The Proper Order of Things: Language, Power, and Law in Ottoman Administrative Discourse

The "natural order of the state" was an early modern mania for the Ottoman Empire. In a time of profound and pervasive imperial transformation, the ideals of stability, proper order, and social harmony were integral to the legitimization of Ottoman power. And as Ottoman territory grew, so too did its network of written texts: a web of sultanic edicts, aimed at defining and supplementing imperial authority in the empire's disparate provinces. With this book, Heather L. Ferguson (Middle East and Ottoman History, Claremont McKenna College) studies how this textual empire created a unique vision of Ottoman legal and social order, and how the Ottoman ruling elite, via sword and pen, articulated a claim to universal sovereignty that subverted internal challengers and external rivals.

Lectures are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Ayat Agah at (909) 6027-4278 or

Wednesday, February 20 at 4:15pm

Honnold/Mudd Library, Founders Room
800 N. Dartmouth Avenue, Claremont, CA

Event Type

Academic Departments, History


zzCUC Lecture


Google Calendar iCal Outlook