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Foreign Devils and Philosophers

Cultural Encounters between the Chinese, the Dutch, and Other Europeans, 1590-1800

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Edited by Thijs Weststeijn

From Pax Mongolica to Pax Ottomanica

War, Religion and Trade in the Northwestern Black Sea Region (14th-16th Centuries)

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Edited by Ovidiu Cristea and Liviu Pilat

The history of the Black Sea may be considered as alternating between an “inner lake,” when a single empire establishes control over the sea and its surrounding areas, and that of an open sea, in which various continental or maritime powers compete for the region’s resources. By taking into account the impact both of major powers and minor political actors, this volume proposes a long-term perspective of regional history. It offers a deep understanding of the political and commercial history of the Black Sea between the 14th and the 16th centuries, and provides insights into the political and economic developments of the region.

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Tzvi Abusch

Among the most important sources for understanding the cultures, religions, and systems of thought of ancient Mesopotamia is the large corpus of magical and medical texts directed against witchcraft. The most important of these texts is the Akkadian series Maqlû (“Burning”).

This volume offers a collection of studies on Mesopotamian witchcraft and Maqlû written subsequent to the appearance of the author’s 2002 collection of studies on witchcraft (Brill, 2002). Many of the studies reprinted here take a diachronic approach to individual incantations and rituals and attempt to solve textual difficulties using literary-critical and/or text-critical approaches.

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Rebekah Welton

In ‘He is a Glutton and a Drunkard’: Deviant Consumption in the Hebrew Bible Rebekah Welton uses interdisciplinary approaches to explore the social and ritual roles of food and alcohol in Late Bronze Age to Persian-period Syro-Palestine (1550 BCE–400 BCE). This contextual backdrop throws into relief episodes of consumption deemed to be excessive or deviant by biblical writers. Welton emphasises the social networks of the household in which food was entangled, arguing that household animals and ritual foodstuffs were social agents, challenging traditional understandings of sacrifice. For the first time, the accusation of being a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ (Deut 21:18-21) is convincingly re-interpreted in its alimentary and socio-ritual contexts.

Islam in South Asia

Revised, Enlarged and Updated Second Edition

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Jamal Malik

Islam in South Asia: Revised, Enlarged and Updated Second Edition traces the roots and development of Muslim presence in South Asia. Trajectories of normative notions of state-building and the management of diversity are elaborated in four clusters, augmented by topical subjects in excursuses and annexes offering an array of Muslim voices. The enormous time span from 650 to 2018 provides for a comprehensive and plural canvas of the religious self-presentation of South Asian Muslims. Making use of the latest academic works and historical materials, including first-hand accounts ranging from official statements to poetry, Malik convincingly argues that these texts provide sufficient evidence to arrive at an interpretation of quite a different character. With major and substantial revisions, changes, abridgements and additions follow the academic literature produced during the last decades.

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Christoph Sander

Why does a magnet attract iron? Why does a compass needle point north? Although the magnet or lodestone was known since antiquity, magnetism only became an important topic in natural science and technology in the early modern period. In Magnes Christoph Sander explores this fascinating subject and draws, for the first time, a comprehensive picture of early modern research on magnetism (c. 1500–1650). Covering all disciplines of this period, Magnes examines what scholars understood by ‘magnet’ and ‘magnetism,’ which properties they ascribed to it, in which instruments and practices magnetism was employed, and how they tried to explain this exciting phenomenon. This historical panorama is based on circa 1500 historical sources, including over 100 manuscripts.

Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape

Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India

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Elizabeth A. Cecil

In Mapping the Pāśupata Landscape: Narrative, Place, and the Śaiva Imaginary in Early Medieval North India, Elizabeth A. Cecil explores the sacred geography of the earliest community of Śiva devotees called the Pāśupatas. This book brings the narrative cartography of the Skandapurāṇa into conversation with physical landscapes, built environments, monuments, and icons in order to examine the ways in which Pāśupata communities were emplaced in regional landscapes and to emphasize the use of material culture as media through which notions of belonging and identity were expressed. By exploring the ties between the formation of early Pāśupata communities and the locales in which they were embedded, this study reflects critically upon the ways in which community building was coincident with place-making in Early Medieval India.

Moulding the Socialist Subject

Cinema and Chinese Modernity (1949-1966)

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Xiaoning LU

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John K. Moore, Jr.

In Mulatto · Outlaw · Pilgrim · Priest, John K. Moore, Jr. presents the first in-depth study, critical edition, and scholarly translation of His Majesty’s Representative v. José Soller, Mulatto Pilgrim, for Impersonating a Priest and Other Crimes. This legal case dates to the waning days of the Hapsburg Spanish empire and illuminates the discrimination those of black-African ancestry could face—that Soller did face while attempting to pass freely on his pilgrimage from Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela and beyond.
This bilingual edition and study of the criminal trial against Soller is important for reconstructing his journey and for revealing at least in part the de facto and de jure treatment of mulattos in the early-modern Iberian Atlantic World.