The Rise of the Ottoman Empire, 13th–15th Centuries
The term “Ottoman” is a Western corruption of the Turkish name of their original tribal leader, Osman I (1281–1324). He ruled the Seljuk principality closest to Byzantium and Europe in the northwest corner of Anatolia, and pursued unrelenting warfare against the Christians directly across his borders. This soon attracted to him a number of warriors — organized into an effective and loyal military force — from all parts of the Seljuk world eager to expand the Islamic territories in the tradition of the jihad. After his death, Bursa was captured and the Byzantines were completely expelled from Anatolia by his son and immediate successor, Orhan I (1324–60). Under Orhan, the Ottomans (the collective name for the assorted warriors and allies of the house of Osman) permanently established themselves in Southeastern Europe. For the next two-and-a-half centuries, their military successes against European Christians stretched in an unbroken string under ten consecutive rulers.