A gripping biography of one of the most sensational figures in Turkish history!
Sultan Mehmet II, known to his countrymen as -the Conqueror- and to much of Europe as -the Terror of the World,- was once Europe-s most feared and powerful ruler. Now, Turkey-s most beloved American scholar, John Freely, brings to life this charismatic hero of one of the richest histories in the world.
Mehmet was barely twenty-one when he conquered Byzantine Constantinople, which became Istanbul and the capital of his mighty empire. Mehmet reigned for thirty years, during which time his armies extended the borders of his empire halfway across Asia Minor and as far into Europe as Hungary and Italy. Three popes called for crusades against him as Christian Europe came face to face with a new Muslim empire.
Revered by the Turks and seen as a brutal tyrant by the West, Mehmet was a brilliant military leader as well as a renaissance prince. His court housed Persian and Turkish poets, Arab and Greek astronomers, and Italian scholars and artists.
In the first biography of Mehmet in thirty years, John Freely vividly illuminates the man behind the myths.
Nice book with a fair bit of detailed history, perhaps slightly biased in favour of the Europeans
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I am sure that the author is an excellent scholar, but unfortunately he is not a good story teller. Perhaps this is because he does not want to speculate outside of the bounds of historical fact, but the result is a book that reads like the Book of Lists. There is too much historical detail presented without aide of a narrative, and I did not get any impression of the personality of the Grand Turk. Too bad because there is plenty of interesting material to work with when you are telling the story of a man who had 400 woman in his harem, kept a couple of pages with him at all times who were probably his lovers, and executed people by impaling. I would only recommend this book for a serious scholar of the era.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful