Al-Maqrīzī’s al-Ḫabar ʿan al-bašar

Vol. V, Sections 1-2: The Arab Thieves

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Edited by Peter Webb

In The Arab Thieves, Peter Webb critically explores the classic tales of pre-Islamic Arabian outlaws in Arabic Literature. A group of Arabian camel-rustlers became celebrated figures in Muslim memories of pre-Islam, and much poetry ascribed to them and stories about their escapades grew into an outlaw tradition cited across Arabic literature. The ninth/fifteenth-century Egyptian historian al-Maqrīzī arranged biographies of ten outlaws into a chapter on ‘Arab Thieves’ in his wide-ranging history of the world before Muhammad. This volume presents the first critical edition of al-Maqrīzī’s text with a fully annotated English translation, alongside a detailed study that interrogates the outlaw lore to uncover the ways in which Arabic writers constructed outlaw identities and how al-Maqrīzī used the tales to communicate his vision of pre-Islam. Via an exhaustive survey of early Arabic sources about the outlaws and comparative readings with outlaw traditions in other world literatures, The Arab Thieves reveals how Arabic literature crafted lurid narratives about criminality and employed them to tell ancient Arab history.

Warrior Saints of the Silk Road

Legends of the Qarakhanids

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Jeff Eden

For generations, Central Asian Muslims have told legends of medieval rulers who waged war, died in battle, and achieved sainthood. Among the Uyghurs of East Turkistan (present-day Xinjiang, China), some of the most beloved legends tell of the warrior-saint Satuq Bughra Khan and his descendants, the rulers of the Qarakhanid dynasty. To this day, these tales are recited at the saints' shrines and retold on any occasion.
Warrior Saints of the Silk Road introduces this rich literary tradition, presenting the first complete English translation of the Qarakhanid narrative cycle along with an accessible commentary. At once mesmerizing, moving, and disturbing, these legends are essential texts in Central Asia's religious heritage as well as fine, enduring works of mystical literature.

Johannes Hoornbeeck (1617-1666), On the Conversion of Indians and Heathens

An Annotated Translation of De conversione Indorum et gentilium (1669)

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Ineke Loots, Joke Spaans and Johannes Hoornbeeck

Exploration, trade and conquest expanded and upset traditional worldviews of early modern Europeans. Christians saw themselves confronted with a largely heathen world. In the wake of Iberian colonization, Jesuits successfully christianized heathen populations overseas. In his De conversione Indorum et gentilium, Johannes Hoornbeeck presents a systematic overview of every aspect of the missionary imperative from a Reformed Protestant perspective. The most attractive part of his book may be the global survey it offers of the various types of heathens, an early example of comparative religion. Of equal interest, however, is his critical approach to mission. Hoornbeeck rejects ecclesiastical hierarchy and top-down imposition of Christianity. In this he is perfectly orthodox, and at the same time startlingly original and a harbinger of modern missions. His practical recommendations offer a flexible framework for missionaries, to fit a wide variety of circumstances.

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Edited by Moshe Sluhovsky

The French mystic Jean-Joseph Surin (1600–65) was the chief exorcist during the infamous demonic possession in Loudun in 1634–37. During the exorcism, a demon entered Surin’s own soul, and the exorcist became demoniac. He spent the following eighteen years of his life mute and paralyzed. All the while his troubled mind conversed with God, and he composed hymns and poems that tried to comprehend his agony. Surin left detailed descriptions of the dramatic events that shaped his life and fascinated his fellow Jesuits. But Surin was also an author of spiritual texts, a spiritual director of souls, a poet, and a prolific correspondent. This volume is the first to offer English readers a comprehensive selection of Surin’s mystical writings.

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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.

Maimonides On Coitus

A New Parallel Arabic-English Edition and Translation

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Edited by Gerrit Bos

Moses Maimonides' On Coitus was composed at the request of an unknown high-ranking official who asked for a regimen that would be easy to adhere to, and that would increase his sexual potency, as he had a large number of slave girls. It is safe to assume that it was popular in Jewish and non-Jewish circles, as it survives in several manuscripts, both in Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic. The present edition by Gerrit Bos contains the original Arabic text, three medieval Hebrew translations, two Latin versions from the same translation (edited by Charles Burnett), and a Slavonic translation (edited by Will Ryan and Moshe Taube).

