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Ottoman Rule in Damascus, 1708-1758

Ottoman Rule in Damascus, 1708-1758

KARL K. BARBIR
Copyright Date: 1980
Pages: 238
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zvc1q
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  • Book Info
    Ottoman Rule in Damascus, 1708-1758
    Book Description:

    On the basis of new evidence from the Ottoman archives in Istanbul, Karl Barbir challenges the current interpretation of Ottoman rule in Damascus during the eighteenth century. He argues that the prevailing themes of decline and stagnation--usually applied to the entire century--in fact apply only to the latter half of the century. This discovery, he contends, affords a more balanced and realistic view of the Near East's Ottoman past than previous studies have suggested.

    Originally published in 1980.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5320-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. LIST OF TABLES
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. NOTE ON TRANSCRIPTION AND DATES
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. GOVERNORS OF DAMASCUS, 1708-1758
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. PREFACE
    (pp. xvii-2)
    Karl K. Barbir
  8. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-10)

    At the close of the seventeenth century, the Ottoman Empire suffered a series of disastrous defeats in war with Europe, which ended with the Treaty of Karlowitz of 1699. A succession of comparatively strong Ottoman grand vezirs in the first half of the eighteenth century sought to restore the state along the lines dictated by the traditional wisdom of the “Mirror for Princes” literature. The best-known contemporary representatives of that tradition were the historian Naima (d. 1716) and the chief treasurer Sari Mehmed Paşa (d. 1717). They called for the empire’s restoration to the order represented by the centralizing reign...

  9. MAPS
    (pp. 11-12)
  10. ONE CHANGING PATTERNS IN THE GOVERNORSHIP OF DAMASCUS
    (pp. 13-64)

    In the first half of the eighteenth century, during the brief revival that took place at the imperial center, the Ottomans reorganized the administrative structure of the province of Damascus. Two related sets of patterns of change occurred in the governorship of that province. We have called them, respectively, “limits on the governor’s functions” and “provincial centralization.” They began roughly at the turn of the century and continued for approximately fifty years. Whoever was the sovereign or chief minister regarded them as precedents for provincial administration in Damascus.

    “Limits on the governor’s functions” involved two related departures from the classical...

  11. TWO CONTAINMENT OF PROVINCIAL GROUPS: NOTABLES,JANISSARIES, AND TRIBESMEN
    (pp. 65-107)

    Throughout most of its history, the Ottoman state employed both direct and subtle forms of persuasion, such as mass deportations, direct military measures, and financial or personal inducements, to control influential groups in the provinces. These methods produced different effects, an example of which is offered by the following incident. A young Ottoman officer once received command of one of several military units engaged in containing rebels in the Ḥawrān area of Syria. In his heart, he opposed destruction of villages and extortion of tax “arrears” from the population—methods much favored by his fellows and superiors. Through his courage,...

  12. THREE THE PILGRIMAGE: CENTERPIECE OF OTTOMAN RULE IN DAMASCUS
    (pp. 108-177)

    Inside the harem of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, there is a tiny, dark vestibule. Little more than a passageway, it once served as a prayer room for the sultan’s mother. On the walls are two beautiful tile panels dating from 1667. They show, respectively, the Prophet’s mosque in Medina and an encampment of pilgrims near the Meccan sanctuary that was the focus of the pilgrimage. Elsewhere in the palace, there are large chambers where the key to that sanctuary and some of the personal effects of the Prophet are now exhibited. These bear witness to the Ottoman Empire’s heritage...

  13. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 178-180)

    In late 1757, news of the catastrophe that had befallen the Damascene pilgrimage caravan reached Istanbul, along with an account of the governor Mekkizâde Hüseyin Paşa’s incompetence and cowardice. It provided the pretext for a resolution to the power struggle between Mehmed Rağib Paşa, the new grand vezir, and his main rival for control of the machinery of state, the former guardian of the harem (thekizlar ağasi), who had been the disgraced Mekkizâde Hüseyin Paşa’s acknowledged protector.¹ An order to execute the ağa was issued as soon as Rağib Paşa heard the news from Syria. Shortly afterward, the grand...

  14. Appendix i Rank and Position at Start of Damascus Governors’ Careers, 1516-1757
    (pp. 181-181)
  15. Appendix ii Top Posts Attained by Damascus Governors, 1516-1757
    (pp. 182-182)
  16. Appendix iii Sources of Local Damascus Janissaries’ Pay, 1706
    (pp. 183-183)
  17. Appendix iv Projected Income and Expense of the Pilgrimage (Tertib Defterleri)
    (pp. 184-190)
  18. Appendix v Summary of Damascus Provincial Accounts, 1741-1742, 1759-1760
    (pp. 191-192)
  19. Appendix vi Register of Dawra Revenues, 1771-1772
    (pp. 193-195)
  20. Appendix vii The Pilgrimage Fortress Network between Damascus and Medina
    (pp. 196-197)
  21. Appendix viii Pilgrimage Retinue Expenses, 1742-1743
    (pp. 198-199)
  22. Appendix ix Attacks on the Pilgrimage Caravan, 1517-1757
    (pp. 200-202)
  23. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 203-212)
  24. INDEX
    (pp. 213-216)
  25. Back Matter
    (pp. 217-217)