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Suleiman the Magnificent, most glorious of the Ottoman sultans, kept Europe atremble for nearly half a century. In a few years he led his army - the most powerful in the sixteenth century - as far as the gates of Vienna, made himself master of the Mediterranean, and established his court in Baghdad. Faced with that redoubtable champion, who regarded it as his duty to extend the boundaries of Islam farther and farther, the Christian world could not agree to unite against him: Charles the Fifth was forced to sign the humiliating Treaty of Constantinople, while His Most Christian Majesty Francis the First allied himself with the Grand Turk.
'The Shadow of God on Earth', but also the expert politician and all-powerful despot, Suleiman ruled the state firmly with the help of his viziers. Since God had invested him with power he felt obliged to ensure justice and see to the well being of his subjects. He extended the borders of the empire beyond what any of the Ottoman sultans had achieved, and yet it is as a lawgiver that he is remembered in the history of the Turks.
His empire held dominion over three continents populated by more than 30,000,000 inhabitants, among whom nearly all of the races and religions of mankind were represented. There was no hereditary nobility. The government administration, remarkably organised, was completely in the hands of the Christians who had converted to Islam, and the elite of that group, having been advanced to honours and wealth, was the sultan's devoted slaves, faithful unto death. Prospering under a well-directed, authoritarian economy, Suleiman's reign marked the apogee of Ottoman power. City and country alike experienced unprecedented economic and demographic growth. Istanbul was the largest city in the world, enjoying a remarkable renaissance of arts and letters, a mighty capital, the seat of the Seraglio and dark intrigue.
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Andre Clot is an historian and journalist who have spent many years in the countries that made up the Ottoman Empire. He is author of Harun al-Rashid and the World of the Thousand and One Nights also published by Saqi Books.
'Clot's informed and intelligent study . . . has admirably fulfilled its objective to bring back to life a man, an empire and an era . . . the insistence on the use of Ottoman terminology, aided by an extensive glossary, is to be commended.' --Digest of Middle East Studies
'Informative and engaging. The reader will learn a lot.' --Journal of Islamic Studies
'Thoght provoking and most informative.' --Middle East International
'This excellent volume . . . is the first cosmopolitan treatment of Suleiman's reign . . . The best first book from which to gain an introduction to Suleiman's era.' --The Middle East Journal
'A remarkable tome.' --Le Figaro
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Book Description Saqi Books, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0863561268