Suleiman the Magnificent

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Image:20pxOttomanicon.png Suleiman the Magnificent
Ottoman Period
Preceded by
Selim I
Succeeded by
Selim II
Preceded by
Selim I
Succeeded by
Selim II

Suleyman I (Ottoman Turkish: سليمانSulaymān, Turkish: Süleyman; the long name is Kanuni Sultan Süleyman in Turkish) (November 6, 1494September 5/6, 1566), was the tenth Sultan from the House of Osman of the Ottoman Empire, and the longest-serving one, reigning from 1520 to 1566. He is known to the West as Suleiman the Magnificent. In the Islamic world, he is known as the Lawgiver (in Turkish Kanuni; Arabic: القانونى‎, al-Qānūnī), a nickname stemming from his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system. Within the empire, Suleiman was known as a fair ruler and an opponent of corruption. He was a great patron of artists and philosophers, and was noted as one of the greatest Islamic poets, as well as an accomplished goldsmith.[citation needed]

Suleiman was considered one of the pre-eminent rulers of 16th-century Europe, a respected rival to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (1519–56), Francis I of France (1515–47), Henry VIII of England (1509–47), Sigismund II of Poland (1548–72), and Ivan IV of Russia (1530–84). Under his leadership, the Ottoman Empire reached its Golden Age and became a world power. Suleiman personally led Ottoman armies to conquer Belgrade, Rhodes, and most of Hungary, laid the Siege of Vienna, and annexed most of the Middle East and huge territories in North Africa as far west as Morocco. For a short period, Ottomans achieved naval dominance in the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, and Persian Gulf. The Ottoman Empire continued to expand for a century after his death.


[edit] Early life

A portrait of Suleiman as a young man
A portrait of Suleiman as a young man

Suleiman was born in Trabzon in modern day Turkey, probably on November 6 1494.[1] 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 Istanbul. As a young man, he befriended Ibrahim, a slave who would later become one of his most trusted advisors (see Pargalı İbrahim Pasha).[2]

From the age of seventeen, young Suleiman was appointed as the governor of first Istanbul, then Sarukhan (Manisa) with a brief tenure at Edirne (Adrianople).[3] It was in Manisa, where he stayed until his ascendancy to the throne, that Suleiman became proficient in matters of administrative affairs. Racked by banditry, Suleiman restored law and order to the province and in the process acquired the necessary legislative experience which would later see him named Kanuni, or the Law Giver.

At the age of 24, upon the death of his father, Selim I (1512–20), Suleiman inherited the title of Caliph and started to rule a powerful Empire, which he would continue to expand until his death 46 years later.

[edit] Military achievements

See also: Ottoman wars in Europe

[edit] Conquests in Europe

Upon succeeding his father, Suleiman began a series of military conquests, first putting down 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 eliminating the Hungarians who following the defeats of the Serbs, Bulgars and Byzantines at the end of Ottomans, remained the only formidable force blocking further gains in Europe. Suleiman encircled Belgrade and began a series of heavy bombardments from an island in the Danube. With a garrison of only seven hundred men, and receiving no aid from Hungary, Belgrade fell in August 1521.[4]

News of the conquest of one of Christendom's major strongholds spread fear across Europe. As the ambassador of the Holy Roman Empire to Istanbul 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 Lewis, the capture of Buda, the occupation of Transylvania, the ruin of a flourishing kingdom and the fear of neighbouring nations that they would suffer the same fate..."[5]

Suleiman during the Mohács expedition of 1526
Suleiman during the Mohács expedition of 1526

The road to Hungary and Austria laid open, however Suleiman diverted his attention to the Eastern Mediterranean island Rhodes whose proximity to Asia Minor and the Levant had posed a perennial problem to Ottoman interests. In the summer of 1522, taking advantage of the Navy inherited from his father, Suleiman dispatched an armada of some four hundred ships whilst personally leading an army of 100,000 across Asia Minor to a point opposite the island.[6] Following a siege of five months with brutal encounters, Rhodes capitulated and Suleiman allowed the Knights of Rhodes to depart, forming their new base in Malta.

