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.
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.
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.