The Shiites of Lebanon under Ottoman Rule, 1516-1788

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The Shiites of Lebanon under Ottoman Rule, 1516-1788 provides a new perspective on the previously ignored history of the Shiites as a constituent of Lebanese society. Winter presents a history of the community before the nineteenth century, based primarily on unpublished Ottoman Turkish documents. From these, he shows how local Shiites were well integrated in the Ottoman system of rule, and that Lebanon as an autonomous entity only developed in the course of the eighteenth century through the marginalization and then violent elimination of the indigenous Shiite leaderships by an increasingly powerful Druze-Maronite emirate. As such the book recovers the Ottoman-era history of a group which has always been neglected in chronicle-based works, and, in doing so, fundamentally calls into question the historic place within 'Lebanon' of what has today become the country's largest and most activist sectarian community.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Stefan Winter is Professeur Régulier at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). His previous publications have included a number of articles for various journals including Oriente Moderno and the Journal of Near Eastern Studies.

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Table of Contents

Lists of illustrations and maps ix

Acknowledgements x

Note on transliterations xi

List of abbreviations xii

Introduction 1

Sources 2

Argument 4

1 Shiism in the Ottoman Empire: between confessional ambiguity and administrative pragmatism 7

Shiism in Turkish history 8

The Ottoman emirate, the Janissaries and Bektasi sufism 10

The Kizilbas challenge 12

Ebu's-Suud: the formation of a persecuting society? 15

Shiism in Ottoman thought 17

The Shiites of Jabal 'Amil and the clerical migration to Iran 20

The Shiite holy places in Iraq 26

Urban Shiism and the ashraf 28

Conclusion: what ideology? 29

2 The invention of Lebanon: Ottoman governance in the coastal highlands, 1568-1636 31

The 'classical system' of rule 33

Ottoman sovereignty in Syria 36

Emir titles and iltizam tax farming 40

Shiism in the Bekaa Valley 43

The Harfush emirs of Baalbek 45

The nexus between imperial and local interests 49

The contest with Fakhr al-Din ibn Ma'n 53

Conclusion: what emirate? 56

3 Mount Lebanon under Shiite rule: the Hamada 'emirate', 1641-1685 58

Shiite tribalism in Mt Lebanon 59

Ottoman tax regimes in Tripoli 64

The rise of the Hamadas 68

The narrative of Shiite tyranny 71

The Köprülü era 74

The Hamadas' iltizam commissions 77

The Hamadas in court 82

Conclusion: the fragile consensus 85

4 The reshaping of authority: the Shiites and the state in crisis, 1685-1699 88

The Shiite rebellion 89

The Khazins and the Maronite 'recolonization' of the Kisrawan 92

The expansion of the Druze emirate 96

The imperial punitive campaign 100

Changing paradigms of provincial administration 104

Shiism and Ottoman tribal control 109

Conclusion: a new era? 114

5 Jabal 'Amil in the Ottoman period: the origins of 'south Lebanon', 1666-1781 117

Sidon and Safad under Ottoman rule 119

Shiism in Jabal 'Amil 121

Retreat in the northern mukataas 123

The 'Ali al-Saghirs of the Bilad Bishara 126

The struggle against Shihabi hegemony 128

Nasif Nassar and Zahir al-'Umar 131

The forging of Lebanese history 137

Cezzar and the Shiites 139

Conclusion: a golden age? 143

6 From dependence to redundancy: the decline of Shiite rule in Tripoli and the Bekaa, 1699-1788 146

The Voyvodalik of the Bekaa 147

The 'Kizilbas Mukataa' of Mt Lebanon 151

The Hamadas and the Maronite Church 156

The Lebanese Order 159

The inversion of power 161

The Shihabi emirate's Shiite subsidiary in Baalbek 164

The 'national uprising' 168

The Shiites under Shihabi rule 171

Conclusion: the logic of Lebanon 174

Conclusion 176

The triumph of Lebanism 179

Bibliography 181

Index 195

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