• “and he prepared his elite professional household regiments: the infantry – the famous Janissaries – the cavalry regiments, and all the other attendant corps of gunners, armorers, bodyguards, and military police. These crack troops, paid regularly every three months and armed at the sultan’s expense, were all Christians largely from the Balkans, taken as children and converted to Islam. They owed their total loyalty to the sultan. Although few in number – probably no more than 5,000 infantry – they comprised the durable core of the Ottoman army.”

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