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Empires of Asia Section 1 Muslim Empires - The Ottoman Empire lasted from about 1300 to 1922 The Ottomans were named after Osman I a Turkish chieftain who founded a state in Anatolia now Turkey in the late 1200s - The Ottomans claimed to be the champions of Sunni Islam In 1453 Sultan Mehmet II conquered Constantinople the capital of the Byzantine Empire - The city now called Istanbul became the capital of the Ottoman Empire - By 1600 the Ottoman Empire formed a crescent around the Mediterranean extending from Hungary in eastern Europe through Palestine and Egypt to Algeria in North Africa Under the reign of Sultan Suleyman I in the 1500s the Muslim world achieved its greatest level of unity since the time of the Abbasids - Under the Ottomans many cultures maintained their identities within Muslim society - The Ottoman sultans were Turkish but the generals admirals and administrators of the Ottoman Empire came from throughout the Mediterranean world Many Ottoman aristocrats were skilled in the arts languages and literature and they set the standard for culture in the Muslim world - Many Ottoman officials came from Christian families Each year recruiting teams collected boys from eastern Europe - The youths were taken to Istanbul converted to Islam and educated Legally they became slaves of the sultan and were supposed to be loyal only to him - The most physically active boys became Men of the Sword and served in the Janissary Corps a special division of infantry that formed the core of the Ottoman army - The more scholarly students became Men of the Pen and served in administrative posts from which they could rise to the rank of grand vizier the highest Ottoman official after the sultan - Mughal Empire also called the Mogul Empire ruled most of India in the 1500s and 1600s - Life in Mughal India set a standard of magnificence for its region of
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