BOOK REVIEWS Hathaway, Jane, A Tale of Two Factions: Myth, Memory, and Identity in Ottoman Egypt and Yemen (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003), xvi + 295 pp., $68.50, ISBN 0 791 45883 0 (hard- cover), $22.95, ISBN 0 791 45884 9 (paperback). Banquets, banners, and ancient trees—these are some of the enduring icons of legitimacy for the warrior lord, and some of the tropes that Jane Hathaway examines in her exploration of the narratives of the Qasimi and Faqari factions in early modern Ottoman Egypt. A Tale of Two Factions builds on Hathaway’s previous work on Mamluk households; yet it explores a new theme, that of the construction of the origin myths of the Faqari and Qasimi factions in early modern Ottoman Egypt. It addresses the crystallization of myths over time, showing the ways in which both chroniclers and historical agents themselves partic- ipated in the making of these traditions. The author employs a wide range of primary sources (in particular the Damurdashi chronicles) and secondary literature including her own commentary on the nature of comparative epic to provide a work of scholarly textual analysis. Rather than simply laying out alternative narratives and interpretations of
Journal of Early Modern History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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