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Showing posts from November, 2011

Syldavian History of the 17th century

Syldavia began the 17th century in possession of only a fraction of its historical territory and was fortunate to have even that. Borduria held the rest on behalf of the Ottomans and all of the country would have been entirely occupied if not for the long intervention of the Venetians.  Even in the lands that remained in its possession in the 1600’s, Syldavia’s sovereignty was open to question, as their kings had been vassals of the Venetian Republic since shortly before the arrival of the Ottomans in the north-western Balkans.  While the Venetians exercised their power in Syldavia principally to their own advantage, their interest in using the western Balkans as a front to contain the Ottomans did have the effect of propping up Syldavia and the Almazout dynasty during their period of utmost weakness.  
By the reign of King Karel II in the mid 17th century, Venetian dominance in Syldavia began to chafe, most notably due to the trade monopoly and demands for taxes and ongoing troop cont…

History of Syldavia from the 14th to 16th century

In the late 14th century, Syldavia was caught in a vice between the Venetians who continued to expand into the Balkans from the northwest and the Ottomans who began to press into the Balkans from the southeast.  Moving north from the ruins of Byzantium, the Ottomans overwhelmed Bulgaria in the 1390’s. When Borduria fell soon afterwards, Syldavia suddenly found the Ottomans on their northern and eastern borders. The whole region fell into a chaotic and fearful reactive stance for the next century as the Ottomans pushed incrementally to the north.  Syldavia reinforced its frontier forts and waited grimly. In order to stave off pressure on its vulnerable trading fleet from both the Venetians and the Ottomans, the independent city state of Dbrnouk chose to become a nominal tributary (on very liberal terms) of the Ottomans in 1469.  They stayed assiduously out of conflict as far as possible and free of any real Ottoman occupation.  The Ottomans, preferring to tax Dbrnouk’s trade rather cho…
History of  Syldavia from the 12th to 14th century
Last year, I was still involved in relating the early history of Syldavia as a diversion whilst I painted its 18th century armies.  The story of Duke Jiri trailed off in midstream, partly because I was running out of ideas and certainly out of time, and also because I found writing something deliberately fictional (nothing at all like my real life!) with plot and dialogue and brevity pretty difficult!  I quite failed at that.    It did amuse me and I would like to get back to Duke Jiri’s adventure but as my original and true interest, the 18th century, comes closer into view I would like to finish setting out my version of the history of Syldavia.  So, here goes…

The Kingdom of Syldavia, first established by Muskar I in 1127 was re-established in 1205 by Duke Jiri Almazout, the Duke of Hum.  Duke Jiri profited from a popular revolt against the occupying Bordurians and the Viceroy Surov to marshal sufficient forces to throw out Bordurian…