As relations between Hungary and the Ottoman Empire deteriorated, Suleiman resumed his campaign in Eastern Europe and on August 29, 1526, he defeated Louis II of Hungary (1516–26) at the Battle of Mohács. In its wake, Hungarian resistance collapsed and the Ottoman Empire became the pre-eminent power in Eastern Europe.[7]. Upon encountering the lifeless body of King Louis, Suleiman is said to have lamented "I came in arms against him but it was not my wish that he should be thus cut off while he scarcely tasted the sweets of life and royalty.". (Severy, p. 580)[8]

Central authority collapsed under Ottoman attacks and a power struggle ensued, with some Hungarian nobles proposing that Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria (1519–64), who was ruler of neighbouring 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 supported by Suleiman, and who remained unrecognized by the Christian powers of Europe. A three-sided conflict ensued as Ferdinand moved to assert his rule over as much of the Hungarian kingdom as he could, resulting in a three-way partition of the Kingdom by 1541: Suleiman claimed most of present-day Hungary, known as the Great Alföld (see Ottoman Hungary), and after eliminating the threat of the rebellious Stephen Maylad, he had Zápolya's family installed as rulers of the independent principality of Transylvania, as a vassal state of the Empire. Ferdinand claimed "Royal Hungary", including present-day Slovakia, western Croatia, and adjacent territories, temporarily fixing the border between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans.

Under Charles V and his brother Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, the Habsburgs occupied Buda and took Hungary. Thus in 1529 Suleiman once again marched through the valley of the Danube and reoccupied Buda and in the following Autumn laid siege to Vienna. It was to be the Ottoman Empires most ambitious expedition and the apogee of its drive towards the West. With a reinforced garrison of 20,000 men, the Austrians would inflict upon Suleiman his first defeat and sow the seeds of a bitter Ottoman-Hapsburg rivalry until the 20th century.[9] A second attempt to conquer Vienna failed in 1532, with Suleiman returning before reaching Vienna. In both cases, the Ottoman army was plagued by bad weather (forced to leave behind essential siege equipment of the kind used to conquer Rhodes) and struggled under the overstretched supply lines.[10]

Regardless of the defeat, Suleiman had assured the Ottoman Empire a powerful role in the political landscape of Europe.

[edit] Conquests in Asia

A miniature depicting Suleiman the Magnificent marching with army in Nakhichevan, summer 1554
A miniature depicting Suleiman the Magnificent marching with army in Nakhichevan, summer 1554

As Suleiman stabilised his European frontiers, he now turned his attention to the ever present threat posed by the Shi'a Safavid dynasty of Persia (Iran). Two events in particular were to precipitate a recurrence of tensions. Firstly Shah Tahmasp had the Baghdad governor loyal to Suleiman killed and replaced with an adherent of the Shah, and secondly the governor of Bitlis had defected and sworn allegiance to Safavids.[11]. Thus in 1533 Suleiman ordered his Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha to lead an army into Asia 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 territoriy instead of facing a pitched battle, resorting to a harassment of the Ottoman army as it proceeded along the harsh interior.[12] The following year Suleiman and Ibrahim made a grand entrance into Baghdad, with its commander surrendering the city, cementing Suleiman as the leader of the Islamic world and the legitimate successor to the Abbasid Caliphs.[13]

Attempting to defeat the Shah once and for all, Suleiman embarked upon a second campaign between 1548–1549. Just as in the previous attempt, Shah Tahmasp I avoided confrontation with the Ottoman army and instead chose to retreat, torching Azerbaijan in the process and exposing the Ottoman army to the harsh winter of the Caucasus.[14] Suleiman abandoned the campaign with temporary Ottoman gains in Tabriz and Azerbaijan, and a lasting presence in the province of Van, and some forts in Georgia.[15]

