2 Foreign InvadersBy the year 900 CE the great Arab empire created after Muhammad’s death was broken and fractured.These kingdoms continued to develop as centers of Islamic civilization.Beginning around 1000 CE waves of nomads began to overrun the Middle East in search of good, fertile land.
3 Seljuks The Seljuks were a Turkish-speaking people. Their invading army captured Baghdad before moving west.They captured Anatolia from the Byzantines.This action frightened the Christian Byzantines who were fearful of being conquered themselves.
4 MongolsDuring the 1200s, horse-riding Mongols charged out of Central Asia and descended into the Middle East.In 1258 they captured Baghdad from the Seljuks and looted and destroyed the city.Over the course of their invasions the Mongols killed millions of people.Their occupation of the Middle East opened up trade routes between Asia and the Islamic world.
5 CrusadersA third group of outsiders, Christians from Europe, also invaded the Middle East.The Byzantines pressured all of Christendom to strike back against the Seljuk Turks.In 1095 CE, Pope Urban II called for a crusade, or holy war, to reclaim the Holy Land from the Seljuks.The Holy Land consisted of Palestine and Israel and was believed to be where Jesus lived.
6 CrusadersCrusaders from all over Europe poured into the Holy Land to reclaim it.While they initially were able to reclaim Jerusalem and establish four crusader states their impact was minimal.Europe was a less developed area than the Middle East at this time.The crusaders were eventually pushed out of Jerusalem by a brilliant Muslim general, Saladin.
7 SaladinSalah-al-Din, or Saladin, united the Muslim world in the late 1100s CE.Saladin was God-fearing, courteous, and generous to friends and enemies.He united Muslims from Syria and Egypt, surrounded the crusader kingdoms, and forced the crusaders to retreat.He eventually recaptured the city of Jerusalem from the crusaders in CE.
8 Ottoman EmpireDuring the early 1300s CE, another powerful people, the Ottomans, emerged in Anatolia.Like the Seljuks, the Ottomans were a Turkish-speaking people from Central Asia who had converted to Islam.In 1453 CE, the Ottomans shocked the Christian world by capturing the ancient city of Constantinople, ending the 1000-year Byzantine empire.
10 Ottoman EmpireThe Ottoman Empire reached its height under the rule of Suleiman I, who ruled from 1520 to 1566 CE.Suleiman rebuilt Constantinople (now called Istanbul) was the centerpiece of his kingdom.At its height the Ottomans ruled over 50 million people.
11 Ottoman GovernmentThe Ottomans were able to hold their empire together for more than 500 years thanks to their flexible government.At the head of the Ottoman government was the sultan, who ruled with absolute power.He relied on two groups of men to help him rule.“Men of the Pen” – lawyers, mathematicians, poets“Men of the Sword” – soldiers, generals
12 Ottoman SlavesThe Ottomans treated the people they conquered as slaves.By converting to Islam a slave could earn their freedom.They took young Christian boys and trained them as government and military officials.Promising youth could be trained as elite bodyguards called Janissaries.
13 The Safavid EmpireThe other power in the Middle East that opposed the Ottomans were the Safavids.The Safavids were from modern-day Iran.They waged bloody battles with the Ottomans over control of Mesopotamia.The main cause for violence between the two groups was that the Ottomans were Sh’ia Muslims and the Safavids followed Sunni traditions.
15 Abbas the GreatThe Safavid Empire reached its height under Abbas the Great, who ruled from to 1629.Abbas opened his kingdom to outsiders and was able to forge alliances with European powers to help with his wars against the Ottomans.Abbas developed trade networks with Asia to help produce high-demand goods.After Abbas’ death the empire declined.The last Safavid ruler died in 1736 CE.Afterwards Iran was ruled by a shah.
16 Recap QuestionsList three groups of outsiders who invaded the Middle East. Describe one change that was brought by each group.Who was Saladin?Describe how the Ottomans treated the diverse groups who made up their empire.How do you think centuries of invasions by outsiders contributed to cultural diffusion in the Middle East?
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