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Osmanli-nisani.svg    Murad I
Ottoman Sultan
Tughra of Murad I.JPG
Reign 1362–1389
Period Rise of the Ottoman Empire
Full Name Murad I
Predecessor Orhan I
Successor Bayezid I
Royal House House of Osman
Dynasty Ottoman Dynasty
Religious beliefs Sunni Islam

Murad I (nick-named Hüdavendigâr - from Persian: خداوندگار Khodāvandgār - "the God-like One") (Serbian: Мурат 1. / Murat I) (Turkish: I. Murat Hüdavendigâr) (March or June 29, 1326, Sogut or Bursa – June 15, 1389, Battle of Kosovo) (Ottoman Turkish: مراد اول) was the ruler of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan of Rûm, from 1362 to 1389. He was the son of Orhan I and the Valide Sultan Nilüfer Hatun (whose name means Water lily in Turkish), daughter of the Prince of Yarhisar or Byzantine princess Theodora Kantakouzene (also named Nilüfer), who was of ethnic Greek descent[1][2][3] and became the ruler following his father's death in 1362.


Establishment of Empire

He established the Empire by building up a society and government in the newly conquered city of Adrianople (Edirne in Turkish) and by expanding the realm in Europe, bringing most of the Balkans under Ottoman rule and forcing the Byzantine emperor to pay him tribute. It was Murad who established the former Osmanli tribe into an empire. He established the title of sultan in 1383 and the corps of the janissaries and the devşirme recruiting system. He also organised the government of the Divan, the system of timars and timar-holders (timariots) and the military judge, the kazasker. He also established the two provinces of Anadolu (Anatolia) and Rumeli (Europe).


Murad fought against the powerful emirate of Karaman in Anatolia and against the Serbs, Bulgarians and Hungarians in Europe. His moves in the Balkans brought together a Christian coalition under the king of Hungary, but it was defeated at the Battle of Maritsa on September 26, 1371, by Murad's capable second lieutenant Lala Şâhin Paşa, the first governor (beylerbey) of Rumeli. In 1366 the Serbian king was forced to pay tribute to the Sultan and in 1385 Sofia fell to the Ottomans. In 1386 Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović defeated a small Ottoman force at the Battle of Pločnik. The Ottoman army did not suffer heavy casualties, and was unable to capture Niš on the way back. In 1389 Murad's army defeated the Serbian Army and its allies under the leadership of Lazar at the Battle of Kosovo.

There are different accounts from different sources about when and how Murad I was assassinated. One Western source states that during first hours of the battle, Murad I was assassinated by Serbian nobleman and knight Miloš Obilić by knife[4][5]. Most Ottoman chroniclers (including Dimitrie Cantemir) [6] state that he was assassinated after the finish of the battle while going around the battlefield. Others state that he was assassinated in the evening after the battle at his tent by the assassin who was admitted to ask a special favour. His older son Bayezid, who was in charge of the left wing of the Ottoman forces, took charge after that. His other son, Yakub Bey, who was in charge of the other wing, was called to the Sultan's command center tent by Bayezid, but when Yakub Bey arrived he was strangled, leaving Bayezid as the sole claimant to the throne.

In the earliest preserved Christian record, a letter of Florentine senate to the King Tvrtko I of Bosnia, dated 20 October 1389, Murad I's killing was described. Milos Obilic, a Serbian warrior had managed to get through the Ottoman army and kill Murad I.

Fortunate, most fortunate are those hands of the twelve loyal lords who, having opened their way with the sword and having penetrated the enemy lines and the circle of chained camels, heroically reached the tent of Amurat himself. Fortunate above all is that one who so forcefully killed such a strong vojvoda by stabbing him with a sword in the throat and belly. And blessed are all those who gave their lives and blood through the glorious manner of martyrdom as victims of the dead leader over his ugly corpse.

Sultan Murad's internal organs were buried in Kosovo field and remains to this day on a corner of the battlefield in a location called Meshed-i Hudavendigar which has gained a religious significance by the Muslims (which had been renamed Obilić by the Serbs). It has recently been renovated. His other remains were carried to Bursa, his Anatolian capital city, and were buried in a tomb at the complex built in his name.

