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Editor: Kishwar Rizvi
Affect, Emotion and Subjectivity in Early Modern Muslim Empires presents new approaches to Ottoman Safavid and Mughal art and culture. Taking artistic agency as a starting point, the authors consider the rise in status of architects, the self-fashioning of artists, the development of public spaces, as well as new literary genres that focus on the individual subject and his or her place in the world. They consider the issue of affect as performative and responsive to certain emotions and actions, thus allowing insights into the motivations behind the making and, in some cases, the destruction of works of art. The interconnected histories of Iran,Turkey and India thus highlight the urban and intellectual changes that defined the early modern period.

Contributors are: Sussan Babaie, Chanchal Dadlani, Jamal Elias, Emine Fetvaci, Christiane Gruber, Sylvia Hougteling, Kishwar Rizvi, Sunil Sharma, and Marianna Shreve Simpson.
In Narratives of Kingship in Eurasian Empires, 1300-1800 Richard van Leeuwen analyses representations and constructions of the idea of kingship in fictional texts of various genres, especially belonging to the intermediate layer between popular and official literature. The analysis shows how ideologies of power are embedded in the literary and cultural imagination of societies, their cultural values and conceptualizations of authority. By referring to examples from various empires (Chinese, Indian, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, European) the parallels between literary traditions are laid bare, revealing remarkable common concerns. The process of interaction and transmission are highlighted to illustrate how literature served as a repository for ideological and cultural values transforming power into authority in various imperial environments.
A Persian Compendium on Similar and Complementary Interlocking Figures. A Volume Commemorating Alpay Özdural
This collective study focuses on a unique anonymous medieval document on ornamental geometry featuring geometrical constructions and textual instructions in Persian. Selections from the unpublished work of Alpay Özdural (d. 2003) on this subject have been updated with original contributions by Jan P. Hogendijk, Elaheh Kheirandish, Gülru Necipoğlu, and Wheeler M. Thackston. The chapters interpreting this fascinating document are followed, for the first time, by a facsimile, transcription, and translation, as well as drawings of incised construction lines invisible in the photographed facsimile.

This publication intersects with the current interest in Islamic geometrical patterning as an inspiration for tessellation and parametrically derived forms in contemporary architecture and the arts. It aims to make this celebrated source more accessible, given its multifaceted relevance to historians of art, architecture, and science, as well as mathematicians, physicists, artists, and architects.

For those who wish to obtain a copy of the full, unedited original book manuscript of Alpay Özdural, where he discusses the mathematical properties of all geometrical constructions in the Anonymous Compendium as well as the step-by-step method for drawing each one, his work is available online at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5255416


Indonesian Manuscripts from the Islands of Java, Madura, Bali and Lombok discusses aspects of the long and impressive manuscript traditions of these islands, which share many aspects of manuscript production. Many hitherto unaddressed features of palm-leaf manuscripts are discussed here for the first time as well as elements of poetic texts, indications of mistakes, colophons and the calendrical information used in these manuscripts. All features discussed are explained with photographs. The introductory chapters offer insights into these traditions in a wider setting and the way researchers have studied them. This original and pioneering work also points out what topics needs further exploration to understand these manuscript traditions that use a variety of materials, languages, and scripts to a wider public.
Nasrin Askari explores the medieval reception of Firdausī’s Shāhnāma, or Book of Kings (completed in 1010 CE) as a mirror for princes. Through her examination of a wide range of medieval sources, Askari demonstrates that Firdausī’s oeuvre was primarily understood as a book of wisdom and advice for kings and courtly elites. In order to illustrate the ways in which the Shāhnāma functions as a mirror for princes, Askari analyses the account about Ardashīr, the founder of the Sasanian dynasty, as an ideal king in the Shāhnāma. Within this context, she explains why the idea of the union of kingship and religion, a major topic in almost all medieval Persian mirrors for princes, has often been attributed to Ardashīr.
Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī and His Yatīmat al-dahr
Why did premodern authors in the Arabic-Islamic culture compile literary anthologies, and why were these works remarkably popular? How can an anthology that consists of reproduced material be original and creative, and serve various literary and political ends? How did anthologists select their material, then record and arrange it?