The Major Works of John Cotta 

The Short Discovery (1612) and The Trial of Witchcraft (1616) 

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Todd H.J. Pettigrew, Stephanie M. Pettigrew and Jacques A. Bailly

This volume presents, for the first time, a critical edition of the works of the early modern English physician John Cotta. No mere country doctor, Cotta spoke out eloquently and courageously against what he saw as abuses in medicine and injustices in the prosecution of witchcraft. Read by important thinkers such as Robert Burton in England, and by colonial administrators in New England, Cotta helped shape two of the most important debates of his time. Included are the full texts of Cotta’s Short Discovery and The Trial of Witchcraft, both books painstakingly edited and annotated. Also included is a detailed introduction dealing with Cotta’s medical and religious contexts, his extensive learning and much more.

Le plaisir, le bonheur, et l’acquisition des vertus: Édition du Livre X du Commentaire moyen d’Averroès à l’Éthique à Nicomaque d’Aristote

Accompagnée d’une traduction française annotée, et précédée de deux études sur le Commentaire moyen d’Averroès à l’Éthique à Nicomaque

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Frédérique Woerther

This volume contains the first edition of the Latin version of the Middle Commentary of Averroes on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics Book X, the original arabic version being lost. It is accompanied by an annotated French translation. The volume also contains a full study of the manuscript tradition of the Latin text and sets outs the principles used in the edition, which takes into account, where necessary, the Hebrew version of the Commentary. Two further studies complete the volume: the first is devoted to the genre of “Middle Commentary” ( talḫīṣ); the second considers how Averroes uses an analogy with medicine to place ethics at the heart of practical philosophy, and how, in a manner that is foreign to Aristotle, he conceives of ethics as a “science.” Ce volume propose la toute première édition, accompagnée d’une traduction française annotée, de la version latine du Commentaire moyen d’Averroès à l’Éthique à Nicomaque d’Aristote Livre X, dont l’original arabe est perdu. Il présente également une étude complète de la tradition manuscrite du texte latin, et les principes d’édition, qui prennent en compte, ponctuellement, la version hébraïque du Commentaire. Deux études viennent compléter ce volume: l’une, consacrée à la notion de “commentaire moyen” ( talḫīṣ), l’autre à la place qu’Averroès — par le biais d’une analogie avec la médecine — réserve à l’éthique au sein de la philosophie pratique, et à la façon dont il conçoit désormais, de façon non aristotélicienne, l’éthique comme une “science.”

The Skandapurāṇa Volume IV

Adhyāyas 70 – 95. Start of the Skanda and Andhaka Cycles

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Peter Bisschop and Yuko Yokochi

Skandapurāṇa IV presents a critical edition of Adhyāyas 70-95 from the Skandapurāṇa , with an introduction and annotated English synopsis.
The text edited in this volume includes the myths of Viṣṇu’s manifestation as the Man-Lion (Narasiṃha), the birth of Skanda, the birth of Andhaka, and Hiraṇyākṣa’s battle with the gods culminating in his victory and capture of the Earth.
Thanks to generous support of the J. Gonda Fund Foundation, the e-book version of this volume is available in Open Access.

Universal Śaivism

The Appeasement of All Gods and Powers in the Śāntyadhyāya of the Śivadharmaśāstra

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Peter Bisschop

In Universal Śaivism Peter Bisschop provides a critical edition and annotated translation of the sixth chapter of the Śivadharmaśāstra `Treatise on the Religion of Śiva’, the so-called Śāntyadhyāya 'Chapter on Appeasement’. The Sanskrit text is preceded by an extensive introduction on its composition, transmission and edition.
The Śivadharmaśāstra has arguably played a crucial role in the formation, development and institutionalisation of Śaivism. Through a detailed study of its extensive śānti mantra, Peter Bisschop shows how the text advocates a system in which all worldly and cosmic power is ultimately dependent upon Śiva. The mantra itself is a mine of information on the evolving pantheon of early Brahmanical Hinduism.
Thanks to generous support of the J. Gonda Fund Foundation, the e-book version of this volume is available in Open Access.