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From the 15th to the 16th century, the Janissaries were the scourge of Europe. With their martial music, their muskets and their drilled march, it seemed that no one could withstand them. Their loyalty to their corps was infinite as the Ottomans conquered the Balkans as far as the Danube, and Syria, Egypt and Iraq. They set up semi-independent states along the North African coast and even fought at sea. Their political power was such that even sultans trembled. Who were they? Why were they an elite? Why did they decline and what was their end? These are some of the questions which this book attempts to answer. It is the story of extraordinary personalities in both victory and defeat. This book begins by exploring the origins of the Janissary corps with the careful selection of youths from Christian families in the Balkans. It then introduces the pillars of the Ottoman state which these recruits were to serve. The Ottoman forces are reviewed, followed by a panoramic survey of the victorious years of this elite corps - culminating in the glorious conquest of Hungary and the establishment of the Danube frontier. By the middle of the 16th century discipline among the Janissaries had declined, but the real fault lay with the Sultan and his ministers. The devshirme (levy) system of recruitment faltered and the corps became a refuge for society's misfits. By the end of the 18th century the Janissaries were more interested in trade than in war. Ill-disciplined and arrogant, they turned rulers and ruled against them. Yet their political power was such that it took years of patient and careful planning before they could be supporessed. When their bubble finally burst, a raw army filled the void and matured into the veterans of the Crimean War. Godfrey Godwin is the author of "A History of Ottoman Architecture", "Islamic Spain" and "Sinan: Ottoman Architecture and its Values Today".
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Godfrey Goodwin taught art and architectural history at the University of the Bosphorus from 1957 to 1968 and is the author of several authoritative works, including A History of Ottoman Architecture; Islamic Spain; Sinan: Ottoman Architecture and its Values Today and The Private World of Ottoman Women, the last two titles also published by Saqi Books.
'An incredible book . . . a tour de force.' --Middle East International
'Well written and lucid.' --Muslim World Books Review
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Book Description Interlink Pub Group Inc, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110863560490
Book Description Interlink Pub Group Inc, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0863560490