The Janissaries comprised infantry units that formed the Ottoman sultan's household troops and bodyguard. The force originated in the 14th century; it was abolished by Sultan Mahmud II in 1826 in The Auspicious Incident. The name janissary or janizary derives from the Ottoman Turkish: يكيچرى (yeniçeri) meaning "new soldier", with slight variations in other languages: in Albanian: Jeniçer; in Greek: Γενίτσαροι (Yenitsari); in Bulgarian: еничари (enichari) or яничари (yanichari); in Croatian: Janjičari; in Serbian: Јањичари or Janjičari; in Polish Janczaria or Janczarzy; in Romanian: ieniceri; in Hungarian Janicsárok; in Arabic: الانكشارية.
Origin of the Janissaries
Sultan Murad I of the fledgling Ottoman Empire founded the units around 1365. It was initially formed of Dhimmi (non-Muslims, originally exempted from the military service), especially Christian youths and prisoners-of-war, reminiscent of Mamelukes. Sultan Murad may have also used futuwa groups as a model. Such Janissaries became the first Ottoman standing army, replacing forces that mostly comprised tribal ghazis, whose loyalty and morale could not always be trusted. As corps other than the infantry were added, the totality of the Ottoman standing army corps was called Kapıkulu, however the term Janissary, which formally refers to one of the Kapıkulu corps is often used interchangeably (albeit incorrectly) for all of the Ottoman Kapıkulu Corps.
Significance of the JanissariesThe Janissary corps was significant in a number of ways. The Janissaries wore uniforms, were paid in cash as regular soldiers, and marched to distinctive music, the mehter, similar to a modern marching band. All of these features set the Janissaries apart from most soldiers of the time. The Ottomans were the first state to maintain a standing army in Europe since the Roman Empire. The Janissaries have been likened to the Roman Praetorian Guard and they had no equivalent in the Christian armies of the time, where the feudal lords raised troops during wartime. A janissary regiment was effectively the soldier's family. They lived in their barracks and served as policemen and firefighters during peacetime.
The Janissary corps was also distinctive in the regular payment of a cash salary to the troops,
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