Janissaries

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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.
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 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.
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.

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 ?
As modern historians have explained it, by the end of the sixteenth century, "Some orta (regiments) [of the janissary corps] had won the right to certain traditional duties, such as guarding foreign embassies, policing Istanbul harbor and custom houses, and acting as a fire brigade," and that generally "They provided security, law and order, or similar municipal duties.
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.
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.
The janissary (regarded as an outsider by all but the rulers of the island) sits alone and dreamily, hunched at a table in the shade of a large carob tree cooled by an onshore breeze.
We are thus faced with an apparently strange situation: both voynuks and the boys taken under the Janissary levy originate from the Christian peoples, subjects of the Sultan.
Mattias Tannhauser, a young Saxon abducted by soldiers of the Ottoman Empire, spends years as a Janissary in the Turkish army and then moves to Sicily, where he runs a tavern, brokers arms deals, sells opium, and acts as a spy.
Mostly there were compositions you would expect from such an ensemble--a military march from the Janissary bands of the Ottoman Empire, for example, and a ballad from the October Revolution.
This year's nominees in the category of Best Novel included: The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard; The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin; Gentlemen & Players by Joanne Harris; The Dead Hour by Denise Mina; and The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard.
There is much else to delight the eye in this exhibition, including pen-and-ink drawings Bellini executed while in Istanbul--most notably, brown-ink drawings of a seated janissary and a woman of the harem.
Starting in the autumn of 1836 he spent two years with Master Anton Klepsch in Vienna, where he got to know military janissary music.
Chapter 2, entitled "Fabricating the Ottoman State," invokes the historiography of Ottoman origins and clearly delineates the evolution of the Ottoman slave-based janissary corps and the "fief" (timar) system that supported its free Muslim cavalry.
The measure accompanied the destruction of the Janissary corps, which was considered as being politically unreliable and a threat to the intended modernization of the Ottoman army.