The Ottoman Empire was the only great European Muslim power and was at one time the most serious threat to European Christendom. Yet, by the turn of the nineteenth century, it was crumbling power that, paradoxically, retained a strong military force. The Well-Protected Domains examines this anomaly, showing how the late Ottoman state grappled with the challenges of the modernity then changing the world.
Selim Deringil traces the Ottoman state's pursuit of legitimation in many spheres of public life: state ceremonial, the iconography of buildings, the honours system, the language of the chancery, the proto-nationalist reformulation of Islamic legal paractises, the efforts to inculcate the idea of 'Ottoman citizenry' through an expanded education system and the efforts of the Ottoman elite to present a 'civilized' image abroad.
Based on unexplored sources in the Ottoman archives, The Well-Protected Domains brings to life the Hamidian period and provides readers with a unique view of the workings of the late Ottoman Empire.