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By Jane Hathaway

In a lucidly argued revisionist research of army society in Ottoman Egypt, Jane Hathaway contends that the elemental framework in which this elite operated used to be the family, a conglomerate of patron-client ties. utilizing Turkish and Arabic archival resources, the writer makes a speciality of the Qazdagli family, an army staff that got here to dominate Egypt. This pioneering examine could have an immense impression at the realizing of Egyptian background, and should be crucial studying for students within the box, and for premodern historians ordinarily.

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33 The net effect is to imbue the late eighteenth-century ascendancy of a beylicate of mamluk origin with a historical resonance that it may not have had and to give the impression that mamluks were more common in seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Egyptian military society than they may, in fact, have been. The character of this middle period of Ottoman rule in Egypt is, naturally, reproduced most faithfully in sources composed during that era. The range of 31 32 33 Ismail al-Khashshab, Tadhkira li-ahl al-basa ir wa al-absdr ma wajh al-ikhtisdr, Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, MS Arabe 1858.

V, no. 18, dated 1146 (1733). 18 In stressing membership, tab? also differs in connotation from the Turkish firak, a term denoting an apprentice or protege who is promoted by a grandee or official without necessarily belonging to his entourage. Indeed, the reliance of both official documents and local chroniclers on tab? as a generic term for members of the entourages of grandees, regardless of slave status, gives the impression that clientage overshadowed slave status in defining a person's position in Egyptian military society by the late seventeenth century.

Localized Ottoman officials, such as longtime administrators or exiled palace eunuchs, could also join this elite. A grandee typically built up an entourage of slaves, domestic servants, wives and concubines, bodyguards, and assorted clients who collected at his place of residence. The governor's entourage coalesced in Cairo's citadel, while the entourages of beys and officers typically gathered in the palatial houses that many of them owned in various neighborhoods of the city. Elite residences tended to concentrate in certain areas of the city.

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