was another name given to the Timarli Sipahi
Sipahi was the name of several Ottoman cavalry corps...
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...
that served the Ottoman
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...
and in return was granted a fief called a timar
Timar is a land granted by the Ottoman sultans between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, with a tax revenue annual value of less than 20 000 akçes. The revenues produced from land acted as compensation for military service. A Timar holder was known as a Timariot...
. The timariots had to assemble with the army when at war, and had to take care of the land entrusted to him in times of peace. When at war, the timariot had to bring his own equipment and in addition a number of armed retainers (cebelu
). Food was supplied during campaign.
In this way, the Ottomans could quickly muster a large army. When the war was over the warriors returned to their lands, and in that way the sultan did not have to support them when he didn't need them. In addition, the sultan's lands were taken care of. Local peasants were subjects to the timariot. Law and order was kept, taxes were collected and bandits were brought to justice.
The system of timars was organized during the reign of Orhan I
Orhan I or Orhan Bey was the second bey of the nascent Ottoman Empire from 1326 to 1359...
(1326–1359). The Sultan granted officers fiefs with local peasants subjected to their rule in an arrangement similar to European feudal fiefs. They were an important part of the Ottoman army, especially for being so easily supportable, and kept that status until the early 17th century. The titles and lands of the timar holders remained in use much longer than that.
When on campaign, the timariots were organized into regiments called alay
s that were commanded by alay bey
Bey is a title for chieftain, traditionally applied to the leaders of small tribal groups. Accoding to some sources, the word "Bey" is of Turkish language In historical accounts, many Turkish, other Turkic and Persian leaders are titled Bey, Beg, Bek, Bay, Baig or Beigh. They are all the same word...
s (or beg
). Larger units were the sanjak
Sanjaks were administrative divisions of the Ottoman Empire. Sanjak, and the variant spellings sandjak, sanjaq, and sinjaq, are English transliterations of the Turkish word sancak, meaning district, banner, or flag...
) regiments or liva
s (standard, banner), commanded by sanjak bey
s. At the top were the province governors, the beylerbey
s. A province in the 16th century could muster some thousand timariots, according to the size of the province. In 1525 the total number of timar holders were 37,818 men, according to the tax rolls. The number of armed retainers was estimated to 50,000 men. Of course, these great numbers were spread out all over the empire, and could not possibly serve in one campaign at a time.