Suleiman the Magnificent grants Hungarian king John II Sigismund Zapolya permission to resume his throne after Hungary's defeat by the Ottoman Empire. Getty Images
Suleiman's Early Life:
Suleiman was born to Sultan Selim I of the Ottoman Empire and Aishe Hafsa Sultan of the Crimean Khanate. He was the sultan's only surviving son.
As a child, he studied at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, where he learned theology, literature, science, history, and warfare. He became fluent in six languages: Ottoman Turkish, Arabic, Serbian, Chagatai Turkish (similar to Uighur), Farsi, and Urdu. Suleiman's tutors noted both his studious nature and his bravery from an early age.
As a youth, Suleiman was fascinated by Alexander the Great. His later program of military expansion may have been inspired in part by Alexander's conquests. As sultan, Suleiman would lead 13 major military expeditions, and he spent more than 10 years of his 46-year reign out on campaign.