The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall

A Conquest that Changed an Empire: The Ottoman Military in Syria (Seminar in Ottoman and Turkish Studies)

Start Date and Time:

Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 4:00PM

End Date and Time:

Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 6:00PM


Linda Darling (Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg - Üniversität Bonn And University Of Arizona)

When Selim I conquered Syria in 1516, he changed the Ottoman Empire in more ways than simply adding territory. This lecture discusses the effect of the conquest of Syria on two fundamental Ottoman military institutions—the timar cavalry system and the Janissary infantry corps—and demonstrates the use of government documents to critique the representation of these changes in the political literature of the time as illegitimate. These shifts are usually attributed to the military and price revolutions of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However well before these developments, circumstances resulting from the Ottoman presence in the Arab lands caused both military forces to intensify the recruitment of outsiders. The resulting alterations in both military systems were not confined to Syria, but spread throughout the empire and made the Ottoman Empire another kind of state, not just larger but institutionally and ideologically different.


  • Department of History
  • Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations
  • Centre for European Russian and Eurasian Studies

Contact Information

Victor Ostapchuk

Near and Middle Eastern Civilization


Room 2098, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St George St, Toronto, ON M5S 3G3 view full map




Faculty, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students

Battle of Marj Dabiq, Syria, 24 August 1516