Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
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Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Turcomans . Ghazis were usually vagabonds or drifters, recruited by the sultans.
|The Arabs quickly discerned the qualities of the Turkish Seljuks. Besides self-discipline and foresight, what combative skill, and unit, did the Arabs admire?||Early Days of the Ottoman Empire
Horse Archers. If any of you have played Age of Empires 2, the game is misleading in its classification of Janissaries. Janissaries were acutally clave warriors that used scimitars instead of hand cannons.
|When the Arabs of the Islamic Caliphate arrived in the Middle East, Turkish power crumbled. A century afterwards, the Turks renounced their pagan beliefs and embraced Islam. What century was this?||Early Days of the Ottoman Empire
900's. The Arabs of the Islamic Caliphate were led by Seljuk Chieftains. The Seljuks later came to rule over the lands of the Islamic Caliphate.
Earth . These were very simple pagan gods that the turks worshipped.
Eurasian. These nomads were agriculturalists, herders, and some merchants.
|Suleiman I had many sons, but Ottoman palace politics made it impossible to sustain a happy family dynamic. The air was thick with intrigue. Brothers went to war against each other; Suleiman arranged the execution of two sons. In the end, who became sultan after Suleiman?||The Ottoman Empire Under Suleiman I
His son Selim. Selim (1524-1574) was the only son left standing at Suleiman's death, and he thus became Selim II. Of his brothers, Mehmed had died in 1543, probably of illness. Mustafa, the eldest (and the only significant son not born to Hürrem Sultan), was the victim of palace intrigue: accused of plotting a coup, he was summoned to appear before his father to answer the charges. He knew he might be killed if he went; he knew he would be accused of treason if he did not. He went. He was killed. Jihangir, fond of his half-brother and never healthy, died of natural causes some months later.
Beyazit and Selim, the two who remained, were close in age and fiercely competitive. Their aging father decided to separate them, telling them to govern distant parts of the empire in his name. When Beyazit did not obey immediately, Suleiman feared the worst. Civil war followed, with Suleiman backing Selim; eventually, Beyazit fled to Persia, where he and his sons were executed at Suleiman's request in 1561.
Suleiman died while on campaign in 1566. Unfortunately for his empire, Selim proved an unworthy heir. The contrast was stark: Suleiman was known as the Lawgiver, and Selim was known as the Drunkard. Historians today mark Selim II as the beginning of the end of the Ottoman Empire.
|The Ottomans didn't only have a navy in the Mediterranean; they were in the Indian Ocean, too. They captured Aden in 1548 and Muscat in 1552, and even maintained a loose alliance with Aceh in what is now Indonesia. Against what European power were the Ottomans fighting in this ocean?||The Ottoman Empire Under Suleiman I
Portugal. In 1499, explorer Vasco da Gama had returned to Portugal from a long voyage that established a sea route to India. Ottoman sailors, however, did not need to sail around the entire continent of Africa as the Portuguese did; since 1517, they had direct access to the Red Sea and could take a much shorter route. In an effort to protect their trading monopoly, the Portuguese occupied cities on the Arabian Peninsula (such as Aden, now part of Yemen, and Muscat, now part of Oman), and on the Indian coast.
Through their naval campaigns, the Ottomans hoped to break Portuguese dominance in the Indian Ocean. Even in the short run, their success was mixed; the 1548 capture of Aden was only necessary because the Portuguese had retaken it in the decade since the *first* Ottoman capture of Aden. There was no Suez Canal at the time, so the Ottomans could not transfer ships from the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea; instead, they had to build a fleet from scratch. (Circumnavigating Africa was not an option given the Portuguese strongholds on the coast.) In the long run, the Ottomans were unable to break the Portuguese lock on the Indian Ocean.
|Ottoman emperors tended not to marry; they regarded their dynasty as superior to all others, so no other royal families were worthy of a marriage alliance. Suleiman I, however, DID marry -- and the woman he married was a former slave of his harem. What was the Western name for this woman, who influenced her husband's politics?||The Ottoman Empire Under Suleiman I
Roxelana. Roxelana (c. 1500-1558) was probably born in the Ukraine, perhaps to an Orthodox priest. Captured as a teenager and sold as a slave, she wound up in Suleiman's harem and soon became a favorite of his. The story goes that she had a careful strategy for winning a place as his wife. First, she asked him to allow her to study Islam; how could he say no? Then, she requested to be allowed to convert, and a pleased Suleiman again agreed. After converting, however, she explained that -- as a devout Muslim woman -- it was impossible for her to be intimate with a man who was not her husband. They did not remain unmarried for long.
