Janissary clothing from the 17th-18th centuries. The Janissaries were elite infantry units that formed the Ottoman Sultan's household troops & bodyguards. Sultan Murad I created the force in 1383. The number of Janissaries grew from 20,000 in 1575, to 49,000 (1591), dropped to a low of 17,000 (1648), then rebounded to 135,000 in 1826. They began as an elite corps of slaves recruited from young Christian boys who were orphans.
Ottoman miniature about the Szigetvár campaign showing Ottoman troops and Tatars as avantgarde.
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