Slaves and Slave Agency in the Ottoman Empire offers a new contribution to slavery studies relating to the Ottoman Empire. Given the fact that the classical binary of 'slavery' and 'freedom' derives from the transatlantic experience, this volume presents an alternative approach by examining the strong asymmetric relationships of dependency documented in the Ottoman Empire. A closer look at the Ottoman social order discloses manifold and ambiguous conditions involving enslavement practices, rather than a single universal pattern. The authors examine various forms of enslavement and dependency with a particular focus on agency, i. e. the room for maneuver, which the enslaved could secure for themselves, or else the available options for action in situations of extreme individual or group dependencies.
In this volume, scholars of pre-modern Europe and the Arab world examine the issues of incarceration and slavery. The emphasis rests on religious, literary, philosophical, and historical narratives, buttressed by art-historical evidence, all of which demonstrates the true importance of these painful problems.
In this volume, we approach the phenomenon of slavery and other types of strong asymmetrical dependencies from two methodologically and theoretically distinct perspectives: semantics and lexical fields. Detailed analyses of key terms that are associated with the conceptualization of strong asymmetrical dependencies promise to provide new insights into the self-concept and knowledge of pre-modern societies. The majority of these key terms have not been studied from a semantic or terminological perspective so far. Our understanding of lexical fields is based on an onomasiological approach – which linguistic items are used to refer to a concept? Which words are used to express a concept? This means that the concept is a semantic unit which is not directly accessible but may be manifested in different ways on the linguistic level. We are interested in single concepts such as ‘wisdom’ or ‘fear’, but also in more complex semantic units like ‘strong asymmetrical dependencies’. In our volume, we bring together and compare case studies from very different social orders and normative perspectives. Our examples range from Ancient China and Egypt over Greek and Maya societies to Early Modern Russia, the Ottoman Empire and Islamic and Roman law.
This study bridges the gap that exists between studies dedicated to the history of slavery in the Western and Islamic worlds. It sets itself the goal of understanding how slavery persisted and then met its end in the Ottoman Empire. It concentrates on the period between 1800-1909 and examines the policies of the Ottoman state regarding slavery both before and after the reform period known as the Tanzimat. It also looks at the British involvement in the issue.
Contrary to common assumptions, medieval and early modern writers and poets often addressed the high value of freedom, whether we think of such fable authors as Marie de France or Ulrich Bonerius. Similarly, medieval history knows of numerous struggles by various peoples to maintain their own freedom or political independence. Nevertheless, as this study illustrates, throughout the pre-modern period, the loss of freedom could happen quite easily, affecting high and low (including kings and princes) and there are many literary texts and historical documents that address the problems of imprisonment and even enslavement (Georgius of Hungary, Johann Schiltberger, Hans Ulrich Krafft, etc.). Simultaneously, philosophers and theologians discussed intensively the fundamental question regarding free will (e.g., Augustine) and political freedom (e.g., John of Salisbury). Moreover, quite a large number of major pre-modern poets spent a long time in prison where they composed some of their major works (Boethius, Marco Polo, Charles d'Orléans, Thomas Malory, etc.). This book brings to light a vast range of relevant sources that confirm the existence of this fundamental and impactful discourse on freedom, imprisonment, and enslavement.
The monograph realigns political culture and countermeasures against slave raids, which increased during the breakup of the Golden Horde. By physical defense of the open steppe border and by embracing the New Israel symbolism in which the exodus from slavery in Egypt prefigures the exodus of Russian captives from Tatar captivity, Muscovites found a defensive model to expand empire. Recent scholarly debates on slaving are innovatively applied to Russian and imperial history, challenging entrenched perceptions of Muscovy.
While the Ottoman conquest of the Mamluk realm in 1516-17 doubtlessly changed the balance of political power in Egypt and Greater Syria, the changes must be seen as a wide-ranging transition process. The present collection of essays provides several case studies on the changing situation during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and explains how the reconfiguration of political power affected both Egypt and Greater Syria. With reference to the first volume (2017), this second volume continues the debate on key issues of the transition period with contributions by scholars from both Mamluk and Ottoman studies. By combining these perspectives, the authors provide a more comprehensive and nuanced picture of the process of transformation from Mamluk to Ottoman rule.
This richly illustrated volume, the first devoted to maritime art and galley slavery in early modern France, shows how royal propagandists used the image and labor of enslaved Muslims to glorify Louis XIV. Mediterranean maritime art and the forced labor on which it depended were fundamental to the politics and propaganda of France’s King Louis XIV (r. 1643–1715). Yet most studies of French art in this period focus on Paris and Versailles, overlooking the presence or portrayal of galley slaves on the kingdom’s coasts. By examining a wide range of artistic productions—ship design, artillery sculpture, medals, paintings, and prints—Meredith Martin and Gillian Weiss uncover a vital aspect of royal representation and unsettle a standard picture of art and power in early modern France. With an abundant selection of startling images, many never before published, The Sun King at Sea emphasizes the role of esclaves turcs (enslaved Turks)—rowers who were captured or purchased from Islamic lands—in building and decorating ships and other art objects that circulated on land and by sea to glorify the Crown. Challenging the notion that human bondage vanished from continental France, this cross-disciplinary volume invites a reassessment of servitude as a visible condition, mode of representation, and symbol of sovereignty during Louis XIV’s reign.