Mulberry Fields Forever

with Zoe Griffith

hosted by Chris Gratien and Kalliopi Amygdalou

Inheritance and the transfer of property across generations connects the history of families to a broader analysis of political economy, particularly in societies where wealth and capital are deeply rooted in the earth. In this episode, Zoe Griffith provides a framework for the study of family history through the lens of the mulberry tree and its produce in a study of Ottoman court records from Tripoli (modern-day Lebanon).

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Zoe Griffith is a doctoral candidate at Brown University studying the early modern Mediterranean (see
Chris Gratien is a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University researching the social and environmental history of the Ottoman Empire and the modern Middle East. (see
Kalliopi Amygdalou is a doctoral candidate in the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College in London working on the relationship between national historiographies and the built environment in Greece and Turkey (see

Episode No. 130
Release date: 18 November 2013
Location: Kurtuluş, Istanbul
Editing and Production by Chris Gratien
Bibliography courtesy of Zoe Griffith

Citation: "Mulberry Fields Forever: Family, Property, and Inheritance in Ottoman Lebanon," Zoe Griffith, Chris Gratien, and Kalliopi Amygdalou, Ottoman History Podcast, No. 130 (November 18, 2013)


Abu Husayn, Abdul Rahim. Provincial Leaderships in Syria, 1575-1650. Beirut: American University in Beirut, 1985.

Cuno, Kenneth. The Pasha’s Peasants: land, society and economy in Lower Egypt, 1740-1858. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Doumani, Beshara. “Introduction.” In Beshara Doumani, ed. Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003: 1-19.

--- “Adjudicating Family: The Islamic Court and Disputes between Kin in Greater Syria, 1700-1860.” In Beshara Doumani, Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003: 173-200.

Ergene, Boğaç. Local Court, Provincial Society, and Justice in the Ottoman Empire: legal practice and dispute resolution in Çankırı and Kastamonu (1652-1744). Leiden: Brill, 2003.

Fay, Mary Ann. “Women and Waqf: toward a reconsideration of women’s place in the Mamluk household.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 29 (1997): 33-51.

Ferguson, Heather. “Property, Language, and Law: Conventions of Social Discourse in Seventeenth-Century Tarablus al-Sham.” In Beshara Doumani, ed. Family History in the Middle East: Household, Property, and Gender. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003: 229-244.

‘Imad, ‘Abd al-Ghani. Mujtama’ Trablus fi zaman al-tahawwulat al-‘uthmaniya. Tripoli, Lebanon: Dar al-Insha’ lil’Sihafah wa’l-Tiba’ah wa’l-Nashr, 2002.

Imber, Colin. “The Status of Orchards and Fruit Trees in Ottoman Law.” Tarih Enstitüsü Dergisi, 12 (1981-82): 763-774.

Mundy, Martha and Richard Saumarez-Smith. Governing Property, Making the Modern State: law, administration, and production in Ottoman Syria. London: I.B. Taurus, 2007.

Tezcan, Baki. The Second Ottoman Empire: political and social transformations in the early modern world. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Music: Wadi al-Safi - Ya al-Tut al-Shami


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