 1476. The first part is more detailed and comprehensive than the second part, which is more fragmentary and incomplete. The first part consists of 37 chapters, while the second part consists of 11 chapters.
The sources and methods of Dukas Byzantine History
Dukas used a variety of sources for his Byzantine History, both written and oral. He consulted earlier Byzantine historians, such as George Pachymeres, John Kantakouzenos, Laonikos Chalkokondyles, and George Sphrantzes, as well as chronicles, documents, letters, speeches, poems, and inscriptions. He also relied on his own personal observations and experiences, as well as on the testimonies of eyewitnesses and informants. He sometimes quoted his sources verbatim, sometimes paraphrased them, and sometimes criticized them. He tried to be accurate and objective in his narration, but he also admitted his limitations and uncertainties. He often expressed his emotions and opinions about the events and characters he described.
The style and language of Dukas Byzantine History
Dukas wrote his Byzantine History in a lively and vivid style, using rhetorical devices such as comparisons, contrasts, metaphors, similes, exclamations, questions, and dialogues. He also used humor, irony, sarcasm, and exaggeration to make his points. He aimed to entertain and instruct his readers, as well as to persuade them of his views. He addressed his readers directly, often inviting them to judge for themselves or to share his feelings. He also inserted digressions and anecdotes to enrich his narrative. He wrote in a mixture of classical and vernacular Greek, using archaic and poetic words and expressions alongside colloquialisms and Turkish loanwords. He also used Latin terms and phrases to refer to titles, offices, institutions, or concepts.
The Significance and Influence of Dukas Byzantine History
The value of Dukas Byzantine History for Ottoman history
Dukas Byzantine History is a valuable source for Ottoman history, especially for the period from the rise of Osman I to the reign of Mehmed II. Dukas provides detailed information about the political, military, diplomatic, religious, cultural, and social aspects of Ottoman history. He describes the origins and expansion of the Ottoman state, the wars and campaigns of the Ottoman sultans against the Byzantines and other enemies, the conquests and administration of Ottoman territories, the relations between the Ottomans and other states and peoples, the organization and structure of the Ottoman army and navy, the laws and customs of the Ottomans, the personality and character of the Ottoman sultans and their officials, the achievements and challenges of the Ottoman civilization.
The reception and transmission of Dukas Byzantine History in the West and the East
Dukas Byzantine History was widely read and circulated in both the West and the East after its completion. It was copied by many scribes in different manuscripts, some of which are still extant today. It was also translated into several languages, such as Latin , Italian , French , Spanish , German , Turkish , Arabic , Persian , Armenian , Slavic , etc. It was used by many later historians and writers as a source or a model for their own works. It influenced both Western and Eastern perceptions and representations of Byzantine and Ottoman history.
The modern editions and translations of Dukas Byzantine History
Dukas Byzantine History has been edited and translated by many modern scholars in different languages. The most authoritative edition is based on the original Greek text by Vasileios Grecu (Bucharest: Editura Academiei Republicii Populare Romîne 1958). The most recent English translation is by Harry J. Magoulias (Detroit: Wayne State University Press 1975). There are also several online versions of Dukas Byzantine History, such as a PDF file that can be downloaded from this link: .
Here are some frequently asked questions about Dukas Byzantine History:
Who was Dukas? Dukas was a Byzantine Greek historian who lived in the 15th century and wrote a history of the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire.
What is the main theme of Dukas Byzantine History? The main theme of Dukas Byzantine History is the decline and fall of the Byzantine Empire and the rise and expansion of the Ottoman Empire.
What is the value of Dukas Byzantine History for Ottoman history? Dukas Byzantine History is a valuable source for Ottoman history, especially for the period from the rise of Osman I to the reign of Mehmed II. It provides detailed information about the political, military, diplomatic, religious, cultural, and social aspects of Ottoman history.
How can I access a PDF version of Dukas Byzantine History? You can access a PDF version of Dukas Byzantine History from this link: .
What are some other sources for Byzantine and Ottoman history? Some other sources for Byzantine and Ottoman history are: George Pachymeres, John Kantakouzenos, Laonikos Chalkokondyles, George Sphrantzes, Critobulus of Imbros, Niccolò Barbaro, Leonard of Chios, etc.