chapter  1
Roxolana in Europe
ByGalina Yermolenko
Pages 34

Rumors about Roxolana reached Europe some time by the late 1520s or 1530s, and certainly after her marriage to Suleiman in 1533 or 1534, which shocked both the Turkish and the European public.2 The chronicles of the Italian humanist historian Paolo Giovio, such as Turcicorum rerum commentarius (Parisiis, 1531, 1538, 1539) and Historiarum sui tempores (1552), published in several European languages and particularly well known in numerous French translations and editions,3 introduced to the western public the main players at the Ottoman court: Sultan Suleiman, his mother, “Rossa,” and Ibrahim “Bassa.” Giovio linked Roxolana to the 1536 execution of the Grand Vizier Ibrahim, stating that she hated Ibrahim for his opposition to her attempts to procure the throne for her son Bayezid (Bajazet).4 This story, single-handedly invented by Giovio, was later appropriated by other European historians and chroniclers.5