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Suleiman the Magnificent
|Caliph of Islam Amir al-Mu''minin Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques |
|Suleiman in a portrait attributed to Titian c.1530 |
|Sultan of the Ottoman Empire |
|30 September 1520 – 7 September 1566 |
|30 September 1520 |
|Selim I |
|Selim II |
|Hürrem Sultan (legal wife) Mahidevran Sultan Gülfem Hatun |
|Şehzade Mustafa Şehzade Ahmed Şehzade Murad Şehzade Mehmed Mihrimah Sultan Şehzade Abdullah Sultan Selim II Raziye Sultan Şehzade Bayezid Şehzade Cihangir |
|House of Osman |
|Selim I |
|Ayşe Hafsa Sultan |
|(1494-11-06)6 November 1494 Trabzon |
|7 September 1566 (aged 71) Szigetvár, Hungary |
|Süleymaniye Mosque, Constantinople |
Suleiman I /ˌsʊlɪˈmɑːn/, known as “the Magnificent” in the West and “Kanuni” (the Lawgiver) in the East, (6 November 1494 – 7 September 1566) was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566.
Suleiman became a prominent monarch of 16th-century Europe, presiding over the apex of the Ottoman Empire''s military, political and economic power. Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies in conquering the Christian strongholds of Belgrade, Rhodes, as well as most of Hungary before his conquests were checked at the Siege of Vienna in 1529. He annexed much of the Middle East in his conflict with the Safavids and large areas of North Africa as far west as Algeria. Under his rule, the Ottoman fleet dominated the seas from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and through the Persian Gulf.
At the helm of an expanding empire, Suleiman personally instituted major legislative changes relating to society, education, taxation, and criminal law. His canonical law (or the Kanuns) fixed the form of the empire for centuries after his death. Not only was Suleiman a distinguished poet and goldsmith; he also became a great patron of culture, overseeing the "Golden" age of the Ottoman Empire in its artistic, literary and architectural development.
Breaking with Ottoman tradition, Suleiman married Roxelana, a former Christian girl converted to Islam from his harem, who became subsequently known and influential as Hürrem Sultan. Their son, Selim II, succeeded Suleiman following his death in 1566 after 46 years of rule. Suleiman''s previous heir apparent, his eldest son Mustafa, had been strangled to death 13 years prior at the sultan''s order.And his other son Bayezid, had been killed by his support and Selim II''s order in 1561 with his 4 princes. Contents
Alternative names and titles
- 1 Alternative names and titles
- 2 Early life
- 3 Military campaigns
- 3.1 Conquests in Europe
- 3.2 Ottoman–Safavid War
- 3.3 Campaigns in the Indian Ocean
- 3.4 Mediterranean and North Africa
- 4 Administrative reforms
- 5 Cultural achievements
- 6 Personal life
- 6.1 Consorts and progeny
- 6.2 Relationship with Hürrem Sultan
- 6.3 Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha
- 7 Succession
- 8 Legacy
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Suleiman was known as Ottoman Turkish: سلطان سليمان اول, Sultān Suleimān-i evvel or قانونى سلطان سليمان, Kānūnī Sultān Suleimān, Modern Turkish: I. Süleyman (Turkish pronunciation: ) or Kanuni Sultan Süleyman; and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" (Turkish: Kanuni; Arabic: القانونى, al‐Qānūnī) where evvel means "the first" and kanuni means "lawgiver" for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system. Early life
Suleiman was born in Trabzon along the east coast of the Black Sea, probably on 6 November 1494. His mother was Ayşe Hafsa Sultan or Hafsa Sultan, who died in 1534. At the age of seven, he was sent to study science, history, literature, theology, and military tactics in the schools of the Topkapı Palace in Constantinople (modern Istanbul). As a young man, he befriended Pargalı Ibrahim, a slave who later became one of his most trusted advisers. From the age of seventeen, he was appointed as the governor of first Kaffa (Theodosia), then Sarukhan (Manisa) with a brief tenure at Adrianople (now Edirne). Upon the death of his father, Selim I (1465–1520), Suleiman entered Constantinople and ascended to the throne as the tenth Ottoman Sultan. An early description of Suleiman, a few weeks following his accession, was provided by the Venetian envoy Bartolomeo Contarini: "He is twenty-six years of age, tall, but wiry, and of a delicate complexion. His neck is a little too long, his face thin, and his nose aquiline. He has a shade of a mustache and a small beard; nevertheless he has a pleasant mien, though his skin tends to be a light pallor. He is said to be a wise Lord, fond of study, and all men hope for good from his rule." Some historians claim that in his youth Suleiman had an admiration for Alexander the Great. He was influenced by Alexander''s vision of building a world empire that would encompass the east and the west, and this created a drive for his subsequent military campaigns in Asia and in Africa, as well as in Europe. Military campaigns See also: List of campaigns of Suleiman the Magnificent Conquests in Europe See also: Ottoman wars in Europe and Islam and Protestantism
Upon succeeding his father, Suleiman began a series of military conquests, eventually suppressing a revolt led by the Ottoman-appointed governor of Damascus in 1521. Suleiman soon made preparations for the conquest of Belgrade from the Kingdom of Hungary—something his great-grandfather Mehmed II had failed to achieve. Its capture was vital in removing the Hungarians who, following the defeats of the Serbs, Bulgarians and the Byzantines, remained the only formidable force who could block further Ottoman gains in Europe. Suleiman encircled Belgrade and began a series of heavy bombardments from an island in the Danube. Belgrade, with a garrison of only 700 men, and receiving no aid from Hungary, fell in August 1521.Suleiman as a young man
The fall of Christendom''s major strongholds spread fear across Europe. As the ambassador of the Holy Roman Empire to Constantinople was to note, "The capture of Belgrade was at the origin of the dramatic events which engulfed Hungary. It led to the death of King Louis, the capture of Buda, the occupation of Transylvania, the ruin of a flourishing kingdom and the fear of neighboring nations that they would suffer the same fate..."
