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Topkapi Palace.

Topkapi – A Palace of Dreams and Tears from the Ottoman Empire

The palace of Topkapi near the Bosphorus strait witnessed the greatest glories and the most heartbreaking tragedies in the history of the Ottoman Empire. Currently the Topkapi palace is a museum but...
Woman of the Harem

Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire Served the Sultan in More Ways Than One

The imperial harem of the Ottoman era was the collection of wives, servants and concubines of the Sultan, who sometimes numbered in the hundreds. Some were mere playthings or used for the production...
Funi Aziri Bangwe

The Comoros Archipelago and An Aged Tradition of Public Spaces

The Comoros is an archipelago of islands located off the East Coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean and north of Madagascar, and yet, one of the least known countries in Africa. Because of its relative...
Portrait of Tipu Sultan once owned by Richard Colley Wellsley, now in the care of the British Library. (Public Domain) The rusty Mysorean rockets which were recently unearthed near a fort in the Shimoga district of Karnataka state in southern India. (Karnataka Archaeology Department)

Mysore Munitions: A Stockpile of Over 1,000 Antique Rockets Has Been Unearthed in India

Archaeologists excavating near a fort in the Shimoga district of Karnataka state in southern India have unearthed more evidence to demonstrate just how powerful an 18th-century warrior king was. They...
A view of ruined fort of Tughlaqabad, created during the Delhi Sultanate, at sunset.

The Delhi Sultanate: 300 Years of Muslim Power Over the Indian Subcontinent

The Delhi Sultanate was a Muslim sultanate that was existed between the 13th and 16th centuries. Based in Delhi, the territory of the Delhi Sultanate was mainly confined to the northern part of India...
A possible portrait of Saladin, found in a work by Ismail al-Jazari, circa 1185.

The Puzzling Death of Sultan Saladin: A 12th Century Medical Mystery Solved?

Here’s a 12th century medical mystery for you: What malady killed well-known Sultan Saladin? Was it small pox, tuberculosis, typhoid, or maybe malaria? Look at his symptoms – some of them were...
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...
Bust of Timur ( CC BY-SA 3.0 ), and Timur standing with cane (Public Domain)

When I rise, the world shall tremble! Tamerlane’s Deadly Drive into India—Part I

Timur, historically known as Tamerlane (1336 - 1405), was a Turco-Mongol conqueror and the founder of the Timurid Empire in Persia and Central Asia. Timur rose through the ranks by gaining the...
A miniature from the Rashid al-Din’s Jami‘ al-Tawarikh showing Mahmud of Ghazni receiving a richly decorated robe of honour form the Abbasid caliph in 1000 AD.

Mahmud of Ghazni: Merciless Tyrant Obliterated Hindu Temples and Conquered Territories Through Plunder and Slaughter

God be merciful to both father and son! Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country [India], and performed wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust scattered in all...
From Slave to Sultan: Baibars I - The Slave Warrior Who Fought His Way to the Top

From Slave to Sultan: Baibars I - The Slave Warrior Who Fought His Way to the Top

Baibars I was a powerful Sultan who is remembered most for his military leadership, especially against Crusaders and Mongols, but also for his diplomatic skills. He is often regarded as the most...
Sultan Bayezid is defeated by Timur at Ankara

Empires Clash with Fire and War Elephants! Changing the World, and the Battle of Ankara – Part II

The bloody Battle of Ankara was fought on 20 July 1402. The Ottomans were led by Bayezid I, who brought his troops against the Turkic Mongols (Timurids), led by Timur, also known as Tamerlane. Two...
Painting of the Battle of Nicopolis – or the Crusade of Nicopolis

Thunder Clap and Lightning Strike! Conquering the World, and the Battle of Ankara – Part 1

What happens when two great conquerors of the ancient world and their mighty forces go head to head? A successful but unpredictable Ottoman Sultan was matched against a charismatic Mongol leader of...
Detail; The entry of Sultan Mehmed II into Constantinople, painting by Fausto Zonaro (1854-1929)

Orban’s Colossal Cannon: Holding a Tiger by the Tail – Part II

Sultan Mehmed II was so pleased with Orban’s massive, destructive cannon that he wanted another twice its size! Orban headed back to his foundry in Edirne (Adrianople) acquiring more timber and...
Modern painting of Mehmed and the Ottoman Army approaching Constantinople with a giant bombard, by Fausto Zonaro

Orban: The Man Whose Cannon Brought Down the Walls of Constantinople – Part I

For 53 days, starting on Friday, 6 April, the forces of the Ottoman Empire shook what was left of the Eastern Roman Empire (known as Byzantium, or the Byzantine Empire) until they were able to breach...
‘The Harem’ by Gustave Boulanger

In a Forbidden Place: Hidden Lives in a Harem

The term harem comes from the Arabic haram meaning forbidden place . This defines the sphere of women in a polygynous household and makes reference to their enclosed quarters being forbidden to men...

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