Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq

Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq'
Start a new discussion about 'Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq (1522, Comines - October 28, 1592; Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

: Augerius Gislenius Busbequius; sometimes Augier Ghislain de Busbecq) was a 16th century
16th century
As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century lasted from 1501 to 1600. It is regarded by historians as the century in which the rise of the West occurred....

 Flemish
County of Flanders
The County of Flanders was one of the territories constituting the Low Countries. The county existed from 862 to 1795. It was one of the original secular fiefs of France and for centuries was one of the most affluent regions in Europe....

 writer, herbalist
Herbalism
Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, herbal medicine, herbology, herblore, and phytotherapy...

 and diplomat in the employ of three generations of Austrian monarchs. He served as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 in Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 and wrote a book about his time there, the Turkish Letters.

Early years


He was the illegitimate son of the Seigneur
Lord
Lord is a title with various meanings. It can denote a prince or a feudal superior . The title today is mostly used in connection with the peerage of the United Kingdom or its predecessor countries, although some users of the title do not themselves hold peerages, and use it 'by courtesy'...

 de Busbecq
, Georges Ghiselin, and his mistress Catherine Hespiel, and was later legitimated. He grew up at Busbecq Castle (in present-day Bousbecque
Bousbecque
Bousbecque is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.-Heraldry:-References:*...

, Nord, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

), studying in Wervik
Wervik
Wervik is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Wervik and the town of Geluwe. On January 1, 2006 Wervik had a total population of 17,607. The total area is 43.61 km² which gives a population density of 404 inhabitants per km²....

 and Comines - at the time, all part of Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 West Flanders, a province of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

.

His intellectual gifts led him to advanced studies at the Latin-language University of Leuven
Old University of Leuven
The Old University of Leuven is the name historians give to the university, or studium generale, founded in Leuven, Brabant , in 1425, and closed in 1797, a week after the cession to the French Republic of the Austrian Netherlands and the principality of Liège by the Treaty of Campo Formio.When...

, where he registered in 1536 under the name Ogier Ghislain de Comines. From there, he went on to study at a number of well-known universities in northern Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, including taking classes from Giovanni Battista Egnazio in Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

.

Busbecq, like his father and grandfather, chose a career of public service. He entered into the service of the Austrian monarch Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

 in approximately 1552. In 1554, he was sent to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 for the marriage in Winchester
Winchester
Winchester is a historic cathedral city and former capital city of England. It is the county town of Hampshire, in South East England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs, along the course of...

 of the English queen Mary Tudor
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

 to Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

.

At the Ottoman court


In 1554 and again in 1556, Ferdinand named him ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

. His task for much of the time he was in Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 was the negotiation of a border treaty between his employer (the future Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

) and the Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 over the disputed territory of Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

. He had no success in this mission while Rustem Pasha
Rüstem Pasha
Rüstem Pasha Opukovic was a Croat who became an Ottoman general and statesman. He served as the Grand Vizier of Suleiman the Magnificent. Rüstem Pasha is also known as Damat Rüstem Pasha and Rüstem Paşa .-Biography:Rüstem Pasha was born in Skradin, Croatia...

 was the Sultan's vizier
Vizier
A vizier or in Arabic script ; ; sometimes spelled vazir, vizir, vasir, wazir, vesir, or vezir) is a high-ranking political advisor or minister in a Muslim government....

, but ultimately reached an accord with his successor Semiz Ali Pasha.

During his stay in Constantinople, he wrote his best known work, the Turkish Letters, a compendium of personal correspondence to his friend, and fellow Hungarian
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 diplomat, Nicholas Michault, in Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 and some of the world's first travel literature
Travel literature
Travel literature is travel writing of literary value. Travel literature typically records the experiences of an author touring a place for the pleasure of travel. An individual work is sometimes called a travelogue or itinerary. Travel literature may be cross-cultural or transnational in focus, or...

. These letters describe his adventures in Ottoman politics and remain one of the principal primary source
Primary source
Primary source is a term used in a number of disciplines to describe source material that is closest to the person, information, period, or idea being studied....

s for students of the 16th century Ottoman court. He also wrote in enormous detail about the plant and animal life he encountered in Turkey. His letters also contain the only surviving word list of Crimean Gothic
Crimean Gothic
Crimean Gothic was a Gothic dialect spoken by the Crimean Goths in some isolated locations in Crimea until the late 18th century....

, a Germanic dialect spoken in some isolated regions of the Crimean at the time.

Busbecq discovered an almost complete copy of the Res Gestae Divi Augusti
Res Gestae Divi Augusti
Res Gestae Divi Augusti, is the funerary inscription of the first Roman emperor, Augustus, giving a first-person record of his life and accomplishments. The Res Gestae is especially significant because it gives an insight into the image Augustus portrayed to the Roman people...

