Egyptian Society under Ottoman Rule, 1517-1798

Egyptian Society under Ottoman Rule, 1517-1798

Egyptian Society under Ottoman Rule, 1517-1798

Egyptian Society under Ottoman Rule, 1517-1798


Michael Winter's book presents a panoramic view of Ottoman Egypt from the overthrow of the Mamluk Sultanate in 1517 to Bonaparte's invasion of 1798 and the beginning of Egypt's modern period. Drawing on archive material, chronicle and travel accounts from Turkish, Arabic, Hebrew and European sources as well as up-to-date research, this comprehensive social history looks at the dynamics of the Egyptian-Ottoman relationship and the ethnic and cultural clashes which characterised the period. The conflicts between Ottoman pashas and their Egyptian subjects and between Bedouin Arabs and the more sedentary population are presented, as is the role of women in this period and the importance of the doctrinal clash of Islam both orthodox and popular, Christianity and Judaism. Winter's broad survey of a complex and dynamic society draws out the central theme of the emergence, from a period of ethnic and religious tension, of an Egyptian consciousness fundamental to Egypt's later development.


My work on the social history of Ottoman Egypt has extended intermittently over a long period-since I wrote my ma thesis on Egyptian popular religion at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem under the supervision of the late Professor Gabriel Baer through recent research in the Turkish archives. Therefore, some of the material included in four chapters of the present volume was published as separate articles, although the greater part of the book appears here for the first time. Those chapters, or parts of chapters, that are based on earlier published versions, have been revised and brought up to date with current research.

The following is a list of my published articles that have been used as material for chapters or parts of chapters of the present book:

'Turks, Arabs and Mamluks in the Army of Ottoman Egypt, ' Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, vol. 72 (1980), 97-122; 'The Islamic Profile and Religious Policy of the Ruling Class in Ottoman Egypt, ' Israel Oriental Studies, vol. 10 (1980), 132-45-for Chapter 2.

'The Egyptian Mawlids (Saints'-days): 1700-1950, ' in G. Baer (ed.), The ‛Ulama and Religion in the Muslim World: Studies in Memory of Professor Uriel Heyd (Jerusalem, 1971), pp. 79-103 (in Hebrew)-for Chapter 6.

'The Ashraf and Niqabat al-Ashraf in Egypt in Ottoman and Modern Times, ' Hamizrah Hehadash, vol. 25 (1975), 293-310 (in Hebrew); idem, Asian and African Studies, vol. 19 (March 1985), 17-41-for Chapter 7.

The Relations of Egyptian Jews with the Authorities and with the Non-Jewish Society, ' in J.M. Landau (ed.), The Jews in Ottoman

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