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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53222
Doc. No:TL23176
Call number:‭3227344‬
Main Entry:Jane Holt Murphy
Title & Author:Improving the mind and delighting the spirit: Jabarti and the sciences in eighteenth-century Ottoman CairoJane Holt Murphy
College:Princeton University
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:212
Abstract:Through a case study of eighteenth-century Cairo, this dissertation examines the cultural and intellectual roles of the sciences in the early modern Ottoman milieu on the eve of widespread direct European political involvement in the region. Most studies of Islamic science end well before the eighteenth century or begin with questions of modernization and westernization in the nineteenth century and are driven to a great extent, by the importance of European trajectories---and the Scientific Revolution and Modern Industrialization in particular---for the rest of the world. Judged with such hindsight, the scientific production of the eighteenth century Ottoman Empire has not captured much scholarly interest despite the fact that eighteenth-century Cairene religious scholars (the ' ulamā') and members of the Ottoman and Mamluk military elite produced and collected thousands of treatises on arithmetic, astronomy, astrology, the use and production of astronomical instruments, almanacs, aspects of number theory, medicine, divination, algebra, and amulets. In order to explain this fascination with fields called, in period terminology, the uncommon or gharīb sciences, this work examines the intellectual debates and scholarly practices that enlivened such study, the close bonds of friendship forged around such pursuits, and the economic and social advantages that such expertise afforded scholars. Within the ranks of eighteenth-century Cairene religious scholars, study of the gharīb sciences produced extremely close attachments between students and teachers; in the larger society, expertise in the gharīb sciences served as an important link between members of the 'ulamā ' and the ruling Ottoman and Mamluk classes. Far from exhibiting the timeless opposition of 'Islam' to 'Science', eighteenth-century Cairo saw many of the most prominent members of the religious class deeply involved in magico-scientific practices. Contemporary manuscripts and biographical works echo the intellectual and social significance of the sciences in this period. This recovered history alters our reading of reactions to scientific and political challenges of the French occupation (1798-1801) and the early years of Mehmed `Alī's reign (r. 1805-1849) and highlights the importance of situating both opposition and promotion of the sciences against an intellectual and social history.
Subject:Social sciences; Cairo; Egypt; Eighteenth century; Jabarti; Ottoman Empire; Sciences; Science history; Middle Eastern history; 0333:Middle Eastern history; 0585:Science history
Added Entry:M. S. Mahoney
Added Entry:Princeton University