the imperial harem women and sovereignty in the ottoman empire studies in middle eastern history

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The Imperial Harem

Author : Leslie P. Peirce
ISBN : 0195086775
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 31. 25 MB
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The unprecedented political power of the Ottoman imperial harem in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is widely viewed as illegitimate and corrupting. This book examines the sources of royal women's power and assesses the reactions of contemporaries, which ranged from loyal devotion to armed opposition. By examining political action in the context of household networks, Leslie Peirce demonstrates that female power was a logical, indeed an intended, consequence of political structures. Royal women were custodians of sovereign power, training their sons in its use and exercising it directly as regents when necessary. Furthermore, they played central roles in the public culture of sovereignty--royal ceremonial, monumental building, and patronage of artistic production. The Imperial Harem argues that the exercise of political power was tied to definitions of sexuality. Within the dynasty, the hierarchy of female power, like the hierarchy of male power, reflected the broader society's control for social control of the sexually active.

The Imperial Harem

Author : Leslie P. Peirce
ISBN : 0195076737
Genre : History
File Size : 40. 68 MB
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The unpredecented political power of the Ottoman imperial harem in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a period popularly known as "the sultanate of women", is widely viewed as illegitimate and corrupting. Arguing against this viewpoint, The Imperial Harem examines the sources of royal women's power and assesses the reactions of contemporaries, which ranged from loyal devotion to armed opposition. In the Turkish heritage of the Ottomans, sovereign power was viewed as a right shared by the whole royal family. Whereas previous scholars have concentrated on the uneasy sharing of power among male dynasts, this book argues that the internal politics of the royal family made the power of women not only inevitable but integral to the dynasty's survival. By examining political action in the context of household networks, Peirce demonstrates that female power was a logical, indeed an intended, consequence of political structures. Peirce not only provides an overview of the dynasty's policies regulating the production of children by slave concubines and the choice of spouses for its members, but examines the ways in which women's power was manifested in day-to-day politics. Royal women were custodians of sovereign power, training their sons in its use and exercising it directly as regents when necessary. Furthermore, they played central roles in the public culture of sovereignty - royal ceremonies, large-scale building projects, and patronage of artistic production. The Imperial Harem argues that the exercise of political power in the Ottoman empire was tied to definitions of sexuality. Within the dynasty, the hierarchy of female power, like the hierarchy of male power, reflected the broadersociety's concern for social control of the sexually active.

Morality Tales

Author : Leslie Peirce
ISBN : 0520926978
Genre : History
File Size : 28. 82 MB
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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.

Empress Of The East

Author : Leslie Peirce
ISBN : 9780465093090
Genre : History
File Size : 56. 49 MB
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The extraordinary story of the Russian slave girl Roxelana, who rose from concubine to become the only queen of the Ottoman empire In Empress of the East, historian Leslie Peirce tells the remarkable story of a Christian slave girl, Roxelana, who was abducted by slave traders from her Ruthenian homeland and brought to the harem of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in Istanbul. Suleyman became besotted with her and foreswore all other concubines. Then, in an unprecedented step, he freed her and married her. The bold and canny Roxelana soon became a shrewd diplomat and philanthropist, who helped Suleyman keep pace with a changing world in which women, from Isabella of Hungary to Catherine de Medici, increasingly held the reins of power. Until now Roxelana has been seen as a seductress who brought ruin to the empire, but in Empress of the East, Peirce reveals the true history of an elusive figure who transformed the Ottoman harem into an institution of imperial rule.

Private World Of Ottoman Women

Author : Godfrey Goodwin
ISBN : 9780863567766
Genre : History
File Size : 49. 2 MB
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Recovering the oft-neglected role of women in Ottoman high society and power politi, this book brings to life the women who made their mark in a male domain. Though historical records tend to favour the glitter of palaces over the trials of daily life, Goodwin also reconstructs ordinary women's domestic toil. As the Ottoman Empire first expanded and then shrank, women travelled its width and breadth whether out of necessity or merely for pleasure. Some women owned slaves while others suffered the misfortune of being enslaved. Goodwin examines the laws which governed women's lives from the harem to the humblest tasks. This perceptive study of Ottoman life culminates with the nineteenth century and explores the advent of modernity and its impact on women at a time of imperial decline. 'The best book on the subject and likely to remain so for some time.' Times Literary Supplement 'A fascinating account by the foremost authority on the Ottoman period.' The Middle East 'Goodwin is an exceptional scholar with an insight that reveals itself in every sentence.' Asian Affairs 'Offers excellent scholarship into a history that has been much neglected by the West.' Judaism Today

