Friday, May 14, 2010

Stilt on the Medieval Muhtasib

Kristen Stilt, Northwestern University School of Law, has posted two previously published installments of her research on the medieval muhtasib. The first is Price Setting and Hoarding in Mamluk Egypt, which appeared in The Law Applied: Contextulaizing the Islamic Sharia, ed. Peri Bearman, Wolfhart Heinrichs, Bernard Weiss (I.B. Taurus, London, 2008):
This Article studies the legal position of the muhtasib in medieval Cairo, using the biographical information available about the individuals who held the position to understand the actions they took in office. The muhtasib, who was an inspector of public places and markets in particular, was a key legal actor in terms of applying law immediately to a situation he encountered; he was a common face of the law in society. This Article, influenced in method by legal realism, shows that in addition to the law that a particular muhtasib intended to apply to a particular case, biographical information is crucial in explaining how and why each muhtasib responded to particular events.
The second is Recognizing the Individual: The Muhtasibs of Early Mamluk Cairo and Fustat, which appeared in the Harvard Middle Eastern and Islamic Review 7 (2006): 63-84:
This Article studies the biographies of several key muhtasibs in Mamluk Cairo and Fustat to understand the types of individuals who held the position and how the individual background, education, status among the populace, relationship to the ruling elite, and the means of obtaining the position of each contributed to how the particular muhtasib functioned in office.
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