This book is the first to date to be dedicated to the circulation of the book as a commodity in the Mamluk sultanate. It discusses the impact of princely patronage on the production of books, the formation and management of libraries in religious institutions, their size and their physical setting. It documents the significance of private collections and their interaction with institutional libraries and the role of charitable endowments (
waqf ) in the life of libraries. The market as a venue of intellectual and commercial exchanges and a production centre is explored with references to prices and fees. The social and professional background of scribes and calligraphers occupies a major place in this study, which also documents the chain of master-calligraphers over the entire Mamluk period. For her study the author relies on biographical dictionaries, chronicles,
waqf documents and manuscripts.
Cet ouvrage explore une période charnière de l’histoire du livre islamique et iranien: la période mongole envisagée dans le long terme, sous les dynasties ilkhanide et djalayiride. Il étudie la question de la maturation de la calligraphie arabe classique à travers la vie et l’œuvre de Yāqūt al-Mustaʿṣimī qui sont, pour la première fois, soumises à une analyse systématique, mettant en avant l’importance de son école et des maîtres bagdadiens pour les arts du livre des décennies suivantes. L’ouvrage se penche aussi sur les manuscrits des Ilkhans musulmans et du vizir Rashīd al-Dīn dans le cadre de la problématique de la naissance de la
kitābkhānah et de l’affirmation du statut des calligraphes et des peintres sous les derniers Ilkhanides et les Djalayirides.
This book explores a pivotal period in the history of the book in the Islamic world and Iran, i.e. the Mongol period viewed in a long-term perspective, under the Ilkhanid and the Djalayirid dynasties. It examines the issue of the maturation of classical Arabic calligraphy through the life and work of Yāqūt al-Mustaʿṣimī, which are for the first time subjected to a systematic analysis, highlighting the importance of his school and the Baghdadi masters for the arts of the book of the following decades. The study also looks at the manuscripts of the Muslim Ilkhans and the Vizier Rashīd al-Dīn in the context of the birth of the
kitābkhānah and the rise in the status of calligraphers and painters under the last Ilkhanids and the Djalayirids.
The subject of this two-volume publication is an inventory of manuscripts in the book treasury of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, commissioned by the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II from his royal librarian ʿAtufi in the year 908 (1502–3) and transcribed in a clean copy in 909 (1503–4). This unicum inventory preserved in the Oriental Collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MS Török F. 59) records over 5,000 volumes, and more than 7,000 titles, on virtually every branch of human erudition at the time. The Ottoman palace library housed an unmatched encyclopedic collection of learning and literature; hence, the publication of this unique inventory opens a larger conversation about Ottoman and Islamic intellectual/cultural history. The very creation of such a systematically ordered inventory of books raises broad questions about knowledge production and practices of collecting, readership, librarianship, and the arts of the book at the turn of the fifteenth century. The first volume contains twenty-eight interpretative essays on this fascinating document, authored by a team of scholars from diverse disciplines, including Islamic and Ottoman history, history of science, arts of the book and codicology, agriculture, medicine, astrology, astronomy, occultism, mathematics, philosophy, theology, law, mysticism, political thought, ethics, literature (Arabic, Persian, Turkish/Turkic), philology, and epistolary. Following the first three essays by the editors on implications of the library inventory as a whole, the other essays focus on particular fields of knowledge under which books are catalogued in MS Török F. 59, each accompanied by annotated lists of entries. The second volume presents a transliteration of the Arabic manuscript, which also features an Ottoman Turkish preface on method, together with a reduced-scale facsimile.