Slaves who have been especially reared for battle. Despite their humble beginnings, many rise to rule empires. Also known as janissaries, mamluks also operated the civil service of many governments. With no hereditary ties, advancement dependent on ability, not birth-station, and the lowliest warrior could rise to the position of army commander of vizier on his own merit. </p><p> Although this slavery may seem cruel to western eyes, it did tend to produce the best individuals for the military, civil service, and often the head of government - the main support of civilization.