1. Religion & Spirituality

Chronology of the Crusades

Ottoman Empire on the Offensive, 1300 - 1600

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Although the Crusades themselves were long finished, Christian Europe continued to be under pressure from the expanding Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans would make impressive victories, including the capture of Constantinople, last outpost of the Roman Empire and spiritual center of Orthodox Christianity. Eventually Western Christians would mount effective counter-attacks and keep Ottoman forces out of central Europe, but for a long time the "Turkish Menace" would haunt European dreams.

There are several different types of color-coded dates in this timeline of the Crusades, explained in a color key at the bottom of the timeline.

Timeline of the Crusades: Ottoman Empire on the Offensive, 1300 - 1600
1299 - 1326 Reign of Othman, founder of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. He defeats the Seljuks.
1300 The last Muslims in Sicily are forcibly converted to Christianity. Although Sicily had been reconquered by the Normans in 1098, Muslims had been allowed to continue to practice their faith and even formed important elements of various Sicilian military forces.
1302 Mamluk Turks destroy the garrison of the Order of the Temple on the island of Ruad (off the Syrian coast).
1303 Mongols are defeated near Damascus, thus ending the Mongol threat on Europe and the Middle East.
1305 First reported act of displaying a head on the London Bridge occurs: Sir William Wallace, Scottish patriot.
1309 The Teutonic Order moves its headquarters to Marienburg, Prussia.
1310 The Hospitallers move their headquarters to Rhodes.
1310 First reported use of official torture in England occurs: against the Templars.
May 12, 1310 On charges of heresy, fifty-four Knights Templar are burned at the stake in France.
March 22, 1312 The Order of the Knights Templar is officially suppressed
1314 Battle at Bannockburn: Robert Bruce defeats the armies of Edward I and gains Scottish independence. Edward I dies in 1307 during a march north to defeat Bruce.
March 18, 1314 Thirty-Nine French Knights Templar are burned at the stake.
1315 Bad weather and crop failures result in famines across northwestern Europe. Unsanitary conditions and malnutrition increase the death rate. Even after the revival of agricultural conditions, weather disasters reappear. A mixture of war, famine and plague in the Late Middle Ages reduce the population by half.
1317 Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire, lays siege to the Christian city of Bursa. It would not finally surrender until 1326, the year of Othman's death.
1319 Birth of Murad I, grandson of Osman I. Murad would be the terror of Christian Europe, sending large military forces against the Balkans and tripling the size of the Ottoman Empire.
1321 The Inquisition burns its last Cathar.
1325 Aztecs found Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City).
1326 Death of Osman I, founder of the Ottoman Empire. His son, Orkhan I, makes Bursa his capital and it is from here that the growth of the Ottoman Empire is generally marked. In addition to leading the first Muslim Turks into Europe, Orkhan creates the Janissaries (Yani Sharis, Turkish for "New Soldiers), teenaged boys captured from Christian villages and forcibly converted to Islam. A thousand would be "recruited" every year and sent to Constantinople for training. They are considered at the time to be the finest and fiercest fighting force available.
1327 With the disintegration of the Seljuk Empire, the Arab and Persian regions are fragmented into several military kingdoms until 1500. The Ottoman Turkish Empire establishes its capital at Bursa.
1328 England recognizes Scottish independence, with Robert Bruce as King.
1330 - 1523 Although not officially supported by the church hierarchy, the Hospitallers continue intermittent Crusading from their base in Rhodes.
1331 The Ottoman Turks capture Nicaea and rename it Iznik.
1334 Crusader ships defeat a group of Turkish pirates operating in the Gulf of Edremit.
1336 The Hundred Years' War between France and England begins.
1337 Timur-i Lang (Tamerlane, Timur the Lame) Birth of Timur-i Lang (Tamerlane, Timur the Lame), brutal ruler of Samarkand who cuts a wide swath of destruction across Persia and the Middle East. Timur founds the Timurid Dynasty and becomes infamous for building pyramids out of the skulls of his slain enemies.
