- Mar 23, 2011
In terms of how this should be represented, the parallel I'd bring up would be Alexandria as CoT: Before 1419 (the beginning of this game), Alexandria at most historical points is the most important center of trade in Egypt. However, some figures would show that at points within the 1517-1700 period, Cairo would arguably be more important as a CoT than Alexandria (although both would have been important, effectively "co-centers" of trade in Egypt -- that is, we wouldn't speak of a serious "decline" of Alexandria under Ottomans); but then by the late 1700s, Alexandria is unquestionably again the dominant trade center in Egypt and much more important in those terms than Cairo. Ok, how should a CoT in Egypt be represented in-game? I think absolutely the best symbolic representation would be for Alexandria to remain the CoT in Egypt during the entire period represented in this game; although some very minor level of exact nuanced detail is sacrificed in that case, just going with that is realistically "good enough" and probably the best representative logic for gameplay purposes, the best overall symbolic representation of the historical reality in terms of acting pragmatically within this game's confines.Or rather Saloniki is an important local center of trade for the balkan area after the Ottoman conquest. ... The book you mention describes the situation from 1550 onward when Saloniki and it´s hinterland were already all in Ottoman hands so that trade could flow freely. That was not the case during the siege of Saloniki while the byzantines or the venetians held the city.
And so, was Thessalonika a historically important international trade center during periods before the Ottoman conquest? Yes. Ok, was Salonika an important international CoT, under Ottoman control, by the early 1500s? Definitely. And the more complicated question: was it an important international CoT during most of the 1400s, after the Ottoman conquest but before arrival of the Sephardic merchants? That would be much less clear.
I don't see a problem with Salonika becoming a CoT only when the "Jewish refugees from Portugal" event fires, but I'm also not sure whether that would make whatever issues we see now with trade areas in that region more or less complicated to deal with. And so, like Alexandria, I don't know that the idea of Salonika represented as a CoT through the entirety of the game is really so bad as a decision. We may lose some detail in terms of Salonika's disruption before reemergence, but what is the better CoT representation in that time period? That is, does someone have a better idea on how to handle Ottoman CoT's between 1419 and 1492 that would then still segue well into the event where Salonika becomes a CoT ("Jewish refugees from Portugal") and remains as such? I think various possibilities should be considered regarding what representations would be seen as most symbolically appropriate as approximations of history within gameplay confines.
The first time they conquered the city in the 1300s, they were essentially invited in by the Greek inhabitants, in part because at that time the Ottomans had a reputation as tolerant and efficient leaders (before long they would not be so well-loved, of course). And in both conquests, Ottomans already controlled the Macedonian hinterland. The second capture of the city actually involved an eight-year siege, which is an extremely extended siege by historical standards. And that occurred like that even though the Ottomans already controlled the Macedonian hinterland and the city changed hands between the Byzantines and Venice during the course of the siege (undergoing transfer of authority from one state to another would be the sort of event which would seemingly ordinarily disrupt the defense of a city actively under siege) -- so, the fact that the Ottomans had these immense advantages and still weren't able to conquer the city until after one of the longest sieges in history is indicative of the city's natural defenses. Salonika should be an extremely difficult city to conquer (especially if the attacker does not control the Macedonian hinterland, although the hinterland and city are a single province in this mod). Note that after the Ottomans conquered the city in 1430, they do not lose ownership until 1912 (and think about all they gain and lose during that period). I'm honestly not sure that they even lose active control of the city during war at any point during the time period represented in this game.The ottomans took the city twice. That does not convince me that the town was harder to attack than others they conquered.