Labour in the Medieval Islamic World


This is an extensive study of labour in the social and economic life of Islamic communities around the Mediterranean in the medieval period, 9th-15th century.
Based on a large number of primary and secondary sources, it contains a comprehensive dictionary of trades and occupations practised by both men and women, followed by a statistical and textual examination of the division of labour, the distribution of the labour force, occupational structures and the role of labour in the Islamic economy. It also describes ethnic divisions of labour, social status and image. A group of literary sources yields evidence that Muslim theologians, mystics and philosophers gradually formulated a doctrinal framework for labour.
This book will prove a valuable resource for any student of medieval Islamic economic and labour history.

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Maya Shatzmiller, Ph.D. (1974) in Islamic History, Université de Provence, is Associate Professor of History at the University of Western Ontario. She has published extensively on medieval Islamic societies and institutions, including L'historiographie mérinide. Ibn Khaldūn et ses contemporains (Brill, 1982).
'If one is to read only one book on medieval Islamic economic history, ... this book,...unquestionably supersedes previous attempts at a general presentation.'
Richard W. Bulliet, Journal of Social History, 1996.
'...cet ouvrage particulièrement bienvenu sera examiné de près par les spécialistes de l'histoire économique du monde musulman et par les médiévistes.'
Claude Gilliot, Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Théologiques, 1995.
'This study will serve as the model for the history of labor in the premodern, non-western world.'
Gladys Frantz-Murphy, American Historical Review, 1996.
'L'ouvrage de Maya Shatzmiller trouvera naturellement sa place dans toutes les bibliothèques et dans toutes les bibliographies spécialisées sur l'histoire de l'Orient médiéval et secondairement dans celles qui s'intéressent à l'histoire du travail. Il ouvre une voie qui sera suivie par nombre de chercheurs.'
Thierry Bianquis, Journal of Economic and Social History of the Orient, 1996.
...a fascinating book, richly documentedd and opening up a largely new area of Islamic social and economic activity.
E. Edmund Bosworth, Journal of Semitic Studies, 1997.
All those interested in social and economic history, medieval history, women's history as well as art historians, political economists, anthropologists and sociologists.
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