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Health and Philanthropy Among the Ottoman Orthodox Population, Eighteenth to Early Nineteenth Century

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The aim of this paper is to investigate the establishment of hospitals the provision of medical treatment among the Ottoman Orthodox population in the eighteenth-early nineteenth century. To this end, the paper demonstrates a common legal culture which combined the Islamic vakıf with the provisions for charity of the Byzantine-Roman law, and it also stresses the gradual increase of the role of the lay benefactors in the charitable activities. The paper concludes that in the period under study the economic development in the Ottoman empire and the subsequent socio-economic differentiation among the Ottoman Orthodox subjects shifted the importance from the Church as an exclusive provider of social welfare to the wealthy Christian reaya, who sought for further social recognition through their charitable activities. Thus, the act of philanthropy possessed a dominant class meaning apart from the religious one.

Affiliations: 1: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - Ionian University, Greece, laiou@ionio.gr, alxander@hist.auth.gr

10.1163/18775462-00501003
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/content/journals/10.1163/18775462-00501003
2014-04-30
2017-11-24

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