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  • At its height in in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman Empire spanned three continents,

  • and covered what we know today as Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia,

  • Hungary, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and several other regions in Arabia

  • and North Africa.

  • It was one of the largest, and longest lasting empires in history, spanning from about 1299

  • all the way to 1922 CE.

  • Today, few remnants of the once mighty empire remain, largely centralized in Turkey.

  •  But, how did the Ottoman Empire rise to power in the first place?

  • Well, originally, the Eastern region of the Mediterranean, where the Ottoman Empire flourished,

  • was actually under the control of the Roman Empire.

  • Specifically, the Eastern Roman Empire, also called theByzantine Empire”.

  • After Western Rome fell in the 5th century, the Christian Byzantine Empire struggled to

  • keep up in the face of rapidly spreading Islam.

  • This followed the Golden Age of Islam which lasted from around the 8th to the 13th century.

  • Around the 14th century, a tribal leader named Osman Gazi (Ohs-MAHN GAH-ZI), or Osman the

  • First, and came to control a relatively small principality just south of the Black Sea in

  • the early 14th century.

  • Although small, the region Osman controlled was also prime for the spread of Islam with

  • Islamic fighters hoping to overcome the weakening Christian Byzantine.


  • And while Osman never saw the fruition of his efforts while he was alive, his military

  • continued to expand under subsequent leaders, growing the empire, and eventually culminating

  • in one of the most important military conquests in history: the Fall of Constantinople.

  • In 1453, the Byzantine Empire was on its last legs, and barely holding territory outside

  • of its capital, Constantinople.

  • Meanwhile, the Ottoman Empire had spread throughout the Mediterranean region.

  • By some accounts, roughly 100,000 to 150,000 Ottoman fighters descended on roughly 10,000

  • defenders of the Byzantine capital.

  • There would have been more defenders, but the Black Plague had just swept through and

  • decimated Constantinople’s forces.

  • After less than a two-month siege, the capital was overrun, and the Byzantine Empire, and

  • along with it the Roman Empire, finally collapsed forever.

  • Constantinople was quickly converted into the new capital of the Ottoman Empire, and

  • was colloquially renamed as Islambol, meaningfull of Islam”.

  • And in fact, one of the biggest reasons for the Empire’s continue growth was the massive

  • influence of religion.

  • Besides being united by the concept of conquest in the name of Islam, also calledJihad”,

  • the Ottoman Sultan was considered a “protector of Islam”, as was the Empire itself.

  • With such a strong religious backing, as well as massively powerful slave-based army, few

  • other forces were able to compete or defend themselves.

  • The Ottomans were also great at forming unlikely alliances, both across religious, and ideological

  • lines.

  • One such alliance paired the Empire with France as they both opposed the Austrian House of

  • Hapsburg, and the alliance proved beneficial to both as they supported each other in their

  • conquests of Nice, Corsica, and Hungary.

  • This has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a

  • Christian and non-Christian empire".

  • By the 16th century, the empire had spread to more than 15 million people, and roughly

  • 2 million square miles, led by Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman’s longest reigning

  • sultan.

  • The empire controlled the Mediterranean Sea, as well as Southeast Europe, Western Asia,

  • the Caucuses, and North Africa, thus serving as the perfect melding of eastern and western

  • cultures and acting as an intermediary for both sides of the world.

  • Through endless military determination, a single family line of rule for centuries,

  • and a highly centralized system of government, the Ottoman Empire was able to grow from a

  • few miles of principality, into one of the largest and most influential empires in history.

  • But its superiority didn’t last forever, and not long after its peak, there began a

  • slow and steady decline, eventually resulting in the turbulence for which we now know the

  • Middle Eastern region.

  • Stay tuned for another video chronicling the Fall of the Ottoman Empire.

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At its height in in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman Empire spanned three continents,

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The Rise Of The Ottoman Empire

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    林鼎傑 posted on 2016/10/16
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