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 considerable gain. In 1554 a settlement was signed which was to conclude Suleiman's Asiatic campaigns, they 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,[16] the Shah also promised to cease all raids into Ottoman territority.[17]

[edit] Mediterranean and North Africa

Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, appointed by Suleiman as the admiral-in-chief of the Ottoman navy, defeats the Holy League of Charles V under the command of Andrea Doria in the Battle of Preveza in 1538
Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, appointed by Suleiman as the admiral-in-chief of the Ottoman navy, defeats the Holy League of Charles V under the command of Andrea Doria in the Battle of Preveza in 1538
The Siege of Malta in 1565: Arrival of the Turkish fleet, by Matteo Perez d' Aleccio
The Siege of Malta in 1565: Arrival of the Turkish fleet, by Matteo Perez d' Aleccio

Having consolidated his conquests on land, Suleiman was greeted with bad news that the fortress of Koron In Morea had been lost to Charles V’s admiral, Andrea Dorea. The presence of the Spanish in the Eastern Mediterrenean concerned Suleiman, who saw it as an early indiciation of Charles V intention to rival Ottoman dominance in the region. Thus recognising the need to re-assert the navies pre-eminance in the Mediterranean, Suleiman appointed an exceptional naval commander in the form of Khair ad Din, known to Europeans as Barbarossa. Once appointed admiral-in-chief, Barbarossa was charged with re-building the Ottoman fleet, to the point the Ottoman navy equalled in number all those of the other Mediterranean countries put together.[18] In 1535 Charles V won an important victory against the Ottomans at Tunis, but in 1536 Francis I of France allied himself with Suleiman against Charles. In 1538, the Spanish fleet was defeated at the Battle of Preveza by Barbarossa, securing the eastern Mediterranean for the Turks for 33 years (1538–71).

East of Morocco, huge territories of North Africa were annexed. The Barbary States of Tripolitania, Tunisia, and Algeria became autonomous provinces of the Empire, and served as the leading edge of Suleiman's conflict with Charles V, whose attempt to drive out the Turks failed in 1541. The piracy carried on thereafter by the Barbary pirates of North Africa remained part of the wars against Spain, and the Ottoman expansion was associated with naval dominance for a short period in the Mediterranean Sea. Ottoman navies also controlled the Red Sea, and held the Persian Gulf until 1554, when their ships were defeated by the navy of the Portuguese Empire. The Portuguese would continue to contest Suleiman I's forces for control of Aden, in present-day Yemen.

Francis I was persuaded to sign a peace treaty with Charles V in 1538, however he again allied himself with the Suleiman in 1542. In 1543 Charles allied himself with Henry VIII of England and forced Francis to sign the Truce of Crepy-en-Laonnois. Charles signed a humilating treaty with Suleiman to gain some respite from the huge expenses of the war. In 1544, when Spain declared war on France, the French King Francis asked for help from Suleiman. He then sent a fleet headed by Barbarossa who was victorious over the Spaniards, and managed to retake Naples from them. Suleiman bestowed on him the title of Beyler Bey (Commander of Commanders). One result of the alliance was the fierce sea duel between Dragut and Andrea Doria, which left the northern Mediterranean European and the southern Mediterranean in Islamic hands.[19]

When the Knights Hospitallers were re-established as the Knights of Malta in 1530, their actions against Muslim navies quickly drew the ire of the Ottomans, who assembled another massive army in order to dislodge the Knights from Malta. In 1565 they invaded, starting the Great Siege of Malta, which began on May 18 and lasted until September 8, and is portrayed vividly in the frescoes of Matteo Perez d'Aleccio in the Hall of St. Michael and St. George. At first the battle looked to be a repeat of the one on Rhodes, with most of the cities destroyed and about half the Knights killed in battle, but a relief force from Spain entered the battle, resulting in the loss of 30,000 Ottoman troops[citation needed].