This book examines the life and works of Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī (350–429/961–1039), an eminent anthologist from Nīshāpūr, paying special attention to his magnum opus, Yatīmat al-dahr ( The Unique Pearl), and its sequel, Tatimmat al-Yatīma ( The Completion of the Yatīma). This book is a direct window on to an anthologist’s workshop in the second half of the fourth/tenth century. It examines the methodological consciousness expressed in Thaʿālibī’s selection and arrangement, and his sophisticated system of internal references and cross-references to other works; how he selected from his contemporaries’ oeuvres; how he sought, recorded, memorized, misplaced, and sometimes lost or forgot his selections; how he scrutinized the authenticity of material, accepting, questioning, or rejecting its attribution; and the errors and inconsistencies that resulted from this process.
Continuity and Transformation in Ilkhanid Iran
The Mongols’ Middle East: Continuity and Transformation in Ilkhanid Iran offers a collection of academic articles that investigate different aspects of Mongol rule in 13th- and 14th-century Iran. Sometimes treated only as part of the larger Mongol Empire, the volume focuses on the Ilkhanate (1258-1335) with particular reference to its relations with its immediate neighbours. It is divided into four parts, looking at the establishment, the internal and external dynamics of the realm, and its end. The different chapters, covering several topics that have received little attention before, aim to contribute to a better understanding of Mongol rule in the Middle East and its role in the broader medieval Eurasian world and its links with China.

With contributions by: Reuven Amitai, Michal Biran, Bayarsaikhan Dashdondog, Bruno De Nicola, Florence Hodous, Boris James, Aptin Khanbaghi, Judith Kolbas, George Lane, Timothy May, Charles Melville, Esther Ravalde, Karin Rührdanz
The Sung Home tells the story of Kurdish singer-poets ( dengbêjs) in Kurdistan in Turkey, who are specialized in the recital singing of historical songs. After a long period of silence, they returned to public life in the 2000s and are presented as guardians of history and culture. Their lyrics, life stories, and live performances offer fascinating insights into cultural practices, local politics and the contingencies of state borders. Decades of oppression have deeply politicized and moralized cultural and musical production. Through in-depth ethnographic analysis Hamelink highlights the variety of personal and social narratives within a society in turmoil. Set within the larger global stories of modernity, nationalism, and Orientalism, this study reflects on different ideas about what it means to create a Kurdish home.
The Turkic-Turkish Theme in Traditional Malay Literature is the first detailed study of the representation of the Turkic peoples and Ottoman Turks in Malay literature between the 14th–19th centuries. Drawing on a wide range of texts, Vladimir Braginsky uncovers manifold metamorphoses and diverse forms of localisation of this Turkic-Turkish theme. This theme has strongly influenced the religious and political ideals and political mythology of Malay society. By creating fictional rather than realistic portrayals of the Turks and Turkey, imagining the king of Rum as the origin point of Malay dynasties, and dreaming of Ottoman assistance in the jihad against the colonial powers, Malay literati ultimately sought to empower the Malay ‘self’ by bringing it closer to the Turkish ‘other’.
On the Margins of Historiography
This work examines the entire corpus of the Sistani Cycle of Epics, both parts included in Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāmeh and those appearing in separate manuscripts. It argues that the so-called “epic literature” of Iran constitutes a kind of historiography, encapsulating reflections of watershed events of Iran’s antiquity.

By examining the symbiotic relationship of the texts’ content and form, the underpinning discourse of the various stories is revealed to have been shaped by polemics of political legitimacy and religious conflict. This discourse, however, is not abstract. The stories narrate, within their generic constraint, some of the affairs of the Sistani kingdom and its relationship to the Parthian throne, mainly from the first century BCE to the end of the second century CE.