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A Study of the Evidence from Italy, North Africa and Palestine A.D. 285-700
In this book Sadi Maréchal examines the survival, transformation and eventual decline of Roman public baths and bathing habits in Italy, North Africa and Palestine during Late Antiquity. Through the analysis of archaeological remains, ancient literature, inscriptions and papyri, the continued importance of bathhouses as social hubs within the urban fabric is demonstrated, thus radically altering common misconceptions of their decline through the rise of Christianity and elite seclusion. Persistent ideas about health and hygiene, as well as perpetuating ideas of civic self-esteem, drove people to build, restore and praise these focal points of daily life when other classical buildings were left to crumble.
Insatiable Appetite: Food as Cultural Signifier in the Middle East and Beyond explores the cultural ramifications of food and foodways in the Mediterranean, and Arab-Muslim countries in particular. The volume addresses the cultural meanings of food from a wider chronological scope, from antiquity to present, adopting approaches from various disciplines, including classical Greek philology, Arabic literature, Islamic studies, anthropology, and history. The contributions to the book are structured around six thematic parts, ranging in focus from social status to religious prohibitions, gender issues, intoxicants, vegetarianism, and management of scarcity.

Contributors are: Tarek Abu Hussein, Yasmin Amin, Kevin Blankinship, Tylor Brand, Kirill Dmitriev, Eric Dursteler, Anny Gaul, Julia Hauser, Christian Junge, Danilo Marino, Pedro Martins, Karen Moukheiber, Christian Saßmannshausen, Shaheed Tayob, and Lola Wilhelm.
Editor: Umar Ryad
The present volume focuses on the political perceptions of the Hajj, its global religious appeal to Muslims, and the European struggle for influence and supremacy in the Muslim world in the age of pre-colonial and colonial empires. In the late fifteenth century and early sixteenth century, a pivotal change in seafaring occurred, through which western Europeans played important roles in politics, trade, and culture. Viewing this age of empires through the lens of the Hajj puts it into a different perspective, by focusing on how increasing European dominance of the globe in pre-colonial and colonial times was entangled with Muslim religious action, mobility, and agency. The study of Europe’s connections with the Hajj therefore tests the hypothesis that the concept of agency is not limited to isolated parts of the globe. By adopting the “tools of empires,” the Hajj, in itself a global activity, would become part of global and trans-cultural history.

With contributions by: Aldo D’Agostini; Josep Lluís Mateo Dieste; Ulrike Freitag; Mahmood Kooria; Michael Christopher Low; Adam Mestyan; Umar Ryad; John Slight and Bogusław R. Zagórski.