The Ottoman Empire
was the one of the largest and longest lasting Empires in history.
It was an empire inspired and sustained by Islam, and Islamic institutions.
It replaced the Byzantine Empire as the major power in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Ottoman Empire reached its height under Suleiman the Magnificent (reigned 1520-66), when it expanded to cover the Balkans and Hungary, and reached the gates of Vienna.
The Empire began to decline after being defeated at the Battle of Lepanto (1571) and losing almost its entire navy. It declined further during the next centuries, and was effectively finished off by the First World War and the Balkan Wars.
One legacy of the Islamic Ottoman Empire is the robust secularism of modern Turkey.
At its peak it included:
- Parts of Arabia
- Much of the coastal strip of North Africa