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Society and Economy in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean 1600–1900

Society and Economy in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean 1600–1900: Essays in Honor of André Raymond

Nelly Hanna
Raouf Abbas
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Society and Economy in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean 1600–1900
    Book Description:

    In his long academic career, historian André Raymond has been one of the foremost scholars of urban history in the Arab world, and in particular of Cairo during the Ottoman period. His work was instrumental in changing orientalist views on the decline and stagnation of this region prior to the modern period, and has inspired researchers across the academic spectrum. This diverse collection of studies by leading scholars in Egypt, the United States, and Europe offers a wide selection of recent research in Ottoman-era Egypt and the Middle East, and serves as a fitting tribute to Raymond’s own work. A main theme of this volume is the urban society and economy in Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, suggesting new ways through which the history of this period can be understood. Topics include a comparison of Egypt’s experiences with Italy’s in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and an investigation of European attitudes toward the Orient through the travel accounts of Russian pilgrims to the Levant. Contributors: Husam Muhammad Abd al-Muati, Sabri al-Adl, Magdi Guirguis, Pascale Ghazaleh, Peter Gran, Svetlana Kirillina, Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid Marsot, Nicolas Michel, Abdul Karim Rafeq, Amira Sonbol.

    eISBN: 978-1-61797-240-9
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Chapter 1 Introduction André Raymond, the Historian
    (pp. 1-10)
    Nelly Hanna and Raouf Abbas

    André Raymond has been at the forefront of historical studies on Egypt during the Ottoman period for about four decades. His book,Artisans et Commerçants du Caire au XVIIIe siécle, published in 1973, was the first of several books on Cairo and other Arab cities in the Ottoman period, and of numerous articles on various subjects dealing with that same place and time. Today as we contemplate the work of this scholar, we can ask why his contribution to the field remains relevant to the present time despite the lapse of more than three decades since his first book appeared....

  5. Chapter 2 Egypt and Italy, 1760–1850 Toward a Comparative History
    (pp. 11-38)
    Peter Gran

    André Raymond occupies a distinctive position in the development of the study of modern Egyptian history, a position comparable to that of the Italian specialist Franco Venturi in the Italian context, i.e., Raymond in effect discovered Egypt in the eighteenth century as a meaningful field of study as Venturi discovered the study of eighteenth-century Italy. Before Venturi and Raymond, these countries were looked at as lesser provinces of empires, almost scarcely worth mentioning. Before Raymond’ s work, little thought in Egyptian history was given to change and social dynamics during this period; scholarly emphasis was placed on Napoleon’ s invasion...

  6. Chapter 3 Power and Authority in Late Eighteenth-Century Egypt
    (pp. 39-48)
    Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid Marsot

    This essay is an attempt to understand how a decentralized society functioned in terms of politics and economics. Some historians in the past have assumed that the later Mamluks in eighteenth-century Egypt were a chaotic lot who spent their time fighting one another for sheer pleasure, and in exploiting the country. That is an extreme way of putting it, but as with all extremes, there is some measure of truth therein. At times the Mamluks did fight one another, for a variety of reasons they considered valid, and at times they also exploited the country, but so do all rulers....

  7. Chapter 4 Les artisans dans la ville Ateliers de tissage et tisserands d’Asyût à la fin du XVIIe siècle, d’après les registres du tribunal du qâdî
    (pp. 49-96)
    Nicolas Michel

    Depuis le 17e siècle, les voyageurs qui passaient par Asyût y relevaient l’importance de sa production en toiles de lin, teintes à l’indigo : on y faisait selon Vansleb (1673) les meilleurs tissus de lin d’Egypte¹, de la « toile bleue » nous précise Paul Lucas qui y passa en 1717² Evliya Çelebi, qui visita Asyût en mai 1671, ne parle pas de la teinture, mais il précise que la ville est réputée pour ses toiles à bordure blanche, ses serviettes de bain, ses serviettes de bain, ses draps et ses mouchoirs à café³. Les tissusasyûtse vendaient au...