After this Suleiman turned his eye to Hungary again. He died of a stroke during the Battle of Szigetvár in Szigetvár, Hungary, (1566, September 5 or 6).

[edit] Administrative achievements

Whilst Sultan Suleiman was known as the "Magnificent" in the West, he was always Suleiman Kanuni or "The Lawgiver" to his own Ottoman subjects. As Kinross notes, "Not only was he a great military campaigner, a man of the sword, as his father and great-grandfather had been before him. He differed from them in the extent to which he was also a man of the pen. He was a great legislator, standing out in the eyes of his people as a high-minded sovereign and a magnanimous exponent of justice"[20] The overriding law of the empire was the Shari'ah, or Sacred Law, which as the divine law of Islam was outside of the Sultan’s powers to change. Yet an area of distinct law known as the Kanuns (canonical legislation) was dependent on Suleiman’s will alone, covering areas such as criminal law, land tenure and taxation.[21] It was within this framework that Suleiman sought to reform the legislation to adapt to rapidly changing empire.

Suleiman gave particular attention to the plight of the Rayas, Christian subjects who worked the land of the Sipahis. His Kanune Raya, or “Code of the Rayas” reformed the law governing levies and taxes to be paid by the Rayas, raising their status beyond serfs to the point Christian serfs would migrate to Turkish territories to benefit from the reforms.[22] Furthermore, Suleiman enacted new criminal and police legislation, prescribing a set of fines for specific offences, as well as reducing the instances requiring death or mutilation. In the area of taxation, taxes were levied on various goods and produce, including animals, mines, profits of trade, import and export duties. In addition to taxes, officials who had fallen into disrepute were likely to have their land and property confiscated by the Sultan.

Education was another important area for the Sultan. Schools attached to mosques and funded by religious foundations provided a largely free education to Muslim boys in advance of the Christian countries of the time.[23] In his capital, Suleiman increased the number of mektebs (primary schools) to fourteen, teaching children to read, write as well as the principles of Islam. Children wishing further education could proceed to one of eight medresses (colleges), offering studies in grammar, syntax, logic, metaphysics, philosophy, tropics, stylistics, geometry, astronomy, and astrology.[24]. Higher medresses provided education of university status, whose graduates became imams or teachers. Educational centres were often one of many building surrounding the courtyards of mosques, others included libraries, refectories, fountains, soup kitchens and hospitals for the benefit of the public.

Suleiman was renowned as a just and fair ruler, choosing his subordinates according to merit rather than social status or popularity. The Austrian Ambassador, Ghiselain de Busbecq, wrote of him, "In making his appointments, the Sultan pays no regard to any pretensions on the score of wealth or rank, nor does he take into consideration recommendations or popularity; he considers each case on its own merits, and examines carefully into the character, ability and disposition of the man whose promotion is in question.".[25] After Suleiman the Kanun laws attained their final form, and the code of laws became known as the kanun-i Osmanlı, or the "Ottoman laws".

[edit] Cultural achievements

Under Suleiman's rule, hundreds of imperial artistic societies (called the Ehl-i Hiref, "Community of the Talented") were administered at the Imperial seat, the Topkapı Palace. After an apprenticeship, artists and craftsmen could advance in rank within their field and were paid commensurate wages in quarterly annual installments. Payroll registers that survive testify to the breadth of Suleiman's patronage of the arts: "The earliest document, drawn up in 1526, lists 40 societies with over 600 members; by Sthe 17th century the number of societies had increased and their membership had risen to some 2,000. In addition to the artists employed in the imperial societies, in Istanbul, like all the major centers of the empire, had diverse guilds of artisans which catered to both domestic and foreign needs."[26]

The people think of wealth and power as the greatest fate,

But in this world a spell of health is the best state.
What men call sovereignty is a wordly strife and constant war;
Worship of God is the highest throne, the happiest of all estate's.

