Today in European history: the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699)

You know that old joke about how the “Holy Roman Empire” was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire? Here’s another one for you: the 1683-1699 Great Turkish War was neither great (especially if you were in the Ottoman army), nor “Turkish” (Turkish nationalism was still more than a century away). Cool, right? It also wasn’t a war–it was actually a series of them. Several European nations, including the aforementioned Holy Roman Empire (which at the time was controlled by the Austrian Habsburgs), Hungary (also controlled by the Habsburgs), Croatia (ditto), the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Russia, Venice, and a bunch of smaller partners all joined a new Holy League at the behest of Pope Innocent XI (d. 1689), and the Ottomans managed to entangle themselves in conflicts with each of them–the Venetians in Greece, the Russians in Crimea and at Azov, the Poles in Moldavia, and the Austrians in, well, Austria. This would have been a tough fight for the Ottomans to have won at their peak–and by the 1680s, they were no longer at their peak, though they weren’t a pushover either.

Source: Today in European history: the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699)


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