Marriages and progeny

Murad I, oil on canvas by Haydar Hatemi

Marriages of Murad I:

Progeny of Murad I:

  • Yakub Celebi (? - d. 1389) - son. In the first recorded fratricide in the history of the Ottoman dynasty, Bayezid I had Yakup killed during or following the Battle of Kosovo at which their father had been killed.
  • Sultan Bayezid I (1354-1402)- son of Gulcicek Hatun
  • Savci Bey - son. He and his lover, Byzantyne emperor John V Palaeologus' son Andronicus,[7] rebelled against their fathers. Murad had Savci killed. Andronicus, who had surrendered to his father, was imprisoned and blinded at Murad's insistence.[8]
  • Ibrahim Bey - son
  • Yahshi Bey - son of Gulcicek Hatun
  • Halil Bey - son
  • Nefise - daughter
  • Sultan - daughter

Sultan Murad in literature

Prince Harry refers to Murad as "Amurath" in Act V Scene 2 when he succeeds his father, King Henry IV, in 1412:

Chief Justice. Good morrow, and God save your majesty!
King Henry V. This new and gorgeous garment, majesty,
Sits not so easy on me as you think.
Brothers, you mix your sadness with some fear:
This is the English, not the Turkish court;
Not Amurath an Amurath succeeds,
But Harry Harry!
  • Murad (as "Amurath the First") is the subject of Thomas Goffe's play The Courageous Turk, published in 1632.


  1. ^ The Fall of Constantinople, Steven Runciman, Cambridge University Press, p.36
  2. ^ The Nature of the Early Ottoman State, Heath W. Lowry, 2003 SUNY Press, p.153
  3. ^ History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, Stanford Jay Shaw, Cambridge University Press, p.24
  4. ^ Helmolt, Ferdinand. The World's History, p.293. W. Heinemann, 1907.
  5. ^ Fine, John. The Late Medieval Balkans, p.410. University of Michigan Press, 1994. ISBN 0472082604.
  6. ^ Cantemir, Dimitrie, History of the Growth and Decay of the Ottoman Empire, London 1734.
  7. ^ Gibbon, Edward, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Modern Library, v. iii, p. 651
  8. ^ Finkel, C., Osman's Dream: The History of the Ottoman Empire, 2005, pp.19, Basic Books
Murad I
Born: 1319 Died: 1389
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Orhan I
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
1362 – 1389
Succeeded by
Bayezid I

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MURAD surnamed Khudavendighiar (1319-1389), was the son of Orkhan and the Greek princess Nilofer, and succeeded his father in He was the first Turkish monarch to obtain a definite footing in Europe, and his main object throughout his career was to extend the European dominions of Turkey. The revolts of the prince of Caramania interfered with the realization of this plan, and trouble was caused from this quarter more than once during his reign until the decisive battle of Konia (1387), when the power of the prince of Caramania was broken.

The state of Europe facilitated Murad's projects: civil war and anarchy prevailed in most of the countries of Central Europe, where the feudal system was at its last gasp, and the small Balkan states were divided by mutual jealousies. The capture of Adrianople, followed by other conquests, brought about a coalition under the king of Hungary against Murad, but his able lieutenant Lalashahin, the first beylerbey of Rumelia, defeated the allies at the battle of the Maritsa in 1363. In 1366 the king of Servia was defeated at Samakov and forced to pay tribute. Kustendil, Philippopolis and Nish fell into the hands of the Turks; a renewal of the war in 1381 led to the capture of Sofia two years later. Europe was now aroused; Lazar, king of Servia, formed an alliance with the Albanians, the Hungarians and the Moldavians against the Turks. Murad' hastened back to Europe and met his enemies on the field of Kossovo (1389). Victory finally inclined to the side of the Turks. When the rout of the Christians was complete, a Servian named Milosh Kabilovich penetrated to Murad's tent on pretence of communicating an important secret to the sultan, and stabbed the conqueror. Murad was of independent character and remarkable intelligence. He was fond of pleasure and luxury,. cruel and cunning. Long relegated to the command of a distant province in Asia, while his brother Suleiman occupied an enviable post in Europe, he became revengeful; thus he exercised great cruelty in the repression of the rebellion of his son Prince Sauji,. the first instance of a sultan's son taking arms against his father.. Murad transferred the Ottoman capital from Brusa to Adrianople, where he built a palace and added many embellishments to the town. The development of the feudal system of timars and ziamets and its extension to Europe was largely his work.

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