John Julius Norwich
John Julius Cooper, 2nd Viscount Norwich, known as John Julius Norwich, was an English popular historian, travel writer and television personality. Norwich was the son of Conservative politician and diplomat Duff Cooper Viscount Norwich, of Lady Diana Manners, a celebrated beauty and society figure. Through his father, he was descended from his mistress Dorothea Jordan, he was educated at Upper Canada College, Canada and the University of Strasbourg. He served in the Royal Navy before taking a degree in French and Russian at Oxford. Joining the British Foreign Service after Oxford, before that Eton, John Julius Cooper served in Yugoslavia and Lebanon and as a member of the British delegation to the Disarmament Conference in Geneva. On his father's death in 1954, he inherited the title of Viscount Norwich, created for his father, Duff Cooper, in 1952; this gave him a right to sit in the House of Lords, though he lost this right with the House of Lords Act 1999. In 1964, Viscount Norwich left the diplomatic service to become a writer.
His subsequent books included histories of Sicily under the Normans, Byzantium, the Mediterranean, the Papacy, amongst others. He served as editor of series such as Great Architecture of the World, The Italian World, The New Shell Guides to Great Britain, The Oxford Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Art and the Duff Cooper Diaries. Viscount Norwich has contributed to Cornucopia, a magazine devoted to the history and culture of Turkey. Viscount Norwich worked extensively in television, he was host of the BBC radio panel game My Word! for four years and a regional contestant on Round Britain Quiz. He has written and presented some 30 television documentaries, including The Fall of Constantinople, Napoleon's Hundred Days, Cortés and Montezuma, The Antiquities of Turkey, The Gates of Asia, Maximilian of Mexico, Toussaint l'Ouverture of Haiti, The Knights of Malta, The Treasure Houses of Britain, The Death of the Prince Imperial in the Zulu War. Norwich worked for various charitable projects, he was the chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund, honorary chairman of the World Monuments Fund, a Vice-President of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies.
For many years he was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Trust, served on the Board of English National Opera. Viscount Norwich was a patron of SHARE Community, which provides vocational training to disabled people. Viscount Norwich began to compile 24-page anthologies for friends in 1970 producing around 2,000 copies a year and expanding to the United States in the mid-1980s. Several anthologies have been published and certain single issues fetch high prices in secondhand bookstores. Christmas Crackers were compiled from whatever attracted Norwich: letters and diaries and gravestones and poems, boastful Who's Who entries, indexes from biographies, word games such as palindromes and mnemonics in untranslated Greek, Latin, German or whatever language they were sourced from, as well as such oddities as a review from the American outdoors magazine Field and Stream concerning the re-publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover. Viscount Norwich's first wife was Anne Frances May Clifford, daughter of the Hon.
Sir Bede Clifford. After their divorce, Lord Norwich married his second wife, the Hon. Mary Philipps, daughter of The 1st Baron Sherfield. Viscount Norwich was the father of Allegra Huston, born of his affair with the American ballet dancer Enrica Soma while she was married to the American film director John Huston. Norwich lived for much of his life, or was based in, a large detached Victorian house in Warwick Avenue, in the heart of Little Venice, Maida Vale close to the Regent's Canal. Viscount Norwich died age 88 on June 1, 2018. 