For the throne (Saltanat) by Suleiman

Suleiman himself was a man of culture, with a deep knowledge of the Koran and a particular talent for poetry. Some of Suleiman's verses, composed under the nom de plume "Muhibbi" (or the Gracious One), have become Turkish proverbs, including the likes well-known "Everyone aims at the same meaning, but many are the versions of the story," and "In this world a spell of good health is the best state."[28] In addition to Suleimans own work, great names dominated the literary sphere under Suleimans rule, including the Fuzuli, Baki and many others, indeed the historian E.J.W Gibb notes "at no time, even in Turkey, was greater encouragement given to poetry than during the reign of this Sultan."[29]

In the realm of architecture, Suleiman sought to turn Istanbul into the center of Islamic civilization by a series of projects, including bridges, mosques, and palaces. In achieving this, he was aided by perhaps the greatest architect of the 16th century, Mimar Sinan. Sinan was a former Janisarry, having constructed various fortifications, bridges and aqueducts throughout military campaigns. At the age of fifty he was appointed by Suleiman as the Royal Chief Architect, creating some of the finest religious buildings and laying the foundations upon which future Ottoman architects would follow.

Suleiman's understanding of civil development was not single minded towards Islam civilization. He saw civilization as a unification project which another symbol of the Muslim-Jewish tolerance in his reign was the building of a synagogue and mosque which was built by Suleiman.[30]

[edit] Religious tolerance

While still under the rule of Sharia law some slaves of Christian origin in the Ottoman Empire under Suleiman were able to rise to positions of great prominence. Ibrahim Pasha became Grand Vizier for thirteen years. Suleiman continued the policy of religious tolerance toward Jews initiated by Bayezid II (1481–1512), who had welcomed Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition.

In a letter to Pope Paul IV (1555–59) in 1556, Suleiman asked for the immediate release of the Ancona Marranos, who faced persecution after falling under Papal authority; Suleiman declared them to be Ottoman citizens. The Pope had no alternative but to release them, thus demonstrating the influence of the Ottoman Empire during his reign.[31] Suleiman also employed a Jewish personal physician, the Rabbi Moshe Hamon.[32]

In the city of Jerusalem, the rule of Suleiman and the following Ottoman Sultans brought an age of religious peace; Jews, Christians and Muslims enjoyed the freedom of religion that the Ottomans granted them and it was possible to find a synagogue, a church and a mosque in the same street. Dhimmi was enforced on the populace granting some freedoms and restricting others.

[edit] Personal life

Hürrem Sultan (Roxelana)
Hürrem Sultan (Roxelana)

Suleiman was very much attracted and infatuated with Hurrem Sultan, who was a harem girl of Slavic origin. Hurrem Sultan, who as a child may have been named Anastasia Lisovska, also known as "Roxelana". As a daughter of Orthodox priest (from Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) she was captured and rose through the ranks of the Harem to become Suleiman's favorite wife, to the surprise of the Empire and the international community. Breaking with 300 years of Ottoman tradition, Suleiman married Hurrem Sultan in a formal ceremony, making her the first former slave to gain legitimacy as the Sultan's legal wife. He allowed Hurrem Sultan to remain with him at court for the rest of her life, despite another tradition that when imperial heirs became of age, they would be sent along with the imperial concubine who bore them to govern remote provinces of the Empire, never to return unless their progeny succeeded to the throne.

From her he had one daughter, Mihrimar (Mihrumâh) who later married with the Grand Vizier Rüstem Paşa and created a coalition, and the sons; Mehmed who died at young age , Selim who later became Sultan Selim II (1566–74)), Bayezid and Cihangir.

[edit] Ibrahim Pasha

Pargalı İbrahim Pasha was the boyhood friend of Suleiman. Ibrahim was originally Greek Orthodox and when young was educated at the Palace School as a devshirme. As the Sultan's male favorite, he shared Suleiman's quarters and his tent while at home and on campaign. Suleiman made him the royal falconer, then promoted him to first officer of the Royal Bedchamber. Eventually, Ibrahim Pasha became the Grand Vizier and commander-in-chief of all the armies.

