Combines introductory instruction in Ottoman law and legal practice with advanced paleographical training. Different aspects of law, such as court practice, legal interpretation, and royal legislation, are examined, and the relevant primary sources introduced, in alternating years. (Thus the theme for Spring 2001 has been the practice of ifta. Whenever this is the case, after an introduction to relevant debates in the field of Islamic and Ottoman law, the class embarks on a collective historical survey of selected themes as they appear in fetva collections of the 16th to the 18th centuries. A comparable approach will be adopted for other themes to be offered in rotation over the coming years.) Requirements : a major research paper of around 30 pages based on primary source materials. Counts towards fulfilling the seminar requirement in History. Prerequisite : An adequate command of Ottoman Turkish, subject to the instructor's approval.