A set of elite soldiers of the Ottoman Empire. The Janizaries (in Ottoman
Turkish: yeniceri, meaning “new soldier”) originated in 1365. The
Janizaries units comprised Christian boys aged 1216 (Albanians, Serbs,
Bulgarians), who were converted to Islam. They were the slaves of the
Sultan and lived in barracks and at fi rst could not marry or engage in
any trade. The proper ty of dead Janizary passed into the regiment ownership.
Apart from the art of war Janizaries mastered calligraphy, law,
theology, literature and languages. Wounded or discharged Janizaries
received pensions. The Janizaries were known for their atrocity and fearlessness
in battles against Austrians, Serbs, Byzantines, Russians and
many other nations.