Medieval Perspectives: Jean de Waurin and His Perception of the Turks in Anatolia in the Late Middle Ages
T. Tolga Gumus (Asist. Prof.) (Mersin University, Faculty of Science and Humanities Department of History)
International Journal of Business and Social Science: Vol. 4 No. 16; December (2013)
This article investigates Jean de Waurin’s perception of the Turks in his account of the expedition in Anatolia in fifteenth century. The first part gives a brief account of Jean de Waurin. The second part analyses in detail his perception of the Turks, his expedition to Anatolia and his reasons for writing his account of the crusade of Varna. Then, Waurin’s perspective about the Turks is compared with various views of some other sixteenth century accounts. By doing so, the differences and similarities of the European perception of the Turks of the two centuries in question are discussed. It is argued that Waurin saw the Turks firstly as an enemy and then as ‘the enemy of the Christian faith’. This study also discusses why Waurin wrote this account. The reason was that this account was a crusading propaganda. What Waurin was making in his expedition was clearly a ‘crusade’ and accordingly religious tone in his account is something to be noted.
This paper discusses the reasons Wavrin wrote his account of the crusade of Varna and Walerin de Wavrin’s expedition into the Balkans, which was later published within his history of Britain and how he perceived and accordingly presented the Turks to the renaissance readers. His primary aim in writing his history was probably to demonstrate that the Duke of Burgundy was a key figure in helping the Christians in their quest of crusade and the Burgundian forces were very effective and useful in the service of Christianity. This Burgundian interest of military expedition against the Ottomans was by no means new as it went down to the time of Philip’s father John the fearless(Chasin, 1989, p. 289). Wavrin occasionally denigrated the foe, the Turks probably for raising interest in the reader. In this respect the work is a typical humanist crusading propaganda in its narration of the events between the Christians and the Turks. Then Waurin’s perception of the Turks is alaborated by referring to some examples in his chronicle. Lastly, the historical signifcance of his work is discussed.