By examining the fortunes of the 57 richest Muslims in Thessaloniki in the eighteenth century, this paper aims to contribute to the discussion on wealth accumulation in Ottoman lands. Basing our research on the probate inventories of the city, we attempt to delineate the profile of the rich in Thessaloniki. Our conclusions underline the role of credit and çiftlik exploitation in capital formation in the city. Furthermore, we suggest a distinct pattern regarding the existence or non-existence of magnate families in the Balkans which was distinct from the position in the Arab lands of the empire.
Toledano Ehud“The emergence of Ottoman-local elites (1700–1900): a framework for research” in Middle Eastern Politics and Ideas: A History from Withined. Moshe Ma’oz and Ilan Pappé (London: IB Tauris 1997) pp. 145–62.