“News Today,
History Tomorrow.”
The Holy Roman Reader
VOL. CL…NO. 13,573
Late Addition
Veinna: Today sunny,
a few afternoon clouds.
Vienna, Sunday, November 16, 1556
The Enemy Revealed
Diplomat Busbecq describes the Ottomans
from their capitol of Istanbul
Busbecq portrays the Turks as
cultured and enlightened.
Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq was the Holy Roman
ambassador to the Ottoman Empire during the sixteenth
century. During his years of service he wrote several
letters back to Vienna describing many aspects of the
Empire. Imagine your group is a writing team of the “Holy
Roman Reader”
charged with summarizing
One of Busbecq’s letters for
the population of Vienna.
Read through the section
provided noting four
interesting or important facts
to be written in your article.
Holy Roman Reader Activity:
1. Read the article provided in your writing pair.
2. Find four interesting, informative, and important
pieces of information in your groups article which you
would like to write about.
3. Write a two paragraph (3-5 sentences a paragraph)
article (one for each group) summarizing Busbecq’s
letter from the Ottoman empire for the people of
Vienna. include the four facts you picked out.
4. Be prepared to present and turn in this article.
5. If you have any questions raise your hand and ask
The Janissaries
• The Janissaries were an elite
fighting force who acted as the
Ottoman Empire’s standing
• The force was mainly built of
Christian teens taken from the
Balkans who would convert to
Islam and undergo rigorous
• The boys were strictly treated and
told to forget their families, the
Sultan was their father.
• Those who were seen as the
brightest would receive training in
languages, literature, history, and
the Quran to become pages.
Key Geography Terms
The Bosporus
The Balkans
Constantinople (Istanbul)
The Dardanelles
Sea of Marmara
Northern Africa
Asia Minor
The Byzantine capitol of
Constantinople was taken
over by the Ottomans who
renamed it Istanbul.
The Islamic religion was a
unifying force that tolerated
other religions.
Mehmet II
• Best known for ending the
Byzantine Empire by
conquering Constantinople.
• Gave special protection to
the Christians and Jews living
within the boundaries of his
• Mehmet wrote the earliest
known document on religious
Great Palace
• 80,000 Ottoman troops against 7,000
Byzantine defenders.
• The siege lasted three months.
• After the defenses were breeched the
city was sacked for three days.
• Mehmet II: “What a city we have given
over to plunder and destruction.”
Muhammed’s Great Gun
The Great Turkish Bombard/ Sahi/
The Dardanelles Gun/ The Royal Gun
750mm Cannon
Weight: 18 tons
Ammunition: 1,500lb granite stones
Manned by: 60 oxen and 200 soldiers
Rate of fire: 7 shots a day
• Was the largest cathedral in
the world for 1,000 years.
• Was the center of the Greek
Orthodox church before
being converted into a
mosque by Mehmet II.
• Hagia Sophia; “Holy
Hagia Sophia
Selim I
• During his short reign (8 years)
Selim doubled the size of the
Ottoman Empire.
• He had great success in pushing
the Ottoman borders into the
Middle East.
• He conquered the Safavid capitol
of Tabriz (defeating Shah Ismail I)
and took control of the holy cities
of Mecca and Medina as well as
• He was know as “Selim the grim”
for his ruthlessness to his enemies
and his own people.
Suleiman I
• Suleiman the Magnificent in the west,
Suleiman the Law Giver to Ottomans.
• Known as a just ruler, he executed
corrupt officials and one of his first acts
as sultan was paying back merchants
whom his father had taken.
• He extended his empire further into
the Middle East, North Africa, and
• Suleiman ruled over the height of the
Ottoman Empire.
The Ottoman Empire expanded
from Asia Minor to include parts of:
•Southwest Asia
•Southeastern Europe (Balkans)
•North Africa