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The History (Taʾrikh) by Ibn Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī

Ibn Wāḍiḥ Qui Dicitur al-Yaʿqūbī, Historiae Vol. 1

M. Th. Houtsma

Abū al-ʿAbbās al-Yaʿqūbī was a Muslim imperial official and polymath of the third/ninth century. On the occasion of the publication of The Works of Ibn Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī. An English translation, edited by Matthew S. Gordon, Chase F. Robinson, Everett K. Rowson, and Michael Fishbein (Leiden, 2017-2018), Brill is making the classic Arabic edition of al-Yaʿqūbī’s Taʾrīkh by M.Th. Houtsma (2 vols., 1883) available in paperback for the first time.

Volume 1 covers Pre-Islamic history, from Adam and Eve to the Patriarchs and Prophets of ancient Israel; Jesus and the Apostles; Assyria, Babylonia, and India; the Greek and Persian Empires; a variety of other regions including China and Ethiopia; and a section on the pre-Islamic Arabs. The current volume offers the Arabic text only. The English translation is found in vol. 2 of The Works of Ibn Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī.

R. Dozy

The Supplément aux dictionnaires arabes by R.P.A. Dozy was originally published in 1881. It was based on a novel approach to Arabic lexicography, because it was based on a rich corpus of a variety of texts from a more extended period of time than most earlier dictionaries. More than a century later, it continues to be an indispensable reference work for students and scholars alike.

After Orientalism

Critical Perspectives on Western Agency and Eastern Re-appropriations

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Edited by François Pouillion and Jean-Claude Vatin

The debate on Orientalism began some fifty years ago in the wake of decolonization. While initially considered a turning point, Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) was in fact part of a larger academic endeavor – the political critique of “colonial science” – that had already significantly impacted the humanities and social sciences. In a recent attempt to broaden the debate, the papers collected in this volume, offered at various seminars and an international symposium held in Paris in 2010-2011, critically examine whether Orientalism, as knowledge and as creative expression, was in fact fundamentally subservient to Western domination.
By raising new issues, the papers shift the focus from the center to the peripheries, thus analyzing the impact on local societies of a major intellectual and institutional movement that necessarily changed not only their world, but the ways in which they represented their world. World history, which assumes a plurality of perspectives, leads us to observe that the Saidian critique applies to powers other than Western European ones — three case studies are considered here: the Ottoman, Russian (and Soviet), and Chinese empires.
Other essays in this volume proceed to analyze how post-independence states have made use of the tremendous accumulation of knowledge and representations inherited from previous colonial regimes for the sake of national identity, as well as how scholars change and adapt what was once a hegemonic discourse for their own purposes. What emerges is a new landscape in which to situate research on non-Western cultures and societies, and a road-map leading readers beyond the restrictive dichotomy of a confrontation between West and East.

With contributions by: Elisabeth Allès; Léon Buskens; Stéphane A. Dudoignon; Baudouin Dupret; Edhem Eldem; Olivier Herrenschmidt; Nicholas S. Hopkins; Robert Irwin; Mouldi Lahmar; Sylvette Larzul; Jean-Gabriel Leturcq; Jessica Marglin; Claire Nicholas; Emmanuelle Perrin; Alain de Pommereau; François Pouillon; Zakaria Rhani; Emmanuel Szurek; Jean-Claude Vatin; Mercedes Volait

Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fī maʿrifat al-aqālīm by al-Muqaddasī

Descriptio imperii Moslemici / auctore Schamso ’d-din Abu Abdollah Mohammed ibn Ahmed ibn abi Bekr al-Banna al-Basschari al-Mokaddasi. M.J. de Goeje’s Classic Edition (1877)

