For centuries, the Ottoman Empire was one of the great world powers, ruling over a huge and diverse empire on three continents. We will trace the evolution of this empire from its inception as a frontier principality, through its many struggles and transformations in 600 years as a world empire, until its demise in the aftermath of the Great War. We will delve into the structures of the Ottoman state, the everyday lives of its subjects, and the later breakdown of its governing institutions. We will study the Ottoman Empire's relations with its neighbors and the lives of the empire’s most famous (and infamous) rulers. Finally, we will explore the Empire's complex legacies that persist to the present, from the culinary (baklava and kebabs) to traditions of religious tolerance and coexistence to the still contested memory of the Armenian Genocide.
Instructor: Stefan Djordjevic