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E-BooksWomen in the Ottoman Empire A Social and Political History



Women in the Ottoman Empire A Social and Political History
Women in the Ottoman Empire
by Faroqhi, Suraiya;

English | 2023 | ISBN: 0755638263 | 329 pages | True PDF | 84.93 MB
It is an often ignored but fundamental fact that in the Ottoman world as in most empires, there were 'first-class' and 'second class' subjects. Among the townspeople, peasants and nomads subject to the sultans, who might be Muslims or non-Muslims, adult Muslim males were first-class subjects and all others, including Muslim boys and women, were of the second class. As for the female members of the elite, while less privileged than the males, in some respects their life chances might be better than those of ordinary women. Even so, they shared the risks of pregnancy, childbirth and epidemic diseases with townswomen of the subject class and to a certain extent, with village women as well. Women also made up a sizeable share of the enslaved, belonging to the sultans, to elite figures but often to members of the subject population as well. Thus, the study of Ottoman women is indispensable for understanding Ottoman society in general.


In this book, the experiences of women from a diverse range of class, religious, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds are woven into the social history of the Ottoman Empire, from the early-modern period to its dissolution in 1922. Its thematic chapters first introduce readers to the key sources for information about women's lives in the Ottoman Empire ( qadi registers, petitions, fetva s, travelogues authored by women). The first section of the book then recounts urban, non-elite women's experiences at the courts, family life, and as slaves. Paying attention to the geographic diversity of the Ottoman Empire, this section also considers the social history of women in the Arab provinces of Baghdad, Cairo and Aleppo. The second section charts the social history of elite women, including that of women in the Palace system, writers and musicians and the history of women's education. The final section narrates the history of women at the end of the empire, during the Great War and Civil War.
The first introductory social history of women in the Ottoman Empire, Women in the Ottoman Empire will be essential reading for scholars and students of Ottoman history and the history of women in the Middle East.

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