1929–1952: Mr John Julius Cooper 1952–1954: The Honourable John Julius Cooper 1954–2018: The Right Honourable The Viscount NorwichViscount Norwich was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order as a Commander in 1992 by the Queen after curating a Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition entitled Sovereign, which marked the 40th anniversary of the Queen's accession. Mount Athos, Hutchinson, 1966 The Normans in the South, 1016–1130, Longman, 1967. Published by Harper & Row with the title The Other Conquest Sahara, Longman, 1968 The Kingdom in the Sun, Longman, 1970 Great Architecture of the World, Littlehampton Book Services Ltd, 1975 ISBN 978-0855330675 Venice: The Rise to Empire, Allen Lane, 1977 ISBN 0713907428 Venice: The Greatness and Fall, Allen Lane, 1981 ISBN 0713914092 A History of Venice, Knopf, 1982 / Penguin, 1983 ISBN 0-679-72197-5, single-volume combined edition Britain's Heritage, HaperCollins, 1983 ISBN 978-0246118400 The Italian World: History and the Genius of a People, Thames & Hudson, 1983, ISBN 978-0500250884 Hashish, Quartet Books, 1984, ISBN 0-7043-2450-4 The Architecture of Southern England, Macmillan, 1985, ISBN 978-0-333-22037-5 Fifty Years of Glyndebourne, Cape, 1985, ISBN 0-224-02310-1 A Taste for Travel, Macmillan, 1985, ISBN 0-333-38434-2 Byzantium: The Early Centuries, Viking, 1988, ISBN 0-670-80251-4 Venice: a Traveller's Companion, Constable, 1990, ISBN 0-09-467550-3 Oxford Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Art Oxford, 1990 The Normans in the South and The Kingdom in the Sun, on Norman S
Methoni is a village and a former municipality in Messenia, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality of Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is a municipal unit; the municipal unit has an area of 97.202 km2. Its name may be derived from a mythical rock, it is located 11 km south of 11 km west of Foinikounta. The municipal unit of Methoni includes the nearby villages of Grizokampos, Foiniki, Varakes, Kainourgio Chorio, Kamaria and the Oinnoussai Islands; the islands are Sapientza and Santa Marina. The town is known by the Italian name Modone, which it was called by the Venetians, its economy is dominated by tourism, attracted by its historical castle. The municipal unit of Methoni is subdivided into the following communities: Methoni Evangelismos Foiniki Foinikounta Kainourgio Chorio Lachanada Methoni has been identified as the city of Pedasus, which Homer mentions under the name "ampeloessa", as the last of the seven εὐναιόμενα πτολίεθρα that Agamemnon offers Achilles in order to subdue his rage.
Pausanias knew the city as Mothone, named either after the daughter of Oeneus or after the rock Mothon, which protects the harbour, mentioned a temple to Athena Anemotis there. The Oinoussai complex of islands protected the port of Methoni from the turbulent sea. Along with the rest of Messenia, the town gained its independence from the Spartans in 369 BC. Like other Mediterranean coastal settlements, Methoni was heavily affected by the tsunami that followed the earthquake in AD 365. Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus wrote that as a result of the earthquake some ships had been "hurled nearly two miles from the shore", giving as an example a Laconian vessel, stranded "near the town of Methone". During the Byzantine years Methoni retained its remarkable harbor and remained one of the most important cities of the Peloponnese, seat of a bishopric; the Republic of Venice had its eye on Methoni since the 12th century, due to its location on the route from Venice to the Eastern markets. In 1125, they launched an attack against pirates based at Methoni, who had captured some Venetian traders on their way home from the east.
In the mid-12th century, the Muslim traveller and geographer al-Idrisi mentioned Methoni as a fortified town with a citadel. At the time of the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade, one of the Crusaders, Geoffrey of Villehardouin, was shipwrecked near Methoni, he spent the winter of 1204/5 there, he came into contact with a local Greek magnate—identified by some scholars with a certain John Kantakouzenos—and aided him in subduing much of the region. Villehardouin's sojourn there was brief, since the Greek magnate died, his son and successor turned against Villehardouin, forced to flee Messenia, made for the Argolid, where a Crusader army under Boniface of Montferrat had arrived. From there and another Crusader, William of Champlitte, led the conquest of the Peloponnese from the local Greeks and the establishment of a Crusader principality, the Principality of Achaea. In the treaty of partition of the Byzantine Empire by the Crusaders, the Partitio Romaniae, most of the peninsula had been assigned to the Republic of Venice in the treaty of partition, but the Venetians did not take action to pre-empt or hinder Champlitte and Villehardouin.
