By JOHN A. C. GREPPIN

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Pius even discusses the origins of Islam in great detail, discrediting it as a sect of pleasure and violence founded by a charlatan, in sharp contrast to the righteousness and purity of Christianity. Another religious theme is the power of prayer. Here Pius cites the biblical examples of Moses and Judith among others, as well as the more recent, miraculous victory of Christian forces at Belgrade. The army defending the Balkan city had the charismatic leadership of the preacher Giovanni da Capistrano and general John Hunyadi, but it was heavily outnumbered by the Turks and comprised largely of peasants.

He had devoted much of his career in the Roman Church to the project, writing, preaching and leading high-level embassies around Europe in search of material support for a papal expedition to the East. In his earlier writings on the Turkish problem, he employed a range of standard rhetorical tropes, from the traditional barbs of medieval religious polemic to more current humanist claims of Turkish violence and barbarity. 5 2 He uses the image of a Turk 'thirsting for Christian blood' in the 1470 Orations as well; 53 but very soon in this work, Bessarion switches to a more reasoned approach.

No one can say the time was too short; no one can plead the difficulties of travel. ' 17 It was beginning to dawn on the pope how little respect his directives had commanded. Still, Pius opted to wait at Mantua, hectoring rulers and governments to send ambassadors at once. Against the wishes of his cardinals, he waited almost four months for delegates to arrive. 18 By the autumn, more representatives had finally arrived. Italians made the best showing, encouraged in no small part by the personal appearance and seeming commitment of Duke Francesco Sforza of Milan.

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The survival of ancient anatolian and mesopotamian vocabulary until the present by JOHN A. C. GREPPIN


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