Suleiman the Magnificent was born in Turkey in 1494. He was part of the ruling dynasty of the Ottoman Empire – his father, Selim I, was the Sultan of the Empire, and he was brought up to be its ruler from the moment of his birth.
He grew up in a palace in Istanbul, and was educated by some of the top Islamic scholars of the time, where he learnt a variety of subjects, including history, mathematics, theology, and military strategy. As an adult, he acted as the Caliph of the Islamic Empire, and the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest and longest lasting empires in the history of the world. It replaced the Byzantine Empire at its peak of power in the 14th century, and lasted all the way from 1301-1922 A.D.
The Ottoman Empire first spread from Eastern Europe/west Asia, and became the dominant empire of the world in the medieval era. Over the years, the Ottoman Empire shrank, until (at the time of its collapse) it only covered the country of Turkey.
The Ottoman Empire was the third great Islamic caliphate, following the collapse of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates.
It saw the return of political and religious power to the hands of a single leader – something which had been missing from the Islamic Empire since the collapse of Baghdad in the year 1258.
A caliph is the supreme leader of the Islamic caliphate, who acted like a king of mediaeval kingdoms. A “caliphate”, on the other hand, is a region controlled by an Islamic state and government, usually under a system of sharia law.
A country under the rule of sharia law is governed by rules that are taken from a fundamentalist interpretation of the Quran. The caliph is intended to be both the political and religious leader of the Islamic people.
The caliph is seen as the successor to the Prophet Muhammad, and is intended to continue his work during their time in power.
Nowadays, there are no significant caliphates left; but before the modern era, caliphates dominated the political sphere of Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Suleiman the Magnificent is important to the history of the world due to everything he achieved during his lifetime. From the moment of his birth, Suleiman was destined for greatness.
He was appointed governor of the city of Kaffa during his teens, where he was given first-hand experience of rule and power. At the of age 26, he became the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, but had been prepared to take on the role since he was 18.
Compared to his father, Suleiman was a much more ambitious Sultan. He immediately began military campaigns to extend the reach of his empire, and he dreamt of forming a unified Islamic state that stretched from Europe to India/Asia.
During his 46-year rule, Suleiman seized control of Europe and most of Asia. He took over Hungary and Romania without much difficult, and built up a powerful navy that allowed him to control the Mediterranean Sea and the countries it touched.
However, during his rule, Rome was a constant center of resistance to his conquest, since it acted as the base for the Church’s armies.
Suleiman experienced greater success in Africa than he did in Europe, and managed to conquer most of the northern strip of the continent. Suleiman managed to unite the Middle East and Africa through his aggressive military campaigns, but it was his attempted conquest of Central Europe that led to his eventual downfall.
Suleiman was well-known at the time for his army’s two-week long Siege of Vienna. At the time, Vienna was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire, and Solomon’s attack on it garnered a huge amount of attention.
However, Vienna was very far away from his home base – and his army grew sick and weak along during their journey there. They were forced to turn back after just two weeks of the siege, which marked the first major military loss of his reign.
In the next three decades of his life, he never managed to take control of Vienna, but succeeded in maintaining control of Eastern Europe and all other Islamic territories.
Suleiman died while on campaign in Hungary in 1566. He went down in history as one of the greatest rulers of the Ottoman Empire, and the era of his reign was known afterward as the Empire’s Golden Age.
– Caliph of the Islamic Empire, and Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.