"Roxelana" may not ever have been her actual name; instead, it may be a reference to her Ruthenian nationality. She is known to Ottoman history as Hürrem Sultan, the cheerful queen. There is evidence she advised her husband on various matters of state, and probably helped inspire the "perpetual peace" between Poland and the Ottoman Empire. (In the end, the peace was not really perpetual; it never is. War broke out in 1620.)
|Westerners know Suleiman I as "Suleiman the Magnificent," but his own people came to call him by a different honorific: "Kanuni Suleiman." This refers to what major area of reform, undertaken during his reign?||The Ottoman Empire Under Suleiman I
Legal reform. "Kanuni Suleiman" is "Suleiman the Lawgiver"; this was, perhaps, his longest and best legacy. He unified the varied pronouncements of his predecessors into a single legal code, covering such varied areas as taxation and criminal law. These kanun‐i Osmani did not and could not contradict the divine law, or shariah, but Suleiman's civil code had a profound effect on the lives of his subjects. Strikingly, the code lightened criminal penalties; regularized taxes and levies; and offered significant protection to Christian and Jewish minorities.
|Mediterranean shipping was vital to the Ottomans, and under Suleiman they maintained an immense navy. Their greatest admiral, Hayreddin Pasha, shared a nickname with a 12th-century Holy Roman Emperor. What was the nickname?||The Ottoman Empire Under Suleiman I
Barbarossa. "Barbarossa" is Italian for "red beard", the nickname was given to Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I as a sign of respect. Hayreddin Pasha's older brother, Baba Aruj, also had a red beard, and picked up the nickname as a Europeanization of his Turkish name; when he died, the name stuck to his younger brother.
Hayreddin Pasha Barbarossa (c. 1478-1546) was a phenomenally skilled admiral and privateer. His efforts in the Mediterranean were crucial in the Ottoman fight against the Habsburgs, and were a cornerstone of the anti-Habsburg alliance between the Ottomans and the French. Among his efforts, he assisted the flight of tens of thousands of Moors from southern Spain, which had become deeply hostile to them after the Christian conquest.
|Europe wasn't the only area that tempted the Ottomans under Suleiman: territorial disputes with the Persians led to more than twenty years of warfare. What major Mesopotamian city did the Ottomans capture in 1534?||The Ottoman Empire Under Suleiman I
Baghdad. These wars occurred early in the time of the Safavid dynasty, which would rule Persia for more than two hundred years. It was natural that the Ottomans and the Safavids would oppose each other, given their close proximity. Making matters worse, the Safavids were pursuing an alliance with the hated Habsburgs, and assassinated one of their own governors for being friendly toward Suleiman.
Suleiman's Grand Vizier, Ibrahim Pasha, launched the first campaign of the war in 1532. The Safavid shah, Tahmasp I, withdrew his troops ahead of the Pasha, burning fields and villages in a scorched-earth strategy. Nevertheless, the Ottomans took Baghdad (now the capital of Iraq) and would hold it for eighty-nine years. This was a vital link in the sultans' quest for legitimacy as Islamic caliphs; the Abbasid caliphate had been based in Baghdad.
|In one bloody battle after another, from Mohács to Buda, Ottoman armies brought the kingdom of Hungary to its knees. In 1529, Suleiman marched his men along the Danube through Austria, his mind set on the Habsburg capital -- but his attack failed. What was this city that became the high-water mark of Ottoman expansion in Europe?||The Ottoman Empire Under Suleiman I
Vienna. Ferdinand I, the Archduke of Austria, had claimed Hungary after its king was killed by the Ottomans at the Battle of Mohács in 1526. Suleiman, however, had already installed a vassal king -- John Zápolya -- and refused to tolerate Ferdinand's competing claim. He assembled an army of more than a hundred thousand and marched to Vienna.
