Friday, August 20, 2004

Süleyman the Magnificent

Süleyman the Magnificent.

From the site:

Suleyman the Magnificent is a figure that left his mark on Ottoman history. His enigmatic personality, the splendid monuments set up during his reign, and the records of his contemporary historians and observers have always arousen the curiosity of people.

During the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire experienced its golden age and ranked foremost among world powers in cultural and social fields as well as militarily and politically. A look into that period helps us appreciate the historical heritage and the multi-dimensional cultural riches of the Ottomans that to a great extent determined also the outlook of modern Turkey.

A rich collection of precious manuscripts, pictures, jewellery, kilims, ceramics, maps, documents and poems from Suleyman's reign exhibited in the US ten years ago was met with great interest and showed that the world can gain a lot from sharing the historical heritage and multidimensional riches of the Ottomans. This was only one of the initiatives undertaken by the Turkish government to promote the valuable Ottoman heritage abroad. Suleyman the Magnificient, Sultan of Sultans, conqueror of three continents, who shook the world of the 16th century as he raised the Ottoman Empire to the height of its glory is a personality attracting worldwide interest.

Many articles and books on Suleyman the Magnificent have been published worldwide. In fact, Suleyman's popularity and international interest in his success is not something new.

"I know no State which is happier than this one," reported the Venetian ambassador in 1525; "it is furnished with all God's gifts. It controls war and peace; it is rich in gold, in people, in ships, and in obedience; no State can be compared with it. May God long preserve the most just of all Emperors."

Suleyman ruled for a remarkably long reign of 46 years. His life was filled with triumphs, but also darkened with tragedy. Known to Europeans as the Magnificent and to his subjects as the "Lawgiver", he was a brilliant military strategist and an acclaimed legislator. It is said that the laws made by him form the basis for many western ones. Aptly named after the biblical Solomon, Suleyman showed wisdom as a lawgiver - not in the sense of an innovator, but as a regulator and restorer of balance.

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