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The Great Round World And What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 22, April 8, 1897
A Weekly Magazine for Boys and Girls

written by "Bishop, Julia Truitt"
...nd irresistible tide of conquest which moved not only toward Europe, but into Asia. One tribe after another was absorbed, until all the strongholds of the old Saracen Empire were in the hands of the Sultans, who replaced the Caliphs; and like them were not alone temporal rulers, but the representatives of Mahomet himself. Composed in this way of a great heterogeneous mass of races, hostile to each other, and to the Turk, the Ottoman Empire had but one element common to all. That was its religion. The Sultan stood to them in the place of the Prophet—hence they dared not defy nor resist his will. And it is this power of religious fanaticism which not alone created the Empire, but has held it together long after its vital forces have departed. In the year 1453 the dream of Othman was realized. The long-hoped-for and long-dreaded event had come. Constantinople was in the hands of the Turks! No event since the Christian era had been more momentous, more fraught with good and with evil. The Ottoman Power had secured the most beautiful, the most coveted, and the most impregnable position in Europe. But Europe was strangely enriched by the result. Driven out of its old home, Greek culture took refuge in other places, and what had been the exclusive possession of a few became the heritage of a continent. Literature, fine arts, and music were revolutionized under the influence of Greek scholars who were refugees flying from the Turks. The period now set in which is known as the Renaissance. That is, art and intellectual life were born into a new and higher form by the introduction of Greek ideals. The Sultan's palace, court, and the ceremonial attending him had now become like a fairy-tale in its splendor. He was approached as if he were a god. Men prostrated themselves in his presence, and spoke in whispers. No man's head was more insecure on his shoulders than his Grand Vizier's. A mistake, a failure, and off it went! ...

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