Which cultural achievements of Suleiman's reign were similar to the European Renaissance?

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Renaissance, which had its genesis in Italy, was a revival of art, architecture and learning in Europe. Suleiman the Magnificent (1494-1566) was the longest reigning Great Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He was responsible for leading the Ottoman Empire to a golden age of cultural and artistic development. A very well educated and artistic man himself, he encouraged the educational development of his young subjects by opening schools that were fully funded. In this system, Muslim boys were granted education long before those in Europe.

As a great patron of culture and art, Suleiman was able to lead a revival of Muslim art and architecture that was unrivaled. He sponsored hundreds of imperial artistic societies and cultural development became an arm of the state. He motivated many of the most talented architects and artists to move to the capital and join in this movement. The result was a beautiful blending of Arabic, Turkish, and European cultures.

Suleiman, like the Renaissance philosophers, wanted to end the unfair feudal practices of the empire. He unified a code of law that sought to end Christian serfdom. His policies were so successful that Christians migrated to the Ottoman Empire to seek a better life.

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