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conscripted youths from conquered regions who were trained as Ottoman infantry divisions; became an important political influence after the 15th century.


head of the Ottoman bureaucracy; after the 15th century often more powerful than the sultan.


an important battle between the Safavids and Ottomans in 1514; Ottoman victory demonstrated the importance of firearms and checked the western advance of their Shi'a state.

Abbas I, the Great

Safavid shah (1587-1629); extended the empire to its greatest extent; used Western military technology.


Shi'a religious leaders who traced their descent to Ali's successors.


religious leaders under the Safavids; worked to convert all subjects to Shi'ism.


son and successor of Humayn; built up the military and administrative structure of the dynasty; followed policies of cooperation and toleration with the Hindu majority.


religion initiated by Akbar that blended elements of Islam and Hinduism; did not survive his death.


ritual burning of high-caste Hindu women on their husband's funeral pyres.

Taj Mahal

mausoleum for Mumtaz Mahal, built by her husband Shah Jahan; most famous architectural achievement of Mughal India.

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