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IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 720: Reforming Urban Society, II

Tuesday 7 July 2015, 14.15-15.45

Moderator/Chair:Keith Lilley, School of Geography, Archaeology & Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast
Paper 720-aThe 'Abbāsid Urban Reform in Bilād al-Shām
(Language: English)
Michael Ehrlich, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan
Index terms: Archaeology - General, Crusades, Geography and Settlement Studies, Islamic and Arabic Studies
Paper 720-bDisorder in the Christian City: Narrating the 1391 Assault on the Juheria of Valencia
(Language: English)
Abigail Agresta, Department of History, Yale University
Index terms: Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Religious Life, Social History
Paper 720-cMedieval Constantinople to Ottoman Kostantiniyye: Transformation of Urban Layers
(Language: English)
Bilge Ar, Faculty of Architecture, İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi
Index terms: Architecture - General, Byzantine Studies, Islamic and Arabic Studies

Paper -a:
In 750 AD, when the 'Abbāsids toppled the Umayyad dynasty, Bilād al-Shām was an urbanized zone. 350 years later, when the Crusaders conquered the area, most of these cities did not exist anymore. During this period a good part of the region's population became Muslim and Arabic speaking. These developments were accompanied by migration and nomadization of a good part of the population. I would like to suggest that all these phenomena were interrelated and were the result of a premeditated policy which main aims were to achieve a more effective control of the conquered lands, and to establish a more cost-effective administration.

Paper -b:
This paper analyses how the council of Valencia narrated the 1391 attack on the city's Jewish quarter. The council's response can be best understood within the context of their preoccupation with Christian urban reform: adjusting the plan of the city to better align with the ideal described in Francesc Eiximenis's Regiment de la Cosa Publica. Eiximenis's plan emphasized openness and flow, which the enclosure of the Jewish quarter impeded. The council's descriptions of the attack increasingly focus on the Jewish quarter as a site of blockage and disorder, such that the Jews are ultimately held responsible for their own destruction.

Paper -c:
There are few traces of Medieval Constantinople today. Major monuments and service buildings are remains of the Late Antique city, but medieval city can still be traced through urban structure. Mese and other main roads kept their importance as wisest choices allowed by topography. Forums were preserved in most cases although idea of a public square did not exist within urban traditions of the Turks. The traditionally organic formation of Turkish streets filled settlement areas with crooked curves and deadends. Earthquakes forced a wooden texture to replace stone. This study handles natural and artificial urban renewals, continuations and reformations through the transforming urban layers of Constantinople.