/spah"hee/, n., pl. spahis.
1. one of a body of native Algerian cavalry in the French service.
2. (formerly) a cavalryman in the Turkish army.
Also, spahee.
[1555-65; < MF < Turk sipahi < Pers sipahi. Cf. SEPOY]

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▪ Ottoman cavalry
      feudal cavalryman of the Ottoman Empire whose status resembled that of the medieval European knight. The spahi (from Persian for “cavalryman”) was holder of a fief ( timar; Turkish: tımar) granted directly by the Ottoman sultan and was entitled to all of the income from it in return for military service. The peasants on the land were subsequently attached to the land and became serfs. The spahis provided the bulk of the Ottoman army until about the mid-16th century. From then on they were gradually supplanted by the Janissaries (Janissary), an elite corps composed of infantrymen paid regular salaries by the sultanate. In part, this change resulted from the increased use of firearms, which made cavalry less important, and from the need to maintain a regular standing army. The spahis were completely discredited during the War of Greek independence (1821–32), and the timar system was officially abolished in 1831 by Sultan Mahmud II as part of his program to create a modern Western-style army.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • spahi — spahi …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • SPAHI — À l’origine, titulaire d’un bénéfice en Asie centrale, qui accomplissait le service militaire personnel (en persan, sipari signifie guerrier). Dans l’Empire ottoman, le sipahi est un cavalier qui reçoit l’usage d’une terre en Anatolie ou en… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Spahi — Spa hi, Spahee Spa hee, n. [Per., Turk., & Hind. sip[=a]h[=i]: cf. F. spahi. See {Seroy}.] 1. Formerly, one of the Turkish cavalry. [1913 Webster] 2. An Algerian cavalryman in the French army. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Spahi — (türk., pers. Sipahi, »Krieger, Heer«), in Mittelasien der dem Fürsten zur Stellung von Soldaten verpflichtete Adel, welche Bezeichnung später auf die Soldaten selbst überging, woraus die englischen Sepoys (s. d.) entstanden. S. hießen in der… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • SPAHI — robur sunt totius Equitatus Turcici, sicut Ianizari peditatus. Velut Nobilium in Imperio ordinem implent, et certa quisque praedia, veluti feuda militaria, possident, Timar dicta, cum onere sequendi Magnum Vezirium, quoties in exercitu versatur.… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • spahi — or spahee [spä′hē΄] n. [Fr < Turk sipahi < Pers: see SEPOY] 1. a member of a corps of Turkish professional cavalry 2. a member of a corps of native Algerian cavalry in the French armed forces …   English World dictionary

  • Spahi — Spahis were light cavalry regiments of the French army recruited primarily from the indigenous populations of Algeria, Tunisia and Morroco.EtymologyThe name is the French form of sipahi , a word originally derived from Middle Persian term Spah… …   Wikipedia

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  • Spahi — Sipahi (Persisch سپاهی, Sepâhi, Soldat, Reiterei, in Indien Sepoy) hießen im Osmanischen Reich die von den Inhabern der türkischen Kriegerlehen, den Timaren und Zaims, zu stellenden Reiter. Für ihre Ländereien hatten die rotbemantelten[1] Sipahi… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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