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The Ottoman Empire | Facts and Map


The Ottoman Empire, c. 1700
Approximate largest expanse of the Ottoman Empire, circa 1700 CE

Map of the Ottoman Empire at its largest, 1700 CE

Kallie Szczepanski

The Ottoman Empire, which lasted from 1299 to 1922 CE, controlled a vast expanse of land around the Mediterranean Sea. At different points in its more than six centuries of existence, the empire reached down along the Nile River Valley and the Red Sea Coasts. It also spread northward into Europe, halting only when it could not conquer Vienna, and southwest as far as Morocco. Ottoman conquests reach their apogee around 1700 CE, when the empire was at its largest, as shown here.

Quick Facts:

Founded in 1299

Interrupted by Timur the Lame (Tamerlane), 1402-1414

Ottoman sultanate abolished, November 1922

Official language: Turkish. Minority languages included Albanian, Arabic, Assyrian, Bulgarian, Croatian, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Kurdish, Persian, Somali and many more.

Form of government: Caliphate. Secular authority rested with the sultan, who was advised by a grand vizier. Religious authority was vested in the caliph.

Official religion: Sunni Islam. Minority religions included Shi'a Islam, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, and Roman Catholicism.

Capital: Sogut, 1302-1326; Bursa, 1326-1365; Edirne, 1365-1452; Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), 1453-1922

Peak Area: approximately 5,200,000 square kilometers (2,007,700 square miles) in 1700 CE

Population: estimated at more than 35,000,000 in 1856. Down to 24,000,000 on the eve of World War I due to territorial losses.

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