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The Ottoman Age of Exploration$
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Giancarlo Casale

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377828

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377828.001.0001

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Ibrahim Pasha and the Age of Reconnaissance 1520–1536

Ibrahim Pasha and the Age of Reconnaissance 1520–1536

(p.34) Two Ibrahim Pasha and the Age of Reconnaissance 1520–1536
The Ottoman Age of Exploration

Giancarlo Casale (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The year 1520 marks the beginning of the very long reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, widely considered the grandest and most powerful sultan in the history of the Ottoman state. For all his undeniable accomplishments, however, Suleiman's carefully cultivated reputation deserves to be treated with a certain degree of skepticism, for in one sense the forty-six years of his rule mark the start of something new and decidedly unmagnificent in the history of the Ottoman dynasty: an extended period during which the influence of viziers, advisors, and members of the royal household rose precipitously, eventually to such an extent that they began to undermine the authority of the sultan himself. Understanding the politics during Suleiman's reign requires pulling the focus away from the sultan in order to accommodate a wider political playing field. This chapter shows how from 1520 onwards, a constantly shifting cast of characters, including grand viziers, provincial governors, and even ladies of the imperial harem, were consistently more active in shaping the empire's policies than anyone sitting on the throne in Istanbul. Among them was Ibrahim Pasha, Suleiman's childhood friend and boom companion, whose meteoric rise in the 1520s is inextricably linked with the beginning of the second phase of the Ottoman Age of Exploration.

Keywords:   Ottomans, Ottoman Empire, Age of Exploration, Ibrahim Pasha, Suleiman

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