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Robert Jones

From the first Arabic grammar printed at Granada in 1505 to the Arabic editions of the Dutch scholar Thomas Erpenius (d.1624), some audacious scholars - supported by powerful patrons and inspired by several of the greatest minds of the Renaissance – introduced, for the first time, the study of Arabic language and letters to centres of learning across Europe. These pioneers formed collections of Arabic manuscripts, met Arabic-speaking visitors, studied and adapted the Islamic grammatical tradition, and printed editions of Arabic texts - most strikingly in the magnificent books published by the Medici Oriental Press at Rome in the 1590s. Robert Jones’ findings in the libraries of Florence, Leiden, Paris and Vienna, and his contribution to the history of grammar, are of enduring importance.

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Melis Taner

Caught in a Whirlwind: A Cultural History of Ottoman Baghdad as Reflected in its Illustrated Manuscripts focuses on a period of great artistic vitality in the region of Baghdad, a frontier area that was caught between the rival Ottoman and the Safavid empires. In the period following the peace treaty of 1590, a corpus of more than thirty illustrated manuscripts and several single page paintings were produced. In this book Melis Taner presents a contextual study of the vibrant late sixteenth-century and early seventeenth-century Baghdad art market, opening up further avenues of research on art production in provinces and border regions.

An Azanian Trio

Three East African Arabic Historical Documents

Edited by James McL. Ritchie and Sigvard von Sicard

This work consists of the translation and annotation of three East African Arabic / Swahili manuscripts together with the original texts. They cover aspects of the history of the coast from the early Himyaritic period up to the beginning of the 20th century. By the use of earlier, in some cases hitherto unused Arabic sources, the authors of the texts have contributed to a fuller picture of the East African coastal history. The texts relate directly to works on East African coastal history that have appeared since the latter part of the 19th century. They are presented against the background of general Arabic and Islamic history. The annotations indicate, and some case stress, significant hints and references to matters that need to be borne in mind, along with archeological and other evidences.

Treasures of Knowledge: An Inventory of the Ottoman Palace Library (1502/3-1503/4) (2 vols)

Volume I: Essays
Volume II: Transliteration and Facsimile "Register of Books" (Kitāb al-kutub), MS Török F. 59
Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Könyvtára Keleti Gyűjtemény (Oriental Collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

Series:

Edited by Gülru Necipoğlu, Cemal Kafadar and Cornell H. Fleischer

The subject of this two-volume publication is an inventory of manuscripts in the book treasury of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, commissioned by the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II from his royal librarian ʿAtufi in the year 908 (1502–3) and transcribed in a clean copy in 909 (1503–4). This unicum inventory preserved in the Oriental Collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Könyvtára Keleti Gyűjtemény, MS Török F. 59) records over 5,000 volumes, and more than 7,000 titles, on virtually every branch of human erudition at the time. The Ottoman palace library housed an unmatched encyclopedic collection of learning and literature; hence, the publication of this unique inventory opens a larger conversation about Ottoman and Islamic intellectual/cultural history. The very creation of such a systematically ordered inventory of books raises broad questions about knowledge production and practices of collecting, readership, librarianship, and the arts of the book at the dawn of the sixteenth century. The first volume contains twenty-eight interpretative essays on this fascinating document, authored by a team of scholars from diverse disciplines, including Islamic and Ottoman history, history of science, arts of the book and codicology, agriculture, medicine, astrology, astronomy, occultism, mathematics, philosophy, theology, law, mysticism, political thought, ethics, literature (Arabic, Persian, Turkish/Turkic), philology, and epistolary. Following the first three essays by the editors on implications of the library inventory as a whole, the other essays focus on particular fields of knowledge under which books are catalogued in MS Török F. 59, each accompanied by annotated lists of entries. The second volume presents a transliteration of the Arabic manuscript, which also features an Ottoman Turkish preface on method, together with a reduced-scale facsimile.

Qurʾān Quotations Preserved on Papyrus Documents, 7th-10th Centuries

And The Problem of Carbon Dating Early Qurʾāns

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Edited by Andreas Kaplony and Michael Marx

Qurʾān Quotations Preserved on Papyrus Documents, 7th-10th Centuries is the first book on the Qurʾān’s Sitz im Leben, i.e. on how the Qurʾān was quoted in Arabic original letters, legal deeds, and amulets. Qurʾān Quotations also serves as an in-depth exploration of the radiocarbon dating of documents and Qurʾānic manuscripts.

Contributors: Ursula Bsees; Tobias J. Jocham; Andreas Kaplony; Michael Josef Marx, Daniel Potthast; Leonora Sonego; Eva Mira Youssef-Grob.

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Eleazar Birnbaum

Arabic and Persian Manuscripts in the Birnbaum Collection, Toronto includes many early copies, from the 6th century A.H. / 12th century C.E. onwards. They cover a wide range of subjects. The catalogue gives detailed descriptions of 66 Arabic and 34 Persian works, arranged by subject. Author and title indexes provide easy access, and photographs of selected pages enhance the descriptions. The manuscripts were acquired individually over many decades.

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Erol A.F. Baykal

The Ottoman Press (1908-1923) looks at Ottoman periodicals in the period after the Second Constitutional Revolution (1908) and the formation of the Turkish Republic (1923). It analyses the increased activity in the press following the revolution, legislation that was put in place to control the press, the financial aspects of running a publication, preventive censorship and the impact that the press could have on readers. There is also a chapter on the emergence and growth of the Ottoman press from 1831 until 1908, which helps readers to contextualize the post-revolution press.

Manuscripts, Politics and Oriental Studies

Life and Collections of Johann Gottfried Wetzstein (1815-1905) in Context

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Edited by Boris Liebrenz and Christoph Rauch

Manuscripts, Politics and Oriental Studies commemorates the life and works of Johann Gottfried Wetzstein (1815-1905) as a scholar, manuscript collector, and consul in Berlin and Damascus. Beyond research into Wetzstein's own time, special attention is given to the impact his efforts to acquire manuscripts have had until this day. Several contributions also illustrate contemporary developments that give context to his own career as a scholar and diplomat. The particular focus of this volume allows to explore the history of Oriental scholarship not purely through the lens of academic posts and publications but encourages us to discover lifes such as Wetzstein's, without academic stardom yet laying the material foundations of textual work for generations.

Contributors are Kaoukab Chebaro; François Déroche; Faustina Doufikar-Aerts; Alba Fedeli; Ludmila Hanisch †; Michaela Hoffmann-Ruf; Ingeborg Huhn; Robert Irwin; Boris Liebrenz; Astrid Meier; Samar El Mikati El Kaissi; Claudia Ott; Holger Preißler †; Christoph Rauch; Helga Rebhan; Anke Scharrahs; Jan Just Witkam.

The Book in Mamluk Egypt and Syria (1250-1517)

Scribes, Libraries and Market

Series:

Doris Behrens-Abouseif

This book is the first to date to be dedicated to the circulation of the book as a commodity in the Mamluk sultanate. It discusses the impact of princely patronage on the production of books, the formation and management of libraries in religious institutions, their size and their physical setting. It documents the significance of private collections and their interaction with institutional libraries and the role of charitable endowments ( waqf ) in the life of libraries. The market as a venue of intellectual and commercial exchanges and a production centre is explored with references to prices and fees. The social and professional background of scribes and calligraphers occupies a major place in this study, which also documents the chain of master-calligraphers over the entire Mamluk period. For her study the author relies on biographical dictionaries, chronicles, waqf documents and manuscripts.