It was not until 1206 or 1207 that a Venetian fleet under Premarini and the son of the Doge Enrico Dandolo arrived in the Peloponnese, captured Methoni, along with Koroni. Venice and the Principality of Achaea came to terms, recognizing each other's possessions in the Treaty of Sapienza. Koroni was fortified. Roman Catholic bishops were installed in the two local dioceses, who were both suffragans of the Latin Archbishopric of Patras. Under Venetian rule, the town experienced its zenith, becoming an important center for trade with the Levant and enjoying great prosperity. Methoni became an important staging point on the route between Venice and the Holy Lands, many descriptions of it survive in pilgrims' accounts. With the Ottoman conquest of the Despotate of the Morea, the town came under threat. In 1499–1500, Ottoman ships raided the town from the sea, while Sultan Bayezid II in person arrived to supervise its siege. After 28 days, on 9 August 1500, Methoni fell; the populace was either sold off as slaves.
In 1532, the Knights Hospitaller recaptured the fortress and left with 1,600 Muslim prisoners. The Venetians returned under Francesco Morosini in 1686 during the Morean War. A Venetian census shortly afterwards lists Methoni with only 236 inhabitants, indicative of the general depopulation of the region during that time; the second period of Venetian rule lasted until 1715, when the Grand Vizier Damad Ali Pasha invaded the Peloponnese. Although strengthened by the garrisons of Navarino and Koroni, who fled their fortresses, Methoni surrendered once the Ottoman army arrived and began to besiege it; the Grand Vizier ordered his troops to kill all Christians
Corfu or Kerkyra is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, including its small satellite islands, forms the northwesternmost part of Greece; the island is part of the Corfu regional unit, is administered as a single municipality, which includes the smaller islands of Ereikoussa and Othonoi. The municipality has an area of 610,9 km2, the island proper 592,8 km2; the principal city of the island and seat of the municipality is named Corfu. Corfu is home to the Ionian University; the island is bound up with the history of Greece from the beginnings of Greek mythology. Its history is full of conquests. Ancient Korkyra took part in the Battle of Sybota, a catalyst for the Peloponnesian War, according to Thucydides, the largest naval battle between Greek city states until that time. Thucydides reports that Korkyra was one of the three great naval powers of fifth century BC Greece, along with Athens and Corinth. Medieval castles punctuating strategic locations across the island are a legacy of struggles in the Middle Ages against invasions by pirates and the Ottomans.
Two of these castles enclose its capital, the only city in Greece to be surrounded in such a way. As a result, Corfu's capital has been declared a Kastropolis by the Greek government. From medieval times and into the 17th century, the island, having repulsed the Ottomans during several sieges, was recognised as a bulwark of the European States against the Ottoman Empire and became one of the most fortified places in Europe; the fortifications of the island were used by the Venetians to defend against Ottoman intrusion into the Adriatic. Corfu fell under British rule following the Napoleonic Wars. Corfu was ceded by the British Empire along with the remaining islands of the United States of the Ionian Islands, unification with modern Greece was concluded in 1864 under the Treaty of London. In 2007, the city's old quarter was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, following a recommendation by ICOMOS. Corfu is a popular tourist destination; the island was the location of the 1994 European Union summit.
The Greek name, Kerkyra or Korkyra, is related to two powerful water deities: Poseidon, god of the sea, Asopos, an important Greek mainland river. According to myth, Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra, daughter of Asopos and river nymph Metope, abducted her. Poseidon brought Korkyra to the hitherto unnamed island and, in marital bliss, offered her name to the place: Korkyra, which evolved to Kerkyra, they had a child they called Phaiax, after whom the inhabitants of the island were named Phaiakes, in Latin Phaeaciani. Corfu's nickname is the island of the Phaeacians; the name Corfù, an Italian version of the Byzantine Κορυφώ, meaning "city of the peaks", derives from the Byzantine Greek Κορυφαί, denoting the two peaks of Palaio Frourio. The northeastern edge of Corfu lies off the coast of Sarandë, separated by straits varying in width from 3 to 23 km; the southeast side of the island lies off the coast of Greece. Its shape resembles a sickle, to which it was compared by the ancients: the concave side, with the city and harbour of Corfu in the centre, lies toward the Albanian coast.
