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Murat III

His Imperial Majesty Grand Sultan, Commander of the Faithful and Successor of the Prophet of the Lord of the Universe
Reign 1574–95
Period Growth of the Ottoman Empire
Full Name Murad
Born 4 July 1546
Birthplace Bozdağan or Manisa
Died 15/16 January 1595
Place of death Topkapı Palace of Constantinople
Predecessor Selim II
Successor Mehmed III
Consort Safiye Sultan
Royal House House of Osman
Dynasty Ottoman Dynasty
Father Selim II
Valide Sultan Nurbanu Sultan

Murad III (Ottoman Turkish: مراد ثالث Murād-i sālis, Turkish:III.Murat) (4 July 1546 – 15/16 January 1595) was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1574 until his death.

Biography

Born in Bozdağan or Manisa, Şehzade Murad son of Sultan Selim II and haseki sultan Nurbanu Sultan. His grandfather Suleiman died when he was 20 and his father became the new Sultan and ruled till 1574 when he was succeeded by Murad. Murad began his reign by having his five younger brothers strangled.[1] His authority was undermined by the harem influences, more specifically, those of his mother and later of his favorite wife Safiye Sultan. The power had only been maintained under Selim II by the genius of the all-powerful Grand Vizier Mehmed Sokollu who remained in office until his assassination in October 1579. During his reign the northern borders with the Habsburg Monarchy were defended by the Bosniak kapetan Hasan Predojević. The reign of Murad III was marked by wars with Safavids and Habsburgs and Ottoman economic decline and institutional decay. The Ottomans also faced defeats during battles such as the Battle of Sisak.

Murad took great interest in the arts, particularly miniatures and books. He actively supported the court Society of Miniaturists, commissioning several volumes including the Siyer-i Nebi, the most heavily illustrated biographical work on the life of Muhammad, the Book of Skills, the Book of Festivities and the Book of Victories.[2] He had two large alabaster urns transported from Pergamon and placed on two sides of the nave in the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and a large wax candle dressed in tin which was donated by him to the Rila monastery in Bulgaria is on display in the monastery museum.

From him descend all succeeding Sultans,[3] through his marriage to his maternal relative Valide Sultan Safiye Sultan, originally named Sofia Baffo, a Venetian noblewoman, mother of Mehmed III.

Numerous envoys and letters were exchanged between Elizabeth I and Sultan Murad III.[4] In one correspondence, Murad entertained the notion that Islam and Protestantism had "much more in common than either did with Roman Catholicism, as both rejected the worship of idols", and argued for an alliance between England and the Ottoman Empire.[5] To the dismay of Catholic Europe, England exported tin and lead (for cannon-casting) and ammunitions to the Ottoman Empire, and Elizabeth seriously discussed joint military operations with Murad III during the outbreak of war with Spain in 1585, as Francis Walsingham was lobbying for a direct Ottoman military involvement against the common Spanish enemy.[6] This diplomacy would be continued under Murad's successor Mehmed III, by both the sultan and Safiye Sultan alike.

Murad died in the Topkapı Palace of Constantinople[7][8] in 1595.

The Sedentary Sultan

Murad was the second Ottoman Sultan to never go on campaign during his reign (the first being his father, Selim II). After his enthronement, he never left Istanbul. During the final years of his reign, he did not even leave Topkapı Palace, and for two consecutive years he did not attend the Friday procession to the imperial mosque--an unprecedented omission.[9] The Ottoman historian Mustafa Selaniki wrote that whenever Murad planned to go out to Friday prayer, he changed his mind after hearing of alleged plots by the Janissaries to dethrone him once he left the palace.[10]

In fiction

Orhan Pamuk's historical novel Benim Adım Kırmızı (My Name is Red, 1998) takes place at the court of Murad III, during nine snowy winter days of 1591, which the writer uses in order to convey the tension between East and West.

References

External links

  • Ancestry of Sultana Nur-Banu (Cecilia Venier-Baffo)
Murad III
House of Osman
Born: 4 July 1546 Died: 15 January 1595[aged 48]
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Selim II
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
12 December 1574 – 15 January 1595
Succeeded by
Mehmed III
Sunni Islam titles
Preceded by
Selim II
Caliph of Islam
12 December 1574 – 15 January 1595
Succeeded by
Mehmed III

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