About conscription of Acemi Oglani of Bosnia in 1565

  • Aladin Husić, prof.dr.
Keywords: Bosna, regrutacija, kadiluk Novi Pazar, Jeleč, Ras, devširma, adžemi oglani

Abstract

Conscription of youth from Bosnia into janissary corps had in earlier works been presented only in the context of regulations related to the issue. Most frequently, those were various laws, orders (hukm) sent to provincial or local authorities, discussing generally the regulations or measures that had to be taken during the very conscription. Due to lack of sources, historic literature could not deal with specific examples of conscription in the field. Thanks to the preserved documents that cover the question of conscription, we are able to show the results of one such action in Bosnia dating as far back as mid-16th century, viewed from a new and practical perspective.

The documents refer to conscription conducted in 1565, partly in Bosnia and mainly in the area of the kadiluk of Novi Pazar, i.e. its eleven nahiyes that the kadiluk included at the time of enlisting. 72 young men were recruited, out of which twelve came from inner parts of sanjak while 60 were from the kadiluk of Novi Pazar, the end south-east part of Bosnian sanjak. Conscription encom passed ten villages inside Bosnia and forty-nine villages from the kadiluk of Novi Pazar.

Majority of the villages belonged to the nahiyes of Ras (28) and Jeleč (17). Also, most of recruited men originated from Muslim families and only 16 were from non-Muslim families, which makes only slightly above one fifth of the recruited. Although, unfortunately, there is no clear record of age for all recruited men, there are 29 documented records by which it can be concluded that their age was above 16. If we look at the lower and upper limits, we can see that the age ranged between 13 and 20.

Published
2016-12-31
Section
Articles