Timeline: The West and The Ottoman Empire 1515-1923

The Middle East had been scientifically ahead of the West. Baghdad had the first university, the House of Wisdom. The Middle East innovated in mathetmatics, navigation, and weaponry. The Ottoman Empire had its leading Enderun School at Topkaki Palace, a multicultural boarding school that would gather the most promising young minds from around the empire to develop a well informed civil service. Yet as reactionary clerics increaseed in influence, science was more strongly discouraged, multicultural academic meritocracy was disbanded, and a stagnated regime that refused to plug into the developments of a changing world fell behind. While Europe expanded and experimented, publishing and translating a network of scientific research and theory, the Ottoman Empire struggled to maintain its dominant status as a global power.

Discussion: Science and Religion

What are the killer apps?

Funding provided by
Kenneth and Anne Griffin
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation
Marie-Josée & Henry R. Kravis Foundation
Peter Thiel and the Thiel Foundation
James and Merryl Tisch
Joan Ganz Cooney and Peter G. Peterson
A production of Chimerica Media Ltd. in association with Thirteen and WNET.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.