Janissaries

(redirected from Janissary)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

Janissaries

(jăn`ĭsâr'ēz) [Turk.,=recruits], elite corps in the service of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). It was composed of war captives and Christian youths pressed into service; all the recruits were converted to Islam and trained under the strictest discipline. It was originally organized by Sultan Murad I. The Janissaries gained great power in the Ottoman Empire and made and unmade sultans. By 1600, Muslims had begun to enter the corps, largely through bribery, and in the 17th cent. membership in the corps became largely hereditary, while the drafting of Christians gradually ceased. In 1826, Sultan Mahmud IIMahmud II,
1784–1839, Ottoman sultan (1808–39), younger son of Abd al-Hamid I. He was raised to the throne of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) upon the deposition of his brother, Mustafa IV, and continued the reforms of his cousin, Selim III.
..... Click the link for more information.
 rid himself of the unruly (and by now inefficient) Janissaries by having them massacred in their barracks by his loyal SpahisSpahis
or Sipahis
, Ottoman cavalry. The Spahis were organized in the 14th cent. on a feudal basis. The officers held fiefs (timars) granted to them by the sultan and commanded the personal loyalty of the peasants who worked the land.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

Janissaries

 

the regular Turkish infantry, organized in the second half of the 14th century, who, together with the spahis and akinji (cavalry), formed the core of the Ottoman army. Originally, janissaries were youths who had been driven into slavery; later, Christian boys were forcibly recruited. Converted to Islam, they were considered slaves of the sultan and lived in barracks; they were forbidden to marry or maintain their own households. In addition to service in military campaigns, they were assigned garrison duty in the Balkans and the Arab countries. The janissaries were headed by an aga and were closely associated with the Bectashi dervish order.

The decline of the janissaries began in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Members of the corps settled down with families and engaged in trade and handicrafts. Gradually they were transformed into agents of palace revolutions and a support for the forces of feudal-clerical reaction. In 1826 the janissary corps was destroyed by the Turkish sultan Mahmud II.

Janissaries

elite Turkish infantry. [Turk. Hist.: Fuller, I, 499, 508]
References in periodicals archive ?
The first was the account's favorable descriptions of civic arrangements in the Ottoman regime, such as the scrupulous punishment of the Turk in question by one of the Ottoman regime's most typical law enforcement figures, the Janissary officer.
Memoirs of a Janissary is an interesting account of a Serb slave soldier who served Sultan Mehmet II.
We will likely continue to debate the integration of the 'askeri class into the provincial economy as a cause or result of the collapse of both sipahi and Janissary military effectiveness.
The unusually intense in-group solidarity encouraged by Muslim kinship practices not only helps explain why the Janissary system was needed as a way out, but has a good deal more to do with current controversies over the Middle East than one might expect.
Western composers' experience of Turkish music stemmed mostly from encounters with the Ottoman Janissary bands or Mehter bands who once gave ardor to invading armies, but who later accompanied diplomatic missions.
Paid by the treasury, they received 4 rubles per year--that is, only about 30 to 40 percent of what their Janissary counterparts earned.
As a man, and a Turkish soldier, the Janissary is regarded essentially as a wild animal by the nuns, who have him shackled as they nurse him back to health.
Why use words, such as, antithesis, polyamory, polymorphous, Janissary, polemical?
Visit the various courtyards, take in a concert from the historic Janissary military band, stop by the four exhibition rooms housing the Ottoman crown jewels.
Akgunduz, there is an interesting law (Devsirme Kanunnamesi) concerning recruitment of Christians for the needs of the Janissary Corps during the reign of Sultan Bayazid II (1481-1512).
Forced to convert, he works his way up the ranks to become a Janissary, an elite unit of the army.
The "Turkish" is so-called because of its resemblance to Janissary music - the military band music of Turkey.