Household Property, Sources of Income, and Economic Activity



The financial burden of running a household numbering hundreds of persons was very heavy, and did not consist solely of finding employment for everyone and consolidating their economic activities. The head of the grandee household had to bear the burden of the many and variegated expenses that arose from the necessity to present expensive gifts to the sultan and senior members of the Ottoman elite, from payments for appointments to covering the costs of food and clothing for the members of the household. In most cases, the sources of income granted by the sultan — salaries, special grants, estates, and so on — did not suffice for the household’s upkeep. Thus for example, Kunt found that in 1670–1 the income of Ömer Pasha, the governor of Diyarbekir, was 123,600 kuruş esedi1 while his expenditures amounted to 128,738.25 kuruş esedi.2 Often, this was a deliberate policy of the sultan who wanted to curb the power of the heads of grandee households and to increase their dependency on his largesse.3 For that reason, the heads of grandee households undertook various steps to augment their income: tax farming, private investments in agriculture and industry, commercial and real estate dealings, money lending, and the establishment of religious endowments. With regard to the last of these, its importance was not only economic, but also defined the household’s significance and bounds (for a fuller discussion see chapter 5).


Purchase Price Senior Official Custom Depot Gift Exchange Pack Animal 
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© Michael Nizri 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ariel UniversityIsrael

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