Who was Suleiman the Magnificent?

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Suleiman the Magnificent (reign: 1520-1566) was the most respected sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He led the empire into its golden age through expansion and reforming the legal system.  He was involved in thirteen campaigns in his successful military career. Even as the sultan, he spent a quarter of his reign leading troops in battle. Suleiman also built the most powerful navy in the history of the Ottoman Empire. Despite Suleiman's success as a military man, he treated the people that he defeated with honor and dignity. In showing this respect to the vanquished, he was able to gain their loyalty as part of the empire.

Suleiman was also responsible for modernizing the Ottoman legal system. He relaxed taxation on his subjects and took measures to end feudal practices in the empire. His troops were required to respect their enemies' property and land.  Suleiman is also known for his desire to end religious persecution in his empire. His reforms helped the Jewish and Christian populations within the Ottoman Empire.

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Suleyman the Magnificent was one of the most famous of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire.  Suleyman ruled the empire from 1520 to 1566.  His reign was the longest of any of the sultans of that empire.

Suleyman is most famous for two major reasons.  First, he expanded the reach of the Ottoman Empire greatly.  He led armies that pushed the empire into Europe.  He conquered the Balkans and even Hungary.  His armies got all the way to Vienna before they were stopped.  He also extended his empire in North Africa and the Middle East.  Second, Suleyman is known as a great ruler.  In the Muslim world, he is known as “The Lawgiver.”  He is known this way because of, among other things, the fact that he compiled a legal code for the empire that was to survive for centuries.

Suleyman, then, was both a great warrior and a great ruler.

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