Ottoman Empire

Sultan Mahmud II (Public Domain), and ornament from a Janissary's Cap, 17th century Turkey

Ultimatum from the Sultan to the Powerful Janissary Military - Change… Or Die! Guess what they Chose? The Auspicious Event—Part II

A force of disciplined, elite royal guards of the 15th and 16th century Ottoman Empire grew in size by seizing Christian children and raising them as civil servants and dangerous soldiers. The...
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk wearing the traditional Janissary uniform (Public Domain), and ornament from a Janissary's Cap, 17th century Turkey

The Powerful & Dangerous Janissaries and the Secret Plan to Destroy Them: The Auspicious Event—Part I

The Janissaries ( yeni-cheri , or “new troops”) were a small elite branch established by the Ottoman military sometime around the 14th century by Orhan Ghazi, second bey (chieftain), of the Ottoman...
Eliminating the Competition: Selim I, A Grim Conqueror Who Vastly Extended the Ottoman Empire

Eliminating the Competition: Selim I, A Grim Conqueror Who Vastly Extended the Ottoman Empire

Selim I (known also by his epithet ‘Yavuz’, which, translated from Turkish, means ‘the Grim’) was the 9th sultan of the Ottoman Empire who lived during the second half of the 15th century and the...
Rest Like an Egyptian: Lifting the Lid on the Elaborate Phoenician Tabnit Sarcophagus

Rest Like an Egyptian: Lifting the Lid on the Elaborate Phoenician Tabnit Sarcophagus

There is a remarkable sarcophagus that many tourists mistake for an elaborate ancient Egyptian creation. The perception is understandable as this kind of burial is often related to the rulers who...
Main: Battle of a French ship of the line and two galleys of the Barbary/Ottoman corsairs. Inset: An Ottoman pirate.

Aruj Barbarossa: Most Notorious Pirate of the Barbary Corsairs

Aruj Barbarossa, known also in Turkish as Oruc Reis, is one of the most notorious pirates in history. He lived between the 15th and 16th centuries, and was one of the most well-known Barbary corsairs...
Kosem a portrait of the representation of the Sultan.

The Strength of Kosem Sultan - The Last Influential Female Ruler of the Ottoman Empire

Kosem Sultan was a woman who did not accept her position as just a widow on the Ottoman court, and instead became a real ruler of the Empire. She had such an effect, that after her death noblemen in...
Following the Magical Journey to Poland by John Dee and Edward Kelley

Following the Magical Journey to Poland by John Dee and Edward Kelley

For centuries, Poland has been considered a very Christian country. However, over the ages some of the rulers of Poland still searched for supernatural support. The belief in the power of witchcraft...
Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha defeats the Holy League of Charles V under the command of Andrea Doria at the Battle of Preveza (1538).

Hayreddin Barbarossa: Causing a Ruckus as the Notorious Pirate Redbeard

Hayreddin Barbarossa was one of the most notorious pirates of his day. Together with his older brothers, Ishak and Aruj, they conquered the North African city of Algiers, and submitted it to the...
Rosa Solymanni uxor. (16th century).

Hurrem Sultan, the Cheerful Rose of Suleiman I and a Powerful Woman of the Ottoman Empire

Hürrem Sultan appeared in Topkapi Palace as a slave, but in a very short time she became one the most influential women of the Ottoman Empire. The name Hürrem was given her by the Sultan Suleiman I,...
Suleiman the Magnificent

Long-Lost Tomb Belonging to Suleiman the Magnificent Believed to be Found

When Suleiman the Magnificent died —once one of the most powerful and longest-reigning rulers of the Ottoman Empire— it is said his heart and body were separated and buried in two secret locations...
The Dance of Zalongo, Theophilos Hatzimichail

From Here to Eternity: the Tragic Tale of the Dance of Zalongo

Once known as the birthplace of Alexander the Great's mother Olympia, the former Ottoman Empire region of Epirus has a much more recent historical significance. Under the reign of Ali Pasha, a Muslim...
Men smoking pipes, Ottoman era, Turkey (Antiller / Flickr)

Medicinal Use of Narcotics Unearthed at Ottoman Archaeological Site in Turkey

A team of archaeologists carrying out excavations at Kaman-Kalehoyuk in Turkey found evidence of the medicinal use of henbane seeds. The seeds, which were found in an old hearth, have therapeutic...
Three skeletons discovered in a pit excavated at Bucharest’s University Square.

16th Century mass grave linked to campaign of Michael the Brave discovered in Romania

Michael the Brave was a 16 th century prince of the Romanian state of Wallachia. In 1594 he led his countrymen into open revolt against the Ottoman Empire and was able to capture a number of castles...
Newly-discovered tunnels and dungeons in Tokat Castle, Turkey

Archaeologists believe they have found dungeons that held 'Dracula'

Archaeologists in Turkey have uncovered a secret tunnel, storage rooms, a military shelter, and two dungeons during restoration work on Tokat Castle, where Vlad III the Impaler, who served as the...
Suleiman the Magnificent

Researchers getting warmer in the hunt for heart of Suleiman the Magnificent

Archaeologists in Turkey have uncovered a historical document which points to a mosque complex in Szigetvar, Hungary, as the site where the heart and internal organs of the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman...
Vlad the Impaler - Dracula

Vlad the Impaler the Inspiration Behind Count Dracula

Although vampires are often associated with Christianity (vampires are said to be repelled by holy objects such as crucifixes and holy water), the belief in these creatures, or beings with vampiric...

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