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Rafeq, Abdul K. (1963) The Province of Damascus from 1723 to 1783, with special reference to the 'Azm Pashas. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The period under study was characterized by two min features: the appointment of members of the local family as governors and the trend towards lengthening the tenure of governors. An investigation of the causes which brought about these developments shows that the decline of the Ottoman central administration facilitated the emergence of local power groups. The transfer of the command of the Pilgrimage, previously mainly held by local notables, to the governors of Damascus was a major factor behind the lengthening of their tenure. The object of this study is to show how these developments came about and how the history of Damascus was shaped as a result The principal sources include Arabic manuscripts and archival material. These are surveyed in the first chapter. The second chapter deals with the limits of the province of Damascus, analyses the importance of the period under study and examines various aspects of the administration and the religious institutions. The local political developments which immediately preceded the appointment of the first 'Azm governor, Ismail Pasha, to Damascus are discussed, together with the origin of the 'Azms, in the first half of Chapter 3. The remaining part of the chapter deals with his governorship and with the causes behind the downfall of the 'Azm governors in 1730. The period between 1730 and 1741 which is discussed in chapter 4, saw five governors appointed to Damascus, one of whom was a 'Azm. The causes behind the rehabilitation of the 'Azms are discussed here. Chapter 5 is devoted to the third phase of 'Azm rule in Damascus in the period between 1741 and 1757. After it their power was weakened. It was not till 1771 that a 'Azm was again appointed to Damascus. The period between 1757 and 1760, which is discussed in Chapter 6, saw the governors seriously challenged by local forces inside and outside Damascus. They held the field for the time being, however, After 1760 the forces in Damascus were quiescent, but the outside dangers were increasing. A large part of Chapter 7 is devoted, therefore, to an analysis of these dangers, which culminated with the occupation of Damascus by the Mamluks of Egypt in 1771. The final chapter discusses the difficulties which the 'Azm governor, Muhammad Pasha, encountered in his attempt to restore the hegemony of Damascus. His death in 1783 marks the decline of 'Azm power and the transfer of the political initiative in southern Syria to the governor of Sidon, Ahmad Pasha al-Jazzar,

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:09

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