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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)

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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 (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 turn of the fifteenth 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.

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Three East African Arabic Historical Documents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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

The Technique of Islamic Bookbinding

Methods, Materials and Regional Varieties. Second Revised Edition

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Karin Scheper

The Technique of Islamic Bookbinding is the first monograph dedicated to the technical development of the bookbinding tradition in the Islamic world. Based on an assessment of the extensive oriental collections in the Leiden University Library, the various sewing techniques, constructions and the application of covering materials are described in great detail. A comparative analysis of the historic treatises on bookbinding provides further insight into the actual making of the Islamic book. In addition, it is demonstrated that variations in time and place can be established with the help of distinctive material characteristics.
Karin Scheper’s work refutes the perception of Islamic bookbinding as a weak structure, which has generally but erroneously been typified as a case-binding. Instead, the author argues how diverse methods were used to create sound structures, thus fundamentally challenging our understanding of the Islamic bookbinding practice.

Karin Scheper has been awarded the De La Court Award 2016 by The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences for her study of the bookbinding tradition in the Islamic world.

The bookseries The Medical Works of Moses Maimonides aims to provide critical editions of all the medical works by the famous rabbi, philosopher and medical doctor Moses Maimonides (1138-1204). The series is part of an ongoing project. Volumes 1-10 were published by Brigham Young University Press. ACADEMIC BOARD Gerrit Bos (University of Cologne) Lawrence I. Conrad (University of Hamburg) Alfred I. Ivry (New York University) Y. Tzvi Langermann (Bar Ilan University, Israel) Michael R. McVaugh (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Les manuscrits arabes des lettres de Paul

État de la question et étude de cas (1 Corinthiens dans le Vat. Ar. 13)

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Sara Schulthess

Cet ouvrage ouvre une fenêtre sur la transmission des lettres de Paul en arabe. Il s’interroge sur le manque d’intérêt depuis le début du 20ème siècle pour les manuscrits arabes du Nouveau Testament et apporte une contribution à la récente reprise scientifique de ce champ, en étudiant le corpus largement inexploré des manuscrits arabes des lettres de Paul. Après un état des lieux établi à l’aide d’un répertoire de manuscrits, l’étude se concentre sur un manuscrit, le Vaticanus Arabicus 13. L’édition de la Première lettre aux Corinthiens de ce document du 9ème siècle est suivie d’une analyse linguistique et philologique pointue ; elle permet de dégager des éléments exégétiques qui mettent en lumière l’intérêt théologique du texte.

This work provides an insight into the transmission of the Letters of Paul into Arabic. It aims to understand the lack of interest since the beginning of the 20th century for the Arabic manuscripts of the New Testament and to contribute to the current scholarly rediscovery for this field by studying the largely unexplored corpus of the Arabic manuscripts of the Letters of Paul. After a broad overview with the help of a list of witnesses, the study focuses on a specific manuscript: Vaticanus Arabicus 13. The edition of First Corinthians of this 9th century document is followed by a close analysis of linguistic and philological aspects, while the underlining of interesting exegetical points reveals the theological interest of the text.

Aux origines du classicisme

Calligraphes et bibliophiles au temps des dynasties mongoles (Les Ilkhanides et les Djalayirides 656-814 / 1258-1411)

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Nourane Ben Azzouna

Cet ouvrage explore une période charnière de l’histoire du livre islamique et iranien: la période mongole envisagée dans le long terme, sous les dynasties ilkhanide et djalayiride. Il étudie la question de la maturation de la calligraphie arabe classique à travers la vie et l’œuvre de Yāqūt al-Mustaʿṣimī qui sont, pour la première fois, soumises à une analyse systématique, mettant en avant l’importance de son école et des maîtres bagdadiens pour les arts du livre des décennies suivantes. L’ouvrage se penche aussi sur les manuscrits des Ilkhans musulmans et du vizir Rashīd al-Dīn dans le cadre de la problématique de la naissance de la kitābkhānah et de l’affirmation du statut des calligraphes et des peintres sous les derniers Ilkhanides et les Djalayirides.

This book explores a pivotal period in the history of the book in the Islamic world and Iran, i.e. the Mongol period viewed in a long-term perspective, under the Ilkhanid and the Djalayirid dynasties. It examines the issue of the maturation of classical Arabic calligraphy through the life and work of Yāqūt al-Mustaʿṣimī, which are for the first time subjected to a systematic analysis, highlighting the importance of his school and the Baghdadi masters for the arts of the book of the following decades. The study also looks at the manuscripts of the Muslim Ilkhans and the Vizier Rashīd al-Dīn in the context of the birth of the kitābkhānah and the rise in the status of calligraphers and painters under the last Ilkhanids and the Djalayirids.