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Nicolas Michel

Abstract

This paper sets out to reconsider the issue of the Egyptian fallāhs' conditions, by collecting the occurrences of the word fallāh in the administrative writings of the 12th-15th centuries and then rereading them in relation to two documents dating from the beginning of the Ottoman era: the Kānūnnāme-i Mısır (1525) and a partial copy of the 933/1527-1528 cadaster. Al-Maqrīzī asserted that the fallāhs' status had appeared at the beginning of the Ayyubid era, probably with the term itself of fallāh when the iqtā' was instituted in the rural areas; this study confirms his assertion. During the period under study, the word fallāh, used in its administrative meaning, signified the land-tax payer. Each year, the overall village tax was apportioned out between a few individuals who had been chosen according to their ability of relatively large tracts of arable lands. This paper examines three questions: were fallāhūn actually serfs who were bound to the glebe? Did they farm lands on behalf of state? Or did they exploit their own lands and enjoy the status of landowners? By studying the charges and duties weighing on the fallāhūn group, one is led to picture a more complex view of Egyptian rural society as well as of the policies implemented by the state in to ensure its fiscal income through the maintenance of effective land cultivation. Cet article se propose de reprendre la question de la condition des fellahs, en relevant les occurrences du terme fallāh dans la littérature administrative des 12e-15e siècles, et en les relisant à la lumière de deux documents du début de l'époque ottomane: le Kānūnnāme-i Mısır de 1525 et une copie partielle du cadastre de 933/1527-1528. L'étude confirme l'assertion d'al-Maqrīzī selon laquelle la condition du fallāh, et sans doute le terme même, apparurent au début de l'époque ayyoubide, avec l'instauration de l'iqtā' dans les campagnes. Dans son sens administratif, durant la période considérée le fallāh était le contribuable acquittant l'impôt foncier. La charge fiscale globale du village était répartie chaque année entre un petit nombre de personnes, choisies en fonction de leur capacité à mettre en valeur et à exploiter les terres arables, sur des superficies assez importantes. L'article examine trois questions: les fallāhūn étaient-ils des serfs attachés à la glèbe? cultivaient-ils des terres pour le compte de l'État? ou exploitaient-ils leurs propres terres, dont ils auraient été propriétaires? L'étude des charges et obligations pesant sur le groupe des fallāhūn conduit à un tableau plus complexe de la société rurale, comme des politiques mises en oeuvre par l'État pour assurer ses rentrées fiscales à travers le maintien de la mise en culture des terres.

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Nicolas Michel

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Nicolas Michel

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Benjamin Lellouch and Nicolas Michel

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Benjamin Lellouch and Nicolas Michel

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Benjamin Lellouch and Nicolas Michel

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Conquête ottomane de l'Égypte (1517)

Arrière-plan, impact, échos

Edited by Benjamin Lellouch and Nicolas Michel

Conquête ottomane de l’Égypte (1517) est le premier ouvrage collectif consacré à la victoire de Selīm Ier sur les Mamelouks, qui a fait du sultanat ottoman l’unique puissance musulmane en Méditerranée orientale, et ravalé l’Égypte au rang de province. Il en renouvelle l’approche en faisant appel à des sources ottomanes, arabes et occidentales très variées.
Les contributions réunies par Benjamin Lellouch et Nicolas Michel s’attachent à mesurer les transformations structurelles qu’a induites l’événement dans la société, les pouvoirs, la culture littéraire, artistique et matérielle en Égypte. Elles explorent ses antécédents et son impact géopolitique, et restituent les échos, bruyants puis assourdis, qu’il a suscités, au Proche-Orient, en Italie, et plus généralement en Méditerranée.

Conquête ottomane de l’Égypte (1517) is the first collective work that deals with Selīm Ist’s crushing victory over the Mamluks, which made the Ottoman sultanate into the sole remaining Muslim power in the eastern Mediterranean, and reduced Egypt to the rank of a province. The book offers new insights into this major event by using a wide range of Ottoman and Arabic as well as Western sources.
These essays in French and English collected by Benjamin Lellouch and Nicolas Michel examine to what extent the Ottoman conquest altered the structures of Egyptian society, power relations, literature, arts and material culture. They explore both its backgrounds and geopolitical aftermath, and reconstruct its echoes - loud at first, then gradually fading out - in the Middle East, Italy, and the Mediterranean.
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Nicolas Michel

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Very little is known about the existence of family names in Ottoman Egypt, except among the upper classes and urban society as a whole. In this respect, the Western Desert Oases of Dakhla and Kharga provide us with an exceptional documentation. Cross referencing texts found or still preserved in local family archives with the results of ethnographical fieldwork conducted over a century, enables us to reconstruct the onomastic culture of the Oases society through the last four centuries. Family names were in use among most of the inhabitants. This use developed in a complex way, by combining lineage names created a few generations ago with more ancient and inclusive names. Their combined use allowed to identify and classify all the inhabitants of a settlement, without knowing them personally. It reflects a non-tribal society, largely based on the ownership of scarce but perennial water resources, a key factor in the longevity of families.

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Nicolas Sturaro, Loïc Michel, Patrick Dauby and Gilles Lepoint

Ameling, Walter (Jena), Hoesch, Nicola (München), Meister, Klaus (Berlin), Narcy, Michel (Paris) and Neudecker, Richard (Rom)