1340 Battle of Rio Saldo: Alfonso XI of Castile and Alfonso IV of Portugal defeat a much larger force of Muslims from Morocco.
1341 Death of Oz Beg, Mongol leader who converted his people to Islam.
1345 Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, is completed.
1345 The Ottoman Turks are asked for help by John Cantacuzene against a rival for the Byzantine throne. John would become John VI and gives his sixteen-year-old daughter Theodora to Orkhan I as a wife. This is the first time Muslim Turks crossed the Dardanelles into Europe.
1347 The Black Death (bubonic plague) reaches Cyprus from eastern Asia.
c. 1350 The Renaissance begins in Italy.
1354 The Turks capture Gallipoli, creating the first permanent Turkish settlement in Europe.
1365 Led by Peter I of Cyprus, Crusaders sack the Egyptian city of Alexandria.
1366 Adrianople (Edirne) becomes the Turkish capital.
1368 The Ming Dynasty is established in China by a peasant's son who had become a monk but later led a 13-year long rebellion against corrupt and ineffectual Mongol rulers. Ming means "brightness."
09, 1371 Battle of Maritsa: A force consisting of Serbs and Hungarians is sent to counter the encroaching Ottoman Turks in the Balkans. They march on Adrianople but they only get as far as Cenomen, on the Maritsa River. During the night they are surprised by an Ottoman attack led by Murad I personally. Thousands are slain and more drown when they try to flee. This was the first major action take by the Janissaries against Christians.
1373 The Ottoman Turks force the Byzantine Empire, now under John V Palaeologus, into vassalage.
1375 The Mamluks capture Sis, ending Armenian independence.
1380 The last holdings of the Byzantine Empire in Asia Minor are captured by the Turks.
1380 Battle of Kulikovo Field: Dmitri Donskoy, Grand Prince of Moscow, defeats the Muslim Tartars and is able to stop paying tribute.
1382 The Turks capture Sofia.
1382 The Tartars ride north, capture Moscow, and reimpose the tribute on the Russians.
June 13, 1383 Death of John VI Cantacuzene, Byzantine emperor who allowed Turkish military forces to first cross into Europe because he needed their aid against a rival for the Byzantine throne.
1387 Poet Geoffrey Chaucer begins work on his masterpiece The Canterbury Tales.
1387 Birth of John Hunyadi, Hungarian national hero whose efforts against the Ottoman Turks would do much to prevent Turkish rule from being extended into Europe.
1389 Death of Orhan I, son of Osman I. Orhan's son, Murad I, takes over the Ottoman Empire. Murad becomes the terror of Christian Europe, sending large military forces against the Balkans and tripling the size of the Ottoman Empire.
June 15, 1389 Battle of Kosovo Polje: Murad I demands that Lazar Hrebeljanovic, prince of Serbia, step down and surrender or be killed when his lands are invaded. Hrebeljanovic chooses to fight and raises an army that consists of soldiers from all over the Balkans but is still only half the size of the Turkish force. The actual battle takes place on the "Field of Blackbirds" or Kosovo Polje, and Murad I is killed when Milosh Obilich, posing as a traitor, stabs Murad with a poisoned knife. The Christians are utterly defeated and even Hrebeljanovic is captured and killed. Thousands of Christian prisoners are executed and Serbia became a vassal state of the Ottomans, but this also represents their farthest reach into Europe. With Murad's death his son, Bajazet, has his own brother Yakub killed and becomes the Ottoman sultan. Killing brothers upon becoming sultan would become an Ottoman tradition for the next couple of centuries.
February 16, 1391 Death of John V Palaeologus, Byzantine emperor. He is succeeded by his son, Manuel II Palaeologus, who is at this time is a hostage at the court of the Ottoman emperor Beyazid I at Bursa. Manuel is able to escape and return to Constantinople.
1395 King Sigismund of Hungary sends emissaries to various European powers to request help to defend his borders against the Ottoman Turks. Bajazet, Ottoman sultan, had boasted that he would drive through Hungary, into Italy, and turn St. Peter's Cathedral into a stable for his horses.
