ISSN: 0041-4255
e-ISSN: 2791-6472

Seda Tan

Akdeniz University, Faculty of Letters, Department of History Antalya/TÜRKİYE

Keywords: Ottoman, İstanbul, rinderpest, outbreak, veterinarian.


Rinderpest is one of the oldest animal diseases in history, which mostly affects cattle and buffaloes, and has a very high contagious and mortality rate. It was one of the leading diseases threatening animal existence and health in the Ottoman Empire. Against this, rinderpest has been overshadowed by human diseases along with other animal diseases in the academic literature. Yet, in agriculture-oriented economies where the household economy is based on double animals, epidemic animal diseases, especially rinderpest, are experiences not only related to the existence and welfare of animals, but also to the whole socio-economic life. Human well-being and the peace and security of cities cannot be thought independent of this traumatic experience.

The study focuses on a major rinderpest epidemic that occurred in the capital, which was the heart of the empire, at a time when animal mobility increased relatively, posing a significant threat to the stability of Ottoman socio-economic life. The epidemic in question, which caused the greatest destruction between 1886-1890 and 1891, was tried to be evaluated in the context of its spread geography, chronology and fight disease practices. In this context, the concepts of source, transmission, protection/prevention have been the focal points of the study. The main material of the study is the Ottoman archive documents, which are primary sources. The article was also supported by other direct or indirect literature dealing with the period and the disease.