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The Ottoman Empire's Legacy

Evening Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0529
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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"Sultan Selim hunting a tiger", Islamic manuscript painting


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • For multiple registrations, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses.

If we flipped the historical script and looked at world events—from the voyage of Columbus to the slave trade to the Protestant Reformation—from an Eastern perspective, would we find that the Muslim world, rather than the West and Christianity, was the driving and determinate force for centuries?

Yale historian and author Alan Mikhail tackles that narrative through an examination of Selim, the most significant, powerful,  and feared sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Under his rule in the early 16th century, the empire exploded in size; assimilated peoples and cultures throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Eastern Europe; and became the economic powerhouse that continued to flourish until the early 20th century. It’s no wonder that today, despite the violence associated with his leadership, Selim is a symbol of the past glories of the Middle East. But in the West, Selim is hardly known and his achievements are forgotten.

Five hundred years after the sultan’s death, Mikhail connects the dots between the dominance of the Ottoman Empire (before, during, and after Selim) and global events to radically reshape our understanding of the importance of his reign in the history of the modern world.

Mikhail’s book God’s Shadow (Liveright) is available for sale.

Book Sale Information

  • Purchase your copy of God’s Shadow by Alan Mikhail here.
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Politics and Prose is offering a 10% discount to Smithsonian Associates ticket-holders. To claim your discount, enter the code SPECIAL10 in the “Coupon discount” section of Politics and Prose's check-out page.

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