1396 Ottoman Turks conquer Bulgaria.
April 30, 1396 Thousands of French knights and soldiers set out from the Burgundian capital Dijon to aid the Hungarians against the Ottoman Turks.
September 12, 1396 A combined force of French and Hungarian soldiers arrive at Nicopolis, Ottoman Turk city in Europe, and begin to lay siege.
September 25, 1396 Battle of Nicopolis: A Crusader army of around 60,000 men and made up of from the Hungarian army of Sigismund of Luxembourg along with French, German, Polish, Italian, and English forces enter Ottoman Turkish territory and lay siege to Nicopolis in Bulgaria. The Ottoman sultan, Bajazet, gathers together a massive army of his own (made up mostly of soldiers who had been besieging Constantinople) and relieves the besieged city, defeating the Crusaders. The Turkish victory is due largely to French inexperience and pride - although a French cavalry charge is successful at first, they are forced into a trap which leads to their own slaughter. Bulgaria becomes a vassal state and, like Serbia, would remain one until 1878.
1398 Dehli is conquered by Timur the Lame (Tamerlame), king of Samarkand. Timur's Turkish army devastates the sultanate of Dehli, exterminates the local Hindu population, and then leaves.
1400 The Northern provinces of Italy devise their own systems of government. The government of Venice becomes a merchant oligarchy; Milan is ruled by dynastic despotism; and Florence becomes a republic, ruled by the rich. The three cities expand and conquer most of Northern Italy.
1401 Baghdad and Damascus are conquered by Timur.
July 20, 1402 Battle of Ankara: The Ottoman sultan Bajazet, great-grandson of Osman I, is defeated and taken prisoner by Mongol warlord Timur at Ankara.
1403 With the death of Bajazet, his son Suleiman I becomes the Ottoman Sultan.
1405 Death of Timur-i Lang (Tamerlane, Timur the Lame), brutal ruler of Samarkand who had cut a wide swath of destruction across Persia and the Middle East. Timur founded the Timurid Dynasty and had become renowned for building pyramids out of the skulls of his slain enemies.
July 25, 1410 Battle of Tannenberg: Forces from Poland and Lithuania defeated the Teutonic Knights.
1413 Mahomet, son of Bajazet, becomes Ottoman sultan Mahomet I after defeating his three brothers in a civil war that had lasted over 10 years.
1415 The Portuguese capture the city of Ceuta on the north coast of Morocco, the first time that the Crusade against the Muslims was taken to the northwestern region of Africa.
July 06, 1415 Jan Hus was burned for heresy in Constance, Switzerland.
1420 Supporters of John Hus defeat German "crusaders." The lower-class Hussites are led by General John Zizka.
March 01, 1420 Pope Martin V called for crusade against followers of John Hus.
1421 Ottoman sultan Mahomet I dies and is succeeded by his son, Murad II.
July 21, 1425 Death of Manuel II Palaeologus, Byzantine emperor. Shortly before dying Manuel is forced by the Ottoman Turks to begin paying them a yearly tribute.
1426 Egyptian forces take control of Cyprus.
April 29, 1429 Joan of Arc led French forces to victory over the English army by raising the siege at Orleans.
March 30, 1432 Birth of Mehmed II, the Ottoman sultan who would succeed in capturing Constantinople.
1437 Hungarians under the leadership of John Hunyadi drive the Turks from Semendria.
1438 Johann Gutenberg invents the printing press and pioneers the technology of movable type, creating the first Bible printed with movable type in Mainz, Germany.
1442 John Hunyadi leads a Hungarian army to relieve the Turkish siege of Hermansdat.
July 1442 Hungarian national hero John Hunyadi defeats a large Turkish army, thus ensuring the liberation of Wallachia and Moldavia.
1443 Ladislaus III of Poland signs a ten-year peace treaty with the Ottoman empire. The truce would not last, however, because many Christian leaders see an opportunity to finally defeat a broken Turkish army. Had Ladislaus not made peace with the Turks at this time, Murad II might have been utterly defeated and Constantinople would not have fallen 10 years later.
