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Nahj al-Balāghah, the celebrated compendium of orations, letters, and sayings of ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (d. 40/661) compiled by al-Sharīf al-Raḍī (d. 406/1015), is a masterpiece of Arabic literature and Islamic wisdom studied and memorized avidly and continually for over a thousand years. Showcasing ʿAlī’s life and travails in his own words, it also transcribes his profound reflections on piety and virtue, and on just and compassionate governance. Tahera Qutbuddin’s meticulously researched critical edition based on the earliest 5th/11th-century manuscripts, with a lucid, annotated facing-page translation, brings to the modern reader the power and beauty of this influential text, and confirms the aptness of Raḍī’s title, “The Way of Eloquence.”
Aristotle for Lay Princes in Medieval Spain
In Alfonso de Cartagena’s 'Memoriale virtutum' (1422), María Morrás and Jeremy Lawrance offer a critical edition of an anthology of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, compiled and significantly altered by the major Castilian intellectual of the day, Bishop Alfonso de Cartagena, and addressed to the heir to the throne of Portugal, Crown Prince Duarte.
The work is a speculum principis, an education of a future king in the virtues suitable to a statesman. Cartagena’s choice of Aristotle was a harbinger of Renaissance ideas. The “memorial” sheds light on a society in transition, setting new ethical guidelines for the ruling class at the crossroads between medieval feudalism and Renaissance absolutism.
A Descriptive Bibliography of the Works Published in the Seventeenth Century
In Printing Spinoza Jeroen van de Ven systematically examines all seventeenth-century printed editions of Spinoza’s writings, published between 1663 and 1694, as well as their variant ‘issues’. In focus are Spinoza’s 1663 adumbration of René Descartes’s ‘Principles of Philosophy’ with his own ‘Metaphysical Thoughts’, the ‘Theological-Political Treatise’ (1670), and the posthumous writings (1677), including the famously-known ‘Ethics’.
Van de Ven’s descriptive bibliography studies, contextualizes, and records all aspects of the publication history of Spinoza’s writings from manuscript to print and assesses their immediate reception. It discusses the printed books’ codicology, philology, typographical and textual relationships, illustration programmes, as well as their dissemination in early Enlightenment Europe, in view of the physical aspects of 1,246 extant copies and their provenance.
al-Ḏahab al-masbūk fī ḏikr man ḥaǧǧa min al-ḫulafāʾ wa-l-mulūk. Critical Edition, Annotated Translation, and Study
In Caliphate and Kingship in a Fifteenth-Century Literary History of Muslim Leadership and Pilgrimage Jo Van Steenbergen presents a new study, edition and translation of al-Ḏahab al-Masbūk fī Ḏikr man Ḥağğa min al-Ḫulafāʾ wa-l-Mulūk, a summary history of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca by al-Maqrīzī (766-845 AH/ca. 1365-1442 CE). Traditionally considered as a useful source for the history of the ḥağğ, al-Ḏahab al-Masbūk is re-interpreted here as a complex literary construction that was endowed with different meanings. Through detailed contextualist, narratological, semiotic and codicological analyses Van Steenbergen demonstrates how these meanings were deeply embedded in early-fifteenth century Egyptian transformations, how they changed substantially over time, and how they included particular claims about authorship and about legitimate and good Muslim rule.
Arnold Geulincx (1624-1669) is a key figure in the history of ideas, whose concepts have been seen as precursors to those developed by Spinoza, Malebranche, Leibniz and Kant.
His Ethics presents a treatment of virtue from the standpoint of occasionalist metaphysics. The great Irish writer Samuel Beckett stated that Geulincx, with his emphasis on the powerlessness and ignorance of the human condition, was a key influence on his works. This is the first complete version of the text to appear in a modern language. It includes the full text of the Ethics and Beckett’s notes to his reading of Geulincx.
Shedding new light on important moments of intellectual history, it is a major event for students of philosophy and literature.

Brill's Texts and Sources in Intellectual History, vol. 1