Ibrahim Pasha and the Age of Reconnaissance <i>1520–1536</i>

Giancarlo Casale

in The Ottoman Age of Exploration

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780195377828
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199775699 | DOI:
Ibrahim Pasha and the Age of Reconnaissance 1520–1536

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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

Chapter.  9207 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Asian History

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