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Edited by M.J. de Goeje

Shams al-Dīn Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Abī Bakr al-Bannāʾ al-Shāmī al-Muqaddasī is one of the most prominent representatives of Arabic geography in the second half of the 10th century CE. Building on the tradition of the “atlas of Islam” of which al-Iṣṭakhrī and Ibn Ḥawqal were also representatives, al-Muqaddasī was the first to systematize the subject into a proper science of geography of Islam for the benefit of both merchants and the cultivated man. Al-Muqaddasī’s Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fī maʿrifat al-aqālīm (“the best division for the knowledge of the provinces”) was the first work of its kind to be accepted as a form of literature. The treatment of each “province” ( iqlīm) begins with the division of its districts and towns, followed by their description. Then a general chapter of the province tends to discuss the following aspects: climate, products and specialties, waters, mines, mountains, holy places, money, taxes, weights and measures, customs, marvels, calendar, political power, factions, schools and Qurʾānic readings, and routes. Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fī maʿrifat al-aqālīm by al-Muqaddasī covers North Africa (including Iberia), Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, Greater Syria, Iraq and Upper Mesopotamia, as well as eight non-Arab provinces including Iran and Afghanistan.

Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fī maʿrifat al-aqālīm by al-Muqaddasī

Descriptio imperii Moslemici / auctore Schamso ’d-din Abu Abdollah Mohammed ibn Ahmed ibn abi Bekr al-Banna al-Basschari al-Mokaddasi. The Second Edition (1906) by M.J. de Goeje

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Edited by M.J. de Goeje

This is the second edition by M.J. de Goeje of the Arabic text of al-Muqaddasī’s Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fī maʿrifat al-aqālīm, the first BGA edition of which was published in 1877 by the same editor.

Shams al-Dīn Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Abī Bakr al-Bannāʾ al-Shāmī al-Muqaddasī is one of the most prominent representatives of Arabic geography in the second half of the 10th century CE. Building on the tradition of the “atlas of Islam” of which al-Iṣṭakhrī and Ibn Ḥawqal were also representatives, al-Muqaddasī was the first to systematize the subject into a proper science of geography of Islam for the benefit of both merchants and the cultivated man. Al-Muqaddasī’s Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fī maʿrifat al-aqālīm (“the best division for the knowledge of the provinces”) was the first work of its kind to be accepted as a form of literature. The treatment of each “province” ( iqlīm) begins with the division of its districts and towns, followed by their description. Then a general chapter of the province tends to discuss the following aspects: climate, products and specialties, waters, mines, mountains, holy places, money, taxes, weights and measures, customs, marvels, calendar, political power, factions, schools and Qurʾānic readings, and routes. Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fī maʿrifat al-aqālīm by al-Muqaddasī covers North Africa (including Iberia), Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, Greater Syria, Iraq and Upper Mesopotamia, as well as eight non-Arab provinces including Iran and Afghanistan.

Kitāb al-Masālik wa l-mamālik by Abū Isḥāq al-Iṣṭakhrī

Viae regnorum: descriptio ditionis Moslemicae / auctore Abu Ishák al-Fárisí al-Istakhrí. M.J. De Goeje's Classic Edition (1870)

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Edited by M.J. de Goeje

Little is known about the life of Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad al-Iṣṭakhrī, the author of Kitāb al-Masālik wa l-mamālik, which was written towards the end of the first half of the 10th century CE. The work built on the earlier concept of the “atlas of Islam”, which it developed further. The climates ( iqlīm) it describes are no longer those of Ptolemean geography, but, reflecting the Iranian tradition, refer to geographical entities or “countries”. Also reflecting the author’s background—whose most common nisba is al-Fārisī—Iran holds a favoured position on this work. Published in 1870, the present edition by M.J. de Goeje was the first volume in the first series of the Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum.

Kitāb Ṣūrat al-arḍ by Abū l-Qāsim Ibn Ḥawqal

Viae et regna: descriptio ditionis Moslemicae / auctore Abu ’l-Kásim Ibn Haukal. M.J. de Goeje’s Classic Edition (1873)

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Edited by M.J. de Goeje

The journeys of Abū l-Qāsim Ibn Ḥawqal, who might have been a merchant, took him to North Africa, Spain and the southern edge of the Sahara (947-51), Egypt, Armenia and Azerbaijan (c. 955), the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Khuzistan, and Iran (961-69), Khwarazm and Transoxania (c. 969), and Sicily (973). By about 988 CE the final version of Ibn Ḥawqal’s Kitāb Ṣūrat al-arḍ was ready. It is effectively both a continuation and an update of al-Iṣṭakhrī’s Kitāb al-Masālik wa-l-mamālik and is also known under that same title.

