(707 words)

a name given to men composing various companies of palace guards under the Ottoman régime down to the beginning of the nineteenth century. The term was used alternatively with the equivalent Persian tabardār , both words meaning, literally ‘axe-man’, and hence ‘woodcutter’, ‘pioneer’, ‘halberdier’.

It would appear that originally the balṭad̲j̲i̊s , whose corps was recruited from the ʿAd̲j̲emī Og̲h̲lans [q.v.], were employed in connexion with the army in the felling of trees, the levelling of roads, and the filling of swamps, but that even before the con…

Cite this page
Bowen, H., “Balṭad̲j̲i̊”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 18 October 2018 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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