With the island's area estimated at 592.9 square kilometres, it runs 64 km long, with greatest breadth at around 32 km. Two high and well-defined ranges divide the island into three districts, of which the northern is mountainous, the central undulating, the southern low-lying; the more important of the two ranges, that of Pantokrator stretches east and west from Cape Falacro to Cape Psaromita, attains its greatest elevation in the summit of the same name. The second range culminates in the mountain of Santi Jeca, or Santa Decca, as it is called by misinterpretation of the Greek designation Άγιοι Δέκα, or the Ten Saints; the whole island, composed as it is of various limestone formations, presents great diversity of surface, views from more elevated spots are magnificent. Beaches are found in Agios Gordis, the Korission lagoon, Agios Georgios, Kassiopi, Sidari and many others. Corfu is located near the Kefalonia geological fault formation. Corfu's coastline spans 217 kilometres including capes.
The full extent of capes and promontories take in Agia Aikaterini, Drastis to the north and Asprokavos to the southeast, Megachoro to the south. Two islands are to be found at a middle point of Gouvia and Corfu Bay, which extends across much of the eastern shore of the island. Camping areas can be found in Palaiokastritsa, with four in the northern part, Roda and Messonghi; the Diapontia Islands are located in the northwest of Corfu, about 40 km away from Italian coasts. The main islands are Othonoi and Mathraki. Lazaretto Island known as Aghios Dimitrios, is located two nautical miles northeast of Corfu. During Venetian rule in the early 16th century, a monastery was built on the islet and a leprosarium established in the century, after which the island was
The Salmeniko Castle or Orgia or Oria Castle was a castle at the foot of Panachaiko mountain, in the modern municipality of Aigialeia, Greece. The castle was first built by the local barons of the Latin Principality of Achaea between 1280 and 1310. With the years, a large town developed around it; the site was strong, at the top of a hill behind which the river Foinikas ran. Because of the steep cliffs there, no fortifications were required on that side. In 1460, Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II invaded the Peloponnese, the castles of the Byzantine Despotate of Morea submitted, one after another without resistance. Salmeniko was the last stronghold to offer resistance, under the command of Graitzas Palaiologos; the fortress resisted for a year. Only after the Janissaries managed to find and cut the fort's water supply line, did the town surrender. According to folk tradition, the residents threw sponges suspended from ropes from the castle, thus collected water from the river below, until the Janissaries discovered it and started cutting the ropes.
The town's inhabitants, 6,000 according to the historian Stefanos Thomopoulos, were enslaved, while 900 children were selected for the Devşirme. Graitzas however and a number of defenders still held out in the citadel; as a condition for surrendering it, he demanded free passage of his men. Mehmed accepted and departed unmolested for Aigio, leaving a certain Hamouzas as governor of the Peloponnese and Thessaly, to oversee Graitza's departure. Hamouzas disregarded the agreement and arrested the first men who tried to leave the citadel. Informed of this, Mehmed left the Peloponnese. However, Zaganos too renewed the siege of the citadel. Graitzas attempted a sortie, managed to break through and find refuge in the Venetian-held fortress of Lepanto; the fall of Salmeniko signalled the complete submission of the Peloponnese to the Ottomans. Today, town lie in ruins, which are still visible on the site. A medieval bridge survives intact, while the "Oria rock", according to local tradition, a princess was killed by a traitor during the Ottoman siege, is nearby.
Coordinates are as provided or close to these. Kostas Triandafyllou, Historic Dictionary of Patras, 3rd edition, Patras 1995 Alexios Panagopoulos, Historic Dictionary of the Municipality of Rio, Achaia Prefecture, Peri Technon, Patras 2003 ISBN 960-8260-32-9 Stefanos Thomopoulos, History of the city of Patras, Patras 1999, Achaikes Publishers, Volume II Erineos Municipality
Mehmed the Conqueror
Mehmed II known as Mehmed the Conqueror, was an Ottoman Sultan who ruled from August 1444 to September 1446, later from February 1451 to May 1481. In Mehmed II's first reign, he defeated the crusade led by John Hunyadi after the Hungarian incursions into his country broke the conditions of the truce Peace of Szeged; when Mehmed II ascended the throne again in 1451 he strengthened the Ottoman navy and made preparations to attack Constantinople. At the age of 21, he brought an end to the Byzantine Empire. After the conquest Mehmed claimed the title "Caesar" of the Roman Empire, based on the assertion that Constantinople had been the seat and capital of the Roman Empire; the claim was only recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Mehmed continued his conquests in Anatolia with its reunification and in Southeast Europe as far west as Bosnia. At home he made many political and social reforms, encouraged the arts and sciences, by the end of his reign his rebuilding program had changed the city into a thriving imperial capital.
