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Al Jassas View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17-Mar-2008 at 09:04
Hello to you all
 
Reading the Ottoman military history, I could not help but observing the overemphasis on the role of the Janissaries in Ottoman conflicts, but the part the Spahis played was largely reduced or even ignored all together. My question here is were the Spahis really significant and where did they matter the most. Also since they only came from landowining individuals how strong were they on a provincial level and where did they hold the most lands.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Mar-2008 at 22:30
I agree, there is an over-emphasis on the role of Janissaries. I think this may be because while cavalry such as Sipahis were normal for the time, Janissaries were not. So therefore, they got more 'press'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xi_tujue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Mar-2008 at 14:59
Sipahis are not different than the european knights

basicly ofc


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kafkas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2008 at 08:54
Whereas Janissaries were children taken from non-Muslim families, Timarli Sipahis were taken strictly from ethnic Turkish families.

Unlike the Janissaries they didn't revolt during the modernization reforms, they honorably complied. They were known for their extreme loyalty and I believe they did have conflicts with the Janissary Corps at times.

If you're interested in the elite Ottoman Turkish cavalry units you should look up the Kapikulu and Akinci as well.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roberts Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2008 at 10:12
Originally posted by kafkas kafkas wrote:

Whereas Janissaries were children taken from non-Muslim families, Timarli Sipahis were taken strictly from ethnic Turkish families.

There were also non-Turkic and non-Muslim Sipahis as well (in Balkans mostly), since these troops recieved land and in return they owned military service to sultan. This wasn't ethnic unit.

Quote
Unlike the Janissaries they didn't revolt during the modernization reforms, they honorably complied. They were known for their extreme loyalty and I believe they did have conflicts with the Janissary Corps at times.

By the time when Janissaries revolted in early 19th century, the Sipahis seized to be of military importance becoming simply non-military landownders. (that happened during 18th century).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kurt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Mar-2008 at 14:53
At ustu baskaldirmaz!
 
By the way Roberts, sipahis participated in the 'auspicious event' (look it up on wikipedia) that resulted in the demise of the janissary corps. So I'm doubtful as to whether or not its right to say they ceased being a military asset until later on in Mahmud's reforms.
 
Too bad Al Jassas, I don't know the actual role Sipahis played in battles. All I know is they weren't despicable conspiring traitors like the janissaries, instead they were renowned for their loyalty. Osman II even tried to make a purely ethnic turkic corps to nullify the detrimental influence of the janissaries; the idea of the new corps was possibly inspired by the loyalty of the sipahis.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Mar-2008 at 19:10
Actually from what I read, the Spahis were far more effective in battles than the Janisseries, they were far more loyal and they helped police the provinces where they held land, of course by time and with the gradual weakening of the Ottoman empire they degraded and became a hereditary institution but they were still loyal. I think the fanaticism and astonishing discipline,for medieval and early modern armies, of the janissaries and their fight to death mentality in the early stages of the Ottoman empire gave them their fearsome reputaion.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote erkut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Mar-2008 at 12:21

Sipahis were highly important for Ottoman empire. They were not just fighting army but they were also police force in their regions.

Timar system was simply creating cheap army-police, also by timar taxes were not wasted. In my humble opinion; turning timar system to muqata system caused the economic-social-military problems.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Aug-2008 at 19:09
Hello to you all
 
What was the effects of the Spahis on the economy of the of the sanjaks where they ruled and what was exactly their geographical distribution. I mean they were first and foremost fuedals. did it harm the economy when these guys went on long campaigns?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xi_tujue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Aug-2008 at 21:29
The Irony is that the sultan established the the kapikulu (slave army with the janissaries as elite) to be certain of loyalty, because he didn't trust the Turkmen Warlords . In the end they came to the sultans rescue when the janissaries revolted

And when the time came for the sipahi division to end they did so without any revolts or any type of bloodshed.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2008 at 13:36

Irony is the base of history.

Al Jassas - the economy is seldom hurt when the landlords aren't there. There are deputies and such plus the people still have to work even when the lord is away. Of course, longer times of absence might have been troublesome but I doubt it. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2008 at 15:41
But here is the thing, Spahis did revolt particularly during the turbulent years of the jelali revolts and they cited continuous wars as their problem. Also I don't think that such a system existed in th Spahis case because these weren't major landowners but limited landowners.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2008 at 15:55
Quote My question here is were the Spahis really significant and where did they matter the most. Also since they only came from landowining individuals how strong were they on a provincial level and where did they hold the most lands.
 
Your question is too vague. Which Sipahis? Timarli Sipahis (land holding ones- not land owning) or Kapikulu Sipahis (Sipahis of the Porte)? Also which century? They were really significant before 1600, after 1600 not as much. Virtually all of the 'Timar' lands were in the Balkans and in Anatolia, AFAIK.
 
"Turks noticed the increased importance of firearms after Hacova and changed the compositon of their armies accordingly. In Suleyman's era, there were at least 16000 janissaries and 87000 sipahis, in 1609, 36000 janissaries and 40000 sipahis."
 
I wrote this in this thread: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=10538&OB=ASC The information come fron Inalcik, OE Classical Age.
 
Quote Whereas Janissaries were children taken from non-Muslim families, Timarli Sipahis were taken strictly from ethnic Turkish families.
 
