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 an area financial area of its personal. Intertwined social networks associated townspeople to the peasants and pastoral nomads of Hama’s hinterland. by way of the early 20th century a number of elite and remarkable households had come to dominate the political and monetary lifetime of Hama and its outlying villages, atmosphere the degree for the city’s dramatic access into Syrian nationwide lifestyles in the course of the French Mandate and post-colonial classes. established largely on neighborhood judicial files, this ebook is a social historical past of Hama over the past centuries of Ottoman rule. It examines the social and fiscal constructions that outlined people’s lives and that conditioned their participation within the ancient adjustments 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 japanese society as they entered the realm of world 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
Inheritance documents provide numerous examples from different decades. LCR Hama 42:335, doc. 684, awasit Dhu al-Qa‘da 1144/ 10 May 1732; 46:240–241, doc. 524, 21 Jumada I 1211/ 22 Nov. 1796; 53:7, 25 Dhu alQa‘da 1265/ 12 Oct. 1849. LCR Hama 46:241–242, 20 Jumada I 1211/ 21 Nov. 1796. 89 In contrast, many women’s estate inventories lacked immovable property. 90 Nevertheless women did figure as owners of residential property, and their ownership was usually linked to family relationships. Often a woman inherited residential property after her husband’s death as part of her delayed brideswealth91 (mu’akhkhar sadaq – a sum owed to a woman from her husband’s estate upon his death, or as compensation for a unilateral, male-initiated divorce).
Inheritance records show that early mortality in Ottoman Hama was commonplace. This represented another factor that limited the applicability of the patrilineal-aristocratic model. Children often predeceased their parents, and households were thrown into flux by the death of one or another spouse at an early age, an event which left widows or widowers responsible for bringing up of young children. 100 The centrality of family relationships extended into other spheres of economic life and activity besides ownership of residential property.
LCR Hama 42:410, doc. 815, awa’il Dhu al-Qa‘da 1146/ 19 April 1734. The quarter was Taht al-Shajara, part of which retained its original appellation. LCR Hama 42:410, doc. 815, awa’il Dhu al-Qa‘da 1146/ 19 April 1734; al-Sabuni, Tarikh Hamah, 69 n. 1, 100 n. 8. v. “Rifâ‘iyya” by C. E. Bosworth; “Sa‘diyya” by Barbara von Schlegell. 29 assured them a role in the religious, judicial and political life of Hama. 20 The establishment or consolidation of Sufi-linked notable families in Hama during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is a noteworthy development.