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The Ottoman and Safavid Empires
  • Preview
  • Starting Points Map Asian Empires
  • Main Idea / Reading Focus
  • The Ottoman Empire
  • Faces of History Suleyman
  • Map The Ottoman Empire
  • The Safavid Empire
  • Map The Safavid Empire

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The Ottoman and Safavid Empires
Main Idea The Ottoman and Safavid empires
flourished under powerful rulers who expanded the
territory and cultural influence of their empires.
  • Reading Focus
  • How did the Ottomans build a powerful empire, and
    what were their cultural achievements?
  • How was the Safavid Empire founded and enlarged,
    and what cultural elements did it combine?

The Ottoman Empire
Mongol conquests of the 1200s ripped apart the
Seljuk Turk empire. Small, independent Turkish
states formed in the region. In the late 1200s,
a great chieftain arose from one of the states
and went on to found the powerful Ottoman Empire.
Their power grew quickly, and by the mid-1300s
the Ottomans controlled much of Anatolia.
Invasion and Decline
  • Despite strong military, Ottomans experienced
  • Central Asian conqueror Timur attacked
  • Because of leg injury, known as Timur the Lame
    in Europe, Tamerlane
  • In 1402 army crushed Ottoman forces at Battle of
  • Timur soon withdrew
  • Ottoman empire left in shambles
  • Ruler dead
  • Bloody power struggle followed, weakened empire

Fall of Constantinople
  • Expansion period
  • Following period of decline, spectacular phase of
    expansion began
  • Mid-1400s, reign of Mehmed II, strong military
  • Mehmed II determined to take Constantinople,
    Byzantine capital
  • Bosporus Strait
  • Ottomans had captured lands around
    Constantinople, but not city itself
  • Constantinople controlled Bosporus Strait, trade
    route between Asia, Europe
  • Control of waterway provided great wealth,
    divided Ottoman Empire
  • Mehmed the Conqueror
  • 1453, Ottomans led major land, sea assault
    against Constantinople
  • Used massive cannons to batter citys walls city
    fell after two month siege
  • Byzantine Empire no longer existed Mehmed became
    known as the Conqueror claimed center of
    eastern Christianity for Islam

  • Pillaging the City
  • Mehmed made Constantinople his capital, named
  • Allowed soldiers to pillage city for three days
  • Many residents killed or enslaved
  • Then rebuilt Constantinople into Muslim city
  • Rebuilding the City
  • Mehmed had palaces, mosques built
  • Turned Hagia Sophia, Orthodox Christian
    cathedral, into mosque
  • Moved people from across empire to repopulate
  • Soon city again major trade center with people of
    many cultures

Height of the Empire
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Society and Culture
  • Rule of Sultans
  • Ottoman sultan ruled over vast, diverse empire
    had immense power, issued all laws, made all
    major decisions
  • Numerous officials advised sultanconsidered his
    slaves had to be loyal to sultan, practice
    Islam, follow Ottoman customs
  • Classes
  • Privileged ruling class one of two classessecond
    class, everyone else
  • Included people of many cultures, languages,
  • Ottomans governed diverse subjects with tolerance
  • Religious Freedom
  • Non-Muslims had to pay heavy taxes, endure
    restrictions did not have to serve in
    militaryMuslims had to join military, but did
    not pay taxes
  • Religious freedom allowed some groups required
    to form millets, or religious communities each
    millet followed own laws, chose own leaders

Rich Culture
  • Great Buildings
  • Mixing of peoples created rich Ottoman culture,
    reached peak under Suleyman
  • Magnificent mosques, palaces, many with Byzantine
  • Mosque of Suleyman
  • Sinan, master designer of Mosque of Suleyman,
  • Graceful solution of problem of combining round
    dome, rectangular building
  • Empires Decline
  • After Suleymans reign, empire declined
  • One cause was method of dealing with heirs
  • New sultans killed brothers to eliminate rivals
    until 1600s
  • Inexperienced Sultans
  • Heirs locked in royal palace released to become
    sultan but had no experience
  • Despite periodic reform efforts, series of weak
    sultans resulted
  • Empire lasted to early 1900s

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Analyze Why is Suleymans reign considered the
height of the Ottoman Empire?
Answer(s) because Suleyman expanded the empire,
built bridges and mosques, and reformed the
administration and laws of the empire
The Safavid Empire
East of the Ottomans, Persian Muslims called the
Safavids began building an empire around 1500.
The Safavids soon came into conflict with the
Ottomans and other Muslims. The conflict related
to Islams split into rival Sunni and Shia sects.
The Safavids were Shia most other Muslims were
Esmail and Shiism
  • Shiism sharply distinguished Safavid state from
    Sunni neighbors, notably Ottomans to west, Uzbeks
    to northeast
  • Esmail dreamed of converting all Sunnis to
  • Battled Uzbeks with some success suffered
    crushing defeat by Ottomans in Battle of
    Chaldiran, 1514
  • Safavid army no match for Ottomans superior
    gunpowder weapons

Culture and Economy
  • Golden Age
  • Abbas achievements produced golden age in
    Safavid culture
  • Brought in Chinese potters to improve quality of
    glazed tile, ceramics
  • Safavids created public spaces with graceful
    arches, lush gardens
  • Colorful tiles, domes decorated mosques
  • During 1600s capital of Esfahan one of worlds
    magnificent cities
  • Major Muslim Civilization
  • Culture helped economy Abbas encouraged
    traditional products
  • Hand-woven Persian carpets became important
    industry, export
  • Trade goods brought wealth, helped establish
    Safavid Empire as major Muslim civilization
  • Safavid Empire lasted until 1722

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Compare and Contrast How were the achievements
of Esmail and Abbas similar, and how were they
Answer(s) Both leaders focused on military.
'Abbas had more success in battle because he
acquired gunpowder weapons.