1444 The sultan of Egypt launches an invasion of Rhodes, but he is unable to take the island from the Knights Hospitallers (now known as the Knights of Rhodes).
November 10, 1444 Battle of Varna: An army of at least 100,000 Turks under sultan Murad II defeats Polish and Hungarian Crusaders numbering around 30,000 under Ladislaus III of Poland and John Hunyadi.
June 05, 1446 John Hunyadi is elected governor of Hungary in the name of Ladislaus V
1448 Constantine XI Palaeologus, the last Byzantine Emperor, takes the throne.
October 07, 1448 Battle of Kosovo: John Hunyadi leads Hungarian forces but is defeated by the more numerous Turks.
February 03, 1451 Ottoman sultan Murad II dies and is succeeded by Mehmed II.
April 1452 Ottoman sultan Mehmed II has a fortress built in Ottoman territory just north of Constantinople. Finished in six months, it threatens to cut off the city's communications with Black Sea ports and becomes the launching point of the siege of Constantinople a year later.
1453 Bordeaux falls to French forces and the Hundred Years' War ends without a treaty.
April 02, 1453 Ottoman sultan Mehmed II arrives at Constantinople. Mahomet will be successful in his siege of the city largely because of the acquisition of over sixty artillery pieces, making the siege one of the first successful uses of gunpowder in this fashion. Use of this artillery is improved with the help of gunnery experts sent by Hungarian national hero John Hunyadi who is eager to end the heresy of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, even if it means helping the hated Turks.
April 04, 1453 Seige of Constantinople begins. By this time the authority of the Byzantine Empire had shrunk to little more than the city of Constantinople itself. Sultan Mehmed II breaches the walls after only 50 days. The walls protecting Constantinople had stood for more than a thousand years; when they fall, the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) also ended. After the Ottomans defeat the Byzantine Empire they continued expanding into the Balkans. The Ottoman Turkish Empire will move its capital from Bursa to Istanbul (Constantinople). After 1500, the Moguls (1526-1857 CE) and the Safavids (1520-1736 CE) follow the military example set by the Ottomans and created two new empires.
April 11, 1453 Ottoman guns cause the collapse of a tower at the gate of St. Romanus during the siege of Constantinople. This breach in the walls would become a central focus of the fighting.
May 29, 1453 Ottoman Turks under the command of Mehmed II break into Constantinople and capture the city. With this, the last remnant of the Roman Empire is destroyed. Constantine XI Palaeologus, the last Byzantine emperor, dies. By this point there isn't much to the empire - just the city of Constantinople and some land around it in the Greek province of Thrace. Both the culture and the language had long since become Greek rather than Roman. The Ottomans, however, consider themselves to be the legitimate successors of the Byzantine emperors and commonly use the title Sultan-i Rum, Sultan of Rome.
May 15, 1455 Pope Callistus III proclaims a crusade against the Turks in order to recapture the city of Constantinople. Despite pleas for help, few European leaders had sent any assistance to Constantinople when the siege began and even the papacy sent a mere 200 knights. Thus, this new call for a Crusade was too little, too late.
1456 Athens is captured by the Turks.
July 21, 1456 John Hunyadi Ottoman Turks attack Belgrade but are beaten back by Hungarians and Serbs under the command of John Hunyadi. Christians capture several hundred canon and massive amounts of military equipment, sending the Turks into full retreat.
August 11, 1456 Death of John Hunyadi, Hungarian national hero whose efforts against the Ottoman Turks had done much to prevent Turkish rule from being extended into Europe.
1458 Turkish soldiers sack the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
August 18, 1458 Pius II is elected pope. Pius is an enthusiastic supporter of Crusades against the Turks.
1463 Bosnia is conquered by the Turks.
June 18, 1464 Pope Pius II Pope Pius II launches a short crusade against the Turks in Italy, but he falls ill and dies before much can happen. This would mark the death of the "crusading mentality" which had been so important in Europe over the previous three centuries.
