A Spahi of the Asiatic provinces. Member of the Ottoman irregular cavalry.

Spahi, Ottoman, Empire, Cavalry, costume,
A SPAHI. Member of the Ottoman irregular cavalry.

A Spahi. Member of the Ottoman irregular cavalry.

Historical Ottoman Empire officials and ethnic groups.

THE Turkish cavalry consists, for the most part, of Spahis, though there are other corps of horse-soldiers. The establishment of the Spahis is the most ancient in Turkey. They formerly were reckoned the principal strength of the Ottoman empire. They were then almost always in the field, and accustomed to discipline and fatigue. They are now very different.

The Spahis are much more scattered over the different provinces than the Janissaries; and are almost all married and settled. They exercise different professions, and often apply themselves to the culture of land. They receive a daily pay, have their different officers, and are obliged to assemble, properly armed and equipped, on the first summons, under the colours of their districts. This drawing was made from a Spahi, belonging to one of the Asiatic provinces.

Source: The costume of Turkey. Illustrated by a series of engravings; with descriptions in english. By Octavian Dalvimart. Printed by Howlett and Brimmer. Published in London, 1802.

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