Page 43 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 44

Basic HTML Version

SHAVIT / ERETZ-ISRAEL RESEARCH: DEVELOPEMENT AND TRENDS
31
and exhaustive treatment in Moshe Gil’s
Palestine During the First
Muslim Period
(634-1099), 3 vols. (Hebrew, Tel-Aviv, 1983). The
first part of this comprehensive work presents a pioneering intro­
duction to the period, while its two concluding parts contain 618
documents and letters from the Cairo Genizah, comprising the
largest collection o f such genizah material to have thus far
appeared. The work has restored an important link in the medi­
eval history of Eretz-Israel and thus, together with the works on
the Byzantine and Mamluk periods and the beginning of the
Ottoman period, has established the continuity of Eretz-Israel
history.
Valuable for the Ottoman period are Amnon Cohen’s English
work,
Palestine in the 18th Century: Patterns of Government and
Administration
(Jerusalem, 1973), and the collection of English
articles edited by Moshe Maoz,
Studies on Palestine During the Otto­
man Period
(Hebrew, Jerusalem, 1975).
The literature on 19th century Eretz-Israel is quite extensive.
The close of this century is viewed as a turning-point in the his­
tory of the land, for it marks the end of the Ottoman period, the
penetration of various powers and the beginning of Jewish reset­
tlement. A solid contribution to the subject is represented by
Yehoshua Ben-Arieh’s two-volume Hebrew work:
A City Reflected
in Its Times: Jerusalem in the 19th Century,
vol. 1:
The Old City
(Jerusalem, 1977); vol. 2:
NewJerusalem
The Beginnings
(Jerusa­
lem, 1979).9
By virtue of the fact that the field of Eretz-Israel research has
become so broad it sometimes takes on the character of local his­
tory. The increase in scholars and studies has resulted in the
search after small details, minor episodes and marginal events.
Nevertheless these can be viewed in large measure as a contribu­
tion to a future synthesis. The general interest in the history of
the land is considerable, and great numbers attend lectures and
study sessions that are held in various parts of the country. This is
partly a result of intellectual curiosity and partly of a developed
historical consciousness. At any rate, Eretz-Israel research has
become during the last two decades an independent subject and
9 See also the bibliographical survey, “The Last Phase o f Ottoman Rule
(1799-1912),” in vol. 8 o f
The History of Eretz-Israel
(Jerusalem, 1983), pp.
321-338; David Kushner, ed.,
Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period: Political,
Social and Economic Transformation
(Jerusalem / Leiden, 1986).