Ibn Ḥawqal transformed what was meant as a commentary on a series of maps into a work in its own right, which also included remarks on various countries or peoples bordering on the Islamic world, e.g. the Turks, the Khazars, the towns of southern Italy, the Sudanese and the Nubians. Although he owed much to al-Iṣṭakhrī’s work, Ibn Ḥawqal aimed to place the text firmly within his own period. He took great care to depict a region precisely in the state and at the date that he himself had seen it, with occasional references to the distant or more recent past. This is particularly true of the notes on economic matters, which form a complete break with convention. Ibn Ḥawqal was the only Arab geographer of the period who really sketched a vivid picture of production.

Ibn Ḥawqal’s Kitāb Ṣūrat al-arḍ

Opus geographicum / Abu al-Kasim Ibn Haukal al-Nasibi. The Second Edition (1938-39) by J.H. Kramers

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Edited by J.H. Kramers

This is the second edition by J.H. Kramers of the Arabic text of Ibn Ḥawqal’s Kitāb Ṣūrat al-arḍ, the first BGA edition of which was published in 1873.

The journeys of Abū l-Qāsim Ibn Ḥawqal, who might have been a merchant, took him to North Africa, Spain and the southern edge of the Sahara (947-51), Egypt, Armenia and Azerbaijan (c. 955), the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Khuzistan, and Iran (961-69), Khwarazm and Transoxania (c. 969), and Sicily (973). By about 988 CE the final version of Ibn Ḥawqal’s Kitāb Ṣūrat al-arḍ was ready. It is effectively both a continuation and an update of al-Iṣṭakhrī’s Kitāb al-Masālik wa l-mamālik and is also known under that same title.

Ibn Ḥawqal transformed what was meant as a commentary on a series of maps into a work in its own right, which also included remarks on various countries or peoples bordering on the Islamic world, e.g. the Turks, the Khazars, the towns of southern Italy, the Sudanese and the Nubians. Although he owed much to al-Iṣṭakhrī’s work, Ibn Ḥawqal aimed to place the text firmly within his own period. He took great care to depict a region precisely in the state and at the date that he himself had seen it, with occasional references to the distant or more recent past. This is particularly true of the notes on economic matters, which form a complete break with convention. Ibn Ḥawqal was the only Arab geographer of the period who really sketched a vivid picture of production.

Indices, Glossary and Additions & Corrections to BGA I vols.1-3

Indices, glossarium et addenda et emendanda ad part I-III. Compiled by M.J. de Goeje (1879)

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Edited by M.J. de Goeje

This volume, which was originally published in 1879, contains the indices compiled by M.J. de Goeje to his critical text editions of al-Iṣṭakhrī’s Kitāb al-Masālik wa-l-mamālik (BGA I:1), Ibn Ḥawqal’s Kitāb Ṣūrat al-arḍ (BGA I:2) and al-Muqaddasī’s Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fī maʿrifat al-aqālīm (BGA I:3). It also includes his Arabic-Latin glossary to these works, and additions and corrections.

al-Masʿūdī’s Kitāb al-Tanbīh wa l-ishrāf

Kitab al-Tanbih wa-al-israf / li-Abi al-Hasan Ali b. al-Husayn al-Masudi. M.J. de Goeje’s Classic Edition (1894) with Indices and Glossary to BGA I: 7–8

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Edited by M.J. de Goeje

Al-Masʿūdī composed his Kitāb al-Tanbīh wal-ishrāf in the years 955 and 956, finishing it not long before his death. Based in part on earlier historical-geographical works, it offers a description of astronomical and meteorological phenomena; the divisions of the earth; the seas; ancient nations; universal chronology, and then the history of Islam until the caliphate of al-Muṭīʿ (r. 946-74).