By Oded Peri
An immense factor in 19th-century international politics, the query of Christianity's holiest shrines in Jerusalem is roofed via a wide physique of literature. so much of this scholarship, even though, concentrates at the interval while the query of the Holy websites has already developed from a household Ottoman challenge into an all-European factor. less is understood approximately this challenge in previous instances, while the Ottoman Empire was once nonetheless a dominant strength capable of suggest options freed from overseas interference and out of doors pressures. in response to professional Ottoman documents present in the registers of the kadi's courtroom in Jerusalem in addition to the top Ministry's files in Istanbul, this learn bargains a radical therapy of Ottoman coverage with recognize to the Holy websites in the course of the first centuries of Ottoman rule in Jerusalem. It makes a speciality of 3 crucial matters: (a) The criminal prestige of the Holy websites less than Ottoman rule; (b) The Ottoman kingdom and the inter-church fight over the Holy websites; (c) The Holy websites as a resource of source of revenue to the Ottoman kingdom. The dialogue of those concerns sheds new mild on some of the most imprecise and debatable chapters within the historical past of Christianity less than Islam in Jerusalem.
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Additional resources for Christianity Under Islam in Jerusalem: The Question of the Holy Sites in Early Ottoman Times
Indeed, Christian as well as Ottoman sources concur that the ability of the various church hierarchies to act in their respective interests with regard to the Holy Sites relied on outside support. Such support came in various guises. One of the most important took the form of Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Sites. The potential contribution of Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem's economy has already been noted. So has the control of Christian ecclesiastical institutions over the economic activity associated with attending to the pilgrims' needs.
By the time of the Ottoman conquest, the Franciscan monks were already in possession of most of the important shares 69 Buhl 1924: 1100; Colbi 1988: 37-41; Wardi 1975: 386. Gust 1930: 6; Colbi 1988: 53-60. 71 Parkes 1949: 190-1; Wardi 1975: 387. 72 Parkes 1949: 193; Wardi 1975: 387; Gust 1930: 7; Colbi 1988: 75-7. The Franciscan mission to Jerusalem was therefore given the title Custodia Terrae Sanctae by the Roman Catholic church. 73 The inclusion of the Roman Catholic church among the Christian denominations sharing the Holy Sites marked the completion of the historical process, evolution and acceptance of these sites as universal venues of worship and pilgrimage common to all Christians regardless of their church.
The sums paid were one, two, and four gold pieces respectively. As these norms were applied in Jerusalem as well, the 1690-91 poll-tax register might help in a further clarification of the social and economic conditions under which the studied population lived. According to the poll-tax register of 1690-91, most (81 %) of the Christians living in Jerusalem and its semi-rural vicinity paid the lowest cizye rate. 5%) paid the medium rate tax. 5%) paid the highest. As a whole, this population seems to have had a quite modest standard of living.
Christianity Under Islam in Jerusalem: The Question of the Holy Sites in Early Ottoman Times by Oded Peri