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Why devote a Companion to the "mirrors for princes", whose very existence is debated? These texts offer key insights into political thoughts of the past. Their ambiguous, problematic status further enhances their interest. And although recent research has fundamentally challenged established views of these texts, until now there has been no critical introduction to the genre.
This volume therefore fills this important gap, while promoting a global historical perspective of different “mirrors for princes” traditions from antiquity to humanism, via Byzantium, Persia, Islam, and the medieval West. This Companion also proposes new avenues of reflection on the anchoring of these texts in their historical realities.

Contributors are Makram Abbès, Denise Aigle, Olivier Biaggini, Hugo Bizzarri, Charles F. Briggs, Sylvène Edouard, Jean-Philippe Genet, John R. Lenz, Louise Marlow, Cary J. Nederman, Corinne Peneau, Stéphane Péquignot, Noëlle-Laetitia Perret, Günter Prinzing, Volker Reinhardt, Hans-Joachim Schmidt, Tom Stevenson, Karl Ubl, and Steven J. Williams.

Abstract

Sufyān al-Thawrī (d. 161/777?) was a major Kufan jurisprudent with a later reputation for special hostility to Abū Ḥanīfa (d. 150/767) and his school and for upholding hadith against raʾy. However, the record of his hadith transmission as preserved in third/ ninth-century collections shows that he mainly collected and disseminated hadith in Kufa. The record of his agreements and disagreements in law as preserved in Muḥammad b. Naṣr al-Marwazī (d. 295/907–8?), Ikhtilāf al-fuqahāʾ, Ibn al-Mundhir (d. 318/930–1?), al-Ishrāf, and al-Jaṣṣāṣ al-Rāzī (d. 370/981), Mukhtaṣar Ikhtilāf al-ʿulamāʾ, shows preponderant agreement with the Ḥanafiyya and a lower degree of agreement with, among others, al-Awzāʿī and al-Shāfiʿī. The biographical dictionaries record few traces of a personal school of law after him. Doubts have been raised, but in the end he is to be counted an adherent of the Kufan regional school of law.

Open Access
In: Journal of Abbasid Studies

Abstract

The study of the interdependence of grammar and logic at the beginning of the twelfth century is a difficult subject and progress here has been slow. With the recent publication of the Notae Dunelmenses, however, we are now able to see rather more clearly how closely the two disciplines were bound to one another. The following article draws upon this newly published material and on unpublished material from contemporary commentaries on Aristotle’s Categories to investigate how the grammarians’ account of number was reconciled with that given by Aristotle. It considers in particular the problem of the meaning of numerical terms such as ‘pair’ (binarius) and of collective names such as ‘people’ (populus) and how attempting to solve it shaped thinking about the metaphysics of number.

Open Access
In: Vivarium
Author:

Abstract

This chapter examines the self-consciousness about ‘special’ liturgical and ceremonial practices in one of the most emblematic female communities of medieval Europe, the Royal Abbey of Las Huelgas in Burgos. The recently re-discovered monastic ceremonial of Las Huelgas offers us invaluable insights into the self-regulation of the conventual liturgy held at the royal abbey. Written in the vernacular Castilian, this ceremonial was compiled by the nuns themselves around 1400 with a view to ensuring the continuity of the community’s special customs. The manuscript thus showcases the community’s effort to preserve its autonomy by keeping control of their own liturgical practice, and uncovers the extent to which the nuns assumed active roles in the performance of conventual liturgy. The female voice of this ceremonial is especially evident in the use of feminine pronouns and verb-endings. The text prescribes Mass celebrations held by the abbess and her convent, as well as the nun’s performance of three-part polyphony.

Open Access
In: Female-Voice Song and Women’s Musical Agency in the Middle Ages
The ninth-century Chronographia of George the Synkellos and Theophanes is the most influential historical text ever written in medieval Constantinople. Yet modern historians have never explained its popularity and power. This interdisciplinary study draws on new manuscript evidence to finally animate the Chronographia’s promise to show attentive readers the present meaning of the past.

Begun by one of the Roman emperor’s most trusted and powerful officials in order to justify a failed revolt, the project became a shockingly ambitious re-writing of time itself—a synthesis of contemporary history, philosophy, and religious practice into a politicized retelling of the human story. Even through radical upheavals of the Byzantine political landscape, the Chronographia’s unique historical vision again and again compelled new readers to chase after the elusive Ends of Time.
In: The Chronographia of George the Synkellos and Theophanes
In: The Chronographia of George the Synkellos and Theophanes
In: The Chronographia of George the Synkellos and Theophanes
In: The Chronographia of George the Synkellos and Theophanes
In: The Chronographia of George the Synkellos and Theophanes