Two recent works in Ottoman history, Faisal Husain’s Rivers of the Sultan and Chris Gratien’s The Unsettled Plain have brought environmental themes to the forefront of the field. These works demonstrate the importance of attending to seemingly peripheral areas like the highlands of southern Anatolia and the Tigris-Euphrates basin in Iraq, where in fact central issues of Ottoman imperialism are most visible. In these works, we find the management of diverse ecological zones as a critical feature of how the Ottoman state functioned. By centering the experiences of people, animals, plants, and disease across highlands, waterways, farms, pastures, and marshes, Husain and Gratien have prepared the way for a more inclusive form of historical writing in Ottoman studies.

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