Until now I've thought I loved my history lessons, but now I'm seriously starting to doubt it. Well, my professor of classic history was so impressed by my work on Alexander (not the one I still have to hand in) that while they had a little nice chit-chat over a coffee he had to mention it to my professor of oriental history. So, the oriental studies professor comes up to me today and says that I shouldn't pick a topic for an essay as all other students will at the following class, but he has the one that he would higly recomend me(in other words I have no right to reject, otherwise.....x_x). I can't remember how I found myself in his office, but the next thing I know is that he is praising my work and depth with which I understood ATG and even his relationship with Hephaestion. Because of that he is sure that I can do a wonderfu job on Suleyman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Sultan and more precisely his realtionship with his Grand Vizier, Pargali Ibrahim Pasha. The topic is more than interesting and equally more than challenging and extrmely demanding, since I have no clue where to start and how to find sources. And the guy expects so much.I HATE when ppl expect anything from me!
I started reading material and I see why he wanted me to do that, but I'm questioning how well I'll handle the topic and, of course, said goodbye to sleeping nights.
So, basically what I found on them is not much, but ineresting.
Namely, Pargali Ibrahim Pahsa was born in a small Greek town Parga and at the age of six sold as a slave to the Ottoman palace for future sultans. There he became friends with Suleyman, the future Suleyman the Magnificent, one of the greatest rulers of all time, who was about the same age. It seems that they forged an extremely strong bond. Of their youths we don't know anything. However, the first post Ibrahim was assigned is the falconer for the sultan. His rapid rise caused jealosy to the point that he himself begged Suleyman not to promote him that quickly in fear for both his and sultan's life. His modesty and reason were favoured by the sultan to the point that he vowed that he would never put him to death under any circumstances.
Later promotions followed to the point that he became the second most powerfull man in the empire. His power was absolute as was the sultan's. It's interesting that their friendship was so strong that Ibrahim was even appointed the first officer of the Royal Bedchamber, which was most irregular. It was well known that he shared Suleyman's bedroom, where his bed was put and when on campaigns his tent. Their European contemporaries saw that relationship not only political and emotional, but also sexual. Personally, I haven't found in any source that they were explicitly lovers.
Although he followed the sultan on the campaigns, his primary role was diplomatic. He was awed poliglot and on diplomatic field his exploits were magnificent as the sultan's were on the battlefield. İbrahim's work with Western Christendom was a complete success. Portraying himself as "the real power behind the Ottoman empire", İbrahim used a variety of tactics to negotiate favorable deals with the leaders of the Catholic powers. The Venetians called him "İbrahim the Magnificent", a play on Suleiman's usual sobriquet. In 1533, he convinced Charles V to turn Hungary into an Ottoman vassal state. In 1535 he agreed with Francis I that gave France favorable trade rights within the Ottoman empire in exchange for joint action against the Habsburgs. This agreement would set the stage for joint Franco-Ottoman naval maneuvers, including the basing of the entire Ottoman fleet in Nice in the winter 1543.
However, reasonable and diplomatic pasha found his downfall during the campaign against Safavid Persia, when he said that he should have all the titles including the sultan or that he was the real sultan. Such imprudence might've been forgotten, but there was beautiful and clever Suleyman's wife Roxelana. She was captured in Lithuanian Russia as a slave; being a priest's daughter she was educated, but ended up in the royal harem. Her witt made her Sulyeman's favourite wife and empress. She saw a great rival in Ibrahim, and she felt she couldn't act freely enough until he held power. Namely, he was allied with Mustafa, the favourite son of Suleyman's by another concubine, what was blatant threat for Roxelana's sons.
For his impudence he was executed in a way only the ones of royal blood should be. He was killed after 13 years of being his Grand Vizier and commander-in-chief of all the armies. Since Suleiman had swore not to take Ibrahim's life during his reign, he acquired a fetva, which permitted him to take back the oath by building a mosque in Istanbul. He announced the fetva one week before İbrahim's execution and dined alone with him seven times before the final move, so to give his life-long friend a chance to flee the country or to take the sultan's own life. In was later discovered in İbrahim's letters that he was perfectly aware of the situation but nevertheless decided to stay true to Suleiman.
After this Suleyman's character changed and little by little he became a morbid figure.
So, yeah, I should write about this sad story :(