Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Ankara (1402)

The Ottoman Empire was around for an impressive 624 years, from its (murky but generally accepted) beginnings in 1299 to its official downfall in 1923. But historians have this irritating need to periodize everything, especially something that goes on for 624 years, and so if you want to study the Ottoman Empire you’ll usually find the material chopped up into chunks. One very good break point is 1453, for obvious reasons, marking the Ottoman shift from a regional empire to a genuine world power. Another often-cited period break happened in 1402, at the Battle of Ankara, where the Ottoman Empire was almost destroyed before it really got going.

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