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Historicizing the Ottoman Timar System: Identities of Timar-Holders, Fourteenth to Seventeenth Centuries

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This article aims to develop a new narrative of changes in the Ottoman timar system independent of the complaints of decline brought by advice writers like Mustafa ‘Ali. Based on the icmal defterleri, it examines the identities of timar-holders and their changes over time, a topic generally ignored in descriptions of the Ottoman military. Using data from earlier studies, it connects changes in timar-holding with changing conditions in the sultans’ reigns. It then takes a longer-term look at these changes over the half-centuries and finds the well-known complaints in the nasihatnameler to be based on a very short-term view of the system.

Affiliations: 1: University of Arizona,


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