[edit] Succession

Suleiman's son Mustafa, by his consort the Gülbahar Sultan "Rose of Spring", preceded Hurrem's children in the order of succession, and was supported by Pargalı İbrahim Pasha, who was by this time Suleiman's Grand Vizier. In power struggles apparently instigated by Hurrem, Suleiman had Ibrahim murdered and replaced with her son-in-law, Rustem Pasha. Later, Suleiman, apparently believing that Mustafa's popularity with the army threatened his own position, had Mustafa strangled.[33]

Suleiman's son Bayezid suppressed a major revolt in Macedonia and Thrace, led by a man purporting to be Suleiman's son Mustafa: "This Mustafa gathered around him discontented holders of timars (military fiefs), peasants, and members of the religious establishment unhappy with the dominance of the devshirme (slave) class in Istanbul."[34] The pretender was executed after the revolt failed.

In anticipation of Suleiman's death, his sons by Hurrem, Selim and Bayezid, engaged in a series of battles for the succession, beginning in 1559, in part due to the Ottoman practice of fratricide of rival successors, in which one of the two would be ordered strangled. The turmoil that followed led Suleiman to order the death of Bayezid on September 25, 1561, after he was repatriated by the Shah of Persia after having fled there for protection, leaving Suleiman's son Selim the heir presumptive.

Suleiman's Grand Vizier Sokollu Mehmed Pasa was of Bosnian origin who was taken from his family and sent to Edirne as a devshirmeh. Suleiman relinquished more power to him as he grew older. After Suleiman's death in 1566, Mehmed Sokollu continued Ottoman conquests and became the de-facto ruler of the Ottoman Empire, even while in service of Selim II.

[edit] Legacy

Suleiman I's conquests were followed by continuous territorial expansion until the Empire's peak in 1683
Suleiman I's conquests were followed by continuous territorial expansion until the Empire's peak in 1683

The Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul was built by the famed architect Mimar Sinan and was completed in 1557. Suleiman and Roxelana are buried in separate domed mausoleums attached to the mosque. He died in 1566, the night before victory at the Battle of Szigetvar, in Hungary.

At the time of his death, the major Muslim cities (Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Damascus, and Baghdad), many Balkan provinces (up to today's Austria), and most of North Africa were under the control of the empire.

Ottoman power continued to grow in the century following Suleiman I's death, until the resurgence of European powers curtailed the Sultanate's expansion in the aftermath of the Battle of Vienna in the late 17th century.

[edit] Insignia

[edit] Clothing

Beginning with the Sultan Selim I every sultan had their own turban, which called selimi. They were only used by the sultan to the highest dignitaries and Porte ceremonies. Suleiman used to wear a single aigrette with a tall plume. Also a special dress, above all turbans, distinguish the Sultan. At Suleiman's time court dress ceased to be a question of custom and tradition and become a regulation, Kanun-i Tesrifat. This law determined the types of fabric, cut, size, colors, and ornaments for all important officials. Suleiman had officials for his turban ("ağa of turbans"), dress ("çuhadar"), and his caftan ("kaftancı"), which given the significance of these items in his identification, that was normal. Sultan gave high importance to quarters (tent) that he lived in. Sultant's tents, like his flags, have a hierarchy. The most important tent was "Otag-i Hümayun", which was elaborate, ornate, and luxurious. He used tents as a precious gift to important dignitaries such as given to Francis I. It is one of the oldest tents and made in the same fashion of its period. This tent resides in Royal Armory in Madrid.

[edit] Tughra

Every Ottoman Sultan had his own Tughra, calligraphic monograms, which was the signature that he used during his reign. Suleiman's Tughra was carved on his seal and bore the names of the Sultan and his father.

