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Women in the Ottoman Empire: Middle Eastern Women in the Early Modern Era (Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage, Vol 10) Hardcover – August, 1997

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Editorial Reviews


'...a selection of meticulously researched, carefully argued, and eloquently presented essays...an important contribution to the growing literature on Middle Eastern women's lives...essential reading for scholars of the Middle East, the clarity and thoroughness of each essay and the extensive glossary provided make this text accessible to specialists of other regions as well.' Mine Ener, Turkish Studies Association Bulletin, 1998.

About the Author

Madeline C. Zilfi, Ph.D. (1976), University of Chicago, is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has published many articles on Ottoman history and is the author of The Politics of Piety. The Ottoman Ulema 1600-1800 (Chicago: Bibliotheca Islamica, 1987).

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Product Details

  • Series: Ottoman Empire and Its Heritage, Vol 10 (Book 10)
  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Pub (August 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9004108041
  • ISBN-13: 978-9004108042
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,579,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "catholicaggie" on April 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The scarcity of information on early modern Ottoman/Islamic women makes this book a real treasure, and the glossary of Arabic/Turkish terms is especially helpful. For the amount of information between the covers, it's definitely worth the price! For Westerners who seek a better understanding of Islam, the history of Muslim women is crucial. Women of that period were married between 12 and 17 (compared to 24-26 years of age for Western women in the early modern period). The Ottoman woman's marginalization and subjugation is not far from the Western woman's--yet it is based not on physical weakness, but on fear of the woman's "fitna"--her potential to tempt men and be a threat to social order! Were all Islamic women locked up in harems? Certainly not, and the book explains other aspects of a woman's life, such as the power of instant repudiation (divorce) which the husband possessed, the "nuqsan" (deficiency)of a woman's nature, and the religious, political and social restrictions women were under. Do not confuse Ottoman/Islamic practices of that period with the mandates of the Prophet, however. Taken in the context of the period, the many essays offer a fascinating glimpse into the real world of an Ottoman woman.
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