A Small Town in Syria: Ottoman Hama in the Eighteenth and by James Reilly

By James Reilly

Celebrated for its historic water wheels, town of Hama is found on Syria’s longest river, the Orontes. Ottoman Hama was once a stopover at the significant north-south highway of Syria in addition to the guts of a neighborhood fiscal region of its personal. Intertwined social networks associated townspeople to the peasants and pastoral nomads of Hama’s hinterland. via the early 20th century a couple of elite and remarkable households had come to dominate the political and monetary lifetime of Hama and its outlying villages, environment the degree for the city’s dramatic access into Syrian nationwide lifestyles throughout the French Mandate and post-colonial sessions. dependent mostly on neighborhood judicial data, this e-book is a social background of Hama over the last centuries of Ottoman rule. It examines the social and fiscal constructions that outlined people’s lives and that conditioned their participation within the historic alterations of the eighteenth and 19th centuries. Dramatis personae contain women and men, commoners and notables, retailers and artisans, and others who, taken jointly, symbolize a cross-section of a center jap society as they entered the realm of worldwide markets, ecu empires, and smooth states.

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Extra resources for A Small Town in Syria: Ottoman Hama in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

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83 One hypothesis to explain the absence of elite women from Hama’s property records draws on the fact that elite families’ wealth depended principally on their access to rural surplus and taxation. However, opportunities for Hama elites to acquire formal title (including inheritance rights) to land in their town’s exposed hinterland was more limited than for their counterparts in Damascus or Egypt. In these latter places extensive regions of irrigated cultivation were characterized by deeply rooted traditions of private ownership.

The estate of Faris Bey al-‘Azm. LCR Hama 46:207–208, doc. 457–458 [pt. 1], awasit Dhu al-Hijja 1208/ 14 July 1794. On the usefulness of the ‘Azms to Istanbul, see Douwes, Ottomans in Syria, chap. 2. 55 A few years later, in 1743, As‘ad was promoted to the rank of pasha and became a successful governor of Damascus for 14 years. 57 The opportunities for wealth accumulation that office holding provided are shown in enumerations of confiscated ‘Azm fortunes. )62 When oppor55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 LCR Hama 42:328–329, docs.

Notable family strategies for preserving and maintaining the material basis of a lineage included endogamous marriages and marriage alliances, and the establishment of family endowments. The ‘Azms, for their part, translated their political influence into substantial urban and rural property holdings. Prestigious lineages were linked to family endowments. The family endowment – waqf dhurri – was a widespread Ottoman institution that allowed a person to endow his or her freehold properties for the benefit of designated relatives and descendants.

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