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University of California Press
Morality Tales: Law and Gender in the Ottoman Court of Aintab / Edition 1

Morality Tales: Law and Gender in the Ottoman Court of Aintab / Edition 1

by Leslie PeirceLeslie Peirce


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In this skillful analysis, Leslie Peirce delves into the life of a sixteenth-century Middle Eastern community, bringing to light the ways that women and men used their local law court to solve personal, family, and community problems. Examining one year's proceedings of the court of Aintab, an Anatolian city that had recently been conquered by the Ottoman sultanate, Peirce argues that local residents responded to new opportunities and new constraints by negotiating flexible legal practices. Their actions and the different compromises they reached in court influenced how society viewed gender and also created a dialogue with the ruling regime over mutual rights and obligations. Locating its discussion of gender and legal issues in the context of the changing administrative practices and shifting power relations of the period, Morality Tales argues that it was only in local interpretation that legal rules acquired vitality and meaning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520228924
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 06/16/2003
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 475
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile: 1550L (what's this?)

About the Author

Leslie Peirce is Professor of History and Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire (1993).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Note on Translation and Transliteration

Part I. The Setting: Aintab and Its Court
1. Locating Aintab in Space and Time
2. The People of Aintab and Their World
3. Introducing the Court of Aintab
Part II. Gender and the Terrain of Local Justice
Idne’s Story: A Child Marriage in Trouble
4. Gender, Class, and Social Hierarchy
5. Morality and Self-Representation at Court
6. Women, Property, and the Court
Part III. Law, Community, and the State
Haciye Sabah’s Story: A Teacher on Trial
7. Negotiating Legitimacy through the Law
8. Punishment, Violence, and the Court
Part IV: Making Justice at the Court of Aintab
Fatma’s Story: The Dilemma of a Pregnant Peasant Girl


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