History of the Ottoman Empire: Bayezid I
Bayezid I ( بايزيد اول) was the Ottoman Sultan from 1389 to 1402. He was the son of Murad I and Gülçiçek Hatun. He built one of the largest armies in the known world at the time and unsuccessfully besieged Constantinople. He adopted the title of Sultan-i Rûm, Rûm being an old Islamic name for the Roman Empire. He decisively defeated the Crusaders at Nicopolis (in modern Bulgaria) in 1396, and was himself defeated and captured by Timur at the Battle of Ankara in 1402 and died in captivity in March 1403, triggering the Ottoman Interregnum.
History of the Ottoman Empire: Bayezid I Timeline
Anatolian unificationKonya, Turkey
Hungarians recognize Ottoman threatHungary
Siege of ConstantinopleConstantinople
In 1394, Bayezid laid siege(long blockade) to Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Anadoluhisarı fortress was built between 1393 and 1394 as part of preparations for the second Ottoman siege of Constantinople, which took place in 1395. Already in 1391, the rapid Ottoman conquests in the Balkans had cut off the city from its hinterland. After constructing the fortress of Anadoluhisarı to control the Bosporus strait, from 1394 on, Bayezid tried to starve the city into submission by blockading it both by land and, less effectively, by sea. Lack of a fleet or necessary artillery to demolish those impressive walls made this an abortive siege. These lessons would later help the later Ottoman emperors. On the urgings of the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, a new crusade was organized to defeat him.
Ottomans attack WallachiaArges River, Wallachia
Battle of NicopolisNicopolis, Bulgaria
In 1396 Hungarian King Sigismund finally pulled together a crusade against the Ottomans. The crusader army was composed primarily of Hungarian and French knights, but included some Wallachian troops. Though nominally led by Sigismund, it lacked command cohesion. The crusaders crossed the Danube, marched through Vidin, and arrived at Nikopol, where they met the Turks. The headstrong French knights refused to follow Sigismund's battle plans, resulting in their crushing defeat. Because Sratsimir had permitted the crusaders to pass through Vidin, Bayezid invaded his lands, took him prisoner, and annexed his territories. With Vidin's fall, Bulgaria ceased to exist, becoming the first major Balkan Christian state to disappear completely by direct Ottoman conquest.
Timur entered the Middle EastEastern Anatolia, Turkey
Battle of AnkaraBattle of Ankara, Turkey
The Battle of Ankara or Angora was fought on 20 July 1402 at the Çubuk plain near Ankara, between the forces of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I and the Emir of the Timurid Empire, Timur. The battle was a major victory for Timur. After the battle, Timur moved through western Anatolia to the Aegean coast, where he besieged and took the city of Smyrna, a stronghold of the Christian Knights Hospitalers. The battle was catastrophic for the Ottoman state, fracturing what remained and bringing almost total collapse of the empire. Mongols roamed free in Anatolia and the political power of the sultan was broken. This resulted in a civil war among Bayezid's sons known as the Ottoman Interregnum.
Get our spam-free newsletter.
- Notifications on new HistoryMaps
- Find out which HistoryMaps are updated
- Find out which HistoryMaps are coming out next
Holy Roman Emperor
Ivan Sratsimir of Bulgaria
Ivan Shishman of Bulgaria
Mircea the Elder
Manuel II Palaiologos
- Imber, Colin (2009). The Ottoman Empire, 1300–1650: The Structure of Power (Second ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-1370-1406-1.
- Wittek, Paul (1938). The Rise of the Ottoman Empire. Royal Asiatic Society.
- Ágoston, Gábor; Bruce Masters, eds. (2009). Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire. New York: Facts on File. ISBN 978-0-8160-6259-1.