The Concubine The Princess And The Teacher

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ISBN : 9780292783355
Genre : History
File Size : 88. 98 MB
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In the Western imagination, the Middle Eastern harem was a place of sex, debauchery, slavery, miscegenation, power, riches, and sheer abandon. But for the women and children who actually inhabited this realm of the imperial palace, the reality was vastly different. In this collection of translated memoirs, three women who lived in the Ottoman imperial harem in Istanbul between 1876 and 1924 offer a fascinating glimpse "behind the veil" into the lives of Muslim palace women of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The memoirists are Filizten, concubine to Sultan Murad V; Princess Ayse, daughter of Sultan Abdulhamid II; and Safiye, a schoolteacher who instructed the grandchildren and harem ladies of Sultan Mehmed V. Their recollections of the Ottoman harem reveal the rigid protocol and hierarchy that governed the lives of the imperial family and concubines, as well as the hundreds of slave women and black eunuchs in service to them. The memoirists show that, far from being a place of debauchery, the harem was a family home in which polite and refined behavior prevailed. Douglas Brookes explains the social structure of the nineteenth-century Ottoman palace harem in his introduction. These three memoirs, written across a half century and by women of differing social classes, offer a fuller and richer portrait of the Ottoman imperial harem than has ever before been available in English.

Women In Nineteenth Century Egypt

Author : Judith E. Tucker
ISBN : 0521314208
Genre : History
File Size : 32. 7 MB
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The book provides a unique account of the very active economic, social and political roles of nineteenth-century women.

Marriage Money And Divorce In Medieval Islamic Society

Author : Yossef Rapoport
ISBN : 1139444816
Genre : History
File Size : 90. 9 MB
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High rates of divorce, often taken to be a modern and western phenomenon, were also typical of medieval Islamic societies. By pitting these high rates of divorce against the Islamic ideal of marriage,Yossef Rapoport radically challenges usual assumptions about the legal inferiority of Muslim women and their economic dependence on men. He argues that marriages in late medieval Cairo, Damascus and Jerusalem had little in common with the patriarchal models advocated by jurists and moralists. The transmission of dowries, women's access to waged labour, and the strict separation of property between spouses made divorce easy and normative, initiated by wives as often as by their husbands. This carefully researched work of social history is interwoven with intimate accounts of individual medieval lives, making for a truly compelling read. It will be of interest to scholars of all disciplines concerned with the history of women and gender in Islam.

Ottoman Women

Author : Asli Sancar
ISBN : 1597841153
Genre : History
File Size : 55. 68 MB
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Explores the lives and social status of Ottoman women of the nineteenth century.

Off The Straight Path

Author : Elyse Semerdjian
ISBN : 9780815651550
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 62. 26 MB
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The legal treatment of sexual behavior is a subject that receives little scholarly attention in the field of Middle East women’s studies. Important questions about the relationship between sexuality and the law and about the societies enforcing that relationship are rarely addressed in the current literature. Elyse Semerdjian’s "Off the Straight Path" takes a bold step toward filling that gap, offering a fascinating look at the historical progression of Islamic law’s treatment of illicit sex. Semerdjian provides a comprehensive review of the concept of zina, sexual indiscretion, exploring the diverse interpretation of zina crime as presented in a variety of sources from the Qur’an and hadith to legal literature. She then delves into the history of legal responses to zina within the specific community of Aleppo, Syria. Drawing on a wealth of shari ’a court records, Semerdjian brings to life Syrian society during the Ottoman period. With vivid detail, she describes specific women’s lives and experiences as their cases are presented before the court. Semerdjian argues that the actual treatment of zina crimes in the courts differs substantially from sentences prescribed by codifed Islamic jurisprudence. In contrast to the violent corporal punishments dictated in the Islamic legal code, the courts often punished crimes of sexual indiscretion with nonviolent sentences, such as removal from the community. Employing exceptional insight, "Off the Straight Path" presents a powerful challenge to the traditional view of Islamic law, enabling a richer understanding of Islamic society.

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