[edit] Title

Suleiman was called by many titles, and described himself in his writings as

Different forms

Slave of God,
powerful with the power of God,
deputy of God on earth,
obeying the commands of the Qur'an and enforcing them throughout the world,
master of all lands,
the shadow of God over all nations,
Sultan of Sultans in all the lands of Persians and Arabs,
the propagator of Sultanic laws (Nashiru kawanin al-Sultaniyye), the tenth Sultan of the Ottoman Khans,
Sultan, son of Sultan,
Suleiman Khan.

Slave of God,
master of the world,
I am Suleiman and my name is read in all the prayers in all the cities of Islam.

I am the Shah of Baghdad and Iraq,
Caesar of all the lands of Rome,
and the Sultan of Egypt.

I seized the Hungarian crown and gave it to the least of my slaves.

I am Sultan Suleiman Han,
son of Sultan Selim Han,
son of Sultan Bayezid Han.

I am Suleiman.

To the east I am the Lawgiver.

To the west I am the Magnificent.

He introduced himself to Francis I, the king of France, in 1536:

I who am the Sultan of Sultans, the sovereign of sovereigns, the dispenser of crowns to the monarchs on the face of the earth, the shadow of God on earth (caliph), the Sultan and sovereign lord of the White Sea and of the Black Sea, of Rumelia and of [Anatolia], of Karamania, of the land of Rum, of Zulkadria, of Diyarbekir, of Kurdistan, of Aizerbaijan, of Persia, of Damascus, of Aleppo, of Cairo, of Mecca, of Medina, of Jerusalem, of all Arabia, of Yemen and of many other lands which my noble forefathers and my glorious ancestors (may Allah light up their tombs!) conquered by the force of their arms and which my August Majesty has made subject to my flaming sword and my victorious blade, I, Sultan Suleiman Khan, son of Sultan Selim, son of Sultan Bayezid: To thee, who art Francis, King of the land of France...

[edit] External links

[edit] Further reading

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ André Clot, 1992. Suleiman the Magnificent: The Man, His Life, His epoch. Saqi books. p.25
  2. ^
  3. ^ André Clot, 1992. Suleiman the Magnificent: The Man, His Life, His epoch. Saqi books. p.28
  4. ^ Colin Imber, 2002. The Ottoman Empire. Palgrave Macmillan. p.49
  5. ^ André Clot, 1992. Suleiman the Magnificent: The Man, His Life, His epoch. Saqi books. p.39
  6. ^ Kinross, P., 2002. The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire. Perennial. p.176
  7. ^ Kinross, P., 2002. The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire. Perennial. p.187
  8. ^
  9. ^ Colin Imber, 2002. The Ottoman Empire. Palgrave Macmillan. p.50
  10. ^ Subhi Labib, 1979. International Journal of Middle East Studies. The ere of Suleyman the Magnificent: Crisis of Orientation. Vol. 10, No. 4 p.444
  11. ^ Colin Imber, 2002. The Ottoman Empire. Palgrave Macmillan. p.51
  12. ^ Martin Sicker, 2000.The Islamic World in Ascendancy: From the Arab Conquests to the Siege of Vienna. Praeger/Greenwood. p.206
  13. ^ André Clot, 1992. Suleiman the Magnificent: The Man, His Life, His epoch. Saqi books. p.93
  14. ^ Martin Sicker, 2000.The Islamic World in Ascendancy: From the Arab Conquests to the Siege of Vienna. Praeger/Greenwood. p.206
  15. ^
  16. ^ Kinross, P., 2002. The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire. Perennial. p.236
  17. ^
  18. ^ Clot, p. 87
  19. ^
  20. ^ Kinross, p.205.
  21. ^ Imber, p. 244
  22. ^ Kinross, p.210.
  23. ^ Kinross, p.211
  24. ^ Kinross, p.211
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Constantinople : City of the World's Desire, 1453-1924-Phillip Mansel pg.84
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ Constantinople : City of the World's Desire, 1453-1924- Phillip Mansel
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^