Osman I

Feb 2019
Was he one of the most powerful people in the world during his life time? On wiki it says "The state, while only a small principality during Osman's lifetime, transformed into a world empire in the centuries after his death.". But in other sources I see that the Ottomans were already the 2nd greatest power in the World after the Mongols that time around. I'm confused.


Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
Well... depends on how you mean most powerful people? He controlled a strong expanding state at the end of his life probably only 1 among 10-20 such states at that time though there were literally 1000s of statelets and warlords but comparing early Ottoman beylik vs the larger Mongol states such as the Golden Horde, Ilkhanate or the Great Yuan Empire then early Ottomans were barely regional governors.
Mar 2016
I’m not sure it’s reasonable to give all of the credit for the Ottoman Empire’s future greatness solely on Osman I. By the time he died the Ottoman ‘state’ (for it certainly wasn’t an empire at this time) only consisted of part of north-western Anatolia and Gallipoli and a small part of southern Thrace. He was very important and successful in terms of establishing the Ottomans as a major Anatolian power following the collapse of the Seljuk Empire, but his achievement lies more in laying the foundations for future expansion. Later sultans such as Bayezid I, Mehmed II, Selim I and Suleiman I are much more directly responsible for making the Ottoman Empire as huge and powerful as it would become.

I’m not sure where you were told “...the Ottomans were already the 2nd greatest power in the World after the Mongols that time around”. The Ottomans only emerged in the years following the destruction of the Seljuk Empire by the Mongols in the mid-13th century, and they remained a small principality for many years afterwards. They didn’t reach the status of a regional power until Bayezid, and didn’t become a superpower until Selim I.
Oct 2014
Possible confusion between Ottomans and the Great Seljuk Empire? That was an earlier Turkish empire which was enormous and sounds like it fits your comparison better, if we are speaking about large empires.