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Edited by Stefan Winter and Mafalda Ade

Aleppo and its Hinterland in the Ottoman Period is a collection of eleven essays in English and French by leading scholars of Ottoman Syria, drawing on new research in Turkish, Levantine and other archival sources. Focusing on both the city and its place in the wider region, the collection examines trade guilds and Christian settlement in Aleppo, Turkmen and Bedouin tribes in Aleppo’s interior, international trade and the establishment of an Ottoman commercial tribunal in the Tanzimat period, Aleppo and the rise of the millet system, the Belgian consular presence, Sufi networks in the province of Aleppo, the countryside of Antioch under the Egyptian occupation, and the urban revolt of 1850.

With contributions from Enver Çakar, Elyse Semerdjian, Charles Wilkins, Stefan Winter, Mary Momdjian, Bruce Masters, Sylvain Cornac, Mafalda Ade, Feras Krimsti, Nicolas Jodoin, Stefan Knost.

Reading Islam

Life and Politics of Brotherhood in Modern Turkey

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Fabio Vicini

In Reading Islam Fabio Vicini offers a journey within the intimate relations, reading practices, and forms of intellectual engagement that regulate Muslim life in two enclosed religious communities in Istanbul. Combining anthropological observation with textual and genealogical analysis, he illustrates how the modes of thought and social engagement promoted by these two communities are the outcome of complex intellectual entanglements with modern discourses about science, education, the self, and Muslims’ place and responsibility in society. In this way, Reading Islam sheds light on the formation of new generations of faithful and socially active Muslims over the last thirty years and on their impact on the turn of Turkey from an assertive secularist Republic to an Islamic-oriented form of governance.

Warriors, Martyrs, and Dervishes

Moving Frontiers, Shifting Identities in the Land of Rome (13th-15th Centuries)

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Buket Kitapçı Bayrı

Warriors, Martyrs, and Dervishes. Moving Frontiers, Shifting Identities in the Land of Rome (13th-15th Centuries) focuses on the perceptions of geopolitical and cultural change, which was triggered by the arrival of Turkish Muslim groups into the territories of the Byzantine Empire at the end of the eleventh century, through intersecting stories transmitted in Turkish Muslim warrior epics and dervish vitas, and late Byzantine martyria. It examines the Byzantines’ encounters with the newcomers in a shared story-world, here called “land of Rome,” as well as its perception, changing geopolitical and cultural frontiers, and in relation to these changes, the shifts in identity of the people inhabiting this space. The study highlights the complex relationship between the character of specific places and the cultural identities of the people who inhabited them.

Ottoman Law of War and Peace

The Ottoman Empire and Its Tribute-Payers from the North of the Danube. Second Revised Edition

Viorel Panaite

Making use of legal and historical sources, Viorel Panaite analyzes the status of tribute-payers from the north of the Danube with reference to Ottoman law of peace and war. He deals with the impact of Ottoman holy war and the way conquest in Southeast Europe took place; the role of temporary covenants, imperial diplomas and customary norms in outlining the rights and duties of the tributary princes; the power relations between the Ottoman Empire and the tributary-protected principalities of Wallachia, Moldavia and Transylvania. He also focuses on the legal and political methods applied to extend the pax ottomanica system in the area, rather than on the elements that set these territories apart from the rest of the Ottoman Empire.

Plundered Empire

Acquiring Antiquities from Ottoman Lands

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Michael Greenhalgh

Concentrates on the sometimes Greek but largely Roman survivals many travellers set out to see and perhaps possess throughout the immense Ottoman Empire, on what were eastward and southward extensions of the Grand Tour. Europeans were curious about the Empire, Christianity’s great rival for centuries, and plenty of information on its antiquities was available, offered here via lengthy quotations. Most accounts of the history of collecting and museums concentrate on the European end. Plundered Empire details how and where antiquities were sought, uncovered, bartered, paid for or stolen, and any tribulations in getting them home. The book provides evidence for the continuing debate about the ethics of museum collections, with 19th century international competition the spur to spectacular acquisitions.

Thus Spake the Dervish

Sufism, Language, and the Religious Margins in Central Asia, 1400-1900

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Alexandre Papas

Thus Spake the Dervish explores the unfamiliar history of marginal Sufis, known as dervishes, in early modern and modern Central Asia over a period of 500 years. It draws on various sources (Persian chronicles and treatises, Turkic literature, Russian and French ethnography, the author’s fieldwork) to examine five successive cases, each of which corresponds to a time period, a specific socially marginal space, and a particular use of mystical language. Including an extensive selection of writings by dervishes, this book demonstrates the diversity and tenacity of Central Asian Sufism over a long period. Here translated into a Western language for the first time, the extracts from primary texts by marginal Sufis allow a rare insight into their world.

English Explorers in the East (1738-1745)

The Travels of Thomas Shaw, Charles Perry and Richard Pococke

Rachel Finnegan

In English Explorers in the East (1738-1745). The Travels of Thomas Shaw, Charles Perry and Richard Pococke, Rachel Finnegan offers an account of the influential travel writings of three rival explorers, whose eastern travel books were printed within a decade of each other.

Making use of historical records, Finnegan examines the personal and professional motives of the three authors for producing their eastern travels; their methods of researching, drafting, and publicising their works while still abroad; their relationships with each other, both while travelling and on their return to England; and the legacy of their combined works. She also provides a survey of the main features (both textual and visual) of the travel books themselves.

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Erol A. F. Baykal

The Ottoman Press (1908-1923) looks at Ottoman periodicals in the period after the Second Constitutional Revolution (1908) and the formation of the Turkish Republic (1923). It analyses the increased activity in the press following the revolution, legislation that was put in place to control the press, the financial aspects of running a publication, preventive censorship and the impact that the press could have on readers. There is also a chapter on the emergence and growth of the Ottoman press from 1831 until 1908, which helps readers to contextualize the post-revolution press.

Edited by Ebru Boyar and Kate Fleet

Approaching Ottoman social history through the lens of entertainment, this volume considers the multi-faceted roles of entertainment within society. At its most basic level entertainment could be all about pleasure, leisure and fun. But it also played a role in socialisation, gender divisions, social stratification and the establishment of moral norms, political loyalties and social, ethnic or religious identities. By addressing the ways in which entertainment was employed and enjoyed in Ottoman society, Entertainment Among the Ottomans introduces the reader to a new way of understanding the Ottoman world.

Contributors are: Antonis Anastasopoulos, Tülay Artan, Ebru Boyar, Palmira Brummett, Kate Fleet, James Grehan, Svetla Ianeva, Yavuz Köse, William Kynan-Wilson, Milena Methodieva and Yücel Yanıkdağ.

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Keiko Kiyotaki

In Ottoman Land Reform in the Province of Baghdad, Keiko Kiyotaki traces the Ottoman reforms of tax farming and land tenure and establishes that their effects were the key ingredients of agricultural progress. These modernizing reforms are shown to be effective because they were compatible with local customs and tribal traditions, which the Ottoman governors worked to preserve.
Ottoman rule in Iraq has previously been considered oppressive and blamed with failure to develop the country. Since the British mandate government’s land and tax policies were little examined, the Ottoman legacy has been left unidentified. This book proves that Ottoman land reforms led to increases in agricultural production and tax revenue, while the hasty reforms enacted by the mandate government ignoring indigenous customs caused new agricultural and land problems.