The seventeenth-century Ottoman-Habsburg frontier was the scene of chronic conflict. The defences of both empires were based on a line of fortresses, spanning the border. Mark Stein gives us a fascinating insight into everyday life on the frontier in this turbulent time in Ottoman history, by investigating the social, economic, and military aspects of Ottoman forts and garrisons in a new comparative approach. Drawing on a wide range of Ottoman and Western archival and narrative sources, "Guarding the Frontier" assesses the state of early-modern Ottoman military architecture and siegecraft; and, carefully dissects the Ottomans' ability to besiege, defend, build, and repair fortifications in the seventeenth century, as well as the relationship between the central and provisional administrations. This thorough overview includes an assessment of the empire's ability to marshal the manpower and supply requirements for lengthy sieges; a survey of Ottoman artillery; and the procedures involved in building and maintaining frontier forts.
Studying an extensive database compiled from seventeenth-century garrison payroll records, Stein paints a fascinating description of the various types of troops who served on the Ottoman-Habsburg frontier: slave and levied soldiers, cavalry and infantry, Muslims and Christians, charged with defending the Ottoman Empire at this fascinating point in History.