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Mahmud Pasha Angelović

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mahmud Angelović

Mahmud Pasha.png
13th Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
In office
MonarchMehmed II
Preceded byIshak Pasha
Succeeded byGedik Ahmed Pasha
In office
MonarchMehmed II
Preceded byZaganos Pasha
Succeeded byRum Mehmed Pasha
Personal details
Novo Brdo, Serbian Despotate
(modern-day Serbia)
Died1474 (aged 53–54)
Spouse(s)Selçuk Hatun
Military service
Allegiance Ottoman Empire
Branch/service Ottoman Navy
RankKapudan Pasha (grand admiral)
Battles/warsSiege of Belgrade (1456)
Siege of Trebizond (1461)
Ottoman conquest of Bosnia

Mahmud Pasha Angelović (Serbian: Махмуд-паша Анђеловић/Mahmud-paša Anđelović; Turkish: Veli Mahmud Paşa; 1420–1474) was the Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire from 1456 to 1466 and again from 1472 to 1474, who also wrote Persian and Turkish poems under the pseudonym Adni (the "Eden-like").[1]

Born in Serbia, he was a descendant of the Byzantine Angelos family that had left Thessaly in 1394. As a child, he was abducted by the Ottomans according to the devşirme system and raised as a Muslim in Edirne. A capable soldier, he was married to a daughter of Sultan Mehmed II. After distinguishing himself at the Siege of Belgrade (1456), he was raised to the position of Grand Vizier as a reward, succeeding Zaganos Pasha. Throughout his tenure, he led armies or accompanied Mehmed II on his own campaigns.

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Origin and early life

After the Ottoman conquest of Thessaly in 1394, the ruling Angeloi[2][3] Philanthropenoi family took refuge. The grandchildren of either Alexios or Manuel were Mahmud Pasha and his brother Mihailo Anđelović. He may have also been related to the noblemen Alessio and Peter Spani through Alexios III Angelos, who was possibly their ancestor. [4] Although the contemporary Byzantine sources and Ibn Kemal calls him Serbian, some late Ottoman sources call him Croatian.[b]

It is estimated that Angelović was born in the early 1420s.[5] Most historians accept that Angelović was born in Novo Brdo in the Serbian Despotate, and that his father Mihailos was the son of either Alexios Angelos Philanthropenos or his son/nephew/brother Manuel, rulers of Thessaly.[6] T. Stavrides views it more probable that Manuel was his grandfather.[5] The only information on his father is that he lived in Serbia in the 1420s.[5] His mother's ancestry is the matter of debate. Chalkokondyles (1430–1470) called her Serbian, Kritoboulos (1410–1470), Greek, while there are various theories on her noble ancestry.[7] Angelović had a brother, Mihailo Anđelović, later a prominent Serbian statesman.[8]

According to Tahsin Yazici / Encyclopædia Iranica, Angelović was "born to a Greek or Serbian family".[9]

Chalkokondyles mentions that Angelović was captured by Ottoman horsemen while traveling with his mother from Novo Brdo to Smederevo (the Serbian capital), and taken to the Ottoman court.[10] It is assumed that this took place in 1427, when the Ottomans attacked Serbia.[11] Furthermore, it is unconcluded whether he was captured according to the devşirme practice, the regular practice of taking children of conquered noble families, or as a prisoner of war.[12] Taşköprüzade (d. 1560) and Aşık Çelebi (1520–1572) name two other boys led with Angelović on horseback to Edirne, Molla Iyas and Mevlana Abdülkerim, the latter which reached the rank of kadıasker (chief judge) and şeyhülislam (Islamic scholar).[13] Upon conversion to Islam, he received the name Mahmud.

Little is known about his activities before 1453. According to T. Stavrides, Angelović and his companions were educated in the palace, probably as içoğlan, and Mahmud then entered service in the Enderûn, later serving prince Mehmed, the future sultan.[14] Sources do not agree on which posts he held at the palace.[15]


Remains of Mahmud Pasha hamam at Lower Town of Golubac Fortress.
Remains of Mahmud Pasha hamam at Lower Town of Golubac Fortress.

