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A Tale of Two Factions
Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen
A Tale of Two Factions
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Jane Hathaway - Author
SUNY series in the Social and Economic History of the Middle East
Price: $68.50 
Hardcover - 311 pages
Release Date: October 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5883-0
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5883-9

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Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 311 pages
Release Date: October 2003
ISBN10: 0-7914-5884-9
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-5884-6

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Winner of The Ohio Academy of History Publication Award

Reevaluates the foundation myths of two rival factions in Egypt during the Ottoman era.

This revisionist study reevaluates the origins and foundation myths of the Faqaris and Qasimis, two rival factions that divided Egyptian society during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when Egypt was the largest province in the Ottoman Empire. In answer to the enduring mystery surrounding the factions' origins, Jane Hathaway places their emergence within the generalized crisis that the Ottoman Empire—like much of the rest of the world—suffered during the early modern period, while uncovering a symbiosis between Ottoman Egypt and Yemen that was critical to their formation. In addition, she scrutinizes the factions' foundation myths, deconstructing their tropes and symbols to reveal their connections to much older popular narratives. Drawing on parallels from a wide array of cultures, she demonstrates with striking originality how rituals such as storytelling and public processions, as well as identifying colors and emblems, could serve to reinforce factional identity.

“…with skill, tact, and intellectual rigor [Hathaway] show[s] how Egypt functioned as an integral part of the Ottoman Empire in which multiple cultural and political forces … combined and intertwined to produce a specific kind of multilayered Ottoman social, cultural, and political milieu … It adds much to our understanding of one of the most significant social phenomena of Ottoman Egypt—the Faqari-Qasimi rivalry—and traces the important connections between Egypt and Yemen.” — MIT Electronic Journal of Middle East Studies

“Rather than simply laying out alternative narratives and interpretations of the evolution of faction and myth, Hathaway untangles some of the puzzles of identification that inhabit these narratives. Her work will prove significant not only for Ottoman and Mamluk specialists seeking concrete scholarly documentation but also for those exploring the historiography, literature, and politics of notables in other regions.” — Journal of Early Modern History

“Her work will prove significant not only for Ottoman and Mamluk specialists seeking concrete scholarly documentation but also for those exploring the historiography, literature, and politics of notables in other regions.” — Journal of Early Modern History

"An outstanding and original piece of historical work that is a tremendous addition to the historiography of the early modern Ottoman Empire." — Gabriel Piterberg, author of An Ottoman Tragedy: History and Historiography at Play

"Hathaway addresses a number of important questions: How do we understand the formation of political identities in the early modern period? In what ways do public rituals, folklore, and myths of origin factor into the formation of these identities? She elegantly draws us into the cultural world of an era that is gone and opens up new avenues for research on political culture in the early modern period." — Dina Rizk Khoury, author of State and Provincial Society in the Ottoman Empire: Mosul, 1540–1834

Jane Hathaway is Associate Professor of History at Ohio State University, the author of The Politics of Households in Ottoman Egypt: The Rise of the Qazdaglis, and editor of Rebellion, Repression, Reinvention: Mutiny in Comparative Perspective.


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Table of Contents

Abbreviations

Note on Transliteration

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Appendix: Origin Myths of the Factions

1. Bilateral Factionalism in Ottoman Egypt

2. Bir Varmis, Bir Yokmus: Folklore and Binary Oppositions in the Factional Origin Myths

3. Sa'd and Haram: The Factions' Bedouin Equivalents

4. The Yemeni Connection to Egypt's Factions

5. Red and White: The Colors of the Factions' Banners

6. The Knob and the Disk—The Factions' Standards

7. Selim and Sudun in the Origin Myths

8. The Mulberry Tree in the Origin Myths

9. The Competitive Feasts of Qasim and Dhu'l-Faqar Beys

10. Qasimi Genesis? Qansuh's Slave Troop and Ridvan's Circassian Genealogy

11. Faqari Genesis? 'Ali Bey's Mosque and the Ottoman Dhu'l-Faqar Sword

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index



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