Professor Raymond deals here with the evolution of the great Arab cities of the Ottoman period (1516-1800) - with questions of organisation, social life and the built space - looking in particular at Aleppo, Algiers, Constantine and, above all, at Cairo. These studies form part of a movement, in which the author's work has played a significant role, aiming to re-examine the traditional Orientalist view of 'Muslim cities'. Contrary to the negative perception one so often finds, of decadent and chaotic towns, it can be seen that they had a coherent internal structure and that, far from being in decline, they enjoyed renewed prosperity in the Ottoman era, benefiting from the strength of the empire and flourishing Mediterranean trade. This in turn was reflected in the important and original architectural activity of the period.
Contents: Introduction; The Ottoman City: Islamic city, Arab city: Orientalist myths and recent views; The Ottoman conquest and the development of the great Arab towns; La structure spatiale de la ville; L'architecture dans les pays arabes A l'epoque ottomane; Cities of Syria and the Maghreb: Urban networks and popular movements in Cairo and Aleppo (end of the 18th - beginning of the 19th century); An expanding community: the Christians of Aleppo in the Ottoman era (16th-18th centuries); Le centre d'Alger en 1830; Les caracteristiques d'une ville arabe 'moyenne' au XVIIIeme siecle: le cas de Constantine; Cairo: Cairo's area and population in the early 15th century; The residential districts of Cairo's elite in the Mamluk and Ottoman periods (14th-18th centuries); The opuscule of Shaykh 'Ali al-Shadhili: a source for the history of the 1711 crisis in Cairo; The economic crisis of Egypt in the 18th century; Quartiers et mouvements populaires au Caire au XVIIIeme siecle; Soldiers in trade: the case of Ottoman Cairo; The role of the communities (tawa'if) in the administration of Cairo in the Ottoman period; Architecture and urban development: Cairo during the Ottoman period, 1517-1798; The rab': a type of collective housing in Cairo during the Ottoman period; Indexes.