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Suleiman the Magnificent

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Suleiman I, also called Süleyman I and nicknamed the Lawmaker or the Magnificent, was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566 and successor to Selim I. The Ottoman Empire reached its zenith and became a world power during his reign. Although the empire continued to expand one century after his death, this period was followed by a very long decline.

He captured Belgrade in 1521 and Rhodes in 1522. The Ottoman victory at the Battle of Mohacs opened the doors of Hungary and Vienna, the latter of which had been besieged unsuccessfully in 1529. In the following two decades, huge territories of North Africa west to Morocco and all Middle East north to Persia were annexed. This quick expansion was associated with naval dominance for a short period in the Mediterranean Sea and Persian Gulf.

He earned his nickname the Lawmaker from his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman law system. The laws that he gathered covered almost every aspect of life at the time.

When Süleyman died in 1566, major Muslim cities (Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, Damascus, and Baghdad), many Balkan provinces up to today’s Austria, and most of North Africa were under the control of the empire.


Preceded by:
Selim I
1512-1520
Suleiman I
1520 to 1566
Succeeded by:
Selim II
1566-1574



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