Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936)

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(258 words)

, an Arabic word meaning originally archer, then arquebusier, finally, like the French archer, came to mean military police. The form ḳawwāṣ (with ṣād) is found in the 1001 Nights (Dozy, Suppl.). The word is applied in the Levant specially to the military police, called in French cawas or sometimes janissaires (because before the abolition of the latter, they were chosen from their ranks), detached to act as guards to embassies and consulates. They go in front of the head of the embassy or consulate when he goes into the town, whether officiall…

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Huart, Cl., “Ḳawwās”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann. Consulted online on 28 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-871X_ei1_SIM_4023>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004082656, 1913-1936

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