Anyone who has ever read Dorothy Dunnett knows the name Dragut Reis.
THE UNCROWNED KING OF THE MEDITERRANEAN: DRAGUT REIS
Undoubtedly the heir of Barbarossa in the Mediterranean was Dragut Reis. Following the foot prints of Barbarossa, Dragut tried to construct a system between the Ottoman capital and the Maghreb. It did not take him long time to emerge as new figure among the mythical figures created by the Europeans. Following the ascension of his brilliant profile towards the 1540s the avalanche pushed the vicerois of Naples and Sicily. He threatened the Spanish and Italian coasts and the security of the islands by launching his attacks from the Maghrebian territories where a cosmopolitan and social mobility was manupulated by the city of Algiers. Till his epic death during the Great Siege of Malta in 1565 he kept his fame as the most fearful figure of Mare Nostrum.
The sources relating to Dragut Reis in Latin languages, especially in Catalan, Spanish, Italian and French, shed light on the trace that he left in the Mediterranean. These sources, that turn out to be abundant mainly at the beginning of the second half of the 16th century, show forth the horror spread by him on the Italian and Spanish coasts and the islands. Apart from the archival sources, Dragut, who also appears majestically in the literature of the age, was the most renowned figure in the Mediterranean after Barbarossa. Dragut was the theme of almost every genre in the European literature of the Cinquecento, especially in the Spanish and Italian literatures. Apart from the oral literature and folklore he was immortalized in the romances, novellas, short stories, plays and poems of the age. This paper aims to draw a portrait of Dragut Reis with the literary works and the archival data of the age.