Beyond the Social and the Spiritual: Redefining the Urban Confraternities of Late Medieval Anatolia

Rachel Goshgarian


This dissertation is the first comprehensive study of the phenomenon of the urban confraternity in thirteenth and fourteenth-century Anatolia. Urban confraternities in late medieval Anatolia played a range of roles in cities like Ankara, Erzincan, Konya and Sivas. The important political and social void filled specifically by akhī organizations in thirteenth and fourteenth-century Anatolia can only be understood within the context of the growing significance of the relatively stable urban centers during this time period of political instability. At the same time, various hierarchies (the Armenian Church, the Caliphate, etc.) continuously attempted to reform these associations in an effort to reign in the growing power of the brotherhoods that were sometimes, at least, better able to maintain peace and stability in regions undergoing immense political and social change.

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