FilmQ04c_The Ottoman Empire
How to Use Video as a Source
Step #1: Familiarize yourself with film questions prior to viewing the film. By reading the questions and understanding the vocabulary contained within, you allow yourself the luxury of viewing the film without having to look at the questions continuously.
Step #2: View and Listen Attentively. Unlike a book, a video provides information via visual images and audio. Both forms of data are ‘more valuable together’ than separately. For example, turn the volume off on your TV during your favorite program. Then, raise the volume while ‘blacking out’ the image. Under which conditions was the data most richly delivered? Always make sure that you have unobstructed viewing of a film and that the sound is audible.
As you view the video, pay attention to visual and/ or audio cues that reflect the issues raised by the questions below. Your responses should refer to video content as well as your current knowledge and understanding of history.
Step #3: Organize Your Thoughts. Unlike a book, the data from a video is often delivered at a constant rate. With a book, you can slow your reading speed when you encounter a particular segment that is complicated. You can also turn back to a previous page to review information. A film is a bit different in that you may not always have the option to use ‘slow motion’ or ‘rewind’. Therefore, maintaining focus on the imagery and sound is important. Targeted Notes will reduce the amount of time you’re looking away from the film. By writing quick and simple phrases of a few words each, you maintain greater attention to film events. Targeted notes use key words/ phrases that will ignite a thought or idea when you read them later. There is no concern for grammar or spelling while doing this. After the film has ended, you look at your targeted notes and manipulate the data to compile responses in complete sentences.
Organizational Tip: Vertically divide your sheet of paper (where you’ll write your responses). On the ‘left’ half, take targeted notes for each question given. After viewing the video, use the targeted notes to compose complete responses to each question (on the ‘right’ half of the sheet).
Your responses to these film questions will form the foundation of, or supplement, your notes for this lesson. An Islamic culture topples and replaces a Christian one. Many years of contact prior to the final conquest allowed the forces of cultural diffusion to embed ‘nuggets’ of Byzantine culture in the new Islamic society. This phenomenon is a vibrant, but not a solitary, example of the continuity of human values and traditions despite outward signs of disappearance.
Geo-politically, the ascendancy of the Ottomans, the growing isolation of Ming China, and the ‘spark’ of European global aspirations leads to the development of a bi-polar world. (1)
SOURCE: CNN’s Millennium Video Series:The 15th Century: Century of the Sail ©1999. Narrated by Ben Kingsley. CNN Productions, Inc. ©1999 [~8 min.]
Context:15th – 17th C., Asia Minor, Fall of the (Christian) Byzantine Empire & rise of the (Islamic) Ottoman Empire.
1. Upon what did the citizens of Constantinople depend for defense of the city?
2a. How did Mehmed II (The Conqueror) react to the barbarity displayed by his soldiers against the Byzantines trapped in the Hagia Sophia?
2b. How did the ‘evils of war’ impact on the conduct of his reign?
The impact of calamities, during war and peace, can severely affect survivors and witnesses of such events. Mehmed’s emotional response to the barbarity he witnessed is not uncommon in World History. Ask Mr.V to offer examples of other life-changing moments experienced by historical figures.
3. Muslim societies that did not accept the teachings and practices of the Whirling Dervish, may have viewed them as teachers/ practitioners of Islamic heresy. How did the Ottomans, who were undoubtedly the greatest Islamic society of that day, address the issue of the Whirling Dervish? (2)
4. Why could it be said that the Ottoman Empire, at its height, was ‘The Crossroads of the World”?
5. Considering the geography, which European city-state would view the rise of Ottoman supremacy in the East as a threat? How do you believe this City-State would interpret the threat? (Help yourself by looking at a map of this area.)
Ottoman culture at the start of the 15th C. was more akin to the ancestral Steppe lifestyle. The Byzantine Empire was on the other end of the cultural spectrum with a sedentary culture and civilization linked directly to Classical Europe. When two societies clash violently, ultimately one becomes ‘victor’, the other ‘defeated’. Can the vanquished culture live on, disguised, as new elements within the victorious culture?
To investigate this a bit further, I ask that you open and read a short passage titled R04c_The Case for Historical Continuity: The Byzantine and Ottoman Civilizations.
Chart: A Bi-Polar World
(1). The ‘Old’ world is realigning its centers of political, economic, and cultural life. Like a magnet, these forces are becoming concentrated at opposing ends (poles). The ‘map’ is the ‘magnet’ while Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire are the ‘poles’. Like in our magnet metaphor, the poles are the focus in our late 15th C. map, which now relegates other areas to ‘peripheral’ status. If the approaching modern age is going to be impacted somehow, the impacting force will probably come from one of these two poles (regions).
(2). The Whirling Dervish [a European reference] were members of a branch of Islam called Sufism. Sufism taught, and its members practiced, certain rituals that they believed enriched their personal relationship with Allah (God). Among the rituals was an “hypnotic dance” that involved spinning in-place.