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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.

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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.

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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.

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Edited by Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila

Al-Maqrīzī's (d. 845/1442) last work, al-Ḫabar ʿan al-bašar, was completed a year before his death. This volume, edited by Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila, covers the history of pre-Islamic Iran from the Creation to the Parthians. Al-Maqrīzī's work shows how Arab historians integrated Iran into world history and how they harmonized various currents of historiography (Middle Persian historiography, Islamic sacred history, Greek and Latin historiography).

Among al-Ḫabar's sources is Kitāb Hurūšiyūš, the Arabic translation of Paulus Orosius' Historiarum adversum paganos libri vii. This source has only been preserved in one defective copy, and al-Maqrīzī's text helps to fill in some of its lacunae.

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.

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Edited by Stephen Bulman and Valentin Vydrine

The Epic of Sumanguru Kante contains the Bamana text and English translation of griot Abdoulaye Sako’s oral narrative of the life of Sumanguru, recorded in 1997 in Koulikoro (Mali), together with explanatory notes, a scholarly introduction, and sections on the Bamana language and musical accompaniment. Sumanguru is a familiar figure within Manding epic oral traditions about ancient Mali. But while these narratives generally focus on Sunjata Keita, Sako’s oral poem is rare in according Sumanguru the central role. In so doing he includes hitherto undocumented episodes relating to Sumanguru’s life and role as the ruler of Soso, the little known state said to have flourished in the western Sudan between the fall of ancient Ghana and rise of ancient Mali.

The Purple Island

Or: The Isle of Man

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Phineas Fletcher

Edited by Johnathan H. Pope

Phineas Fletcher’s epic allegorical poem The Purple Island (1633) combines anatomical and devotional perspectives on the self as the poet explores the relationship between body and soul. The titular island is figured as both body and as England, thus merging religious, corporeal, devotional, and geo-national narratives. The present critical edition offers the first fresh editorial approach to the poem in over a century and situates the poem in its historical and critical contexts. Although the poem has often been regarded as a bizarre and fragmented curiosity, Johnathan H. Pope compellingly argues in favour of a more unified reading and understanding of the text as a whole, offering a newly-annotated edition that illuminates the text for both the Fletcher specialist and newcomer alike.

Les mémoires de Maalaŋ Galisa sur le royaume confédéré du Kaabu

Un récit en langue mandinka de la Guinée-Bissau

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Cornelia Giesing and Denis Creissels

Edition d'un récit en mandinka par Maalaŋ Galisa (octobre 1988) sur la constitution et les conditions de vie au Kaabu, territoire situé entre la Gambie, le Sénégal et la Guinée-Bissau, connu depuis le 16e siècle et détruit vers 1867. La gamme des sujets couvre: le peuplement, le gouvernement, les codes de conduite des guerriers, religieux, esclaves et 'hôtes étrangers', les règles de l'esclavage, du mariage et de la succession, la coexistence des religions, les relations entre groupes d'âge et de genre.
Le texte diffère d'autres qui se focalisent sur un unique fondateur-patriarche, Tiramakan de l'épopée de Sunjata. Galisa parle du sud-est du Kaabu, à la frontière avec la Guinée. Il ajoute des couleurs locales au modèle mandinka, évoquant la puissance féminine et certains conflits violents.

Edition of a recital in Mandinka by Maalaŋ Galisa (October 1988) on the political constitution and living conditions in Kaabu, a territory situated between present Gambia, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau, known since the 16th century, definitely destroyed in 1867. The narrative presents a range of topics covering governance, codes of conduct of warriors, clerics, slaves and 'strangers', rules of slavery, marriage and succession, the cohabitation of different religions, relations of age and gender.
This text is distinctive from others focussing on a single founder-patriarch, Tiramakan of the Epic of Sunjata. Galisa focuses on South-eastern Kaabu, bordering on the region of Labé (Guinea). He adds local colours to the Mandinka model, depicting powerful women and violent conflicts resulting from injustice.

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Edited by Spencer J. Weinreich

In 1588, the Spanish Jesuit Pedro de Ribadeneyra published a history of the English Reformation, which he continued to revise until his death in 1611. Spencer J. Weinreich’s translation is the first English edition of the History, one fully alive to its metamorphoses over two decades. Weinreich’s introduction explores the text’s many dimensions—propaganda for the Spanish Armada, anti-Protestant polemic, Jesuit hagiography, consolation amid tribulation—and assesses Ribadeneyra as a historian. The extensive annotations anchor Ribadeneyra’s narrative in the historical record and reconstruct his sources, methods, and revisions. The History, long derided as mere propaganda, emerges as remarkable evidence of the centrality of historiography to the intellectual, theological, and political battles of early modern Europe.