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George Dimitri Sawa

The present volume consists of translated anecdotes, on musicological and socio-cultural topics, from al-Iṣbahānī’s Kitāb al-Aghānī al-Kabīr ( The Grand Book of Songs) with annotations and commentaries. It deals with musical rhythmic and melodic modes, technical terms and treatises; music instruments; composition techniques and processes; education and oral/written transmissions; vocal and instrumental performances and their aesthetics; solo and ensemble music; change and its inevitability; musical and textual improvisations; ṭarab and the acute emotions of joy or grief; medieval dances; social status. Though extracts from The Grand Book of Songs have been translated in European languages since 1816, this work presents a much larger and more comprehensive scope that will benefit musicologists, medievalist and Middle Eastern scholars as well as the general reader.

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William Tamplin

In Poet of Jordan, William Tamplin presents two decades’ worth of the political poetry of Muhammad Fanatil al-Hajaya, a Bedouin poet from Jordan and a public figure whose voice channels a popular strain of popular Arab political thought. Tamplin’s footnoted translations are supplemented with a biography, interviews, and pictures in order to contextualize the man behind the poetry.

The aesthetics and politics of vernacular Arabic poetry have long gone undervalued. By offering a close study of the life and work of Hajaya, Tamplin demonstrates the impact that one poet’s voice can have on the people and leaders of the contemporary Middle East.

Johann Michael Wansleben's Travels in the Levant, 1671-1674

An Annotated Edition of His Italian Report

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Edited by Alastair Hamilton

Johann Michael Wansleben’s Travels in the Levant, 1671–1674 is a hitherto unpublished version of a remarkable description of Egypt and the Levant by the German scholar traveller Wansleben, or Vansleb (as he was known in France). He set out for the East in 1671 to collect
manuscripts and antiquities for the French king and also produced the best study of the Copts to have appeared to date. This book recounts his travels in Syria, Turkey and Egypt, his everyday life in Cairo, and his anthropological and archeological discoveries which include the Graeco-Roman Ǧabbārī cemetery in Alexandria, the Roman city of Antinopolis on the Nile, the Coptic monastery of St Anthony on the Red Sea and the Red and White monasteries in Upper Egypt.

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Daniel J. Nodes

The Samarites by Petrus Papeus offers an effective blending of gospel narrative and ancient Roman comedy, combining manner of Plautus and Terence with the didacticism of medieval allegory and morality plays and the poetic diction of Renaissance humanism. In the Samarites they are the ingredients that present both moral and doctrinal teachings related to the gospel parables of the Prodigal Son and Good Samaritan. Papeus’ work is an excellent example not only of the early modern school play, but also of the shifting conceptions of drama in Europe at that time. Daniel Nodes presents a critical edition and translation of the play together with a humanist commentary produced in Toledo by Alexius Vanegas three years after the play’s first printing in Antwerp.