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13. Rewarding Success in Military Enterprise

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Chapter Summary

In the Ottoman army, desertion from the ranks in time of crisis meant not just loss of wages and prospective rewards deriving from that season's service, but a permanent loss of livelihood and professional status. For the Ottoman soldier, the risk of battle was not undertaken for the profit of military enterprisers or state-backed entrepreneurs, or for the sake of the glory and reputation of the sultan and dynasty, but as a collective enterprise in which all stakeholders and participants would be destined to share in the proceeds of campaign, both in terms of honour and material reward, which they had earned through their own enterprise as participants. At the peak of its efficiency and success, the Ottoman military system was governed by the premise that shared risk should result in shared reward. Such notions of collective effort and cooperative spirit were deliberately nourished by guaranteed terms.

Keywords: material reward; military enterprisers; Ottoman military system; Ottoman soldier; stakeholders



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