MILLET


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)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MILLET — MILLE Céréale typique des pays du Tiers Monde à climat sec ou semi aride. Particulièrement cultivé en Afrique aux abords du 15e parallèle, le millet apparaît aussi dans l’Inde péninsulaire, en Extrême Orient, en ex U.R.S.S. La plante s’accommode… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • MILLET (J.-F.) — MILLET JEAN FRANÇOIS (1814 1875) La peinture de Millet, longtemps très populaire, a été appréciée en vertu de critères d’ordre social ou moral, mais rarement en tant qu’œuvre plastique: c’est ce qu’a justement entrepris la critique récente. Par… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Millet — puede referise a: Lugares geográficos Millet (Santa Lucía), localidad de Santa Lucía en el distrito de Anse la Raye. Personas Jean François Millet (1814 1875), pintor francés. Lluís Millet (1867 1941), compositor y director de coros español.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Millet — (französisch und englisch für „Hirse“) ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Aimé Millet (1819–1891), französischer Bildhauer Catherine Millet (* 1948), Expertin für Moderne Kunst und Chefredakteurin des Magazins Art Press Francis Davis Millet …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • millet — mil let (m[i^]l l[e^]t), n. [F., dim. of mil, L. milium; akin to Gr. meli nh, AS. mil.] (Bot.) The name of several cereal and forage grasses which bear an abundance of small roundish grains. The common millets of Germany and Southern Europe are… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • millet — (n.) cereal grain, c.1400, from M.Fr. millet, dim. of mil millet, from L. milium millet (see MALLET (Cf. mallet)). Cognate with Gk. meline, Lith. malnus (pl.) millet …   Etymology dictionary

  • millet — [mil′it] n. [ME milet < MFr, dim. of mil < L milium, millet < IE * melēi , var. of base * mel , to grind > MILL1, Gr melinē, millet] 1. a) a cereal grass (Panicum miliaceum) whose small grain is used for food in Europe and Asia b) the …   English World dictionary

  • millet — Millet, Milium milij. Qui vit de millet, Miliarius …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • 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 …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Millet — Millet, Johann Franz, genannt Francisque, geb. 1043 in Antwerpen, Landschafts , Porträt u. Historienmaler aus der Niederländischen Schule; ging nach Paris, wo er sich nach Poussin ausbildete u. gewann bei aller Einfarbigkeit einen hohen Styl der… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.