One of the earliest Ottoman Victories, the capture of the Antolian city of Bursa gave the Ottoman Empire a significant foothold for their upcoming battles against the Byzantine. This city became the early capital of the Ottoman Empire, and the spoils of war transformed it into a major intellectual center. The seige of the city lasted for nine years. Towards the end the commander (and founder of the Ottoman way of life), Osman Bey, fell ill, leaving the capture of Bursa to his son.
Period: Apr 1, 1451 to May 3, 1481
Reign of Mehmed the Conqueror
As the Ottoman ruler responsible for the capture of Constantiople, Mehemed solidified the Ottoman empire's military presence with this key victory, in addition, the aquisition of Constantinople greatly expanded the Ottoman's cultural presence and economic power. Renamed Istanbul, the city's unique location made it an ideal point for the capital of Mehmed's empire, and a staging point for his later conquests in the Balkan states and even Italy itself.
May 29, 1453
Capture of Constantinople
Unique Location of IstanbulThe capture of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror was the techincal end of the Byzantine Empire as well as a great victory for the Ottoman Empire. This city's location and history made it an easy canidate for capital of the Ottoman Empire (although its name was changed to Istanbul in the process). This capture cemented Mehmed;'s position as a true emporer rather than just another general.
Period: Jul 17, 1487 to May 23, 1524
Life of Shah Ismail, founder of the Safavid Empire
Reigning from 1501 to 1524, Shah Ismail had an adventurous start to his empire. Leaving his country at a young age to avoid family enemies, Ismail returned at the age of 12 and had claimed the title of Shah (ruler) with two years of this. The Shah quickly promoted Twelver Shiism as the official religon of the land (seeding trouble with the Ottomans in the future). A notable feature of his reign was his administration's impressive use of propganda and ability to twist the facts as was convienent.
Period: Apr 1, 1501 to
Reign of the Safavid Empire
Based heavily in Twelver Shiism, the Safavid Empire was diametrically opposed to the Sunni Ottoman Empire.
The Safavid Empire benefitted greatly from the remains of Persian bueracracy and administrative devices.
Period: Jan 1, 1512 to Sep 22, 1520
Selim the Grim's Reign
Fairly short, however it is worth noting that Selim the Grim was responsible for the Battle of Chaldiran. Selim did not just strive for expansion like most Ottoman rulers, but actively engaged the Safavid Empire due to their allignment.(in this case, the animosity between Sunni Ottoman and Shiite Safavid muslims caused the conflict.
Aug 23, 1514
Battle of Chaldiran
A clash between the Ottoman and Safavid Empires, this battle showed the superiority of gunpowder weaponry over the Safavid's qizilbash's zealotry. This was the first of many clashed between the two empires, who fought for religous reasons. In thies case, century old conflict between Sunni and Shiite muslims was the cause of contention. In fact, Selim the Grim's fear of the spread of Shiite propaganda was enough to make invade the Safavid empire, falling back only due to lack of resources.
Period: Sep 30, 1520 to Nov 6, 1566
Suleyman the Magnificent
Ruling from 1520 to 1566, the period of his reign was commonly held as the golden age of Ottoman Imperialism. Supporter of expansion, his efforts yielded significant military triumph in both Europe and Asia, includingt the capture of the Tigris and Euphrates valleys and victory over the Hungarians.
Period: Jan 1, 1523 to Dec 26, 1530
Time Between the 'Sudden Appereance" of and the End of Babur's Reign
His reign offically starting in 1526 with the caputre of Delhi, Babur was a stand alone adventurer. He didn't found his kingdom on religous or moral values. He was no agent of the people's will standing up to an oppresor. He was a fortune hunter claiming desent from Tamerlane and Genghis Khan who (with a small army of course) founded the Mughal Dynasty.
Period: Apr 1, 1526 to
Reign of the Mughal Dynasty
Apr 30, 1526
Babur's capture of Delhi
Zahir Muhammad, known also as 'the tiger' (Babur), was the founder of the Mughal Dynasty. Initially his empire building efforts stalled at home, so Babur moved his forces to India. In spite of dislike for the climate, he took advantage of unrest and decline in India to capture the city of Delhi in 1526. The riches of India were enough to convince his forces to stay, and by his death in 1530 enough had been taken to allow his successors to found the Mughal Dynasty.
Period: Feb 14, 1556 to
Reign of Akbar
Son of Babur, Akbar 'the Great' was a brilliant, if brutal strategist as well as a wise, considerate ruler. In addition to military conquest and expansion, Akbar laid down most of the Mughal's administrative network and also strove to eliminate religous tension within his empire (accomplishing the last feat by promoting a state centered religion rather than forcing Islam upon his subjects).
Jan 1, 1558
Construction of the Suleymaniye Mosque
Virtual Tour of the Suleymaniye MosqueAlthough not as well known as the Taj Mahal of the Safavids, this grand structure often dominates the skyline of Istanbul. Built by the skiled architect Sinan Pasha, this religous complex was awe inspiring not just because of its looks but also the mixed sources of its design. The Suleymaniye Mosque is unique in having used both Byzantine and Islamic elements in its construction. Over the years it has suffered from several fires and earthquakes, but remains as a bastion of Islamic culture.
Reign of Shah Abbas the Great, reformer of the Safavid Empire
Generally considered the greatest ruler of the Safavid Empire, Shah Abbas was responsible for a large number of reforms. To start, he moved the capital of his kingdom to a more central city, namely Isfahan. The inhabitants of Isfahan claim(ed) the city makes up half the world. The new city location spurred trade and no doubt made administration easier. In addition, Abbas was reformed of the military. The introduction of gunpowder weapons made it possible to expand and fight the Ottomans
Construction of the Taj Mahal
PBS's Taj Mahal site Arguably one of the most recognizable structures in the world, this grand monument of the Mughal Dynasty was commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his favorite wife. His efforts were costly, and in the end cost him his throne before the reciprocating building was finished.
Rule of Aurangzeb
Ruler of the Mughal Empire at its largest, Aurangzeb was a relentless conqueror. He focused primarily on southern India, which was historically independent unto this point. It is worth noting he pushed traditional Islamic values to the point that the religious tensions easied by Akbar.