He is considered parts of the wider Muslim world. Among other things, Istanbul's Fatih district, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Fatih Mosque are named after him. Mehmed II was born on 30 March 1432, in Edirne the capital city of the Ottoman state, his father was Sultan Murad II and his mother Hüma Valide Hatun, born in the town of Devrekani, Kastamonu. When Mehmed II was eleven years old he was sent to Amasya to govern and thus gain experience, per the custom of Ottoman rulers before his time. Sultan Murad II sent a number of teachers for him to study under; this Islamic education had a great impact in molding Mehmed's mindset and reinforcing his Muslim beliefs. He was influenced in his practice of Islamic epistemology by practitioners of science by his mentor, Molla Gürani, he followed their approach; the influence of Akshamsaddin in Mehmed's life became predominant from a young age in the imperative of fulfilling his Islamic duty to overthrow the Byzantine empire by conquering Constantinople.
After Murad II made peace with the Karamanids in Anatolia in August 1444, he abdicated the throne to his 12-year-old son Mehmed II. In Mehmed II's first reign, he defeated the crusade led by John Hunyadi after the Hungarian incursions into his country broke the conditions of the truce Peace of Szeged. Cardinal Julian Cesarini, the representative of the Pope, had convinced the king of Hungary that breaking the truce with Muslims was not a betrayal. At this time Mehmed II asked his father Murad II to reclaim the throne. Angry at his father, who had long since retired to a contemplative life in southwestern Anatolia, Mehmed II wrote, "If you are the Sultan and lead your armies. If I am the Sultan I hereby order you to come and lead my armies." It was only after receiving this letter that Murad II led the Ottoman army and won the Battle of Varna in 1444. Murad II's return to the throne was forced by Çandarlı Halil Paşa, the grand vizier at the time, not fond of Mehmed II's rule, because Mehmed II's influential lala, had a rivalry with Çandarlı.
When Mehmed II ascended the throne again in 1451 he devoted himself to strengthening the Ottoman navy and made preparations for an attack on Constantinople. In the narrow Bosphorus Straits, the fortress Anadoluhisarı had been built by his great-grandfather Bayezid I on the Asian side. Having completed his fortresses, Mehmed proceeded to levy a toll on ships passing within reach of their cannon. A Venetian vessel ignoring signals to stop was sunk with a single shot and all the surviving sailors beheaded, except for the captain, impaled and mounted as a human scarecrow as a warning to further sailors on the strait. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, the companion and standard bearer of Muhammad, had died during the first Siege of Constantinople; as Mehmed II's army approached Constantinople, Mehmed's sheikh Akshamsaddin discovered the tomb of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari. After the conquest, Mehmed built Eyüp Sultan Mosque at the site to emphasize the importance of the conquest to the Islamic world and highlight his role as ghazi.
In 1453 Mehmed commenced the siege of Constantinople with an army between 80,000 and 200,000 troops, an artillery train of over seventy large field pieces, a navy of 320 vessels, the bulk of them transports and storeships. The city was surrounded by land. In early April, the Siege of Constantinople began. At first, the city's walls held off the Turks though Mehmed's army used the new bombard designed by Orban, a giant cannon similar to the Dardanelles Gun; the harbor of the Golden Horn was defended by twenty-eight warships. On 22 April, Mehmed transported his lighter warships overland, around the Genoese colony of Galata, into the Golden Horn's northern shore, thus the Byzantines stretched their troops over a longer portion of the walls. About a month Constantinople fell, on 29 May, following a fifty-seven-day siege. After this conquest, Mehmed moved the Ottoman capital from Adrianople to Constantinople; when Sultan Mehmed II stepped into the ruins of
Despot (court title)
Despot or despotes was a senior Byzantine court title, bestowed on the sons or sons-in-law of reigning emperors, denoted the heir-apparent of the Byzantine emperor. From Byzantium it spread throughout the late medieval Balkans and was granted in the states under Byzantine cultural influence, such as the Latin Empire, the Second Bulgarian Empire, the Serbian Empire and its successor states, the Empire of Trebizond. With the political fragmentation of the period, the term gave rise to several principalities termed "despotates" which were ruled either as independent states or as appanages by princes bearing the title of despot. In modern usage, the word has taken a different meaning: "despotism" is a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power; the semantic shift undergone by the term is mirrored by "tyrant", an ancient Greek word that bore no negative connotation, the Latin "dictator", a constitutionally sanctioned office of the Roman Republic. In colloquial Modern Greek, the word is used to refer to a bishop.
