Presentation by project researcher Anđelko Vlašić at the INOCTE Congress in Sarajevo

Anđelko Vlašić (PhD), researcher on the project of the Croatian Science Foundation “From Virgin Forests to Ploughlands: History of Anthropization of Forests in Slavonia from the Middle Ages to the Beginning of the 20th Century”, participated at the INOCTE 2016: International New Tendencies Congress in Ottoman Researches, which was held October 7-9, 2016, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Vlašić held a presentation entitled “The role of forests in the spread of revolts and banditry in Ottoman Slavonia in the 16th and 17th centuries”.

Official page of the Symposium:

Congress program: inocte2016-program

Summary of the presentation by Anđelko Vlašić:

The state of forests of the Ottoman Empire during the 16th and 17th centuries and their socioeconomic and cultural importance is still a sparsely researched topic. It is difficult to research the state of forests because the majority of Ottoman sources are silent when it comes to forests in the mentioned period. This presentation will focus on Ottoman Slavonia, i.e. the three Ottoman sancaks: Sancak of Srijem (Sirem), Sancak of Požega (Pojega), and Sancak of Pakrac (Pakraç, Bakriç, Zaçasna, or Cernik). The aim of the paper is to describe the importance of forests for the local population of Slavonia, which used forests for hiding in the time of frequent wars in the proximity of the Habsburg-Ottoman border. In peacetime, Slavonian forests were a good place to hide if you were a hayduk or a bandit resisting the Ottoman rule. Dense Slavonian forests were often impassable and uncontrollable territories, and this is why a more than average number of pass keepers and bridge keepers populated the territory of Slavonia and had a duty to drive away hayduks and bandits who used to reside in forests. The paper is based on published and unpublished Ottoman tax registers for the three mentioned sancaks and on the bibliography on the situation on the Ottoman-Habsburg frontier in the 16th and 17th centuries.