No wise general would ever disregard the fighting power of this light cavalry unit. These men have been given a fief by the sultan, a timar, which entitles them to the tax revenues of a province, which they will use to buy equipment and also field similarly equipped retainers. These men are usually Turks, but many a time they were former Pronoia-holders whose pronoias were simply converted into timars. There was no general pressure for these men to convert and so many of them remained christian for as long as a century. They seem to be lacking in equipment but this is a treacherous impression. Most of these warriors wear leather cuirasses under their colourful dress, which they adopted from Balkanic warriors, such as their light curved shields. Yet their most outstanding quality which they share with the janissaries is their very high morale, which causes them to charge again and again. This unit will only retreat if the battle is already lost. They formed the core of the Ottoman army, and at their strongest numbered some 90 000 men across the Empire.