Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Otluk Dağı or Otluk Beli* (1473)

Originally posted on and that's the way it was:
I assume anybody reading this blog has at least heard of the Ottomans (I mean, I have to assume you do read these posts), but I have to say I’d be pretty impressed if any of you have heard of the Aqquyunlu. But for a…

Today in European history: the Siege of Belgrade ends (1456)

Mehmed II earned the epithet Fatih or “the Conqueror” when he captured Constantinople in 1453, and it’s lucky for him that he did, really. If he didn’t already have a slick nickname by the time of his failed effort to capture Belgrade, I can imagine he might have been saddled with a much less flattering… Continue reading Today in European history: the Siege of Belgrade ends (1456)

Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Fall of Constantinople (1453)

The Fall of Constantinople is one of the great milestones in world history, signifying the end of the last vestiges of the Roman Empire and the true ascendance of the Ottoman Empire as a great world power. For world historians, who generally put a period change around the year 1500, it’s one of the markers… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Fall of Constantinople (1453)

Today in Middle East history: the Battle of Otluk Dağı or Otluk Beli* (1473)

I assume anybody reading this blog has at least heard of the Ottomans (I mean, I have to assume you do read these posts), but I have to say I’d be pretty impressed if any of you have heard of the Aqquyunlu. They didn’t have a very long run as a major world power. But… Continue reading Today in Middle East history: the Battle of Otluk Dağı or Otluk Beli* (1473)

Today in European history: the Fall of Constantinople (1453)

I like to write (and read, for that matter) “this day in history” kinds of things, but I’m extraordinarily bad about actually checking to see if anything interesting happened on any given day. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but it is only slightly less silly than commemorating the 561st anniversary of something, which… Continue reading Today in European history: the Fall of Constantinople (1453)

Abdicated and it feels so good (Ottoman edition)

Harrison Ford once said “I think retirement’s for old people.” Well, 85 is old, so if he were in any other job but the Papacy, Benedict XVI’s announced resignation would be the furthest thing from surprising. But the fact is that popes don’t resign; the last one to resign the office was Gregory XII in… Continue reading Abdicated and it feels so good (Ottoman edition)