This book deals with the transition of Egypt from Mamluk to Ottoman rule, a subject that has not been investigated before; Waqf documents are a major source for this study which also treats urban and architectural development as an aspect of the history of the period.
Elaborate and sensational gifts were the hallmark of Mamluk diplomacy. In firm control of the medieval spice trade as well as the holy sites of Christianity and Islam, the Sultanate's capital at Cairo became a diplomatic crossroads in the medieval world and the seat of a new Islamic caliphate. Already victorious over both the Crusaders and the Mongols, their military success and lavish religious patronage were not enough to ensure the dynasty's prestige: the Mamluk Sultans were often reminded of their slave origins, impugned by rivals as 'pagans' recruited to faith and service by purchase. In response, the sultans staged brilliant performances in Cairo and dispatched carefully designed diplomatic gifts all over the medieval world. These marvellous displays were the crowning ornament of Mamluk legitimacy, celebrated from Europe to the Far East. Drawing on extensive primary sources and fieldwork in museums across the world, Doris Behrens-Abouseif is the first to treat this important subject in depth and here reveals an unexplored aspect of Middle Eastern material culture. Composed of spectacular elements such as spices, exotic animals, Chinese porcelain, ceremonial textiles and military and equestrian objects - not to mention humans, either living or as severed heads - the regal offering varied in combination and emphasis according to the status and circumstances of giver and receiver, but always created a sensation. Acknowledging the established historical precedents of diplomacy and regal gift-giving, the author examines the nuance of cultural and political realities in period diplomacy as well as the transmission of encrypted messages, illuminating the subtle conveyance of self-representation and identity in medieval Cairo and the world beyond. With ground-breaking new research, this book - richly illustrated in colour - provides a comprehensive view of the art and politics of the Mamluk diplomatic gift, by which these sultans of humble origins created a magnificent image of themselves in the courts of their Muslim rivals and allies worldwide. It will prove essential reading for both students and scholars.
The Chief Black Eunuch, appointed personally by the Sultan, had both the ear of the leader of a vast Islamic Empire and held power over a network of spies and informers, including eunuchs and slaves throughout Constantinople and beyond. The story of these remarkable individuals, who rose from difficult beginnings to become amongst the most powerful people in the Ottoman Empire, is rarely told. George Junne places their stories in the context of the wider history of African slavery, and places them at the centre of Ottoman history. The Black Eunuchs of the Ottoman Empire marks a new direction in the study of courtly politics and power in Constantinople.
In one of the first ever environmental histories of the Ottoman Empire, Alan Mikhail examines relations between the empire and its most lucrative province of Egypt. Based on both the local records of various towns and villages in rural Egypt and the imperial orders of the Ottoman state, this book charts how changes in the control of natural resources fundamentally altered the nature of Ottoman imperial sovereignty in Egypt and throughout the empire. In revealing how Egyptian peasants were able to use their knowledge and experience of local environments to force the hand of the imperial state, Nature and Empire in Ottoman Egypt tells a story of the connections of empire stretching from canals in the Egyptian countryside to the palace in Istanbul, from the forests of Anatolia to the shores of the Red Sea, and from a plague flea's bite to the fortunes of one of the most powerful states of the early modern world.
In this seminal study, Jane Hathaway presents a wide-ranging reassessment of the effects of Ottoman rule on the Arab Lands of Egypt, Greater Syria, Iraq and Yemen - the first of its kind in over forty years. Challenging outmoded perceptions of this period as a demoralizing prelude to the rise of Arab nationalism and Arab nation-states in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Hathaway depicts an era of immense social, cultural, economic and political change which helped to shape the foundations of today's modern Middle and Near East. Taking full advantage of a wide range of Arabic and Ottoman primary sources, she examines the changing fortunes of not only the political elite but also the broader population of merchants, shopkeepers, peasants, tribal populations, religious scholars, women, and ethnic and religious minorities who inhabited this diverse and volatile region. With masterly concision and clarity, Hathaway guides the reader through all the key current approaches to and debates surrounding Arab society during this period. This is far more than just another political history; it is a global study which offers an entirely new perspective on the era and region as a whole.
