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Guarding the Frontier: Ottoman Border Forts and Garrisons in Europe

Guarding the Frontier: Ottoman Border Forts and Garrisons in Europe
Mark L. Stein

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The seventeenth-century Ottoman-Habsburg frontier was the scene of chronic conflict. The defences of both empires were based on a line of fortresses, spanning the border. Mark Stein gives us a fascinating insight into everyday life on the frontier in this turbulent time in Ottoman history, by investigating the social, economic, and military aspects of Ottoman forts and garrisons in a new comparative approach. Drawing on a wide range of Ottoman and Western archival and narrative sources, "Guarding the Frontier" assesses the state of early-modern Ottoman military architecture and siegecraft; and, carefully dissects the Ottomans' ability to besiege, defend, build, and repair fortifications in the seventeenth century, as well as the relationship between the central and provisional administrations. This thorough overview includes an assessment of the empire's ability to marshal the manpower and supply requirements for lengthy sieges; a survey of Ottoman artillery; and the procedures involved in building and maintaining frontier forts.

Studying an extensive database compiled from seventeenth-century garrison payroll records, Stein paints a fascinating description of the various types of troops who served on the Ottoman-Habsburg frontier: slave and levied soldiers, cavalry and infantry, Muslims and Christians, charged with defending the Ottoman Empire at this fascinating point in History.

Author Info

Mark L. Stein is Assistant Professor of History at Muhlenberg College, Pennsylvania.


' important contribution to scholarship on the early modern Ottoman-Habsburg frontiers; it is based on significant original research...After reading Stein's book, his audience will never again see Ottoman fortresses simply as enclaves on a map, tallied up in the win or loss column, but as centers of strategy and planning that involved both local arrangements and central government interventions. There is wealth of detail here on material varying from captive taking to raids as an economic activity to recruitment. There is also revealing information about the service and activities of religious officials in the garrisons. This work will appeal particularly to military historians and to those interested in Ottoman and European history on both sides of the frontier.' Professor Palmira Brummett, University of Tennessee

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: Library of Ottoman Studies

ISBN: 9781845113018
Publication Date: 26 Jan 2007
Number of Pages: 264
Height: 234
Width: 156
Illustrations: illustrations

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