  8. Chapter 5 The Integration of Religious Communities in the Workplace in Ottoman Syria and during Their Stay in Egypt
    (pp. 97-114)
    Abdul-Karim Rafeq

    When the Muslim Arabs conquered Bilad al-Sham in the 630s, the local Aramaicspeaking and Arabic-speaking Christian population welcomed them as liberators, emancipating them from the coercive rule of Christian Byzantium. In Egypt, too, the Copts welcomed the conquering Muslim Arabs as liberators from Byzantine rule. According to André Raymond:

    L’hostilité profonde de la plupart des indigènes au pouvoir byzantin, doublement oppressif, et étranger, l’épuisement des Byzantins, patent dans leurs conflit avec les Sassanides expliquent le succés rapide des envahisseurs arabes, porteurs d’un message religieux dont certains éléments étaient familiers pour des chrétines et affirmant une large tolérance pour les «gens...

  9. Chapter 6 The Fez Merchants in Eighteenth-Century Cairo
    (pp. 115-140)
    Husam Muhammad Abdul Mu‘ti

    This study focuses on Fez merchant families who immigrated and settled in Cairo and their trading activities.² The purpose is not only to study the Fez families as such, but to do so in the context of Egyptian society at the time. The study will take a close look at these merchants, exploring the span of the commercial activities and considering the factors behind the considerable economic prosperity that they attained for many decades, and subsequently, the transformation of some of their activities to non-commercial domains. In doing so, this chapter considers the methods that these merchants used to accumulate...

  10. Chapter 7 Heirs and Debtors Blood Relatives, Qur’anic Heirs, and Business Associates in Cairo, 1800–50
    (pp. 141-156)
    Pascale Ghazaleh

    In his pioneering work on artisans and merchants in eighteenth-century Cairo,¹ André Raymond used estate inventories as a measure of wealth, a method that allowed him to reach important conclusions regarding social stratification and to detect medium-term processes of enrichment and impoverishment affecting different socioeconomic groups prior to the French Expedition of 1798. These estate inventories, preserved in the registers of the two specialized courts dealing with inheritance (the Qisma ‘Askariya and the Qisma ‘Arabiya), usually conform to a conventional format. In an introductory section, they record the name of the deceased, his or her heirs, and the names of...

  11. Chapter 8 How the Shari‘a Sees Women’s Work
    (pp. 157-176)
    Amira al-Azhary Sonbol

    The dominant view of Islam among Muslim conservatives is that it confines the movement and activities of women. When looking at women’ s participation in their communities’ activities, it is usual to look at the parameters through which women function as being defined by what they can do, permitted to do, or allowed to do, while the parameters of actions for men are defined by what they cannot do, should not do, or are forbidden to do. The latter also apply to women. The important difference is that men’ s actions are not controlled by what they ‘can do,’ they...

  12. Chapter 9 The Study of Astronomy According to the Chronicle of al-Jabarti
    (pp. 177-196)
    Sabri al-‘Adl

    Al-Jabarti’s‘Aja’ ib al-athar fi-l-tarajim wa-l-akhbaris one of the major sources we have for the modern history of Egypt. For a long time, historians have used this source to understand the social and political life of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. I would like to suggest that in addition it can also be used for other purposes that have not been fully exploited. I am specifically interested in the social history of science in Ottoman Egypt, especially in the development of astronomy and mathematics. I will show that al-Jabarti’s chronicle is an important source for this subject. The...

  13. Chapter 10 The Organization of the Coptic Community in the Ottoman Period
    (pp. 197-212)
    Magdi Guirguis

    When studying non-Muslims in Muslim societies, certain terms immediately come to mind. They include the termdhimma, aqd al-dhimma, millasystem, community, and minority. All these terms are well-established and clearly defined, but I believe that they do not fully describe these groups of people nor do they take into consideration the changes that take place in the internal dynamics of such groups in the course of the historical process, “Community ” is the term most widely used by historians who study the Ottoman period, such as André Raymond, Thomas Philipp, Bruce Masters, and many others. I will also use...

  14. Chapter 11 Islam and Its Adherents as Represented in Russian Pilgrims’ Reports of the Eighteenth Century
    (pp. 213-242)
    Svetlana Kirillina

    The long-term development of the traditional pilgrimage genre in Russian literature goes back to the chef-d’oeuvre of the twelfth century —Life and Pilgrimage of Daniil.¹ The culmination of this development falls in the eighteenth century. Most of the diaries, records, and memoirs of those Russian travelers who, in the nineteenth century, visited the Middle East including the Christian Holy Land, did not fit into the framework of the pilgrimage genre’ s canons. They are either ‘pure’ tourist descriptions of the places visited or they are ‘synthetic’ writings from the era when crucial changes occur with the intermingling of some elements...