From Bāwīṭ to Marw. Documents from the Medieval Muslim World


The dry climate of Egypt has preserved about 130,000 Arabic documents, mostly on papyrus and paper, covering the period from the 640s to 1517. Up to now, historical research has mostly relied on literary sources; yet, as in study of the history of the Ancient World and medieval Europe, using original documents will radically challenge what literary sources tell us about the Islamic world.

The renaissance of Arabic papyrology has become obvious by the founding of the International Society for Arabic Papyrology (ISAP) at the Cairo conference (2002), and by its subsequent conferences in Granada (2004), Alexandria (2006), Vienna (2009), and Tunis (2012). This volume collects papers given at the Vienna conference, including editions of previously unpublished Coptic and Arabic documents, as well as historical and linguistic studies based on documentary evidence from Early Islamic Egypt.

With contributions by: Anne Boud’hors; Florence Calament; Alain Delattre; Werner Diem; Alia Hanafi; Wadād al-Qāḍī; Ayman A. Shahin; Johannes Thomann and Jacques van der Vliet.

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Biographical Note
Andreas Kaplony, Ph.D. (1994), Habilitation (2001), is professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. He has published widely on Arabic-Islamic history, including Fünfundzwanzig arabische Geschäftsdokumente vom Rotmeer-Hafen al-Quṣayr al-Qadīm (2014).

Daniel Potthast, Ph.D. (2011) teaches and does research at the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. His main interest lies in the history of Muslim-Christian contacts in the Middle Ages. He has published Christen und Muslime im Andalus: Andalusische Christen und ihre Literatur nach religionspolemischen Texten des zehnten bis zwölften Jahrhunderts (2013).

Cornelia Römer , Ph.D. (1979), Habilitation (1994), is a long-term lecturer of the German Academic Exchange Service at Ain Shams University and a freelance collaborator of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo. The main areas of her research are Greek literary and documentary papyrology as well as the archaeology and history of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt. Her most recent book is Commentaria et Lexica in Papyris Reperta, vol. 2,1 (2013).

Review Quotes
"More than a book on astronomy, calligraphy, herbs, on the economy of the monasteries, or the administation of the Umayyad era - all this valuable information discovered in papyri found, lost and re-discovered, unearthed, decodified, studied and treasured at various museums of the world, this volume is testimony of the toilsome on-going process of researching the fascinating field of papyrology and the need to perceive it withing the wider field of the history of culture."
Stavros Nikolaidis
Table of contents

Preface vii

Contributors x

Quoted Editions xiii

Plates xvii

1 Three Remarkable Arabic Documents from the Heidelberg Papyrus Collection (First-Third/Seventh-Ninth Centuries) 1
Werner Diem
2 Pour une étude des archives coptes de Medinet el-Fayoum (P.Louvre inv.e 10253, e 6893, e 6867 et e 7395) 23
Florence Calament and Anne Boud’hors
3 Death Dates in Umayyad Stipends Registers (Dīwān al-ʿAṭāʾ)? The Testimony of the Papyri and the Literary Sources 59
Wadād al-Qāḍī
4 Remarques sur la taxation au monastère de Baouît au début de l’époque arabe 83
Alain Delattre
5 Schreibübung und Schriftübungszettel zwischen Theorie und Praxis 95
Ayman A. Shahin
6 An Arabic Ephemeris for the Year 931–932ce 115
Johannes Thomann
7 Nekloni (al-Naqlūn) and the Coptic Account Book British Library Or.13885 153
Jacques van der Vliet
8 Two Arabic Documents from Cairo and Copenhagen 168
Alia Hanafi


This volume collects papers given at the Vienna conference (2009) of the International Society for Arabic Papyrology (ISAP), including editions of previously unpublished Coptic and Arabic documents, and historical and linguistic studies based on documentary evidence from Early Islamic Egypt. Potential readers include everyone interested in the documentary evidence of the Islamic World, Arabic and Coptic papyrology, monasticism, agriculture of the Nile Valley, Early Islamic administration, and Arabic astronomy.
Index Card
Collection Information