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The Contemporary Sources for the Study of the Council of Nicaea (304–337)
“Fontes Nicaenae Synodi” is a sourcebook that provides the original text with an English translation and footnotes of the contemporary sources for the study of the Council of Nicaea (325). These sources are letters, canons, creeds, imperial documents, and synodal statements that deal with the theological, institutional, and disciplinary issues discussed at Nicaea – not only the “Arian” controversy. The book includes texts that are contemporary with the events, i.e., written between the beginning of the Melitian crisis (ca. 304) and the death of Constantine (337). They were passed on in Greek, Latin, and Syriac. The year 2025 will see a centenary of the synod of Nicaea (325–2025), which will be a promising scenario for discussing the Nicaean Council, a pivotal event in the formation of Western culture.
Editor / Translator:
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.”
Beautifying the Ugly and Uglifying the Beautiful by Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī (d. 429/1038)
In his Beautifying the Ugly and Uglifying the Beautiful (Taḥsīn al-qabīḥ wa-taqbīḥ al-ḥasan) the prolific anthologist al-Thaʿālibī (d. 429/1038) offers a thematically arranged selection of Arabic poems and prose anecdotes or sayings with contrary or paradoxical purport, such as praise of miserliness, boredom, sickness, and death, or condemnation of generosity, intelligence, youth, and music. The book is both entertaining and informative, giving insight in premodern Arab and Islamic culture. It contains a new edition of the Arabic text and a complete English translation (the first in any language) with extensive annotation, preceded by an introduction with the necessary background of the genre.
Author:
The Latin Poems of Manilius Cabacius Rallus of Sparta presents the poetic oeuvre of a forgotten poet of Renaissance Rome. A Greek by birth, Manilius Cabacius Rallus (c. 1447–c. 1523) spent most of his life far from his motherland, unable to return. Through his poems, composed in a range of metres and genres, Rallus engaged with some major events and personalities of his time, including Angelo Poliziano, Ianus Lascaris, and Pope Leo X. His poems also reflect on timeless human experiences such as helplessness in the face of fortune and nostalgia for what is lost. Han Lamers edited the Latin text of Rallus’ poems (most of them printed for the last time in 1520) and added annotations and an English prose translation.
The Vulgate Recension. From Adam to the End of the Achaemenids
Author:
When the 13th-century Coptic official al-Makīn Ibn al-ʿAmīd was thrown into prison by Sultan Baybars, he set out to compile a summary of Biblical, Graeco-Roman, and Islamic history for his own consolation. His work, which drew from a vast array of sources, enjoyed enduring success among various readerships: Oriental Christians, in Arabic-speaking communities but also in Ethiopia; Mamluk historians, including Ibn Ḫaldūn and al-Maqrīzī; and early modern Europe. A major instance of Christian-Muslim interaction in the pre-modern era, Ibn al-ʿAmīd’s chronography is still unpublished in its pre-Islamic part. This volume edits, analyzes, and translates the section from Adam to the Achaemenids.