, an account of Roman emperor Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

' life and accomplishments, at the Monumentum Ancyranum
Monumentum Ancyranum
The name Monumentum Ancyranum refers to the Temple of Augustus and Rome in Ancyra , or to the inscription Res Gestae Divi Augusti, a text recounting the deeds of the first Roman emperor Augustus, the most intact copy of which is preserved on the walls of this temple.The temple was built between 25...

 in Ancyra. He identified its origin from his reading of Suetonius
Suetonius
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known as Suetonius , was a Roman historian belonging to the equestrian order in the early Imperial era....

 and published a copy of parts of it in his Turkish Letters.

He was an avid collector, acquiring valuable manuscripts, rare coins and curios of various kinds. Among the best known of his discoveries was a 6th century copy of Dioscorides
Pedanius Dioscorides
Pedanius Dioscorides was a Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist, the author of a 5-volume encyclopedia about herbal medicine and related medicinal substances , that was widely read for more than 1,500 years.-Life:...

' De Materia Medica, a compendium of medicinal herbs. The emperor purchased it after Busbecq's recommendation; the manuscript is now known as the Vienna Dioscorides. His passion for herbalism led him to send Turkish tulip
Tulip
The tulip is a perennial, bulbous plant with showy flowers in the genus Tulipa, which comprises 109 species and belongs to the family Liliaceae. The genus's native range extends from as far west as Southern Europe, North Africa, Anatolia, and Iran to the Northwest of China. The tulip's centre of...

 bulbs to his friend Charles de l'Écluse
Charles de l'Écluse
Charles de l'Écluse, L'Escluse, or Carolus Clusius , seigneur de Watènes, was a Flemish doctor and pioneering botanist, perhaps the most influential of all 16th century scientific horticulturists....

, who acclimatized them to life in the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

. Less than a century later tulip mania
Tulip mania
Tulip mania or tulipomania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed...

 was sweeping the United Provinces
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 and ruining its financial markets. Busbecq has also been credited with introducing the lilac
Lilac
Syringa is a genus of about 20–25 species of flowering woody plants in the olive family , native to woodland and scrub from southeastern Europe to eastern Asia, and widely and commonly cultivated in temperate areas elsewhere....

 to Europe (though this is debated) as well as the Angora goat
Angora goat
The Angora goat is a breed of domestic goat that originated in Ankara , Turkey and its surrounding region in central Anatolia...

.

Life after Turkey


He returned from Turkey in 1562 and became a counsellor in the court of Emperor Ferdinand
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Ferdinand I was Holy Roman Emperor from 1558 and king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.The key events during his reign were the contest...

 in Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 and tutor to his grandchildren, the sons of future Emperor Maximilian II
Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian II was king of Bohemia and king of the Romans from 1562, king of Hungary and Croatia from 1563, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation from 1564 until his death...

. Busbecq ended his career as the guardian of Elisabeth of Austria, Maximilian's daughter and widow of French king Charles IX
Charles IX of France
Charles IX was King of France, ruling from 1560 until his death. His reign was dominated by the Wars of Religion. He is best known as king at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.-Childhood:...

. He continued to serve the Austrian monarchy, observing the development of the French Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...

 on behalf of Rudolf II
Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor
Rudolf II was Holy Roman Emperor , King of Hungary and Croatia , King of Bohemia and Archduke of Austria...

. Finally, in 1592 and nearing the end of his life, he chose to leave his residence in Mantes outside of Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 for his native West Flanders, but was assaulted and robbed by members of the Catholic League
Catholic League (French)
The Catholic League of France, sometimes referred to by contemporary Roman Catholics as the Holy League, a major player in the French Wars of Religion, was formed by Duke Henry of Guise in 1576...

 near Rouen
Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

. He died a few days later. His body is buried in the castle chapel at Saint-Germain-sous-Cailly
Saint-Germain-sous-Cailly
Saint-Germain-sous-Cailly is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France.-Geography:A small farming village situated by the banks of the Cailly River in the Pays de Bray, some northeast of Rouen on the D44 road.-Population:-External links:*...

, and his heart was embalmed and sent to the family tomb in Bousbecque
Bousbecque
Bousbecque is a commune in the Nord department in northern France.-Heraldry:-References:*...

.

See also


Busbecq brought some manuscripts from Constantinople:
  • Minuscule 218
    Minuscule 218
    Minuscule 218 , ε 233 , is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the Old Testament and New Testament, on parchment. It is one of the few manuscripts with the complete Greek Bible. Palaeographically it has been assigned to the 13th century...

  • Minuscule 222
    Minuscule 222
    Minuscule 222 , A404 , is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament, on paper. Palaeographically it has been assigned to the 14th century...

  • Minuscule 421
    Minuscule 421
    Minuscule 421 , α 259 , is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament, on parchment. It is dated to year ca. 1300.Formerly it was designated by 64a and 69p...

  • Minuscule 434
    Minuscule 434
    Minuscule 434 , Νλ48 , is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament, on parchment. Palaeographically it has been assigned to the 13th century.- Description :...

  • Minuscule 425
    Minuscule 425
    Minuscule 425 , α 457 , is a Greek minuscule manuscript of the New Testament, on parchment. It is dated by a colophon to the year 1330.Formerly it was designated by 67a.- Description :...

  • Minuscule 719
  • Minuscule 722

External links