Petitioning the Sultan in Ottoman Egypt

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This article examines the role of petitions to the Sultan concerning private disputes in the legal system of Ottoman Egypt during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Previous studies have seen petitioning as a means for subjects to complain about abuses carried out by Ottoman officials: few scholars have engaged with the many petitions involving private disputes between subjects. Based on both original petitions and Ottoman bureaucratic records, this article consists of two parts and an appendix. Part 1 describes the petitioning process, including the procedure followed by the imperial palace when handling petitions. Part 2 analyses the various ways in which sending a petition could affect the outcome of a dispute. The appendix features a reproduction and transcription of a petition which has been annotated by several palace officials, illustrating its progress through the palace bureaucracy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-524
JournalBulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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