chapter  3
Biblical Images of the Turk: The Apocalyptic and the Exotic
Pages 30

Introduction Biblical texts and their accompanying illustrations had been linked with Islam and the Near East within Christian European theological scholarship even before Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible into the German vernacular. Earlier manuscript traditions, speci cally those dating from Islamic contact in the Crusades which began in theeleventh century, had strongly in uenced incunabula Bible illustrations. is intensi ed with the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and the further expansion into Christian European territory.2 Sixteenth-century printed images built on medieval illuminated manuscript interpretations but speci cally referenced Turkish costume as the Ottoman army drew even closer to German-speaking Europe.3 e Ottoman victory in the 1526 Battle of Mohačs and their 1529 Siege of Vienna highlighted the direct military threat. As theologians analysed their own times through biblical events, the expansion of the sultan and his armies took on heightened signi cance. is was enhanced by the religious upheavals in the Holy Roman Empire, which were to lead to the German Reformation.