Subjects of the Sultan: Culture and Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire

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Suraiya Faroqhi here explores the urban world of the Ottoman lands from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. She describes the social significance of the popular arts and crafts of the period and examines the interaction among the diverse populations and classes of the Empire, with their varying religions and ethnic backgrounds. Even the banalities associated with the everyday are brought to life: bathing, the market, loving and grieving are all explored for the first time with scholarly rigour and fascination for a disappeared world." "Delving into personal letters, court documents, wills, correspondence with Sufi masters and the travel records of seafarers and traders, Faroqhi has identified a broad range of areas where individuals were able to create a flourishing and vibrant urban civilization, even while politically the Empire was beginning its relentless decline. By presenting a new vision of Ottoman cultural history, Subjects of the Sultan fills a huge gap and will fascinate not only historians of the Middle East but also social historians, students and discerning readers interested in history.
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Editorial Reviews

This study was originally published in German in 1995 (Verlagsbuchhandlung, Munich). Faroqhi (Ottoman studies, Ludwig- Maximilians U., Munich) looks beyond the cultural world of the sultans, viziers, and <'e>lite of the Empire (which is more commonly studied) to examine the cultural world of the common people. Her discussion is arranged in three sections on how culture was created and disseminated, the arts, and cultural change. More specifically, she addresses such topics as women's culture; architecture; town life; ceremonies, festivals, and the decorative arts; and food, drink, and sociability. The final two chapters discuss crises and new beginnings, 1770-1839; and transformations in the culture of the Ottoman upper class, 1840-1914. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher

"[Faroqhi is]...the person who is the best qualified to write on the day-to-day life of the Empire's population..."--Journal of Islamic Studies

"Subjects of the Sultan will serve us well in the classroom and remind us that, in spite of the incompleteness of the record, it is possible to 'see' the Ottomans."-- International Journal of Turkish Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781850437604
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 11/29/2005
  • Pages: 358
  • Sales rank: 825,705
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 11.09 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Suraiya Faroqhi is Professor of Ottoman Studies at the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, and the author of Pilgrims and Sultans (IBT, 1996).

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Table of Contents

Part I: Culture: How it was Created and Disseminated
• The Economic and Social Structure of the ottoman Empire in Early Modern Times
• Images of the World and the Times
• Borders and Those Who Crossed Them
• Women's Culture
• Part II: The Arts
• Architects, Pious Foundations and Architectural Aesthetics
• Town Life: Urban Identity and Lifestyle
• Ceremonies, Festivals and the Decorative Arts
• Readers, Writers and Storytellers
• Food, Drink and Sociability
• Part III: Cultural Change
• Crises and New Beginnings, 1770-1839
• Elegance Alafranga, Social Criticism and Tomatoes: Transformations in the Culture of the Ottoman Upper Class, 1840-1914
• In Conclusion
• Notes
• Chronology
• Bibliography
• Index

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