In this skillful analysis, Leslie Peirce delves into the life of a sixteenth-century Middle Eastern community, bringing to light the ways that women and men used their local law court to solve personal, family, and community problems. Examining one year's proceedings of the court of Aintab, an Anatolian city that had recently been conquered by the Ottoman sultanate, Peirce argues that local residents responded to new opportunities and new constraints by negotiating flexible legal practices. Their actions and the different compromises they reached in court influenced how society viewed gender and also created a dialogue with the ruling regime over mutual rights and obligations. Locating its discussion of gender and legal issues in the context of the changing administrative practices and shifting power relations of the period, Morality Tales argues that it was only in local interpretation that legal rules acquired vitality and meaning.
Front matter Contents Illustrations Acknowledgments Note on Translation and Transliteration Maps Introduction Part One. The Setting: Aintab and Its Court Part Two. Gender and the Terrain of Local Justice Part Three. Law, Community, and the State Part Four. Making Justice at the Court of Aintab Notes Index
Description based upon print version of record. Includes bibliographical references (p. 391-452) and index.