, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 151–153 | Cite as

The environment in the history of Ottoman Egypt

Alan Mikhail: Under Osman’s tree: The Ottoman Empire, Egypt, and environmental history, Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 2017, 336pp, $45.00 E-book & Cloth
  • Colin ImberEmail author
Book Review

The environmental history of the Ottoman Empire is a recent, but now well-established area of academic research. The pioneer was perhaps William Griswold who, in 1983, suggested that deteriorating weather in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries may have been a factor in triggering the rebellions which shook Anatolia during this period. Sam White’s The Climate of Rebellion in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire of 2012 largely validates Griswold’s suggestion, as does Oktay Özel’s The Collapse of Rural Order in Ottoman Anatoliaof 2016. Both of these works provide well-documented accounts of how an increasing population pushed against a worsening climate and a shrinking area of cultivable land, creating large-scale unemployment among the dispossessed peasantry. Other works, while not dealing with climate change and the consequent loss of agricultural land as their main topic, make references to the same phenomenon. For example, Grigor Boykov’s article ‘The human cost of...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Arts, Languages and CultureUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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