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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

How Ottoman Sultan Suleyman Conquered Most of Europe and the Mediterranean While Avoiding Assassination

00:00 44:53
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Within a decade and a half, Ottoman Sultan Suleyman, who reigned form 1520 to 1566, held dominion over twenty-five million souls, from Baghdad to the walls of Vienna, and with the help of his brilliant pirate commander Barbarossa placed more Christians than ever before or since under Muslim rule. He launched voyages into the Indian Ocean, threatened to conquer all of Europe, and took firm control over the Mediterranean Sea.

And yet the real drama takes place in close-up: in small rooms and whispered conversations, behind the curtain of power. His confidantes include the Greek slave who becomes his Grand Vizier, the Venetian jewel dealer who acts as his go-between, and the Russian consort who becomes his most beloved wife.

Today’s guest Christopher de Bellaigue, author of The Lion House. He tells not just the story of rival superpowers in an existential duel, nor of one of the most consequential lives in human history, but of what it means to live in a time when a few men get to decide the fate of the world.
January 12, 2023
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.
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