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How Historically Accurate Is Netflix's Rise Of Empires: Ottoman?

Among Netflix's offerings, historical docudramas have often been a staple, with shows such as "Vikings: Valhalla" and "The Last Kingdom." In 2020, a new series joined their ranks.

Titled "Rise of Empires: Ottoman," the show follows the rule of Mehmed the Conqueror, who oversaw the Ottoman Empire during the time that Constantinople fell. The series cuts between historians talking about the real-life events during this period and the impact they had, and dramatic re-enactments of the crucial historical events.

The show's historian cast includes Jason Goodwin, Roger Crowley, and Marios Phillippides, while the dramatic cast includes Cem Yiğit Üzümoğlu, Selin, Bayraktar, and Damla Sönmez.

The format of "Rise of Empires: Ottoman" has led a lot of viewers to question whether the series' depiction of historical events is accurate. Fortunately, many sources not affiliated with the show have weighed in on the accuracy of the events and characters depicted in the show's two-season run to date.

The show takes some liberties, but is mostly accurate

The Netflix series "Rise of Empires: Ottoman" is quite accurate, at least in the portrayal of how and when specific historical events occurred. Where it falls short is in some of the character motivations, where it extrapolates reasoning that historians can't confirm. One key example is the execution of Çandarlı Halil Pasha. Per Daily History, the execution itself did occur the way the series portrays it; however, the motivations have been lost to time.

Not all the events are true to history, however; the scene of Mehmed trying to buy off Giovanni is another one that's been embellished for dramatic purposes. Daily History noted that, while Giovanni would've been someone who kept Mehmed from gaining power, there's no record of Mehmed attempting to bribe Giovanni.

Reddit user u/3choBlast3r went one step further, noting that the way the scene is portrayed would've been highly implausible. They pointed out that Mehmed goes to the wall to talk to Giovanni, but in reality, that physical location would've been fatal for Mehmed, living up to its title of killing fields.

Daily History concluded by noting that the show had gotten the timeline of history correct, and highlighted the Constantinople takeover as being especially accurate. The cruelty displayed towards their enemies by both the Byzantines and the Ottomans was another aspect the show got right.