Ottoman Empire Social Hierarchy

The Ottoman state was founded by the first Osman and was a Turkish principalities generated by the expansion of the Seljuks and also of the Turkish immigrants. In the Ottoman Empire, like any other empire or dynasty there was a social hierarchy followed among the people.  This empire mainly consisted of 4 major social classes which were the men of the pen, men of the sword, men of the negotiation and the men of the husbandry. There was a division in power among these Ottoman Empire social classes.

In the Ottoman Empire, one’s place in the social hierarchy was determined on the basis of his/her skills. Which means that those with maximum merit were placed over others with less skills or merit. To know more about the social hierarchy during the Ottoman Empire days, you can read the following given information:

Men of the Pen

This was that social class of the Ottoman Empire which included of highly educated people like scientists, lawyers, judges and doctors.  This class has more power, were wealthier and had better paying jobs as compared to the other classes. Also they were more respected among the society and often owned their own land.

  • Scientists
  • Lawyers
  • Judges
  • Doctors

Men of the sword

As the name suggests, this class consisted of those people who were good with the warfare equipments and mainly had military training and skills. Men of the sword protected the country against enemies and worked on other jobs while the war front was silent.

Men of the negotiation

Men of negotiation was that social class hierarchy of the Ottoman empire which came on the third level and consisted of those people who were merchants, artisans and tax collectors.  Men of negotiation were respected but didn’t make a lot of money as they didn’t possess any major skills.

Men of husbandry

This social class among the Ottoman Empire days came at the bottom of the pyramid as in terms of skills, men of husbandry possessed the least of skills. This class mainly consisted of farmers and herders who owned their land and produced food for the rest of the empire and for themselves.

Besides these four classes, slaves too formed part of the Ottoman Empire and were raised to become government officials.  Some others were bought, captured or born into slavery.  The slaves were usually given jobs on the basis of their interests and abilities.