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Sipahis(spä`hē), Ottoman cavalrycavalry,
a military force consisting of mounted troops trained to fight from horseback. Horseback riding probably evolved independently in the Eurasian steppes and the mountains above the Mesopotamian plain. By 1400 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. . 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. The Spahis were entitled to all income from the fief in return for military service to the sultan. Until the mid-16th cent. they provided the bulk of the Ottoman army. Committed to the tradition of light cavalry, they were slow to adopt firearms, whose development made the cavalry less important. They remained politically important until 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. revoked their fiefs in 1828, two years after he crushed the JanissariesJanissaries
[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.
..... Click the link for more information. with modern artillery in his effort to build a modern army. In the French army certain Algerian and Senegalese cavalry units were also called Spahis. The term is sometimes spelled Sepahis.