"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, August 11, 2014

Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire

I am delighted to learn that an invaluable two-volume work published now more than 30 years ago, and rather hard to come by, has just been released, albeit in an abridged edition, by a new publisher: Benjamin Braude, ed., Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire: The Abridged Edition, with a New Introduction (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2014), 350pp.

The value of this book for Eastern Christians is that it was one of the first places to document, in scrupulous scholarly detail, the whole phenomenon of dhimmitude, about which few people had heard in the 1980s though we have, of course, since seen a considerable number of books on the topic in the last three decades. The articles on that topic, and many others, as well as the footnotes, remain invaluable.

About this book we are told in the publisher's blurb:
How did the vast Ottoman empire, stretching from the Balkans to the Sahara, endure for more than four centuries despite its great ethnic and religious diversity? The classic work on this plural society, the two-volume Christians and Jews in the Ottoman Empire, offered seminal reinterpretations of the empire's core institutions and has sparked more than a generation of innovative work since it was first published in 1982. This new, abridged, and reorganized edition, with a substantial new introduction and bibliography covering issues and scholarship of the past thirty years, has been carefully designed to be accessible to a wider readership.

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