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Rethinking the Ottoman "Decline": Military Technology Diffusion in the Ottoman Empire, Fifteenth to Eighteenth Centuries

From: Journal of World History
Volume 10, Number 1, Spring 1999
pp. 179-201 | 10.1353/jwh.2005.0012


In the context of military technological developments in eastern Europe, the notion of an Ottoman decline needs to be called into question. In this essay Keith Krause's model for the spread of military technology as a diffusion wave that settles into a three-tiered hierarchy of military producers is used to measure the Ottomans' capabilities in manufacturing their own weaponry and naval systems. When placed on this scale, the Ottomans started out as a third-tier producer in the fifteenth century and remained so throughout the period. Thus, the Ottomans did not decline on the military industrial scale.

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