One Reply to “Episode 14 – Lands of the Emperor”

  1. A great episode Alex! It was so full of useful information, I listened multiple times. I did, however, feel you may have characterized the Ottoman treatment of their Christian subjects in an excessively positive light. About 30 minutes in, at the point where you are contrasting the Habsburg with the Ottoman empire, and elaborating differences with respect to religion (e.g. treatment of non-dominant religionists), you say:
    “while non-Muslims under the sultan’s rule were clearly marked out as second-class citizens, they weren’t really persecuted. Until well into the 19th century, the Porte was largely content to leave its Christian and Jewish subjects to their own devices so long as they paid their taxes and didn’t cause trouble.” This omits any reference to the longstanding Ottoman administrative practice of forcibly taking male children from Christian families, primarily in the Balkans, and using them primarily for military service (aka the *devshirme*); this persisted, I gather, from the mid-1300s through the late 1600s. I’m sure you’ll agree that taking and enslaving the children of Christian subjects qualifies as persecution.
    Many thanks for your excellent podcasts. I enjoy them very much.

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