16th Century Ottoman Empire
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This paper examines the nature of the threat that the Ottoman Empire posed to 16th century European states. The author finds that the reality of the menace is accepted during the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent, but the magnitude of the danger is, however, questioned.
From the Paper:"At first glance it is tempting to view the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century as posing a very serious threat indeed to Europe. From the reign of Mehmet II, the achievements of the Sultans mounted, so that in order to understand the menace of the Ottomans one must place due emphasis on the capture of Constantinople by the aforementioned Sultan in 1453. From this point the momentum driving the Ottoman state to becoming a major power seemed to generally increase, through the reigns of Bayezit II, Selim I and culminating in the reign of the "lawgiver" Suleyman, known by the West as the ?Magnificent.? Indeed, it is clear that the threat posed was a real one, and at times serious enough to provoke a sense off panic from European peoples, especially following moments such as when the army of Suleyman laid siege to Vienna for some 3 weeks before withdrawing before the winter of 1529. There were also some impressive victories for the Ottomans: Rhodes, described by Ann Williams as "the thorn in the Sultan's flesh" was taken from the Knights of St. John in 1522, and Belgrade the "gateway to central Europe" captured in the same year as the defeat and slaughter of the army of Louis II of Hungary. Barbarossa, as Lord Admiral of Suleyman's formidable fleet ravaged the coastline of Italy and North Africa and pitched himself against Dorea, and posed a serious distraction for Charles V. However, the reality of the threat the Ottomans posed has been inordinately presented, a process which began in the interpretations made by contemporary 16th century commentators whose knowledge of the east was often incomplete. An examination of Knolles "General History of the Turks" praises aspects of the Ottoman Empire such as its military and political organisation and unified faith whilst revealing the author's lack of acquaintance with it in his portrayal of the Turks as a society primarily militaristic, uncultured, corrupt and unstable. Thus whilst communicating the strength of the Islamic adversary in order to encourage Christian unity in the face of danger, he is loath to credit the Ottomans to highly as a race of foreign ?others.? His prejudices and motivations therefore dictates that his source by treated with caution, and indicates to the historian the dangers of accepting 16th century interpretations of the threat posed by the Ottomans too highly."
Cite this Essay:
16th Century Ottoman Empire (2003, February 11) Retrieved October 16, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/essay/16th-century-ottoman-empire-5440/
"16th Century Ottoman Empire" 11 February 2003. Web. 16 October. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/essay/16th-century-ottoman-empire-5440/>