This introductory chapter explains the theme of this book, which is about the relation of law to morality and gender in the Ottoman court of Aintab. The book describes how the people of Aintab and its hinterland used their court to solve social problems and also when they were called to account by legal authorities for breaking the law. The chapters and stories in the book place a good deal of emphasis on how people spoke at court and on what caused male and female voices to differ in some matters but not in others. The book also provides case studies of three court cases involving women.
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