Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis
The Arab Lands under Ottoman Rule: 1516-1800 / Edition 1

The Arab Lands under Ottoman Rule: 1516-1800 / Edition 1

by Jane Hathaway, Karl Barbir
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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780582418998
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 02/14/2008
Series: A History of the Near East Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jane Hathaway is Professor of History at Ohio State University. Her previous publications include The Politics of Households in Ottoman Egypt: The Rise of the Qazdaglis (1997); A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen (2003); Beshir Agha, Chief Eunuch of the Ottoman Imperial Harem (2006); and The Arab Lands in the Ottoman Era: Essays in Honor of Caesar Farah (2010).

Table of Contents

Introduction: Rewriting Arab History, 1516-1800

The Arab Lands

Sources for the study of the Ottoman Arab lands

"Decline" and decentralization

State and society

Local notables and localization


Households and localization


Rural populations

Non-Muslims and non-Sunnis

Underrepresented populations


Chapter 1: Land and Peoples

Regions and nomenclature

Geographical features


Religious minorities


Chapter 2: The Ottoman Conquest of the Arab Lands

The rise of the Ottomans

The Mamluk Sultanate (1250-1517)

The Safavids

The Portuguese

Conquest of the Mamluks

Süleyman I’s conquest of Iraq


North Africa


Chapter 3: The Organization of the Ottoman Provincial Administration

Administrative subdivisions

Land tenure

Early challenges to Ottoman rule

Chapter 4: Crisis and Change in the Seventeenth Century

The "decline" paradigm

The crisis of the seventeenth century

Competing households

Janissary hegemony in the Arab provinces

Jelali governors and their equivalents

The loss of Yemen

The Köprülü reforms

Chapter 5: Provincial Notables in the Eighteenth Century


The ayan household

Georgian mamluks in ayan households



Chapter 6: Religious and Intellectual Life

The religious milieu

Religious institutions and personnel

The ulema


Changes to religious and intellectual life in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries


Chapter 7: Urban Life and Trade

Arab provincial cities

Urban change in the Ottoman era

Government regulation of markets


Long-distance trade

The Red Sea coffee trade and its cultural effects


Chapter 8: Rural Life

Land tenure

Village life

Cash crops

Migration and change



Chapter 9: Non-Normative Populations I: Non-Muslims; the Poor and Disabled

Religious minorities


Syrian Catholics

Jews and Christians in financial service

Twelver Shia

Druze, Alawis (Nusayris), Yazidis

The poor and disabled


Chapter 10: Non-Normative Populations II: Women, Non-Elite Slaves, Eunuchs

Stereotype and reality: veiling and the harem

Women in the household




Non-elite slavery



Chapter 11: Ideological and Political Changes in the Late Eighteenth Century (and


Agricultural crisis

Military challenges and attempted reform under Selim III

Nineteenth-century reforms

European imperial encroachment

Sufism and anti-imperialism

Conclusion: The Ottoman Arab provinces after 1800

Conclusion: Transformations under Ottoman Rule

The effects of Ottoman rule

Turk vs. Arab, Balkan vs. Arab? Persistent scholarly dichotomies

Present-day relevance

Ottoman Sultans

Political Chronology



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