The essays discuss continuity and change in Bilad al Sham (Greater Syria) during the sixteenth century, examining to what extent Egypt and Greater Syria were affected by the transition from Mamluk to Ottoman rule. This is explored in a variety of areas: diplomatic relations, histories and historiography, fiscal and agricultural administration, symbolic orders, urban developments, local perspectives and material culture. In order to rethink the sixteenth century from a transitional perspective and thus overcome the conventional dynasty-centered fields of research Mamlukists and Ottomanists have been brought together, shedding light on the remarkable sixteenth century, so decisive for the formation of early modern Muslim empires.
This book analyses the development of Sufism in Ottoman Egypt, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Examining the cultural, socio-economic and political backdrop against which Sufism gained prominence, it looks at its influence in both the institutions for religious learning and popular piety. The study seeks to broaden the observed space of Sufism in Ottoman Egypt by placing it within its imperial and international context, highlighting on one hand the specificities of Egyptian Sufism, and on the other the links that it maintained with other spiritual traditions that influenced it. Studying Sufism as a global phenomenon, taking into account its religious, cultural, social and political dimensions, this book also focuses on the education of the increasing number of aspirants on the Sufi path, as well as on the social and political role of the Sufi masters in a period of constant and often violent political upheaval. It ultimately argues that, starting in medieval times, Egypt was simultaneously attracting foreign scholars inward and transmitting ideas outward, but these exchanges intensified during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries as a result of the new imperial context in which the country and its people found themselves. Hence, this book demonstrates that the concept of ‘neosufism’ should be dispensed with and that the Ottoman period in no way constituted a time of decline for religious culture, or the beginning of a normative and fundamentalist Islam. Sufism in Ottoman Egypt provides a valuable contribution to the new historiographical approach to the period, challenging the prevailing teleology. As such, it will prove useful to students and scholars of Islam, Sufism and religious history, as well as Middle Eastern history more generally.
Focusing on the Egyptians instead of on the imperial powers that have ruled or intervened in the country, this work tells the untold story of Egyptian military's place in the modern history of the Arab and Islamic world.
In this book, the author examines sijills, the official documents of the Ottoman Islamic courts, to understand how sharia law, society and the early-modern economy of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Ottoman Cairo related to the practice of custom in determining rulings. In the sixteenth century, a new legal and cultural orthodoxy fostered the development of an early-modern Islam that broke new ground, giving rise to a new concept of the citizen and his role. Contrary to the prevailing scholarly view, this work adopts the position that local custom began to diminish and decline as a source of authority. These issues resonate today, several centuries later, in the continuing discussions of individual rights in relation to Islamic law.
Egypt’s was the first non-Western country to undergo an industrial revolution. It was a major commercial center during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was one of the first countries to have (albeit briefly) a constitutional government. Its struggle for independence was among the earliest in the non-Western world. Its capital, Cairo, has served as a headquarters and a meeting place for nationalist leaders. Its schools and universities attracted students from many other African and Asian countries. For the Arab world, its educational and legal institutions set the pattern that most other Arabic-speaking countries have followed. Its books, magazines, and newspapers circulate widely. Its radio and television broadcasting became the model for other Arab states. The leadership of Jamal Abd al-Nasir and Anwar al-Sadat profoundly influenced other Arab and Third World leaders. And the demonstrations in Cairo’s Tahrir Square became the iconic movement for the so-called “Arab Spring” in the rest of the Middle East. This fourth edition of Historical Dictionary of Egypt covers its history from its emergence as an independent actor during the reign of Ali Bey (1760-1772) up to and including the first two years of the Arab Spring (February 2013). This is done through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 700 cross-referenced entries on of persons, events, institutions, political groups, economic and social conditions, policies, relationships with other countries, ideas, religions, ideologies, and commodities relevant to the modern history of Egypt. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Egypt.
