The Ottomans have long been viewed as despots who conquered through sheer military might, and whose dynasty was peripheral to those of Europe. The Last Muslim Conquest transforms our understanding of the Ottoman Empire, showing how Ottoman statecraft was far more pragmatic and sophisticated than previously acknowledged, and how the Ottoman dynasty was a crucial player in the power struggles of early modern Europe.
In this panoramic and multifaceted book, Gábor Ágoston captures the grand sweep of Ottoman history, from the dynasty’s stunning rise to power at the turn of the fourteenth century to the Siege of Vienna in 1683, which ended Ottoman incursions into central Europe. He discusses how the Ottoman wars of conquest gave rise to the imperial rivalry with the Habsburgs, and brings vividly to life the intrigues of sultans, kings, popes, and spies. Ágoston examines the subtler methods of Ottoman conquest, such as dynastic marriages and the incorporation of conquered peoples into the Ottoman administration, and argues that while the Ottoman Empire was shaped by Turkish, Iranian, and Islamic influences, it was also an integral part of Europe and was, in many ways, a European empire.
Rich in narrative detail, The Last Muslim Conquest looks at Ottoman military capabilities, frontier management, law, diplomacy, and intelligence, offering new perspectives on the gradual shift in power between the Ottomans and their European rivals and reframing the old story of Ottoman decline.
Gábor Ágoston is professor of history at Georgetown University. His many books include Guns for the Sultan: Military Power and the Weapons Industry in the Ottoman Empire and Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire.
"An intellectual tour de force that does not mince words."—Abdullah Drury, Muslim World Book Review
"An impressive book, well written, making good use of both Ottoman and Western sources, and crafted to keep the reader engaged."—Michigan War Studies Review
"[W]hen it comes to the role of the Ottomans in the history of central Europe . . . the book succeeds brilliantly… Ágoston has also succeeded in what I think will stand for a long time as the definitive political and military narrative of the Ottomans in southeastern and central Europe. Over and over again his command of the facts provides the reader with a strong basis for comparing the various powers and their capabilities at the level of population, natural resources, military technology and so on and so forth. . . . Any future research on this area in the early modern period will find Ágoston’s book to be enormously useful, indeed essential, when writing their own studies."—Molly Greene, European Legacy
"Gábor Ágoston has written a much-needed overview of Ottoman warfare from the early state along the Byzantine frontier to the empire’s wars with the Holy League in the late seventeenth century. The Last Muslim Conquest successfully combines the work of several regional historiographies and makes important interventions. Along with a narrative and analysis of the wars in this period, Ágoston includes detailed chapters on Ottoman military organization, tactics, and technology. The Last Muslim Conquest also balances both older historiography that over-emphasized religious antagonism as well as newer research that focuses more on cultural contacts between the Ottomans and Europe."—Samuel Stevens, International Journal of Military History and Historiography
"Ottomanists, military historians, and non-specialists will find The Last Muslim Conquest an accessible book and one that can provide starting points for further research. Ágoston’s work is an analytical narrative of early modern Ottoman military history that has been needed for some time."—Samuel Stevens, International Journal of Military History and Historiography
"Unique."—Colin Imber, Journal of the American Oriental Society
"Remarkable in combining a high level of detail with a remarkable clarity of exposition. . . . The richness and brilliant organization of his material and the careful attention to detail invite wider speculation."—Colin Imber, Journal of the American Oriental Society
"Fascinating and wonderfully rich in detail."—Virginia H. Aksan, author of Ottoman Wars, 1700–1870: An Empire Besieged
"The appearance of any work by Gábor Ágoston is a matter of significance for those interested in early modern military history, but the range, scholarship, and intellectual ambition of this book make it of particular importance. In assessing the Ottomans, Ágoston provides a crucial corrective to many standard views on Western military history."—Jeremy Black, author of War and Technology
"Gábor Ágoston's The Last Muslim Conquest is an authoritative, wide-ranging, and up-to-date account of the decisive Ottoman impact on early modern Europe, by one of its leading present-day historians."—Hamish Scott, author of The Birth of a Great Power System, 1740–1815
“A substantial contribution to Ottoman military history.” –Mark L. Stein, Journal of Royal Asiatic Society