Today in European history: the Siege of Thessaloniki ends (1430)

The city of Thessaloniki (formerly Thessalonica) always struck me as one of the ultimate urban runners up in history. It became the most important city in Macedonia…right before the Romans showed up. It became an important Roman city…because it was a way point on the main route from Rome to Byzantium. When the Roman Empire … Continue reading Today in European history: the Siege of Thessaloniki ends (1430)

Today in European history: the (third) Siege of Algeciras ends (1344)

They say the three rules of real estate are “location, location, location,” and I suppose that’s as true when you’re looking for a city to conquer as it is when you’re looking to buy a house. One of the signs that a city is sitting on some prime real estate is its age, or more … Continue reading Today in European history: the (third) Siege of Algeciras ends (1344)

Today in European history: the Siege of Chandax ends (961)

The island of Crete has changed hands so many times over the past few centuries that it can be hard to keep track of all of its various owners and operators. Before it became Greek again (which includes a period of Axis occupation during World War II), Crete was (briefly) independent, and before that Ottoman, before … Continue reading Today in European history: the Siege of Chandax ends (961)

Today in European history: the Skirmish at Bendery (1713)

The so-called “Skirmish at Bendery” (known in Swedish as the Kalabaliken i Bender, from the Turkish word kalabalık or “crowd”) shows that, even in 1713, the Ottomans were still capable of the occasional muscle flexing in Europe. It’s actually a chapter in the 1700-1721 Great Northern War, which otherwise didn’t involve the Ottomans at all, … Continue reading Today in European history: the Skirmish at Bendery (1713)

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

(Actually yesterday in European history, but oh well) 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 … Continue reading Today in European history: the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699)

Today in European history: the Battle of Vaslui (1475)

It's a confusing feature of modern Europe that the historical principality of "Moldavia" is more a precursor to modern Romania than modern Moldova, even though Moldova goes back to the former Soviet Republic of Moldavia. It's a fact that more of historical Moldavia is now in Romania than in Moldova. For example, the Moldova River … Continue reading Today in European history: the Battle of Vaslui (1475)