The aim of the conference was to consider all aspects of wealth, from making, bequeathing, concealing and displaying. Although the focus was on the Ottoman world, the Centre was keen to bring in scholars from other fields in order to give a comparative perspective. The conference was held 4-7 July 2007.

Papers from the conference were edited by Ebru Boyar and Kate Fleet and published in Oriens, 37 (2009), pp. 103-269.

Religion and wealth

  • Chair: Margaret Malamud (New Mexico)
  • Gerald Hawting (SOAS), Wealth, charity and alms giving in early Islam. 
  • Adam Sabra (Georgia), Manifesting God’s blessings: wealth in Egyptian Sufism.

Provincial poverty and wealth

  • Chairs: Ben Fortna (SOAS), Colin Heywood (Hull)
  • Leslie Peirce (NYU), Were peasants poorer? Assessing provincial wealth in 16th-century Anatolia. 
  • Hülya Canbakal (Sabancı, Istanbul), Comparative reflections on the distribution of wealth in 17th-century Ayntab.
  • Amina Elbendary (Cambridge), Making a living and managing poverty in late medieval Damascus: a reading of Ibn Tawq’s al-Ta’liq. 
  • Eminegül Karababa (Exeter), Origins of consumer culture in an early modern context: Ottoman Bursa. 
  • Virginia Aksan (McMaster), Pockets of wealth in the provinces: the 18th-century Caniklizade. 

Wealth, politics and power

  • Chairs: Palmira Brummett (Tennessee) , Margaret Malamud (New Mexico)
  • Ebru Boyar (ODTÜ, Ankara), Profitable prostitution: state use of immoral earnings for social benefit. 
  • Kate Fleet (Cambridge), Paying for an island: the Venetians, the Ottomans and Crete. 
  • Alejandro Cañeque (Durham), The circulation of wealth and power in an economy of favour and reward: New Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Abdul-Karim Rafeq (The College of William and Mary), Sources of wealth and its social and political implications in 19th-century Damascus. 
  • Frederick Anscombe (Birkbeck, London), Wealth, poverty, justice and injustice: Balkan revolts of the early 19th century. 
  • Pàl Fodor (The Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of History, Budapest), Fur of lynx and arable field: the wealth of an Ottoman tax farmer (1602). 
  • Svetla Ianeva (The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of History, Sofia), Financing the state? Tax farming as a source of individual wealth in the 19th century.

Wealth and diplomacy

  • Chair: Leslie Peirce (NYU)
  • Lisa Jardine (Queen Mary, London), Gloriana rules the waves: cordial exchanges between Elizabeth I and Murad III. 
  • John Burman (Cambridge), Politics and profit: the National Bank of Turkey revisited. 


  • Chair: Colin Heywood (Hull)
  • Elina Screen (Cambridge), Coins and wealth: an early medieval perspective. 
  • John-Paul Ghobrial (Princeton), Money talks: coinage and the communication of political news in the early modern Ottoman world. 

People and wealth

  • Chair: David Morgan (Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Anna Sobers (Cambridge), Slaves, wealth and fear: an episode from late Mamluk-era Egypt. 
  • Madeline Zilfi (Maryland), Wealth in people: slave ownership and elite contestation in the Ottoman reform era. Gabriela Ramos (Cambridge), People, coca, and cloth: changing ideas about wealth in 16th-century Peru. 


  • Chair: Julian Chrysostomides (The Hellenic Institute, Royal Holloway, London)
  • Elizabeth Zachariadou (Crete), A ship owner on the island of Patmos at the end of the 16th century. 
  • James Tracy (Minnesota), Aleppo and Cairo in the silver age of Venetian trade: Andrea Berengo and Lorenzo Tiepolo. 

Cultural wealth I Display and narration

  • Chair: Lisa Jardine (Queen Mary, London)
  • Janet Huskinson (Open University), Desirable residences: display housing for the living and the dead in the Roman empire. 
  • Palmira Brummett (Tennessee), Envisioning Ottoman wealth: narrating and mapping Ottoman “treasure” in the 16th and early 17th centuries. 
  • Rhoads Murphey (Birmingham), Exoticism versus domesticity in the display of wealth in the households of provincial paşas of the 17th and 18th centuries: reflections of tereke inventories in Syria and Anatolia and a comparison with evidence from contemporary Istanbul. 
  • Zeynep Çelik (New Jersey School of Architecture), Defining the cultural wealth of the Ottoman empire c. 1900: architectural heritage, diversity and modernity in the Arab provinces. 

Cultural wealth II The book

  • Chair: Margaret Malamud (New Mexico)
  • Rosamond McKitterick (Cambridge), Books, wealth and social status in Carolingian Francia (8th and 9th centuries). 
  • Nelly Hanna (AUC, Cairo), Literacy and legal culture in the 17th century. 
  • Orlin Sabev (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Balkan History, Sofia), Rich men, poor men: Ottoman printers and booksellers making fortune or needing survival (18th-19th centuries)? 

Position and wealth

  • Chair: Kate Fleet (Cambridge)
  • Maurits van den Boogert (Leiden), Provocative wealth? The financial position of non-Muslim beratlıs in the 18th century. 
  • Antonis Hadjikyriacou (SOAS), Provincial wealth and power: the case of Hadjigeorgakis Kornesios, dragoman of Cyprus, 1779-1809.


The organizers gratefully acknowledge the support of Sheila Browne, former Principal of Newnham College, and the George Macaulay Trevelyan Trust .