August 15, 1464 Pope Pius II dies. Pius had been an enthusiastic supporter of Crusades against the Turks
1465 Birth of Selim I, Ottoman sultan. Selim would become the first Ottoman caliph and would double the size of the Ottoman empire, mostly in Asia and Africa.
1467 Herzegovina is conquered by the Turks.
November 19, 1469 Guru Nanak Dev Ji was born. On this date Sikhs commemorate the birth of the founder of the Sikh faith and the first of the Ten Gurus.
1472 Sophia Palaeologus, niece of Constantine XI Palaeologus, the last Byzantine Emperor, marries Ivan II of Moscow.
February 19, 1473 Nicolaus Copernicus was born.
1477 The first book is printed in England.
April 1480 A Turkish attack against the Hospitallers in Rhodes is unsuccessful - not because the Hospitallers are superior fighters but because the Janissaries go on strike. Mehmed II orders that they not loot any cities they capture so that he could have all the booty for himself. The Janissaries balk at this and simply refuse to fight.
August 1480 Mehmed II Conqueror sends a fleet commanded by Gedik Ahmed Pasha westward. It captures the Italian port city of Otranto. Further incursions into Italy ends with the death of Mehmed and fighting among his sons over the leadership of the Ottoman Empire. Had the Turks pressed forward, it is likely that they would have conquered most of Italy with little trouble, a feat accomplished by the French a few years later in 1494 and 1495. Had this occurred at this time, just as the Renaissance was getting off the ground, the history of the world would have been dramatically different.
May 03, 1481 Death of Mehmed II, the Ottoman sultan who had succeed in capturing Constantinople.
September 10, 1481 The Italian port city of Otranto is recaptured from the Turks.
1483 The Inca Empire is established in Peru.
1487 Spanish forces capture Malaga from the Moors.
1492 Christopher Columbus discovers the Americas in the name of Spain, launching an era of extensive European exploration and conquest.
1492 Bajazet II, Sultan of Turkey, invades Hungary and defeats the Hungarian army at the Save River.
January 02, 1492 Isabella of Castile Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, later benefactors of Christopher Columbus, end Muslim rule in Spain by conquering Granada, last Muslim stronghold. Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, later benefactors of Christopher Columbus, end Muslim rule in Spain. With the help of Torquemada, Grand Inquisitor, they also force the conversion or expulsion of all Jews in Spain.
1493 Dalmatia and Croatia are invaded by the Turks.
November 06, 1494 Birth of Sulieman (Süleyman) "the Magnificent," sultan of the Ottoman Empire. During Sulieman's reign the Ottoman Empire would reach the height of its power and influence.
1499 Venice goes to war with the Turks and the Venetian fleet is defeated at Sapienza.
1499 Francisco Jime'nez forces the mass conversion of Moors in Spain despite the earlier agreement of Ferdinand and Isabella that Muslims would be allowed to keep their religion and their mosques.
1500 Ferdinand of Aragon Moors in Granada revolt over the forced conversions but are suppressed by Ferdinand of Aragon.
May 26, 1512 Ottoman sultan Beyazid II dies and is succeeded by his son, Selim I. Selim would become the first Ottoman caliph and would double the size of the Ottoman empire, mostly in Asia and Africa.
1516 The Ottoman Turks overthrow the Mamluk Dynasty of Egypt and capture most of the country. The Mamluks do, however, remain in power under the command of the Ottomans. It is not until 1811 that Muhammad Ali, an Albanian soldier, undermines the power of the Mamluks completely.
May 1517 The Holy League is created. A union of several European powers, it is a Christian fighting force designed to combat the growing threat of Turkish expansion.
1518 Khayar al-Din, better known as Barbarossa, assumes command of the Muslim corsair fleet of the Barbary pirates. Barbarossa would become the most feared and most successful of all the Barbary pirate leaders.
