The series features Yashim, an eunuch detective, who is resourceful and learned in both the Ottoman culture and that of the West, enjoys the trust of the Sultan and high officials, and prefers to live in a rather bohemian lodging outside the palace complex. The novel deals with the fictional aftermath of the Auspicious Eventthe disbanding and mass killing of the Janissaries, once elite troops of the Ottoman Empire. Ten years later, the new Westernized corps which replaced the Janissaries are to perform a military exercise. Ten days before the event, four officers disappear; subsequently, one officer is found dead.
Origins[ edit ] The formation of the Janissaries has been dated to the reign of Murad I r. The Ottomans instituted a tax of one-fifth on all slaves taken in war, and it was from this pool of manpower that the sultans first constructed the Janissary corps as a personal army loyal only to the sultan.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica"in early days, all Christians were enrolled indiscriminately. Later, those from AlbaniaBosniaand Bulgaria were preferred.
The brightest of the Janissaries were sent to the palace institution, Enderun. Through a system of meritocracythe Janissaries held enormous power, stopping all efforts at reform of the military.
These boys usually between the ages of 6 and 14 were then taken from their parents and given to Turkish families in the provinces to learn Turkish language and customs, and the rules of Islam. The recruits were indoctrinated into Islam, forced into circumcision and supervised 24 hours a day by eunuchs.
They were subjected to severe discipline, being prohibited from growing a beard, taking up a skill other than soldiering, and marrying. As a result, the Janissaries were extremely well-disciplined troops, and became members of the askeri class, the first-class citizens or military class.
Most were non-Muslims, because it was not permissible to enslave a Muslim. They were initially created as a counterbalance to the tribal, ethnic and favoured interests the Qizilbash gave, which make a system Janissaries and chinese eunuchs.
According to paintings of the era, they were also permitted to grow beards.
Consequently, the formerly strict rules of succession became open to interpretation. While they advanced their own power, the Janissaries also helped to keep the system from changing in other progressive ways, and according to some scholars the corps shared responsibility for the political stagnation of Istanbul.
Conscripts could one day become Janissary colonels, statesmen who might one day return to their home region as governors, or even Grand Viziers or Beylerbeys governor generals.
They wore unique uniformswere paid regular salaries including bonuses for their service,  marched to music the mehterlived in barracks and were the first corps to make extensive use of firearms.
By tradition, the Sultan himself, after authorizing the payments to the Janissaries, visited the barracks dressed as a janissary trooper, and received his pay alongside the other men of the First Division.
They were part of a well-organized military machine, in which one support corps prepared the roads while others pitched tents and baked the bread. Their weapons and ammunition were transported and re-supplied by the cebeci corps.
They campaigned with their own medical teams of Muslim and Jewish surgeons and their sick and wounded were evacuated to dedicated mobile hospitals set up behind the lines. Although eventually the concept of a modern army incorporated and surpassed most of the distinctions of the janissaries and the corps was eventually dissolved, the image of the janissary has remained as one of the symbols of the Ottomans in the western psyche.
By the midth century they had taken up many trades and gained the right to marry and enroll their children in the corps and very few continued to live in the barracks. Retired or discharged janissaries received pensions, and their children were also looked after. This reflected not only the Ottomans' greater need for manpower, but also the shorter training time necessary to produce skilled musketeers in comparison with archers.
Membership was opened up to free-born Muslims, both recruits hand-picked by the commander of the Janissaries, as well as the sons of current members of the Ottoman standing army.
Please help this article by looking for better, more reliable sources. Unreliable citations may be challenged or deleted. There, young cadets would be selected for their talents in different areas to train as engineers, artisans, riflemen, clerics, archers, artillery, and so forth.
Unlike other Muslims, they were expressly forbidden to wear beards, only a moustache. These rules were obeyed by Janissaries, at least until the 18th century when they also began to engage in other crafts and trades, breaking another of the original rules.
In the late 16th century a sultan gave in to the pressures of the Janissary Corps and permitted Janissary children to become members of the Corps, a practice strictly forbidden for years. Consequently, succession rules, formerly strict, became open to interpretation. They gained their own power but kept the system from changing in other progressive ways.
Janissaries were taught to consider the corps their home and family, and the Sultan as their father. Only those who proved strong enough earned the rank of true Janissary at the age of 24 or The Ocak inherited the property of dead Janissaries, thus acquiring wealth.Mar 04, · These chief eunuchs, and especially the chief black eunuchs, were among the sacrificial executions the Janissaries required for their obedience.
The Janissary Tree and its sequels are crime novels set in Istanbul in the s, written by Jason Goodwin featuring Yashim, a eunuch detective. Gang Bing: patron saint of eunuchs in China who castrated himself to demonstrate his loyalty to the Yongle Emperor; Yishiha.
The Janissary Tree: A Novel (Investigator Yashim) [Jason Goodwin] After he helped his prince usurp the throne to become the Chinese Emperor Yong Le, the trusted eunuch was appointed the leader of many major expeditions overseas. But, of course there were also many eunuchs who abused their position and misused their power, some even brought 4/5().
Eunuchs and Janissaries In the ancient world, both the east and the west, they had their special system. It depended on the culture of these countries and what they used to.
For example, in ancient Chinese, the court was full of maids, princess, concubines and the queen. The Janissary Tree is a historical mystery novel set in Istanbul in , written by Jason Goodwin. It is the first in the Yashim the Detective series, followed by The Snake Stone, The Bellini Card, An Evil Eye and The Baklava pfmlures.com: Jason Goodwin.
While eunuchs were employed in all Chinese dynasties, their number decreased significantly under the Qing, and the tasks they performed were largely replaced by the Imperial Household Department. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were about 2, eunuchs working in the Forbidden City.