“But in history we care as much about what people believe to have happened as we do about the literal truth.” – Goldschmidt p. 140.
Baybars-fabled ruler in coffeehouse epics http://touregypt.net/featurestories/baybars.htm
Timur d. 1405
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Mongol_dominions.jpg Statue of
Causes of Ottoman Success
reward for administrative excellence
uniquely successful dynasty with unambiguous rule (
Administrative organization: Administrative, military, scribal, cultural
Administrative: Divan, Palace, Al-Bab al A’la
Military askari. Ieniceri and sipahi. Timars. Devshirme.
Scribes: Ottoman scribal tradition recorded everything. Tax farming, census, etc.
Ulama: qadis, waqf officials, teachers, etc. Shaykh al-Islam.
Everyone else: re’aya .
Organization by religion (millet), professional guilds, Sufi orders, etc.
Multinational and multilingual but this was not usually a concern.
Causes for decline:
Social cohesion of slave soldiers declines
Economic concerns – maintaining timars, getting ahead monetarily
Ulama became too conservative
Breakdown in checks and balances: Commitment to slaves as source for soldiers and Vizirs gave too much power to one “branch” of government.
Ottoman Map: http://www.crystalinks.com/ottomanempire.html