The road to Hungary and Austria lay open, but Suleiman turned his attention instead to the Eastern Mediterranean island of Rhodes, the home base of the Knights Hospitaller. In the summer of 1522, taking advantage of the large Navy he inherited from his father, Suleiman dispatched an armada of some 400 ships towards Rhodes, while personally leading an army of 100,000 across Asia Minor to a point opposite the island itself. Here Suleiman built a large fortification, Marmaris Castle, that served as a base for the Ottoman Navy. Following a siege of five months Siege of Rhodes (1522) with brutal encounters, Rhodes capitulated and Suleiman allowed the Knights of Rhodes to depart. (The Knights of Rhodes eventually formed a new base in Malta.)
As relations between Hungary and the Ottoman Empire deteriorated, Suleiman resumed his campaign in Eastern Europe and on 29 August 1526, he defeated Louis II of Hungary (1506–26) at the Battle of Mohács. In its wake, Hungarian resistance collapsed and the Ottoman Empire became the preeminent power in Eastern Europe. Upon encountering the lifeless body of King Louis, Suleiman is said to have lamented: "I came indeed in arms against him; but it was not my wish that he should be thus cut off before he scarcely tasted the sweets of life and royalty." While Suleiman was campaigning in Hungary, Turkmen tribes in central Anatolia revolted under the leadership of Kalender Çelebi.
Some Hungarian nobles proposed that Ferdinand, who was ruler of neighboring Austria and tied to Louis II''s family by marriage, be King of Hungary, citing previous agreements that the Habsburgs would take the Hungarian throne if Louis died without heirs. However, other nobles turned to the nobleman John Zápolya who was being supported by Suleiman. Under Charles V and his brother Ferdinand I, the Habsburgs reoccupied Buda and took possession of Hungary. As a result, in 1529, Suleiman once again marched through the valley of the Danube and regained control of Buda and in the following autumn laid siege to Vienna. This was to be the Ottoman Empire''s most ambitious expedition and the apogee of its drive towards the West. With a reinforced garrison of 16,000 men, the Austrians inflicted upon Suleiman his first defeat, sowing the seeds of a bitter Ottoman-Habsburg rivalry which lasted until the 20th century. A second attempt to conquer Vienna failed in 1532, with Ottoman forces delayed by the siege of Güns, failing to reach Vienna. In both cases, the Ottoman army was plagued by bad weather (forcing them to leave behind essential siege equipment) and was hobbled by overstretched supply lines.King John Sigismund of Hungary with Suleiman in 1556.
By the 1540s a renewal of the conflict in Hungary presented Suleiman with the opportunity to avenge the defeat suffered at Vienna.Ottoman Siege of Esztergom (1543).
In 1541 the Habsburgs once again engaged in conflict with the Ottomans, by attempting to lay siege to Buda. With their efforts repulsed, and more Habsburg fortresses captured by the Ottomans in two consecutive campaigns in 1541 and in 1544 as a result, Ferdinand and his brother Charles V were forced to conclude a humiliating five-year treaty with Suleiman. Ferdinand renounced his claim to the Kingdom of Hungary and was forced to pay a fixed yearly sum to the Sultan for the Hungarian lands he continued to control. Of more symbolic importance, the treaty referred to Charles V not as ''Emperor'', but in rather plainer terms as the ''King of Spain'', leading Suleiman to consider himself the true ''Caesar''.
