Reflections of the çift-hane system in medieval Bosnia and Serbia
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The main argument of this thesis is to examine the historical continuity of the çift-hane, the one family peasant farm unit that Professor Halil İnalcık has discovered to be the most basic unit of the rural Ottoman Ottoman social and economic structure. After a review of inalcik's definitions and theory, this thesis will then attempt to investigate the historical predecessors of this system in two Balkan nations within the empire, Serbia /' and Bosnia. As a starting point the influential work of Giro Truhelka will be considered, who writing early this century created several enduring myths about the agrarian economic structure in these two lands. Later in the Serbian case, by utilizing several important recent studies performed by Georgije Ostrogorski and Dusanka Bojanic, we come to the conclusion that there was in fact a çift-hane like regime in place before the conquest, namely during the rule of the Serbian emperor Stefan Dusan. It came as the result of central rule and the colonizing influence of Byzantium. However, in Bosnia no similar predecessor is found. Being outside of the empire of Stefan Dusan, Bosnia never was put under strong central rule, nor was it greatly influenced by Byzantium. Only under the Ottomans was a çift-hane like system imposed. The fact that it was accomplished does point to a functional continuity continued in this case however. The çift-hane remained a method of rural colonization.