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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.

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.

Francesco Benci's Quinque Martyres

Introduction, Translation and Commentary

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Paul G. Gwynne

In 1583, five Jesuit brothers set out with the intention of founding a new church and mission in India. Their dream was almost immediately, and brutally, terminated by local opposition. When their massacre was announced in Rome, it was treated as martyrdom. Francesco Benci, professor of rhetoric at the Collegium Romanum, immediately set about celebrating their deaths in a new type of epic, distinct from, yet dependent upon, the classical tradition: Quinque martyres e Societate Iesu in India.
This is the first critical edition and translation of this important text. The commentary highlights both the classical sources and the historical and religious context of the mission. The introduction outlines Benci’s career and stresses his role as the founder of this vibrant new genre.

This volume is the first one for a new subseries in the 'Jesuit Studies' series: 'Jesuit Neo-Latin Library'.

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Edited by Wilferd Madelung and Abdulrahman al-Salimi

In Ibāḍī Texts from the 2nd/8th Century Abdulrahman Al-Salimi and Wilferd Madelung present an edition of fourteen Ibāḍī religious texts and explain their contents and extraordinary source value for the early history of Islam. The Ibāḍīs constitutes the moderate wing of the Kharijite opposition movement to the Umayyad and ‘Abbasid caliphates. The texts edited are mostly polemical letters to opponents or exhortatory to followers by ‘Abd Allah b. Ibad , Abu l-‘Ubayda Muslim b. Abi Karima and other Ibadi leaders in Basra, Oman and Hadramawt. An epistle detailing the offences of the caliph ‘Uthman is by the early Kufan historiographer al-Haytham b. ‘Adi. By their early date and independence of the mainstream historical tradition these txts offer the modern historian of Islam an invaluable complement to the well-known literary sources.

Early Islamic Law in Basra in The 2nd/8th Century

Aqwal Qatadah b. Da'amah al-Sadusi

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Edited by Abdulrahman al-Salimi

The manuscript of the Aqwāl Qatāda has repeatedly attracted particular interest among modern scholars, as it raises questions concerning the early development of the Ibāḍī Basran community and the emergence of Islamic jurisprudence in Iraq. It is a unique document because it attests to the existence of a scholarly link between Sunnīs and Ibāḍīs during the early development of Islamic law. The fact that the legal responsa and traditions of Qatāda b. Diʿāma al-Sadūsī (60/680-117/735) are part of an Ibāḍī collection, in which the traditions of Ibāḍī Imam Jābir b. Zayd (d. 93/ 711) have been transmitted through ʿAmr b. Harim and ʿAmr b. Dīnār, proves that the Ibāḍī lawyers of the first generations considered Qatāda to be a faithful upholder of Jābir's doctrine. Given the lack of material available for Jābir, instructions must have been given to collect whatever was transmitted through Qatāda. Qatāda's legal responsa must have corresponded to those of the first Ibāḍī authorities, which explains why the collator of the Aqwāl Qatāda (probably Abū Ghānim al-Khurāsānī) included them in an Ibāḍī manuscript. The present volume sheds light on the relationship between the Aqwāl Qatāda and Ibāḍī authorities such as al-Rabī, Abū Ubayda, and Jābir.

Nersēs of Lambron: Commentary on the Dormition of Saint John

Armenian Text and Annotated Translation

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Edited by Robert W. Thomson

This is the first translation of the twelfth century Armenian commentary on the death of John the Evangelist as found in the Acts of John. The last section of the apocryphal life of the Evangelist became detached from the whole, and circulated widely in the churches of east and west. The Armenian version was included in service books, Bibles, and collections of saints’ lives. Yet no medieval commentary on that brief text is known in any other language.
Nersēs of Lambron [1153-1198], Archbishop of Tarsus, was a prolific author and an influential player in the ecclesiastical politics of his era. He used this work as a medium for spiritual reflection, and for an exposition of the Armenian tradition as opposed to the theologies of the Greek and Syrian churches.

Malay Court Religion, Culture and Language

Interpreting the Qurʾān in 17th Century Aceh

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Peter G. Riddell

In Malay Court Religion, Culture and Language: Interpreting the Qurʾān in 17th Century Aceh Peter G. Riddell undertakes a detailed study of the two earliest works of Qur’anic exegesis from the Malay-Indonesian world. Riddell explores the 17th century context in the Sultanate of Aceh that produced the two works, and the history of both texts. He argues that political, social and religious factors provide important windows into the content and approaches of both Qur’anic commentaries. He also provides a transliteration of the Jawi Malay text of both commentaries on sūra 18 of the Qur'ān ( al-Kahf), as well as an annotated translation into English. This work represents an important contribution to the search for greater understanding of the early Islamic history of the Malay-Indonesian world.

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Edited by Kenneth G. Zysk

In The Indian System of Human Marks, Zysk offers a literary history of the Indian system of knowledge, which details divination by means of the marks on the bodies of both men and women. In addition to a historical analysis, the work includes texts and translations of the earliest treatises in Sanskrit. This is followed by a detailed philological analysis of the texts and annotations to the translations.
The history follows the Indian system’s evolution from its roots in ancient Mesopotamian collections of omen on the human body to modern-day practice in Rajasthan in the north and Tamilnadu in the south. A special feature of the book is Zysk’s edition and translation of the earliest textual collection of the system in the Gargīyajyotiṣa from the 1st century CE. The system of human marks is one of the few Indian textual sources that links ancient India with the antique cultures of Mesopotamia and Greece.

Law, State, and Society in Early Imperial China (2 vols)

A Study with Critical Edition and Translation of the Legal Texts from Zhangjiashan Tomb no. 247

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Anthony J. Barbieri-Low and Robin D.S. Yates

Law, State, and Society in Early Imperial China has been accorded Honorable Mention status in the 2017 Patrick D. Hanan Prize (China and Inner Asia Council (CIAC) of the Association for Asian Studies) for Translation competition.

In Law, State, and Society in Early Imperial China, Anthony J. Barbieri-Low and Robin D.S. Yates offer the first detailed study and translation into English of two recently excavated, early Chinese legal texts. The Statutes and Ordinances of the Second Year consists of a selection from the long-lost laws of the early Han dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE). It includes items from twenty-seven statute collections and one ordinance. The Book of Submitted Doubtful Cases contains twenty-two legal case records, some of which have undergone literary embellishment. Taken together, the two texts contain a wealth of information about slavery, social class, ranking, the status of women and children, property, inheritance, currency, finance, labor mobilization, resource extraction, agriculture, market regulation, and administrative geography.