The RCH Institute of History has published the newest English language volume by Pál Fodor, Acting Director General of the RCH (and Director of the Institute of History) entitled “The Unbearable Weight of Empire. The Ottomans in Central Europe – A Failed Attempt at Universal Monarchy (1390–1566)”.
The book seeks to understand why the Ottoman Empire was constantly at war, why it persistently attacked Hungary for more than a hundred years and why Ottoman leadership regarded Hungary, or more broadly, Central Europe as the most important of its frontlines in the early 16th century. The study’s primary aim is to offer a more realistic picture of the role of the Hungarian/Central European frontier in Ottoman politico-military planning. In doing so, the book attempts to show how the conflict in this region affected the fate of the Ottoman Empire in the long run and how a series of erroneous decisions on the part of the ottoman court led to the failure of its universalist imperial programme. In addition, the author challenges some trends in recent historiography of the Ottoman Empire that go too far in entangling Ottoman and European history. The content of the book can be read here.