letter from suleiman the magnificent to francis i
I who am the Sultan of Sultans, the sovereign of sovereigns, the dispenser of crowns to the monarchs on the face of the earth, the shadow of the God on Earth, the Sultan and sovereign lord of the Mediterranean Sea and of the Black Sea, of Rumelia and of Anatolia, of Karamania, of the land of Romans, of Dhulkadria, of Diyarbakir, of Kurdistan, of Azerbaijan, of Persia, of Damascus, of Aleppo, of Cairo, of Mecca, of Medina, of Jerusalem, of all Arabia, of Yemen and of many other lands which my noble fore-fathers and my glorious ancestors (may God light up their tombs!) conquered by the force of their arms and which my August Majesty has made subject to my flamboyant sword and my victorious blade, I, Sultan Suleiman Khan, son of Sultan Selim Khan, son of Sultan Bayezid Khan: To thee who art Francesco, king of the province of France...
You have sent to my Porte, refuge of sovereigns, a letter by the hand of your faithful servant Frangipani, and you have furthermore entrusted to him miscellaneous verbal communications. You have informed me that the enemy has overrun your country and that you are at present in prison and a captive, and you have asked aid and succours for your deliverance. All this your saying having been set forth at the foot of my throne, which controls the world. Your situation has gained my imperial understanding in every detail, and I have considered all of it. There is nothing astonishing in emperors being defeated and made captive. Take courage then, and be not dismayed.
Our glorious predecessors and our illustrious ancestors (may God light up their tombs!) have never ceased to make war to repel the foe and conquer his lands. We ourselves have followed in their footsteps, and have at all times conquered provinces and citadels of great strength and difficult of approach. Night and day our horse is saddled and our sabre is girt. May the God on High promote righteousness! May whatsoever He will be accomplished! For the rest, question your ambassador and be informed. Know that it will be as said.