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Imagined EmpiresA History of Revolt in Egypt$
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Zeinab Abul-Magd

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520275522

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520275522.001.0001

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Ottomans, Plague, and Rebellion

Ottomans, Plague, and Rebellion


(p.17) One Ottomans, Plague, and Rebellion
Imagined Empires

Zeinab Abul-Magd

University of California Press

This chapter argues that Ottomans were an imagined empire in Upper Egypt. There was a reversed case of the core/periphery relationship: the consumerist imperial core was dependent on a capitalist periphery. Furthermore, when the empire attempted to make an actual appearance in the south, its presence only brought about environmental crises, including the onset of the plague, and eventually triggered subaltern rebellion. The chapter follows the formation of government and economic systems that existed under the independent tribal regime of the south. This state reached its maturity in the eighteenth century, under the government of the legendary Hammam, which almost amounted to an early “republic”—as contemporary French observers asserted.

Keywords:   Ottomans, Shaykh al-Arab Hammam, Hawwara, plague, Mamluks, Arab tribes, Copts, shari‘a courts

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