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

By James Reilly

Celebrated for its old 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 heart of a neighborhood financial sector 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 striking households had come to dominate the political and fiscal lifetime of Hama and its outlying villages, environment the degree for the city’s dramatic access into Syrian nationwide lifestyles through the French Mandate and post-colonial sessions. dependent mostly on neighborhood judicial information, this ebook is a social heritage of Hama over the past centuries of Ottoman rule. It examines the social and financial buildings that outlined people’s lives and that conditioned their participation within the old adjustments of the eighteenth and 19th centuries. Dramatis personae contain women and men, commoners and notables, retailers and artisans, and others who, taken jointly, signify a cross-section of a center jap society as they entered the area of worldwide markets, eu empires, and glossy states.

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Upper-class families of elites and 6 7 8 54 Abdel Nour, Introduction, 156. Ira M. Lapidus, “Muslim Cities as Plural Societies: The Politics of Intermediary Bodies,” in Urbanism in Islam: The Proceedings of the International Conference on Urbanism in Islam, vol. 1 (Tokyo, 1989), 144. Cf. Gideon Sjoberg, The Preindustrial City: Past and Present (New York, 1960), 321. notables patronized these networks, which were defined by neighborhood, occupation, and confession. Neighborhoods, Craft Corporations, and Communities The previous chapter has argued that families and family ties were fundamental building blocks in Hama’s society.

E. 22 Sufi affiliations created horizontal ties among confreres across distances, and vertical ties within neighborhoods through the rites associated with visits to Sufi zawiyas and saints’ tombs. Hence Sufism was an important part of the consolidation or assertion of the authority of notable families. 23 In this respect, too, Hama can be regarded as a 20 21 22 23 30 LCR Hama 42:323, doc. 652, 12 Ramadan 1144/ 9 March 1732; 42:404, doc. 803, awakhir Rabi‘ II 1146/ 9 Oct. 1733. al-Zahrawi, Usur Hims, 3:43.

It signified a literate man who was not a religious shaykh or a member of the ‘ulama’ though he might be the son of such a person. Cf. Establet and Pascual, Familles et fortunes, 184; and Hanna Batatu, The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq: A Study of Iraq’s Old Landed and Commercial Classes and its Communists, Ba‘thists, and Free Officers (Princeton, 1978), 9. LCR Hama 46:178, doc. 378, 17 Jumada I 1208/ 21 Dec. 1793; 46:190, doc. 426, 26 Rajab 1208/ 27 Feb. 1794; 46:192, doc.

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