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7 - Night Battles

from Part II - Dark Politics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 July 2021

Avner Wishnitzer
Affiliation:
Tel-Aviv University
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Summary

This chapter shows how the loosely regulated night of the eighteenth century, that had accommodated orthodox and antinomian ritual, order, and its transgression, gradually turned into a battleground between the palace elite and the janissaries, the unofficial rulers of the night. When at conflict with the palace, the janissaries used the night not only for licentious pleasures and business, but also for conspiracy and sabotage, as a crucial facet in their “protocols of rebellion.” Once activated, the janissaries’ networks would organize quickly under the cover of darkness and march out of the shadows to confront the sultan in broad daylight. Ottoman sultans, on their part, occasionally tried to dislodge these networks, significantly in this context, by eradicating the nightlife scene which they considered the breeding ground of janissary revolts. These efforts, however, were thwarted by the dependency of the authorities on, and the ambivalence toward these very networks and activities. The drama is narrated below in three acts of major upheavals: the 1730 rebellion, the nizam-i cedid reforms and the 1807 uprising that undid them, and the destruction of the janissaries in 1826, which opened the way to significant changes in Ottoman nocturnal realities.

Type
Chapter
Information
As Night Falls
Eighteenth-Century Ottoman Cities after Dark
, pp. 207 - 239
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Night Battles
  • Avner Wishnitzer, Tel-Aviv University
  • Book: As Night Falls
  • Online publication: 27 July 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108933131.011
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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Night Battles
  • Avner Wishnitzer, Tel-Aviv University
  • Book: As Night Falls
  • Online publication: 27 July 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108933131.011
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Night Battles
  • Avner Wishnitzer, Tel-Aviv University
  • Book: As Night Falls
  • Online publication: 27 July 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108933131.011
Available formats
×