How Much Do You Know About the Ottoman Empire?


By: Isadora Teich

6 Min Quiz

Image: Eduard Gurk via Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

The rise and fall of empires is a constant of history. From the Roman and Byzantine Empires to the more recent fall of the British Empire, history is full of dramatic power shifts. The results of thousands of years of war, conflict, political intrigue, violence, cataclysm, and progress can be seen all over the globe. The Ottoman Empire was a big part of life for many people for centuries, at its height spanning continents. 

One of history's most powerful and longest-lasting empires was the Ottoman Empire, but how well do you know it? Do you know how it began, who began it, the land it covered, and when it fell? While many modern westerners do not know much about this complex, long-lived, and powerful empire of the past, the Ottoman Empire has an important place in the history of the world. This fallen empire has a key place in the development of modern human civilization. Many things we use and enjoy every day were invented, explored and even discovered by the scientists and intellectuals of this vast empire.  

If you are a history buff with a truly global perspective, put your brain for facts to the test with this historical Ottoman Empire quiz! 

What was the ruler of the Ottoman Empire called?

The leader of the Ottoman Empire had the title of Sultan. It was passed from father to son.


The seat of the Ottoman Empire was in which modern-day country?

The seat of the Ottoman Empire became modern-day Turkey. The city of Constantinople became Istanbul, which straddles Europe and Asia.


Which continents did the Ottoman Empire spread to?

At its height, the Ottoman Empire stretched from central Europe to Northern Africa to the Arabian peninsula. It encompassed an area that today contains Hungary, Greece, Ukraine, Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Algeria.


How did the Ottomans conquer much of Europe?

The Ottoman Empire conquered much of Europe by allowing local rulers to stay in place and power as long as they accepted Ottoman rule. The Ottomans had a policy of allowing those they conquered to retain their customs and way of life, as long as rulers paid annual tributes and met several other stipulations.


Who was eligible to be Sultan?

Sultans kept large harems of women. Any son fathered by the Sultan among them could potentially be Sultan.


When was the Ottoman Empire founded?

The Ottoman Empire was founded in about 1300 AD. It was founded by a nomadic Turkmen chief named Osman, which is where the word Ottoman comes from.


When did the Ottoman Empire fall?

The Ottoman Empire began in about 1300 and reigned for more than 600 years before falling in 1922. It was replaced by the Turkish Republic and other states in Southeast Europe and the Middle East.


What was the religion of the Ottoman Empire?

The Ottoman Empire had deep Muslim roots. In its early stages the Ottomans were leaders of the Turkish warriors for the faith of Islam, who fought against the failing Byzantine Empire.


Which of these progressive policies was practiced by the Ottoman Empire more than most other rulers?

The Ottoman Empire practiced religious tolerance. They allowed those they ruled to keep their individual customs for the most part.


What was the most popular sport in the Ottoman Empire?

Oil wrestling was the most popular sport of the Ottoman Empire. Schools were set up for it which doubled as spiritual centers.


Which famous city did the Ottoman Empire conquer?

Constantinople was initially the capital of the powerful Byzantine Empire. This city was captured by the Ottomans and its name changed by them to Istanbul.


How many Sultans ruled the Ottoman Empire?

A total of 36 Sultans ruled the Ottoman Empire over its 600-year existence. The first Sultan was Osman I in 1299 and the last Sultan was Mehmed VI in 1922.


What major historic event did the Ottoman Empire's capture of Constantinople in 1453 lead to?

When the Ottomans captured Constantinople from the Byzantines, many artists and intellectuals fled to Italy. This sparked the Renaissance.


When did the Ottoman Empire peak?

The Ottoman Empire reached its peak in the 16th century. This occurred during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, who ruled from 1520-1566.


Istanbul was considered an artistic hub, true or false?

Istanbul was a hub of artistic, intellectual, and scientific advancement in the Muslim World. This was especially true at the peak of the empire during the 16th century.


The Battle of __________ was the beginning of the end of Ottoman power.

In 1683, combined Central European powers came together to defend Vienna after the Ottoman Empire seized the city. The Ottomans lost and this battle is considered a turning point; the beginning of the end of the Ottoman Empire.


Which major international war was the Ottoman Empire involved in?

The Ottoman Empire was involved in World War I. Their empire dissolved shortly after that war, as it took a massive toll on their crumbling empire.


Which side was the Ottoman Empire allied with in World War I?

World War I was fought between the Allies and the Central Powers. The Central Powers included the Ottoman Empire, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria.


In which city did the Sultans live?

The Sultans of the Ottoman Empire all lived in the Topkapi palace complex in Istanbul. It contained dozens of garden and buildings.


In which areas did the Ottoman Empire make big advances?

While many empires killed and oppressed those they conquered, the Ottomans absorbed the best of those they overtook and allowed thought, learning and discovery to flourish. They made many strides in science and technology.


Which of these was never part of the Ottoman Empire?

France was never part of the Ottoman Empire. In Europe, their empire never spread farther west than Vienna.


What art was popular throughout the Ottoman Empire?

The arts and sciences flourished in the Muslim World during the Dark Ages of Europe. Architecture, carpet weaving, painting, poetry and more were explored.


Who was a part of the Sultan's harem?

The Sultan's harem had a whole part of the palace to itself. All of his wives, female slaves and concubines were a part of it.


Which of these was studied and practiced by the Ottomans?

The Ottoman Empire encouraged study in science and art across their vast territory. Many advancements were made in the sciences.


Which medical instruments were invented by the Ottomans?

Medicine was one area which was deeply studied by the Ottomans. They made many innovations in surgical instruments.


Which practice was common among some of the Ottoman Empire's Sultans?

When a new Sultan came in power, he would have his brothers killed so they could not take the throne from him. Over time, this evolved to the royal brothers just being imprisoned.


Why did the Sultan relocate within the palace every night?

The Sultan was always concerned about being assassinated. In order to avoid it, he slept in a different room every night.


Most religious communities conquered by the Ottomans were allowed to maintain their customs as long as they:

The Spanish Empire was notoriously intolerant, with their centuries of inquisitions. The Ottomans took a different approach, allowing diverse people to practice their customs as long as they paid a tax.


The Ottomans used the devshirme system, under which Christians had to give up their:

In the 14th century, the devshirme system was created by the Ottomans. Christians had to give up 20% of their male children to the state so they could be converted and raised in Muslim society.


What contributed to the fall of the Ottoman Empire?

A number of factors led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. In the century before they fell, they lost almost all of the territories in Europe.


After World War I, what happened to most of the Ottoman territories?

The Ottoman Empire fought on the side of the Central Powers. After World War I, according to a treaty agreement, Britain, France, Greece and Russia divided their territories.


What happened to the last Sultan?

Mehmed VI was the last Ottoman Sultan. He was forced to abdicate and into exile in 1922.


What tragic event is associated with the Ottoman Empire?

In 1915, Turkish leaders massacred over 1 million Armenians living within the Ottoman Empire. To this day, the Turkish government denies it and it's illegal to talk about the Armenian Genocide in Turkey.


At its peak, about how many people did the Ottoman Empire rule over?

At their peak, Ottoman rule spread throughout Asia, Europe and Africa. Their nearly 20 million square mile empire had more than 35 million subjects.


Which of these languages was spoken in the Ottoman Empire?

The official language of the empire was Turkic. However, dozens of languages were spoken throughout the vast empire.


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