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By Donald Quataert

The Ottoman Empire was once some of the most very important non-Western states to outlive from medieval to trendy instances, and performed an important position in eu and international historical past. It keeps to impact the peoples of the center East, the Balkans and significant and western Europe to the current day. This new survey examines the key traits throughout the latter years of the empire, being attentive to gender concerns and to hotly-debated subject matters reminiscent of the remedy of minorities. during this moment version, Donald Quataert has up to date his authoritative textual content, revised the bibliographies, and integrated short biographies of significant figures of the Byzantines and the post-Ottoman heart East. First version Hb (2000) 0-521-633281 First variation Pb (2000) 0-521-63360-5

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Increasingly complex warfare for its part demanded more cash. Until the sixteenth century, the sipahi cavalry armed with bows and lances had formed the core of the military, being tactically and numerically its most vital component, and supported by timars. In a development with fourteenth- and fifteenth-century roots, a standing fire-armed infantry replaced cavalry as the crucial battlefield element. Vastly more expensive to maintain, this infantry required large cash infusions that tax farms but not timars provided.

The nomadic, politically fragmented Turcoman way of life began causing major disturbances in the lives of the settled populations of the Iranian plateau, who bore the brunt of the initial migrations/invasions. As the nomads moved towards and then into the sedentarized Middle East, they converted to Islam but retained many of their shamanist rituals and practices. Hence, Turkish Islam as it became practiced later on varied considerably in form from Iranian or Arab Islam. As they migrated, the Turcomans and their animals disrupted the economy of the settled regions and the flow of tax revenues which agriculturalists paid to their rulers.

In 1071, however, the imperial army under the Emperor Romanus Diogenus decisively was crushed at the epochal battle of Manzikert, not far from Lake Van, by the combined military forces of the Turkish nomads temporarily allied with the army of the Seljuk Sultan Alp Arslan. This spelled the ruin of the imperial border defense system in the east, and Turkish nomads, now nearly unchecked, flooded into Byzantium. For the next several centuries, until the mid-fifteenth century, the history of Anatolia, east and west, can be understood through the metaphor of islands of sedentarized life under Byzantine imperial and feudal lords struggling to exist in a flood tide of Turkish nomads whose leaders, in turn, came to form their own small states.

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