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The Ottoman Empire
Guide: From Constantinople to Istanbul

The fall of Constantinople to Ottoman forces in 1453 marked the collapse of the Byzantine Empire—and a shift from Christian to Islamic rule. This collection of resources tracks the building projects, administrative organization, and religious reforms that occurred under Ottoman rulers and which were embodied in the transformation of the city of Constantinople into Istanbul. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Time Period Key Understandings

  • Relatability and promise of a better life in religious traditions attract converts and followers
  • Geography and previous cultural traditions impacted the spread of Islam
  • The relationship between religion and government can impact empirical stability, growth, and success
  • Dynastic rule can bring personal strife into governmental affairs
  • Religious division or fragmentation occurs as religion spreads geographically and there are various interpretations of leadership, key text, and doctrines
  • The relationship between religion and science changes over time
  • Preservation of Greek, Roman, and Indian academic achievements is significant to the continuation and advancement of knowledge
  • The religious identity of Spain impacts its empirical alignment and alliances throughout history
  • Religious text and interpretation of religious text can lead to differences in the practice of the religion across time and space
  • Strong bureaucratic systems positively impact the effectiveness of both civilizations and empires
  • Religious conflict negatively impacts the rule of the governmental system in place
  • Social stratification can lead to both stability and conflict

Key Questions

  • Why was Mehmet II so effective in transforming Constantinople into an Islamic city? How did Mehmet's changes emphasize the role of Islam in the life of Istanbul?
  • Why did the Mosque of Suleiman hold such an important place in Istanbul? Why did the Ottomans put so much attention on the construction of public buildings and facilities in Istanbul?
  • How did the millet system aid in the administration of Istanbul? Why did the Ottomans grant certain privileges to Jews and Christians under their rule?


  1. Overview: From Constantinople to Istanbul
  2. Outline: Outline
  3. Transcript: Transcript
  4. Lesson: Introduction
  5. Lesson: 1-The Ottomans Take Over Constantinople
  6. Lesson: 2-Sinan
  7. Lesson: 3-An Islamic Metropolis
  8. Lesson: Closing
  9. Photos & Illustrations: Asia Minor: columns of Topkapi Palace
  10. Photos & Illustrations: Asia Minor: silhouetted Suleiman Mosque
  11. Photos & Illustrations: Green Tomb of Sultan Mehmet I
  12. Reference Articles: Constantinople
  13. Reference Articles: Millet System
  14. Reference Articles: Ottoman Empire
  15. Reference Articles: Hagia Sophia
  16. Biographies: Mehmet II
  17. Biographies: Suleiman I

MLA Citation

"From Constantinople to Istanbul." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/2158321. Accessed 17 Feb. 2019.

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Entry ID: 2158321

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