The Magnificent Century (Muhteşem Yüzyil) is sumptuous Turkish historical soap opera/drama series, originally broadcast on prime-time television between 2011 and 2014. The huge complex plot is set around the lives of Suleiman I (“the Magnificent”), the tenth and longest reigning Sultan (1520 – 1566) of the Ottoman Empire, and his wife Hürrem (“Roxelana”), a slave girl who became one of the most influential sultanas in the long history of the Ottoman Empire (1299 – 1922).
The first episode of the television series is available with English subtitles here.
Slaves for the Harem In 1520, Maria and Alexandra are captured and sold as slaves to the harem of the new Ottoman Sultan in Constantinople. They must quickly adapt to life in the harem and earn the right to be a concubine of the most powerful ruler of the Mediterranean world. The ultimate prize is to bear the Sultan a son who might be the next ruler of the huge Ottoman Empire.
The Sultana’s Concubine May 1538. Sultan Suleiman I, ruler of the Ottoman Empire, and his 16 year old daughter, Mihrimah, are making a tour of the Empire’s northern borders. The acquisition of a new maid for Mihrimah proves fortunate when traitors lead the royal party into an ambush. Both Mihrimah and her new maid gain reputations that will make them formidable women in their own separate worlds.