XIV, 2018, 1

The Outcome of an Ottoman Expedition: New and Old Sources on the Expedition of Malcocioglu Bali beg in Poland (November 1498 – February 1499) | p. 101–118

Malcocioglu Bali beg, Milan, Ottoman Empire, Poland, Stephen the Great


A document preserved in the State Archives of Milan is the starting point for a new analysis of the Ottoman expedition in Southern Poland led by the famous Malcocioglu Bali beg. The episode is well known due to Polish, Ottoman and Moldavian chronicles. However, the new source is the report of an eyewitness who saw the remnants of the Ottoman army returning from Poland. The author of the document was a merchant and a spy, a subject of the Duke of Milan, and the text mirrors the interest of the Italian powers on the political and military events from the Ottoman Empire. The report strengthens the already known data provided by the chronicles and underlines with many details the misfortunes encountered by Malcocioglu beg’s troops during the expedition and on their way back to the Ottoman Empire. The document emphasizes the complicate political game played by the ruler of Moldavia and provides new insights into the history of the struggle for power in East-Central Europe at the end of the 15th century.