By Leslie Peirce

During this skillful research, Leslie Peirce delves into the lifetime of a sixteenth-century heart jap group, bringing to mild the ways in which men and women used their neighborhood legislations court docket to unravel own, relations, and group difficulties. reading one year's lawsuits of the court docket of Aintab, an Anatolian urban that had lately been conquered via the Ottoman sultanate, Peirce argues that neighborhood citizens replied to new possibilities and new constraints by means of negotiating versatile felony practices. Their activities and the several compromises they reached in courtroom encouraged how society considered gender and in addition created a discussion with the ruling regime over mutual rights and responsibilities. finding its dialogue of gender and criminal matters within the context of the altering administrative practices and transferring energy kinfolk of the interval, Morality stories argues that it used to be basically in neighborhood interpretation that felony ideas received energy and that means.

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Additional resources for Morality Tales: Law and Gender in the Ottoman Court of Aintab

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Another argument for looking at the Aintab court registers of 1540 –1541 as a locally produced record is the fact that the state’s executive arm in the province was also largely local: apart from state-appointed governors, the enforcers of the law were residents of Aintab city and the province’s villages. Indeed, the blurred boundary between state and society is another commonplace of this book. It is perhaps an irony that the registry of voices that the court records offer their readers today is in large part a product of Ottoman imperialization.

22 Aintab’s fortunes had improved under S¸ehsuvar’s brother Alaeddevle, locally known as Ali Devlet. A loyal vassal to the Mamluks, the prince controlled the city during his long reign through the grace of his patrons. Indeed, Aintab and its hinterland appear to have enjoyed a sustained period of relative peace until the events of 1515 and 1516. 23 Repairs on the citadel were completed in 1481 at the outset of his reign. The inscription on the entrance portal hails the Mamluk sultan Qaytbay, who most probably ordered the renovation during a tour of inspection he made of his Syrian provinces in 1477.

Because of their procedurally determined nature, the court records tell fragmented stories. ” Moreover, the court is not always interested in the whole story, but rather concentrates on what is legally relevant. In sum, the records are resistant to narration, although each protagonist in a case may tell a story. And so the reader must live with indeterminacy and hypothesis. I offer a small excuse—that in the eyes of our sixteenth-century judges, indeterminacy was sometimes a good thing, since it helped achieve the goal of social equity.

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