Baghdād

From Its Beginnings to the 14th Century

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Baghdād: From its Beginnings to the 14th Century offers an exhaustive handbook that covers all possible themes connected to the history of this urban complex in Iraq, from its origins rooted in late antique Mesopotamia up to the aftermath of the Mongol invasion in 1258.
Against the common perception of a city founded 762 in a vacuum, which, after experiencing a heyday in a mythical “golden age” under the early ʿAbbāsids, entered since 900 a long period of decline that ended with a complete collapse by savage people from the East in 1258, the volume emphasizes the continuity of Baghdād’s urban life, and shows how it was marked by its destiny as caliphal seat and cultural hub.

Contributors
Mehmetcan Akpınar, Nuha Alshaar, Pavel Basharin, David Bennett, Michal Biran, Richard W. Bulliet, Kirill Dmitriev, Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst, Hend Gilli-Elewy, Beatrice Gruendler, Sebastian Günther, Olof Heilo, Damien Janos, Christopher Melchert, Michael Morony, Bernard O’Kane, Klaus Oschema, Letizia Osti, Parvaneh Pourshariati, Vanessa van Renterghem, Jens Scheiner, Angela Schottenhammer, Y. Zvi Stampfer, Johannes Thomann, Isabel Toral.

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Jens Scheiner, Ph.D. (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen 2009), is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Göttingen. He has published a monograph on the conquest of Damascus (Leiden 2010) and edited a volume on the contexts of learning in Baghdād (Princeton 2014).

Isabel Toral, Ph.D. (Tübingen 1997), Habilitation (Freie Universität Berlin 2008), is Professor of Arabic Studies at that university. She has published extensively on cultural history, literature and history of the Arabs, including Al-Ḥīra (Leiden 2014).

Contributors
Mehmetcan Akpınar, Nuha Alshaar, Pavel Basharin, David Bennett, Michal Biran, Richard W. Bulliet, Kirill Dmitriev, Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst, Hend Gilli-Elewy, Beatrice Gruendler, Sebastian Günther, Olof Heilo, Damien Janos, Christopher Melchert, Michael Morony, Bernard O’Kane, Klaus Oschema, Letizia Osti, Parvaneh Pourshariati, Vanessa van Renterghem, Jens Scheiner, Angela Schottenhammer, Y. Zvi Stampfer, Johannes Thomann, Isabel Toral.
Preface
Acknowledgements
Notes on Transliteration and Style
List of Figures
AbbreviationsVi
Notes on ContributorsVii

1 Baghdād’s Topography and Social Composition A Historical Sketch
Jens Scheiner and Isabel Toral

Part 1: The Foundation of Madīnat al-Salām and Its Legends


2 Legends about the Foundation of a Marvelous City
Isabel Toral

3 Islamic Art and Architecture in Pre-Mongol Baghdād
Bernard O’Kane

More-to-Know I: The Foundation of al-Manṣūr’s Palatial City and Its Horoscope
Johannes Thomann

More-to-Know Ii: Was Madīnat al-Salām a “Round City”?
Jens Scheiner

Part 2: A Historical Overview from Late Antiquity to the Mongol Period


4 Ctesiphon and Its Surroundings, Precursors of Baghdād
Parvaneh Pourshariati

5 The Early ʿAbbāsid Caliphs as Commanders and Constructors
Jens Scheiner

6 Baghdād under Būyid Rule
Nuha Alshaar

7 Baghdād under the Saljūqs
Vanessa Van Renterghem

8 Baghdād under the Late ʿAbbāsid Caliphs
Hend Gilli-Elewy

9 Baghdād under Mongol Rule
Michal Biran

10 The Economic Parameters of Baghdād and Its Hinterland
Richard W. Bulliet

Part 3: Baghdād’s Neighbouring Empires


11 The ʿAbbāsids and the Byzantine Empire
Olof Heilo

12 ʿAbbāsid Caliphs and Frankish Kings
Kirill Dmitriev and Klaus Oschema

More-to-Know IiI: Sino-ʿAbbāsid Relations in the Eighth and Ninth Centuries
Angela Schottenhammer

Part 4: The ʿAbbāsid Court and Its Legacy


13 Sketches of Court Culture in Baghdād
Letizia Osti

14 City of Poets, Poets of the City
Beatrice Gruendler

15 Prose Writing in Baghdād An Overview
Isabel Toral

More-to-Know IV: A “Golden Age” in Baghdād?
Isabel Toral

Part 5: Institutions of Learning and Fields of Knowledge


16 Knowledge and Learning in Baghdād
Sebastian Günther

More-to-Know V: Medinan Scholars in Early ʿAbbāsid Baghdād
Mehmetcan Akpınar

17 Philosophical and Scientific Learning in Baghdād
Damien Janos

Part 6: The Religious Communities


18 The Formation of Sunnī and Shīʿī Traditionalism
Christopher Melchert

More-to-Know Vi: Rational Theologians
David Bennett

19 The Ṣūfī School of Baghdād Persons and Teachings
Pavel Basharin

20 Christian Communities in Baghdād and Its Hinterland
Michael Morony

21 Jews in Baghdād during the ʿAbbāsid Period
Y. Zvi Stampfer

22 Zoroastrians, Manichaeans and Gnostics in Baghdād and Its Hinterland
Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst

Epilogue
Jens Scheiner

Appendix: Original Sources featuring Baghdād
Jens Scheiner

Index
All interested in the history of Baghdad, Iraq and generally Islamic history before 1400, and anyone concerned with urban, intellectual and social history in the Middle East.
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