Student Projects/The Ottoman Empire
For more than 600 years,the Muslim Ottoman Turks ruled one of the largest empires ever seen. It stretched across the middle East,central and southern Europe,and Africa. Powerful emperors called sultans ruled this huge territory with the help of the janissaries, a personal army of slave-soldiers. The Ottoman Empire began as a tiny state in the northwest of present-day Turkey. The Ottomans were skillful warriors and they quickly increased their territory. In 1453,they captured Constantinople, which had been the capital of the Eastern Roman(Byzantine) Empire for 1,100 years. Renamed Istanbul, it became the center of their Islamic empire, and its rulers,the sultans, were leaders of the Muslim world. In the 15th and 16th centuries,the empire became very powerful and wealthy. The sultans built grand mosques and palaces,many of which can still be seen today. The different cities became famous for the beautiful decorative arts practised by their craftsmen:Iznik for ceramics,Bursa for silks and textiles, Cairo for carpets,and Baghdad for calligraphy.
Structure of an empire:- Although the empire was made up of many different races and had several major cities, it was organized from Istanbul by the sultan and his government. The sultan was both the political leader and the caliph,or religious head,of the Muslim world. He was assisted by a grand vizier,or chief minister, and other court officials and military commanders. Soldiers who volunteered for the army received land in return for service. The sultan's crack troops were the janissaries,a tough,highly trained army of foot soldiers willing to lay down their lives for their ruler.
Last edited on 6 April 2020, at 13:22
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0
unless otherwise noted.