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Under Osman's tree : the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, and environmental history

Author: Alan Mikhail
Publisher: Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, [2017]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Osman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, had a dream in which a tree sprouted from his navel. As the tree grew, its shade covered the earth; as Osman's empire grew, it, too, covered the earth. This is the most widely accepted foundation myth of the longest-lasting empire in the history of Islam, and offers a telling clue to its unique legacy. Underlying every aspect of the Ottoman Empire's epic history - from its  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Alan Mikhail
ISBN: 9780226427171 022642717X
OCLC Number: 956633756
Description: xiii, 336 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Preface: Osman's tree --
Introduction: the global environmental history of the Middle East --
Water. Irrigation works --
History from below --
Silt and empire --
Work. Rural muscle --
Expert measures --
Animal. Animal capital --
Brute force --
Elemental. Food and wood --
Plague ecologies --
Egypt, Iceland, SO₂ --
Conclusion: empire as ecosystem.
Responsibility: Alan Mikhail.

Abstract:

Osman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire, had a dream in which a tree sprouted from his navel. As the tree grew, its shade covered the earth; as Osman's empire grew, it, too, covered the earth. This is the most widely accepted foundation myth of the longest-lasting empire in the history of Islam, and offers a telling clue to its unique legacy. Underlying every aspect of the Ottoman Empire's epic history - from its founding around 1300 to its end in the twentieth century - is its successful management of natural resources. Alan Mikhail analyzes this rich environmental history to understand the most remarkable qualities of the Ottoman Empire its--longevity, politics, economy, and society. The early modern Middle East was the world's most crucial zone of connection and interaction. Accordingly, the Ottoman Empire's many varied environments affected and were affected by global trade, climate, and disease. From down in the mud of Egypt's canals to up in the treetops of Anatolia, Alan Mikhail tackles major aspects of the Middle East's environmental history: natural resource management, climate, human and animal labor, energy, water control, disease, and politics. He also points to some of the ways in which the region's dominant religious tradition, Islam, has understood and related to the natural world. Marrying environmental and Ottoman history, this is a bold new interpretation of the past five hundred years of Middle Eastern history.

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