Bullocks. Majority of the Timar holders were 'of kul (slave, i.e. non-muslim) origin', just like the Janissaries, according to Inalcik. I posted the detailed quote here before:
 
"Most timarli sipahi were of 'kul' (converted slaves or POW's like the Janissaries) origin.
 
I translate the following from Halil Inalcik's, Ottoman Empire Classical Age (1300-1600), p.119:
 
'In the 15th and 16th centuries most of the Timarli Sipahis were of kul ('slave') origin. Among Muslim Turks, only those who volunteered and gained honours in battle, and the followers of frontier lords ('ucbeylerinin yandaslari') could get a timar ('fief'). Statistics of Albania region of the year 1431 show that %16 of the sipahi were former Christian nobles, 30% were Anatolian Turks, 50% were slaves of the Sultan or other Beys. Remaining 4% of the timars belonged to Kadis, 'Piskopos' (Orthodox Bishops) and palace favourites. Later, the ratio of sipahis with Turkish origin slowly declined.'
 
Also note that the Muslim Anatolian Turks he mentions need not be Turcomans. They were mostly already settled Turks."
 
 
Quote If you're interested in the elite Ottoman Turkish cavalry units you should look up the Kapikulu and Akinci as well.
 
Timarli Sipahi are not elite. Akincis are not elite either, they are just raiders; light cavalry. Kapikulu Sipahi are the only ones that could be called elite. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Divisions_of_Cavalry 

Quote Actually from what I read, the Spahis were far more effective in battles than the Janisseries, they were far more loyal and they helped police the provinces where they held land, of course by time and with the gradual weakening of the Ottoman empire they degraded and became a hereditary institution but they were still loyal.
 
I don't think we can compare the Janissary to the Timarli Sipahi in term of loyalty or 'effectiveness'. Sometimes one is better sometimes the other. What is for sure is that in time importance of the cavalry declined, as they were basically a medieval unit type and did not adapt to changes very well.
 
In any case the differences were not that great, no simple Janissary traitors vs loyal Sipahis. Also, Timarli Sipahi did not 'help police the provinces', they were the police in their provinces. What's more they were always a hereditary institution, they did not become at a later point.
 
Quote did it harm the economy when these guys went on long campaigns?
 
Under the Timar system, they collected the taxes and acted as law enforcement. They did not like not being able to return to their holding on time at the end of the campaigning season. Sultans who campaigned a lot, such as Mehmed II, were not popular in the army. That's a major reason why smart enemy commanders like Hunyadi Janos attacked the Ottomans at the end of the campaigning season. That's also a big reason why Ottomans could not invade Western Europe, no matter what the wiki nationalists and various fanboys in 'Best General' threads believe. 
 
Quote The Irony is that the sultan established the the kapikulu (slave army with the janissaries as elite) to be certain of loyalty, because he didn't trust the Turkmen Warlords . In the end they came to the sultans rescue when the janissaries revolted
 
Sipahis were not 'Turkmen Warlords'. 'Loyalty' of 'Turkmen Warlords' was seen clearly in 1402 in Ankara fighting Timur. In my opinion the worst case of betrayal in Ottoman history, caused by 'Turks', while Serb vassals fought to the end...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2008 at 16:15

Hello Beylerbeyi

So, can Spahis, timariots that is, be considered as fuedal lord. I mean did they have the same powers as fuedal lords in europe because if they police the provinces this means that they were actually stronger than the governors especially those with big holdings, Zamat.

By the way I do have Inalcik's book but haven't read it yet. Is it very good?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beylerbeyi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Aug-2008 at 16:33
Quote So, can Spahis, timariots that is, be considered as fuedal lord.
 
Yes and no. They are more similar to Byzantine pronia, rather than Western feudal lord. 
 
Quote I mean did they have the same powers as fuedal lords in europe because if they police the provinces this means that they were actually stronger than the governors especially those with big holdings, Zamat.
 
A Timarli was responsible for collecting the taxes, policing his area, and he had to join the army together with retainers (varies depending on the size of his timar) but he did not own that area (it belonged to the Sultan/State), or the people on it. He could not set the amount of tax, neither could he punish anyone without a verdict from the resident judge (Kadi) who answered directly to Kostantiniyye. In contrast, the European feudal lord owned not only the land but also the peasants' asses.
 
Quote By the way I do have Inalcik's book but haven't read it yet. Is it very good?
It is not the end-all but a good to get a general picture, and handy as a reference source as you see.


Edited by Beylerbeyi - 21-Aug-2008 at 16:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Aug-2008 at 07:35
Since the Janissaries are mentioned here i would like to make a question. As far as I remember they were celibate in the beginning until that changed at a certain period of time. When was that?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xi_tujue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Aug-2008 at 08:19
yes they demanded that for themselfs and were given the right to marry,but there sons where muslims and couldn't be janissaries
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Aug-2008 at 11:28
Hello to you all
 
Thanks Bey for info, I appreciate it.
 
As for when was celibacy ended, I think it was about 1600 but I will check it out.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Aug-2008 at 12:07
Thank you guys!
Around late 1600 is what i could hardly remember but i was not sure at all.

Btw xi_tujue, Jenisaries were muslims as well since they brought up at a very early age with muslim traditions. Their ethnic and religious background is what made them different.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xi_tujue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Oct-2008 at 17:10
Oh sorry I ment muslim & free the janissaries where slaves
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