A study of Islamic law and political power in the Ottoman Empires richest provincial cityWhat did Islamic law mean in the early modern period, a world of great Muslim empires? Often portrayed as the quintessential jurists law, to a large extent it was developed by scholars outside the purview of the state. However, for the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, justice was the ultimate duty of the monarch, and Islamic law was a tool of legitimation and governance. James E. Baldwin examines how the interplay of these two conceptions of Islamic law religious scholarship and royal justice undergirded legal practice in Cairo, the largest and richest city in the Ottoman provinces. Through detailed studies of the various formal and informal dispute resolution institutions and practices that formed the fabric of law in Ottoman Cairo, his book contributes to key questions concerning the relationship between the shariaa and political power, the plurality of Islamic legal practice, and the nature of centre-periphery relations in the Ottoman Empire.Key featuresOffers a new interpretation of the relationship between Islamic law and political powerPresents law as the key nexus connecting Egypt with the imperial capital Istanbul during the period of Ottoman decentralizationStudies judicial institutions such as the governors Diwan and the imperial council that have received little attention in previous scholarshipIntegrates the study of legal records with an analysis of how legal practice was represented in contemporary chroniclesProvides transcriptions and translations of a range of Ottoman legal documents
Wer sich mit der gut 250 Jahre andauernden Mamlukenzeit in Ägypten und Syrien (1250-1517) zu beschäftigen beginnt, kann recht schnell zumindest ein Charakteristikum dieser Zeit benennen: die ganz ungewöhnliche Polarisierung der Gesellschaft. Eine vornehmlich arabische Bevölkerung wurde beherrscht von einer durchweg turkstämmigen Elite freigelassener Militärsklaven, die sich durch ein sich selbst auferlegtes Gebot ständig zu regenerieren versuchte. Mamluk werden konnte nur ein außerhalb des islamischen Herrschaftsbereiches als Nichtmuslim frei geborener, dann verskl ...
This richly textured social history recovers the voices and experiences of poor Egyptians--beggars, foundlings, the sick and maimed--giving them a history for the first time. As Mine Ener tells their fascinating stories alongside those of reformers, tourists, politicians, and philanthropists, she explores the economic, political, and colonial context that shaped poverty policy for a century and a half. While poverty and poverty relief have been extensively studied in the North American and European contexts, there has been little research done on the issue for the Middle East--and scant comprehensive presentation of the Islamic ethos that has guided charitable action in the region. Drawing on British and Egyptian archival sources, Ener documents transformations in poor relief, changing attitudes toward the public poor, the entrance of new state and private actors in the field of charity, the motivations behind their efforts, and the poor's use of programs created to help them. She also fosters a dialogue between Middle Eastern studies and those who study poverty relief elsewhere by explicitly comparing Egypt's poor relief to policies in Istanbul and also Western Europe, Russia, and North America. Heralding a new kind of research into how societies care for the destitute--and into the religious prerogatives that guide them--this book is one of the first in-depth studies of charity and philanthropy in a region whose social problems have never been of greater interest to the West.
In Islamic law the world was made up of the 'House of Islam' and the 'House of War' with the Ottoman Sultan - successor to the early Caliphs - as supreme ruler of the Islamic world. However, in this ground-breaking study of the Ottoman Empire in the early modern period, Suraiya Faroqhi demonstrates that there was no 'iron curtain' between the Ottoman and 'other' worlds but rather a long-established network of connections - diplomatic, trading and financial., cultural and religious. These extended beyond regional contacts to the empires of Asia and the burgeoning 'modern' states of Europe - England, France, the Netherlands and Venice. Of course, military conflict was a constant factor in these relationships, but the overriding reality was 'one world' and contact between cultured and pragmatic elites - even 'gentlemen travelling for pleasure' - as well as pilgrimage and close artistic contact with the European Renaissance. Faroqhi's book is based on a huge study of original and early modern sources, including diplomatic records, travel and geographical writing, as well as personal accounts. Its breadth and originality will make it essential reading for historians of Europe and the Middle East.