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Prince Suleiman Database Image

Everyone in the world knew this guy's name in the sixteenth century. Suleiman the Magnificent, they called him in the West, the tenth Sultan of Osman's ever-expanding Empire. His fellow Turks were also generous with their praise, though far more practical, calling him Suleiman "Kanuni", or "The Law Giver" - the man responsible for improving the Empire's bureaucratic engine, making it run like a well-oiled engine. No small feat for an Empire as large as his.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, ahead of our present concerns. When Ezio met Suleiman, he was still a young man with only the faintest hope of ever becoming Sultan, since his father Selim was dead last in the Ottoman hierarchy. So, as befitting a young man of his status and stature, Suleiman threw himself into study with little thought of ever becoming Sultan himself. He was educated at the University in Istanbul and received private tutoring in Topkapı Palace. Little else is known about his early years, except that he was a kind and thoughtful man and that he had a servant named Ibrahim whom he considered his best friend.

By the time Suleiman was seventeen, however, Bayezid had recognized his grandson's talent and intelligence, and installed him as the Governor of a large region north of the Black Sea. Over the next few years, Suleiman would hold a number of similar positions until 1520, when an unexpected tragedy robbed his father of the Sultanate. Suleiman, aged 26, took the throne - a position he would hold for almost 50 years.

No pacifist, Suleiman would expand the Ottoman Empire's lands to its furthest points, and by the end of his rule the lands under his command stretched from Algeria to the Persian Gulf, and from Austria down to Egypt. But for all his expansionist desires, he was a tolerant man too and realized that the only way to keep an Empire as large as his together was to honor the cultures, traditions, and religions of those living under his auspices.

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