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Chapter Summary

Wealth is the easiest criterion of social differentiation to trace since it is quantifiable. The control of tax farms is known to be one of the major means through which the new elite of the ‘post-classical’ period amassed great wealth and power. By offering access to the imperial mechanism of surplus extraction, tax farming also provided one of the most important channels of contact between local elites and the central government. The unavailability of local sources for ʿAyntab and the method chosen in this chapter to exploit the available sources preclude biographical richness and sensitivity to detail; therefore, they limit the scope of what can be learned about individuals and individual families. It further explains provincial elites and center-periphery relations in recent literature concerns fundamentally the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, characterized by distinct economic realities.

Keywords: ʿAyntab; civilian wealth; imperial mechanism; Ottoman rule; tax-farming market



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