Sultanates and Gunpowder Empires

Ira M. Lapidus

in The Oxford History of Islam

Published in print December 1999 | ISBN: 9780195107999
Published online November 2007 |
 						 Sultanates and Gunpowder Empires

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This chapter explores the development of Middle Eastern and Islamic societies in the era of gunpowder. The term gunpowder empires imputes a great importance to the innovative military technology of infantry armed with muskets, operating in conjunction with siege and battlefield artillery, that allowed the new empires to sweep away their rivals and to establish a dominion that would last until the eve of the modern era. The Ottoman and Safavid empires were the umbrellas, the holding companies, for complex societies. They represented novel military tactics, the consolidation of political institutions, and the restoration of imperial political controls over vast territories after centuries of near anarchy. They also fostered important economic and urbanistic developments, new forms of religious organization, and a fresh phase in the history of Middle Eastern and Islamic cultures.

Keywords: Middle East; gunpowder; Islamic societies; sultanates; Ottoman empire; Safavid empire

Chapter.  17797 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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