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Rebels and Ottomans – The Habsburg Monarchy Makes Peace (1606)

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B) The Truce of Zsitvatörök with the Ottoman Sultan (November 11, 1606)

We for ourselves, Our heirs, and Our successors, announce and proclaim with this letter to all who have a need to know, that a twenty-year Peace has been agreed to, made, and decided between Us, on the one side, and the most illustrious and mighty prince, Sultan Ahmed, Ottoman emperor and ruler of Asia and Greece, on the other, through commissioners deputed for this purpose with plenipotentiary powers.

1. That both of the embassies next sent by both emperors shall be accepted as sons are by fathers (5), and that this shall begin with the present embassies.

2. That in all missives, letters, and visits they will conduct themselves in a friendly manner, and that each shall name the other "emperor," not "king."

3. That the Tatars and other nations shall be included in this Peace.

4. That the Peace shall be kept everywhere between the two emperors.

5. [Forbids raiding.]

6. No fortress or castle shall be attacked or captured, either secretly or openly. All that the Peace of Vienna allots to Sir Bocskay shall remain his.

7. [Regulates the exchange of prisoners.]

8. The commander at Raab and the Pasha at Ofen (to whom the other pashas are subordinate), along with the commanders on this and on the other side of the Danube and the Ban [Governor] of Croatia shall avoid all provocations, demonstrations, and agitations along the border, and they shall have the authority to put down the same. When an important issue arises, which cannot be settled there, it shall be referred to each of the emperors.

9. The old fortresses and castles may be rebuilt and refortified, but no new ones may be erected.

10. An ambassador shall be sent with gifts by Us to the Ottoman emperor, and the Serdan Murad Pasha shall in return send an embassy with gifts to His Princely grace, Archduke Matthias. When Our envoys arrive at Constantinople, the Ottoman emperor shall send an ambassador with the customary gifts to Prague to ratify the Truce.

11. His Imperial Majesty's envoy to Constantinople shall bring a gift in the sum of 200,000 florins, to be paid only this once and never again (6).

12. This Peace shall endure for twenty years, beginning on January 1, 1607. After three years, each emperor shall send his envoys to the other with gifts.

13. The fortress of Vacz/Waitzen may be rebuilt but not expanded, and it shall remain in Our hands (7).

14. When Our embassy arrives at Constantinople, they shall be free to ask of the Ottoman emperor what they will.

15. [Regulates issues of territory, including the status of nobles in villages captured by the Ottomans and the payment of taxes and tributes.] And if nobles live in the villages or have houses there, they shall not be subject or owe service, but their persons, land, and houses shall be free. And those who cannot render payments to their King, shall not be obliged to render them to the Ottomans.

And the Ottomans may not come to the villages in person but shall request their tributes through the local judges. When the judges do not render the payments as obliged, their commanders or regular authorities shall be written to and asked to see that the agreement is obeyed. If nothing is achieved in this way, the Ottomans may come into the villages and demand payment. The Hungarians may do the same.

(5) Meaning uncertain, but this is what the text, which derives from the Latin original (there is also a Turkish original) seems to say – trans.
(6) An annual tribute had been stipulated by the peace signed between King Ferdinand of Hungary and Sultan Suleiman I in 1533 – trans.
(7) Vacz/Waitzen, a strategically important fortress, lay above Pest on the Danube's left bank – trans.

Source of German text: Karl Nehring, Adam Freiherrn zu Herbersteins Gesandtschaftsreise nach Konstantinopel. Ein Beitrag zum Frieden von Zsitvatorok (1606). Munich: Oldenbourg, 1983 (Sudösteuropäische Arbeiten 78), pp. 150-55; reprinted in Bernd Roeck, ed., Gegenreformation und Dreißigjähriger Krieg 1555-1648. Deutsche Geschichte in Quellen und Darstellung, edited by Rainer A. Müller, Volume 4. Stuttgart: P. Reclam, 1996, pp. 129-31.

English translation: Thomas A. Brady Jr.

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