By Oded Peri

A tremendous factor in 19th-century international politics, the query of Christianity's holiest shrines in Jerusalem is roofed via a wide physique of literature. so much of this scholarship, even if, concentrates at the interval while the query of the Holy websites has already developed from a family Ottoman challenge into an all-European factor. less is understood approximately this challenge in previous occasions, while the Ottoman Empire was once nonetheless a dominant strength in a position to suggest ideas freed from international interference and out of doors pressures. in line with professional Ottoman files present in the registers of the kadi's court docket in Jerusalem in addition to the leading Ministry's data in Istanbul, this research deals a radical therapy of Ottoman coverage with recognize to the Holy websites throughout the first centuries of Ottoman rule in Jerusalem. It makes a speciality of 3 vital concerns: (a) The felony prestige of the Holy websites below Ottoman rule; (b) The Ottoman kingdom and the inter-church fight over the Holy websites; (c) The Holy websites as a resource of source of revenue to the Ottoman country. The dialogue of those matters sheds new mild on some of the most vague and debatable chapters within the background of Christianity less than Islam in Jerusalem.

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56 Thus the number of Franciscans permitted to stay in and around Jerusalem normally ranged between 36-60 monks. The duration of their stay was confined to three years, after which the heads of the Franciscan order in Europe were obliged to recall them and send others in their stead. 57 The understandable insistence of the Greek Orthodox church on the lower number may well indicate its awareness of the relationship between numeric supe- 55 See a conclusive report on Franciscan rights in the Holy Sites, 18 Receb 1097 (10 June 1686), Sijill 187: 417-8, 419-20.

This claim is not corroborated by any of the Muslim sources known to modern scholarship. 67 Parkes 1949: 185; Buhl 1924: 1099. 68 Parkes 1949: 185-7. 66 THE BASIC CONSTITUENTS OF THE HOLY SITES QUESTION 43 capital of the Latin Kingdom, it became eminently clear who would have the final say regarding issues related to the Holy Sites. In the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem there was no room for a Byzantine patriarch, who was indeed displaced by a Latin one. Moreover, the adherents of the Greek Orthodox and the other Eastern-rite churches were exposed to Latin proselytizing efforts and made subordinate to the authority of Roman Catholic priests.

71 Parkes 1949: 190-1; Wardi 1975: 387. 72 Parkes 1949: 193; Wardi 1975: 387; Gust 1930: 7; Colbi 1988: 75-7. The Franciscan mission to Jerusalem was therefore given the title Custodia Terrae Sanctae by the Roman Catholic church. 73 The inclusion of the Roman Catholic church among the Christian denominations sharing the Holy Sites marked the completion of the historical process, evolution and acceptance of these sites as universal venues of worship and pilgrimage common to all Christians regardless of their church.

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