Mahmud Pasha was a capable soldier. After distinguishing himself at the Siege of Belgrade (1456), he was raised to the position of Grand Vizier as a reward, succeeding Zaganos Pasha.[16] Throughout his tenure he led armies or accompanied Mehmed II on his own campaigns.[17]

In 1458, the Serbian Despot Lazar Branković died. Mahmud's brother Mihailo became member of a collective regency, but he was soon deposed by the anti-Ottoman and pro-Hungarian faction in the Serbian court. In reaction, Mahmud attacked and seized Smederevo Fortress, although the citadel held out, and seized some additional strongholds in its vicinity. Threatened by a possible Hungarian intervention however he was forced to withdraw south and join the forces of Sultan Mehmed II at Skopje.[18] In 1461, he accompanied Mehmed in his campaign against the Empire of Trebizond, the last surviving fragment of the Byzantine Empire. Mahmud negotiated the surrender of the city of Trebizond with the protovestiarios, the scholar George Amiroutzes, who was also his cousin.[19]

In 1463, Mahmud led the invasion and conquest of the Ottoman vassal state of Bosnia, even though a peace treaty between Bosnia and the Ottomans had just been renewed. He captured the Bosnian king, Stephen Tomašević, at Ključ, and obtained from him the cession of the country to the Empire.[18]

Angelović accompanied Mehmed II when he attacked Albania Veneta in the summer of 1467, and ravaged the lands. For 15 days he pursued Skanderbeg, who was a Venetian ally at the time, but failed to find him, as Skanderbeg retreated into the mountains and then succeeded in fleeing to the coast.[20] According to Tursun Beg and Ibn Kemal, Angelović swam over Bojana, attacked Venetian-controlled Scutari, and plundered the surrounding area.[21]

Mahmud was dismissed in 1468 due to the machinations of his successor, Rum Mehmed Pasha, ostensibly due to irregularities regarding the resettlement of the Karamanids in Constantinople following the conquest of Karaman earlier in that year.[22] He was reinstated in 1472, but his relations with the Sultan were now strained. He was dismissed and executed in 1474, allegedly because of Mehmed's son, prince Mustafa. Mahmud had been at loggerheads with Mustafa after divorcing his second wife for spending a night in the same house as Mustafa during Mahmud's absence on campaign in 1473. Mustafa's death later in 1474 was even attributed by later accounts to poisoning by Mahmud.[23]

Literary output

Mahmud Pasha wrote works in Persian and Turkish with "Adni" as his nom de plume.[9] The divan he composed includes 45 ghazals and 21 mofrads in Persian, as well as "some rather successful naziras on the ghazals of Zahir Faryabi and Hafez".[9] Tahsin Yazici / Encyclopædia Iranica adds that Mahmud Pasha "also wrote a number of official letters in Persian".[9]


He married Selçuk Hatun, daughter of Zaganos Pasha, by his wife Sitti Nefise Hatun, and had a son named Ali Bey and a daughter named Hatice Hatun.


  1. ^ Stavrides 2001, p. 311.
  2. ^ Théoharis Stavrides The Sultan of vezirs: the life and times of the Ottoman Grand ... - Page 311 "Mahmud Pasha's Pseudonym According to all indications, the pseudonym (mahlas) used by Mahmud Pasha when writing poetry was Adni (the Eden-like) and this is indicated by most sources, most particularly Asik Celebi and Sehi Beg, who ..."
  3. ^ Franz Babinger, William C. Hickman -Mehmed the Conqueror and His Time - 1992 Page 476 "With the possible exception of the grand vizier Mahmud Pasha, who under the pseudonym of Adni wrote Persian and Turkish rhymes, the period offers no further poets of above-average quality.34 Among the poets it seems fitting to mention as ..."
  4. ^ Stavrides, Théoharis (2001). The Sultan of vezirs: the life and times of the Ottoman Grand Vezir Mahmud Pasha Angelovic̕ (1453–1474). BRILL. p. 228. ISBN 978-90-04-12106-5. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Stavrides 2001, p. 77.
  6. ^ Stavrides 2001, pp. 73–74, 76–77.
  7. ^ Stavrides 2001, pp. 78–93.
  8. ^ Stavrides 2001, pp. 93–100.
  9. ^ a b c d Yazici 1983, p. 470.
  10. ^ Stavrides 2001, p. 107.
  11. ^ Stavrides 2001, p. 108.
  12. ^ Stavrides 2001, p. 108–110.
  13. ^ Stavrides 2001, pp. 108–109.
  14. ^ Stavrides 2001, p. 110.
  15. ^ Stavrides 2001, p. 111–112.
  16. ^ Finkel 2006, p. 78
  17. ^ Finkel (2006), pp. 78–79, 559, 560
  18. ^ a b Finkel 2006, p. 60
  19. ^ Finkel 2006, p. 62
  20. ^ Stavrides 2001, pp. 163, 164.
  21. ^ Stavrides 2001, p. 164.
  22. ^ Finkel (2006), pp. 78–79
  23. ^ Finkel 2006, p. 79


Political offices
Preceded by
Zaganos Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
Succeeded by
Rum Mehmed Pasha
Preceded by
Ishak Pasha
Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire
Succeeded by
Gedik Ahmed Pasha
This page was last edited on 7 August 2019, at 17:36
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