Cash loans to Ottoman timariots during military campaigns (sixteenth-seventeenth centuries) : a vulnerable fiscal system?
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient
Brill Academic Publishers
590 - 617
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Scholarship has argued that the Ottoman timar system was an efficient way to provide military forces in a non-monetized economy. As the state granted its sources of revenue to timariots in return for military service, it was financially relieved of the need to pay the expenses of the cavalry. Several documents so far neglected by scholars and evidencing the practice of cash loans to timariots during military campaigns prove otherwise. This paper analyzes the process of the generation of timariots' disposable income in the framework of actor-network theory. It is argued that the granting of loans demonstrated an attempt to regulate the cash flow of the timariot's income during campaigns, which was necessitated by problems of transforming tax revenues into disposable form. In the light of documents evidencing cash loans, it is further argued that cash loans reflect the vulnerability of the Ottoman timar system.