|Title||Rural Economy and Tribal Society in Islamic Egypt: A Study of al-Nābulusī’s 'Villages of the Fayyum'|
|Year of Publication||2018|
|Series Title||Medieval Countryside|
Yossef, Rapoport, Ph.D. 2002.
Winner of the 2019 Middle East Medievalists biennial Book Prize, which recognizes significant contributions to the study of the medieval Middle East. Authors must be current members in good standing of Middle East Medievalists to be considered.
This study of a unique and unparalleled thirteenth-century Arabic tax register of the province of the Fayyum in Middle Egypt offers a radically new perspective on the social and economic history of the medieval Islamic countryside.
The Villages of the Fayyum is a unique and unparalleled thirteenth-century Arabic tax register of the province of the Fayyum in Middle Egypt. Based on this tax-register, this book utilises quantitative research methods and spatial GIS analysis to provide a rich account of the rural economy of the medieval Fayyum, the tribal organization of the village communities, and their rights and duties in relation to the military landholders. It also draws on the rich documentary evidence of the Fayyum, which stretches back to the Greco-Roman and early Islamic periods, to trace the transformation of the Fayyum into a Muslim-majority and Arab province.
Table of Contents
List of Tables and Maps
Weights and Measures
Chapter One: Al-Nābulusī and the Villages of the Fayyum
Chapter Two: The Fayyum, from the Ptolemies to the Ayyubids
Chapter Three: Land, Water and People in Ayyubid Fayyum
Chapter Four: Subsistence and Tribute
Chapter Five: Sugar, Orchards and Markets
Chapter Six: Landholding and the Regime of Iqṭāʿ
Chapter Seven: Village and Tribe
Chapter Eight: Christians and Muslims
Chapter Nine: The Tribal Conversion of the Fayyum
“Overall, this is an exceptionally illuminating study/primary source which represents a major advance in our knowledge on the rural human topography both of the Near East in general and Egypt in particular. It is scrupulously researched and plausible in its conclusions. Moreover, the nature of the thirteenth-century register lends itself to the creation of important statistical data relevant to a range of important debates.” (Nicholas Morton, in Al-Masāq, 31:1, 2019, p. 112-114)
“Taken together, these two volumes are a wonderful result of a project that started with an AHRC grant back in 2009. Most importantly, they succeed in moving the gaze of scholarship beyond the walls of the major cities where most studies of this period remain. The study is a major piece of scholarship and a must-read for anybody interested in Mamluk history, Egyptian history, rural history or economic history. It is eloquently written and exemplary in the clarity of both argument and methodology – a privilege to read and to review.” (Konrad Hirschler, in the Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 82/1, 2019)
“This is an important book and provides a novel revisionist narrative. It also builds a needed bridge between historians and social scientists who are interested in Middle Eastern history.” (Mohamed Saleh, in EH.NET, July 2019)