September 22, 1520 Death of Selim I, Ottoman sultan. Selim became the first Ottoman caliph and doubled the size of the Ottoman empire, mostly in Asia and Africa.
February 1521 Suleiman the Magnificent leads a massive army out of Instanbul for the purpose of conquering Hungary from king Louis II.
July 1521 Ottoman Turks under Suleiman the Magnificent capture the Hungarian town of Sabac, killing the entire garrison.
August 01, 1521 Suleiman the Magnificent, Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent sends his Janissaries to assault Belgrade. Defenders manage to hold out in the citadel until the end of the month, but they were finally forced to surrender and all the Hungarians were killed - despite a promise that none would be harmed.
September 04, 1523 Suleiman the Magnificent leads the Ottoman Turks in an assault on the Hospitallers in Rhodes who are able to hold out until the end of the year, despite numbering just 500 knights, about 100 fighting chaplains, a thousand mercenaries, and a thousand islanders. The Turkish force, in comparison, numbers some 20,000 troops and 40,000 sailors.
December 21, 1523 The Hospitallers on Rhodes formally surrender to Suleiman the Magnificent and they are able to secure the right to evacuate to Malta, despite having killed tens of thousands of Turkish troops.
May 28, 1524 Birth of Selim II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire and favorite son of his father, Suleiman I. Selim had little interest in warfare and would end up spending much of his time with his harem.
January 01, 1525 The Hospitallers set sail from Rhodes to Malta. the capital of Malta, Valletta, is named after one of the knights at this time, Jean Parisot de al Valette from Provencal. Valette would later become head of the Order.
August 29, 1526 Battle of Mohacs: Suleiman the Magnificent defeats Louis II of Hungary after just two hours of fighting, leading to the Ottoman annexation of much of Hungary.
1529 Turkish calvary arrive at the Bavarian town of Regensburg. This is the farthest West that Turkish forces ever reach.
May 10, 1529 Suleiman the Magnificent sets off with 250,000 soldiers and hundreds of canon to lay siege to Vienna, capital of Charles V's Holy Roman Empire.
September 23, 1529 The vanguard of the Turkish army arrives outside the gates of Vienna, defended by just 16,000 men.
October 16, 1529 Suleiman the Magnificent gives up on the siege of Vienna.
1530 The Hospitallers move their base of operations to the island of Malta.
1535 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, lands in Tunisia and sacks Tunis.
1537 Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent has construction of the walls surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem begun.
1537 Imperial troops under Charles V sack Rome.
1541 Construction of the walls surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem is completed.
July 04, 1546 Birth of Murad III, sultan of the Ottoman Empire and eldest son of Selim II. Like his father Murad would not care much for political matters, preferring instead to spend time with his harem. He fathers 103 children.
1552 Russians capture the Tartar city of Kazan.
1556 Russians capture the Tartar city of Astrakhan, far south along the Volga river, giving them access to the Caspian Sea.
May 19, 1565 Suleiman the Magnificent attacks the Hospitallers on Malta but is unsuccessful. Numbering just 700, the knights were aided by several European nations who saw Malta as the gateway to Europe. Tens of thousands of Turks landed at the bay of Marsasirocco.
May 24, 1565 Ottoman Turks assault the fort of St. Elmo on Malta.
June 23, 1565 The Maltese fort of St. Elmo falls to Turkish forces, but not until the defenders are able to inflict casualties that number in the thousands.
September 06, 1565 Reinforcement from Sicily finally arrive at Malta, demoralizing the Turkish troops and inciting them to abandon the siege of the remaining Christian forts.
1566 Sultan Selim II gives the Janissaries permission to marry.
May 26, 1566 Birth of Mehmed III, future sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
September 05, 1566 Death of Sulieman (Süleyman) "the Magnificent," sultan of the Ottoman Empire. During Sulieman's reign the Ottoman Empire reached the height of its power and influence.
September 06, 1566 Battle of Szigetvar: Despite having killed Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent the night before in a surprise raid, the Hungarians lose to Turkish forces.
