Anti-Ottoman Warfare and Italian Propaganda: The Crusader Background of the Ottoman Raid on Oradea in 1474
By Alexandru Simon
Crisia Magazine, Vol.37 (2007)
Introduction: In 1474, 10 years had passed since the last major royal Hungarian anti-Ottoman action. In 1464, Matthias (Mátyás, Matia) Corvinus’ second Bosnian campaign had been a relative success. In 1468, an Ottoman-Hungarian truce had been reached. The truce, valid probably for two years, was renewed in 1470 and 1472. The Ottoman-Hungarian negotiations of 1473 failed however. Hungary was once more on collision course with the High Porte.
The realm’s eastern neighbor, Moldavia, was already on this course. For the territorial ‘link’ between Buda (Ofen) and Suceava, the royal province of Transylvania, a clash with the Turk was by far no priority. The memory of the devastating campaign led by Murad II (1437-1438) or of more recent Ottoman raids into the Voivodate of Transylvania, which had occurred in spite of the Ottoman-Hungarian truce (e.g. in 1469 and 1470), was still vivid.
In 1474, the Ottomans raided Hungary’s central administrative bridge, connecting Buda to the Transylvania. It was the most important Ottoman act of aggression on the realm, since 1438. Ottoman-Hungarian tensions had mounted. Neither king Matthias, nor Mehmed II had managed to diplomatically convince his counterpart to give in to his proposals (1472-1473). In return, after Oradea (Nagyvarad, Grosswardein) was burnt in early 1474, the tension created in the realm exceeded for the moment even the anti-Hunyadi tensions of 1467 and 1471.