With his main European rivals subdued, Suleiman had assured the Ottoman Empire a powerful role in the political landscape of Europe for some years to come. Ottoman–Safavid War Main article: Ottoman–Safavid War (1532–1555)Miniature depicting Suleiman marching with an army in Nakhchivan, summer 1554
As Suleiman stabilized his European frontiers, he now turned his attention to the ever present threat posed by the Shi''a Safavid dynasty of Persia. Two events in particular were to precipitate a recurrence of tensions. First, Shah Tahmasp had the Baghdad governor loyal to Suleiman killed and replaced with an adherent of the Shah, and second, the governor of Bitlis had defected and sworn allegiance to the Safavids. As a result, in 1533, Suleiman ordered his Grand Vizier Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha to lead an army into eastern Asia Minor where he retook Bitlis and occupied Tabriz without resistance. Having joined Ibrahim in 1534, Suleiman made a push towards Persia, only to find the Shah sacrificing territory instead of facing a pitched battle, resorting to harassment of the Ottoman army as it proceeded along the harsh interior. When in the following year Suleiman and Ibrahim made a grand entrance into Baghdad, its commander surrendered the city, thereby confirming Suleiman as the leader of the Islamic world and the legitimate successor to the Abbasid Caliphs.Suleiman the Magnificent receives an ambassador (painting by Matrakçı Nasuh).
Attempting to defeat the Shah once and for all, Suleiman embarked upon a second campaign in 1548–1549. As in the previous attempt, Tahmasp avoided confrontation with the Ottoman army and instead chose to retreat, using scorched earth tactics in the process and exposing the Ottoman army to the harsh winter of the Caucasus. Suleiman abandoned the campaign with temporary Ottoman gains in Tabriz and the Urmia region, a lasting presence in the province of Van, and some forts in Georgia. In 1553 Suleiman began his third and final campaign against the Shah. Having initially lost territories in Erzurum to the Shah''s son, Suleiman retaliated by recapturing Erzurum, crossing the Upper Euphrates and laying waste to parts of Persia. The Shah''s army continued its strategy of avoiding the Ottomans, leading to a stalemate from which neither army made any significant gain. In 1554, a settlement was signed which was to conclude Suleiman''s Asian campaigns. It included the return of Tabriz, but secured Baghdad, lower Mesopotamia, the mouths of the river Euphrates and Tigris, as well as part of the Persian Gulf. The Shah also promised to cease all raids into Ottoman territory. Campaigns in the Indian Ocean Main articles: Ottoman–Portuguese conflicts, Capture of Aden (1548), Ottoman expedition to Aceh and Indian Ocean campaignsOttoman fleet in the Indian Ocean in the 16th century.Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha defeats the Holy League under the command of Andrea Doria at the Battle of Preveza in 1538Francis I (left) and Suleiman the Magnificent (right) initiated a Franco-Ottoman alliance from the 1530s.
Ottoman ships had been sailing in the Indian Ocean since the year 1518. Ottoman Admirals such as Hadim Suleiman Pasha, Seydi Ali Reis and Kurtoğlu Hızır Reis are known to have voyaged to the Mughal imperial ports of Thatta, Surat and Janjira. The Mughal Emperor Akbar, himself is known to have exchanged six documents with Suleiman the Magnificent.
In the Indian Ocean, Suleiman led several naval campaigns against the Portuguese in an attempt to remove them and reestablish trade with India. Aden in Yemen was captured by the Ottomans in 1538, in order to provide an Ottoman base for raids against Portuguese possessions on the western coast of modern Pakistan and India. Sailing on to India, the Ottomans failed against the Portuguese at the Siege of Diu in September 1538, but then returned to Aden where they fortified the city with 100 pieces of artillery. From this base, Sulayman Pasha managed to take control of the whole country of Yemen, also taking Sanaa. Aden rose against the Ottomans however and invited the Portuguese instead, so that the Portuguese were in control of the city until its seizure by Piri Reis in the Capture of Aden (1548).
With its strong control of the Red Sea, Suleiman successfully managed to dispute control of the Indian trade routes to the Portuguese and maintained a significant level of trade with the Mughal Empire of South Asia throughout the 16th century. His admiral Piri Reis led an Ottoman fleet in the Indian Ocean, achieving the Capture of Muscat in 1552.
From 1526 till 1543, Suileman stationed over 900 Turkish shoulders to fight alongside the Somali Adal Sultanate lead by Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi during the Conquest of Abyssinia. In 1559, after the first Ajuran-Portuguese war the Ottoman Empire would later absorb the weakened Adal Sultanate into its domain. This expansion fathered Ottoman rule in Somalia and the Horn of Africa. This also increased its influence in the Indian Ocean to compete with the Portuguese with its close ally the Ajuran Empire.
In 1564, Suleiman received an embassy from Aceh (modern Indonesia), requesting Ottoman support against the Portuguese. As a result an Ottoman expedition to Aceh was launched, which was able to provide extensive military support to the Acehnese.
The discovery of new maritime trade routes by Western European states allowed them to avoid the Ottoman trade monopoly. The Portuguese discovery of the Cape of Good Hope in 1488 initiated a series of Ottoman-Portuguese naval wars in the Indian Ocean throughout the 16th century. The Ajuran Empire allied with the Ottomans defied the Portuguese economic monopoly in the Indian Ocean by employing a new coinage which followed the Ottoman pattern, thus proclaiming an attitude of economic independence in regard to the Portuguese. Mediterranean and North Africa