Vienna, the capital of modern Austria, had perhaps a fifth as many soldiers defending it as attacking it. However, they did have some advantages. Bad spring and summer rains had dogged the Ottoman march, sickening the soldiers and camels and bogging down the artillery pieces so badly that many of them had to be abandoned in the mud. The Ottomans' usual siege tactics -- digging under the walls and placing mines there -- were blocked by the defenders. Ottoman supply lines could not support a long siege, however, and early snowfall had a disastrous effect. The Ottomans retreated in mid-October; they would not return to Vienna until 1683, although they did force Ferdinand to renounce most of his Hungarian claims in the 1540s.
|Suleiman's predecessors had greatly expanded the Ottoman Empire, and the new sultan was eager to continue their progress. The year after his coronation, he captured a prize that had eluded earlier sultans. What important city, then under Hungarian rule and now the capital of Serbia, fell to Suleiman in August 1521?||The Ottoman Empire Under Suleiman I
Belgrade. In 1456, Suleiman's predecessor Mehmed II -- who had conquered Constantinople (now Istanbul) just three years earlier and broken the Byzantine Empire -- laid siege to the city of Belgrade. His defeat there was widely regarded as the death knell of Ottoman expansion in the Balkans; to this day, Catholic churches ring their bells every noon in commemoration of the moment.
Sixty-five years later, the Ottoman armies returned to Belgrade with perhaps a quarter million soldiers, and this time the defenders were not so lucky. Suleiman had cut off Hungary's ability to help its border fort, which held out for less than two months. The population of the city was brought to Istanbul; the city and its fort became an important forward base for the Ottoman armies.
The Sultan restored the Ottoman parliament.. In 1908, a combination of several forces that opposed the Sultan and the absolute monarchy of the Ottoman Empire, revolted with support from within the army. The Sultan, who had suspended the Ottoman parliament in 1878, agreed to its restoration. The Young Turk revolution was named after the party that organized the revolution and is considered one of the key moments that led to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1922.
|In the 17th century, the Ottoman Empire had to struggle to keep its borders intact, until finally its forces were turned back in the battle of Vienna. When did it take place?||The Rise and Fall of the Ottoman Empire
1683. After the failed siege of Vienna in 1529, the Ottomans besieged it again in 1683. The Ottoman forces were defeated by the alliance of the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In the years that followed, the Republic of Venice and the Tsardom of Russia joined the alliance, now named the Holy League, and engaged the Ottoman Empire on multiple fronts. Eventually, the Ottoman Empire lost its territories in Central Europe and was driven back to the Balkans.
Serbia. After the fall of Constantinople, Mehmed planned to conquer Hungary, but at that time the Serbian monarch Durad Brankovic refused to pay tribute. The Ottoman forces invaded Serbia and besieged Belgrade unsuccessfully in 1456. While securing Serbia in 1459, the Despotate of Morea did not pay tribute and revolted against the Ottoman Empire. The same thing happened in Wallachia in 1462, forcing Mehmed to lead his forces against Vlad the Impaler.
Battle of Bapheus. The battle of Bapheus, an area between the cities of Nicaea and Nicomedia in Bithynia, took place in 1302 and resulted in an Ottoman victory. After the battle, the Byzantines lost their grip in Bithynia and in the next few decades they were slowly driven out of the area. The siege of Prusa (present-day Bursa) in 1326 was the last campaign Osman participated in before his death, while Constantinople wasn't besieged by the Ottomans until the 15th century. The battle of Manzikert was an important battle between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Turks in 1071, before the rise of the Ottoman state.
1299. Osman I was the founder of the Ottoman state. He became the leader of the Ottomans after his father died in 1281, but it wasn't until 1299 that he declared their independence. After that, Osman focused on attacking the weakened Byzantine areas in Asia Minor, until his death in 1326.