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MILLET

MILLET , name for the religious communal organization of non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire. The Koran uses milla for religion or rite, e.g., religion of the Jews and Christians (2:114), and the religion of Abraham (2:124; 3:89). It is assumed that a Jewish communal organization was already in existence for some time in the areas occupied by the Ottoman Turks in the 14th and early 15th centuries. Even before the capture of Constantinople in 1453 the Ottoman conquerors of the Balkans had granted the Christian population religious, juridical, and administrative autonomy. Mehmed ii the Conqueror (1451–81) organized all non-Muslim communities and recognized their religious leaders as heads of the respective millets. Each head had jurisdiction over and responsibility for the members of his millet, and even in matters of taxation, the apportionment of the whole amount was left to him. R. Moses *Capsali was the first to be appointed (1461?) head of the Jews in Constantinople (see also *ḥakham bashi). The powers of the second head, R. Elijah b. Abraham Mizraḥi (1485?–1526), were in fact restricted to religious matters of the Jews in Constantinople. Mizraḥi clearly had nothing to do with the collection of taxes and the representation of the Jews with the various authorities. That the collection of taxes was not the concern of the official representatives of the millet is confirmed by many sources. In fact, the opposite is true: the various tax collectors, toll farmers, cashiers, and bankers of the pashas, in so far as they were non-Muslims, were the natural spokesmen of their communities by virtue of their functions and influence at court. In his time *Kakhya Shealtiel was the official spokesman who represented the Jews of the city – especially in the matter of tax collection – before the authorities. Mizraḥi's judgment in the case of Kakhya Shealtiel repeatedly mentions the representatives of the congregations in Constantinople. The representative's title of memunneh (lit. "appointee") is one of the titles designating the persons elected by the congregation to manage its affairs; other titles are parnas, barur, kaẓin, and the ancient collective designation, tovei ha-ir. The powers, number, manner of election, and period of tenure of these functionaries varied greatly. Their main task was the collection of communal taxes (especially the gabella), which were used to maintain the children of the needy at school and to finance charitable purposes. The mode of imposition and amount of the taxes were also different; as a rule, the consent of the whole congregation or at least of the taxpayers was required. The congregations of expellees and immigrants from Europe usually retained the practices they had followed in their countries of origin. The veteran residents likewise maintained their ancestral tradition according to which public affairs were looked after by the elders, who were the heads of prominent and influential families.

In connection with the reforms in the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, the structure of the millet organization underwent many changes. The regulations of the Greek community (Rum milleti) were finally drafted and approved in 1862 and those of the Armenian community (Ermeni milleti) in 1863. The submission of proposals for the reorganization of the Jewish community (Yahudi milleti), as required by the Khaṭṭi humayun (imperial decree) of 1856, was delayed due to internal dissension. The "Organizational Regulations of the Rabbinate" (ḥakham Khane niẓamnamesi) was approved finally in 1865 (see *community and *ḥakham bashi). The tenor of the regulations reveals a desire to limit the powers of the ḥakham bashi, and they remained in force so long as the Ottoman Empire existed; only under the republic did they lapse de facto – without being officially replaced.

bibliography:

R. Gibb and H. Bowen, Islamic Society and the West, 1 pt. 2 (1957), index and 219–26; G. Young, Corps de Droit Ottoman, 2 (1905), 148–55; A. Galanté, Documents Officiels turcs concernant les Juifs de Turquie (1931), 10–27; H.Z. Hirschberg, in: A.J. Arberry (ed.), Religion in the Middle East, 1 (1969), 185f., 200–2; B. Lewis, Emergence of Modern Turkey (1961), 329–30. add. bibliography: B. Braude and B. Lewis (eds.), Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire, 1–2 (1982), esp. vol. 1, 69–88; eis2, 7 (1993), 61–4 (includes bibliography).

[Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg]

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milletmallet, palette, pallet, valet •tablet • pamphlet • aglet • anklet •candlelit • hamlet •Caplet, chaplet •lamplit • flatlet • mantlet •haslet, Hazlitt •scarlet, Scarlett, starlet, starlit, varlet •armlet • lancelet • branchlet •martlet, tartlet •plantlet • pellet • reglet • necklet •playlet • lakelet • bracelet •platelet, statelet •wavelet • leaflet • eaglet • streamlet •billet, filet, fillet, millet, skillet, willet •driblet, triblet •piglet • singlet • gimlet • inlet •kinglet, ringlet, springlet, winglet •ripplet, triplet •wristlet •eyelet, islet, stylet, twilit •pikelet •collet, Smollett, wallet •goblet • rodlet •omelette (US omelet) • droplet •torchlit •corselet, corselette •gauntlet (US gantlet) • owlet •townlet • toadlet • notelet • toilet •moonlit • sextuplet • fruitlet •bullet, pullet •booklet, brooklet, hooklet •quadruplet • annulet • septuplet •rivulet • quintuplet •gullet, mullet •doublet • floodlit •runlet, sunlit •couplet • cutlet • frontlet • violet •coverlet • circlet • verselet

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MILLET

MILLET , the Panicum miliaceum, a summer plant of the Gramineae family, whose small seeds are utilized as fodder or are sometimes ground to produce a poor quality flour. It is regarded by some as identical with doḥan, one of the ingredients of the flour mixture that Ezekiel was commanded to eat for 390 days (Ezek. 4:9). The probability is, however, that doḥan is *sorghum. Doḥan is mentioned a number of times in rabbinic literature together with orez ("rice"), peragim, and shumshemin ("sesame"; Shev. 2:7), as summer plants from which occasionally bread is made (Ḥal. 1:4). Peragim cannot therefore be poppy as is stated in the Arukh of Nathan b. Jehiel (and as the word is used in modern Hebrew), since the poppy is a winter plant and is used only as a spice. From Syrian Aramaic it would seem that peragim is to be identified with millet, an identification compatible with the talmudic sources.

bibliography:

Loew, Flora, 1 (1928), 738–40; H.N. and A.L. Moldenke, Plants of the Bible (1952), index; J. Feliks, Olam ha-Ẓome'aḥ ha-Mikra'i (19682), 154f. add. bibliography: Feliks, Ha-Ẓome'aḥ, 46.

[Jehuda Feliks]

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millet Cereal of a number of species of Gramineae smaller than wheat and rice and high in fibre content. Common millet (Panicum and Selaria spp.) also known as China, Italian, Indian, French hog, proso, panicled, and broom corn millet grows very rapidly, 2–2½ months from sowing to harvest. Protein 10%, fat 2.5%, carbohydrate 73%.

Red, finger, South Indian millet, coracan, or ragi is Eleusine coracana. Protein 6%, fat 1.5%, carbohydrate 75%.

Bulrush millet, pearl millet, bajoa, or Kaffir manna corn is Pennisetum typhoideum or P. americanum; the staple food in poor parts of India. Protein 11%, fat 5%, carbohydrate 69%.

Other species are foxtail millet (Setaria italica); hungry rice (Digitaria exilis), jajeo millet (Acroceras amplectens), Kodo or haraka millet (Paspalum scrobiculatum), teff (Eragrostis tefor, E. abyssinica). See also sorghum.

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millet Cereal grass that produces small, edible seeds. The stalks have flower spikes and the hulled seeds are white. In Russia, w Africa, and Asia, it is a staple food. In w Europe, it is used mainly for pasture or hay. Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) grows in poor soils, and is used as food in India and Africa. Height: 1m (39in). Family Poaceae/Gramineae.

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mil·let / ˈmilit/ • n. a fast-growing cereal plant that is widely grown in warm countries and regions with poor soils. The numerous small seeds are used to make flour or alcoholic drinks. • Several species in the family Gramineae, in particular common millet (Panicum miliaceum), of temperate regions, the tropical finger millet (Eleusine caracana), which is a staple in parts of Africa and India, and pearl millet.

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MILLET

Turkish word designating non-Muslim religious communities in the Ottoman Empire, officially recognized as having their own hierarchies and legal codes.

SEE ALSO Ottomans.

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Millet (non-Muslims): see DHIMMA.

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millet XIV. — (O)F. millet, dim. of (dial.) mil :- L. milium, rel. to Gr. melĺ̄nē, Lith. málnos pl.

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millet See PANICUM.

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