Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Corey Tazzara

Reader 2

Heather Ferguson

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.


The Janissaries of the Ottoman Empire were a group of Christian slave soldiers. They had political and social control in the imperial court and were also formidable soldiers who were successful in battle due to their highly organized structure. They were subjects of many travel journals, memoirs, accounts, and works of art that originated both inside and outside the Ottoman Empire. This thesis argues that in accounts originating from both inside and outside the Ottoman Empire, Janissaries are described as ruthless and powerful. Further examinations reveal that these accounts, despite their frequent negative connotations, are rooted in admiration and envy of Janissaries’ political power and success rate as a dominant military unit. By looking at a variety of sources, a deeper understanding of Janissaries and their place in the Ottoman Empire is revealed.