December 25, 1568 A Morisco (Muslim convert to Christianity in Spain) uprising began when two hundred men wearing Turkish turbans entered the Moorish quarter of Madrid, killed a few guards, and looted some shops.
October 1569 Philip II of Austria orders his half-brother, Don Juan of Austria, to quell a Morisco (Muslim converts to Christianity) uprising in Alpujarras with a "war of fire and blood."
January 1570 Don Juan of Austria attacks the town of Galera. He had been instructed to kill every person inside, but he refused and let several hundred women and children go.
May 1570 Hernando al-Habaqui, commander of the garrison of Tijola, surrenders to Don Juan of Austria.
July 1570 On orders from Selim II, Ottoman sultan, Turkish forces commanded by Kara Mustafa land on Cyprus with the intent of reconquering it. Most of the island falls relatively quickly and thousands are massacred. Only Famagusta, ruled by governor Macantonia Bragadion from Venice, holds out for about a year.
September 1570 Luis de Requesens, vice-admiral for king Philip II of Austria, leads a campaign into Alpujarras that ends the Morisco uprising by devastating the entire countryside.
November 1570 A royal council in Spain decides to deal with the Moriscos by deporting them out of Grenada and scattering them all around Spain.
August 01, 1571 The Venetians under governor Macantonia Bragadion agree to surrender Famagusta on Cyprus to the Turkish invaders.
August 04, 1571 Famagusta's governor Macantonia Bragadion is taken captive by the Turks, contrary to the peace treaty already signed.
August 17, 1571 Macantonia Bragadion, his ears and nose already cut off, is flayed alive by the Turks as a signal to the people of Cyprus that a new order was upon them.
October 07, 1571 Battle of Lepanto (Aynabakhti): Muslim Turks commanded by Ali Pasha are defeated in the Gulf of Corinth by an alliance of European forces (The Holy League) under the command of Don Juan of Austria. This is the biggest naval battle in the world since the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE. The Turks lose at least 200 ships, devastating their naval forces. The morale of European Christians is significantly raised while that of Turks and Muslims is lowered. At least 30,000 soldiers and sailors die in about three hours, more casualties than in any other naval battle in history. The battle does not, however, result in any major territorial or political shifts. The famous Spanish author Cervantes participates in the battle and is wounded in his right hand.
December 24, 1574 Death of Selim II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire and favorite son of his father, Suleiman I. Selim did nothing to expand the empire, preferring instead to spend his time with his harem.
1578 Battle of al-Aqsr al-Kabir: Moroccans defeat the Portuguese, ending the latter's military excursions into Africa
October 01, 1578 Don Juan of Austria dies in Belgium.
1585 The Ottoman Empire signs a peace treaty with Spain. This would hinder the Ottomans from answering the calls for help from Queen Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth had hoped to get the Ottomans to send several dozen galleys to aid in the defense of England against the Spanish Armada.
April 18, 1590 Birth of Ahmed I, future sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
January 15, 1595 Death of Murad III, sultan of the Ottoman Empire and eldest son of Selim II. Murad didn't care much for political matters, preferring instead to spend time with his harem. He had fathered 103 children. One, Mehmed III, succeeds Murad and has his sixteen brothers strangled to death in order to avoid any fights over who would rule.
1600 The Austrians lay siege to the town of Canissa. Among the Austrians is an English volunteer by the name of John Smith. He would later go on to help in the colonization of Virginia and marry the Indian princess Pocahontas.
December 22, 1603 Death of Mehmed III, sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He is succeeded by his 14-year-old son, Ahmed I.


Color Key: This chart explains which sorts of topics are given which colors in the chronologies.

Color Topic
Blue Christian victories, advances, and actions.
Yellow Other events: births, deaths, marriages, peace treaties, etc.
Green Muslim victories, advances, and actions.
Orange Other conflicts: Christians fighting Christians, Christians fighting heretics, Muslims fighting Mongols, Christians fighting Jews, etc.
Grey Miscellaneous events to provide historical context and comparison

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