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083 Pirates and The World’s Greatest Con Man

The sons of Suleiman fight to the death to see who will control the Empire as geopolitics leads to the rising power of a class of powerful pirates in the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, a con man takes control of Moldavia and things get weird.

Major Characters in this Episode


Selim III

John Zápolya

Ferdinand I

Maximillian II

Alexandru Lăpușneanu

Alexander II Mircea

Peter the Younger

The Barbary Pirates

Iacob Heraclid

Timeline of this episode

  • 1559, Selim defeats his brother Bayezid, who flees to Persia

  • 1559, Mircea the Shepherd dies, and the Boyars of Wallachia rise against his 13 year old son Peter the Younger. They win the first battle only to lose two after (with Ottoman support). His mother ran things to protect her son from intrigue.

  • 1561, A major Hungarian lord defects to the Hapsburgs

  • 1561, Alexandru Lăpușneanu is overthrown by Iacob Heraclid

  • 1562, John Zápolya attempts to take his lands but is routed, this sparks a broader uprising which is brutally put down (their leaders were impaled and mutilated)

  • 1562, Heraclid invades Wallachia

  • 1564, Alexandru Lăpușneanu retakes the crown in Moldavia from Iacob Heraclid

  • 1564, Ferdinand dies and his son Maximilian II becomes Holy Roman Emperor as well as King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia

  • 1566, Suleiman dies

  • 1567, John Zápolya and an Ottoman pasha invade the Hapsburg controlled portion of Hungary, but Zápolya becomes sick and so the invasion doesn’t result in much.

  • 1568, Habsburg-Ottoman peace signed in Edirne

  • 1568, The Dutch War of Independence against the Hapsburgs begins (lasts 80 years), this also changes the situation of the Barbary Pirates

  • 1568, Peter the Younger goes into exile, is imprisoned in Constantinople, and is then poisoned. He had become Voivode at 13 and was just 21 at his death. He was succeeded by Vlad Dracul (Dracula)’s great grandson Alexander II Mircea who had grown up in Istanbul. He was exceptionally cruel.

  • 1568, Alexandru Lăpușneanu dies

  • 1568-70, Ottomans attack Astrakhan in a move to expand against Russia, this is the First Russo-Turkish War

  • 1570, John Zápolya signs an agreement with Maximillian to give up his title King of Hungary and replace it with "Prince of Transylvania and Lord of Parts of the Kingdom of Hungary" and promising that his lands would go to Maximillian on his death, becoming his vassal in the meantime

  • 1571, John Zápolya dies, making Maximillian the uncontested King of Hungary

  • 1570-73 the fourth Ottoman-Venetian War

A depiction of the tyrant and "con man" Iacob Heraclid of coinage

Peter the Younger

Sultan Selim II

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