In English, the feminine form of the title is despotess or despotissa, which denoted the spouse of a despot, but the transliterated traditional female equivalent of despotes, despoina, is commonly used. The original Greek term δεσπότης meant "lord" and was synonymous with κύριος; as the Greek equivalent to the Latin dominus, despotēs was used as a form of address indicating respect. As such it was applied to any person of rank, but in a more specific sense to God and the patriarchs, the Roman and Byzantine Emperors used in formal settings, for example on coins or formal documents. Although it was used for high-ranking nobles from the early 12th century, the title of despot began being used as a specific court title by Manuel I Komnenos, who conferred it in 1163 to the future King Béla III of Hungary, the Emperor's son-in-law and, until the birth of Alexios II in 1169, heir-presumptive. According to the contemporary Byzantine historian John Kinnamos, the title of despot was analogous to Bela's Hungarian title of urum, or heir-apparent.
From this time and until the end of the Byzantine Empire, the title of despot became the highest Byzantine dignity, which placed its holders "immediately after the emperor". The Byzantine emperors from the Komnenoi to the Palaiologoi, as well as the Latin Emperors who claimed their succession and imitated their styles, continued to use the term despotes in its more generic sense of "lord" in their personal seals and in imperial coinage. In a similar manner, the holders of the two junior titles of sebastokrator and Caesar could be addressed as despota; the despot paneutychestatos. During the last centuries of Byzantium's existence, the title was awarded to the younger sons of emperors as well as to the emperor's sons-in-law; the title entailed extensive honours and privileges, including the control of large estates – the domains of Michael VIII's brother John Palaiologos for instance included the islands of Lesbos and Rhodes – to finance their extensive households. Like the junior titles of sebastokrator and Caesar however, the title of despot was a courtly dignity, was not tied to any military or administrative functions or powers.
Women bore the titles of their husbands. Thus the spouse of a despot, the despotissa, had the right to bear the same insignia as he. Among the women of the court, the despotissai took the first place after the empress; the use of the title spread to the other countries of the Balkans. The Latin Empire used it to honour the Doge of Venice Enrico Dandolo and the local ruler of the Rhodope region, Alexius Slav. After ca. 1219 it was borne by the Venetian podestàs in Constantinople, as the Venetian support became crucial to the Empire's survival. In 1279/80, it was introduced in Bulgaria to placate the powerful magnate George Terter in 1279/80. During the Serbian Empire it was awarded among the various Serbian magnates, with Jovan Oliver being the first holder, it was held by lesser principalities as well, including the self-proclaimed Albanian despots of Arta. In the 15th century, the Venetian governors of Corfu were styled as despots; as the title of despot was conferred by the emperor and implied a degree of submission by the awardee, the Palaiologan emperors tried long to persuade the Emperors of Trebizond, who claimed the Byzantine imperial title, to accept the title of despot instead.
Only John II of Trebizond and his son Alexios II, accepted the title, they continued to use the usual imperial title of "basileus" domestically. With the death of the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI on May 29, 1453, the creation of a despot became irregular; the title was granted by Pope Paul II to Andreas Palaiologos, heir to the Byzantine throne in 1465, by the king of Hungary to the heirs of the Serbian Despotate. From the mid-14th century on, various territories were given to imperial princes with the rank of despot to
The Ottoman Empire known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire; the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained numerous vassal states; some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians; the empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires; the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, atrocities were committed by the Young Turk government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks; the Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy; the word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman.
Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān. In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı Devleti; the Turkish word for "Ottoman" referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker, not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī, or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia; the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character; as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River.
It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their