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Mattʿēos Uṙhayecʿi and His Chronicle

History as Apocalypse in a Crossroads of Cultures

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Tara L. Andrews

In Mattʿēos Uṙhayecʿi and His Chronicle Tara L. Andrews presents the first ever in-depth study of the history written by this Armenian priest, who lived in Edessa (modern-day Urfa in Turkey) around the turn of the twelfth century and was an eyewitness to the First Crusade and the establishment of the Latin East.
Although the Chronicle is known as an extremely valuable source of information for the eleventh- and early twelfth-century Near East, neither its guiding structure nor Uṙhayecʿi's motivation in writing it have ever been clear to modern historians. This study elucidates the prophetic framework within which the text was written, and demonstrates how that framework has influenced Uṙhayecʿi's understanding of the time in which he lived.

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Marie Huber

In Memories of an Impossible Future: Mehdi Akhavān Sāles and the Poetics of Time Marie Huber traces the quest for a modern language of poetry through different figurations of temporality in the works of one of Iran’s foremost poets. Akhavān is placed in dialogue with European thinkers and emerges as an original voice in world literature.

Chapters examine aspects of rhythm and metaphor, messianism and historicity, and functions of time in Akhavān’s lyric and epic poems. Through a range of close readings Huber seeks to understand Akhavān’s texts as crystallisations of a historical moment, both rooted in the Persian tradition and pointing beyond it. Her analyses combine attention to philological detail with meditations on the philosophical significance of Akhavān’s poetics.

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Paul S. Stevenson

In Stanzaic Syntax in the Madrashe of Ephrem the Syrian, which focuses on madrāšê V and VI in the Paradise cycle, Paul S. Stevenson looks at Ephrem’s poetic art from the point of view of a linguist. This study goes beyond the traditional levels of analysis, the clause and the sentence, and examines the structure of whole stanzas as units. The result is a surprisingly rich tapestry of syntactic patterning, which can justly be considered the key to Ephrem’s prosody. The driving force behind Ephrem’s poetry turns out not to be meter or sound play, but a variety of syntactic templates, which include even vertical patterning of constituents.

The Rebellion of Muḥammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya in 145/762

Ṭālibīs and Early ʿAbbāsīs in Conflict

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Amikam Elad

This book presents a detailed in-depth study, primarily based on primary Arabic sources, of the background, history and the consequences of the rebellion of Muhammad b. ʿAbdallah b. al-Hasan b. al-Hasan b. ʿAli b. Abi Talib, better known as al-Nafs al-Zakiyya, in 145/762, during the reign of the Abbasid Caliph, Abu Jaʿfar al-Mansur. It focuses on the relations between the early Abbasid and the different Talibi-(Shiʿi) families - mainly the Hasanis and the Husaynis - and the internal struggles between these factions for the legitimacy of authority.

Nūbat Ramal al-Māya in Cultural Context

The Pen, the Voice, the Text

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Carl Davila

In this unique edition, Carl Davila takes an original approach to the texts of the modern Moroccan Andalusian music tradition. This volume offers a literary-critical analysis and English translation of the texts of this nūba, studies their linguistic and thematic features, and compares them with key manuscripts and published anthologies. Four introductory chapters and four appendices discuss the role of orality in the tradition and the manuscripts that lie behind the print anthologies. Two supplements cross-reference key poetic images in English and Arabic, and provide information on known authors of the texts. This groundbreaking contribution will interest scholars and students of pre-modern Arabic poetry, muwashshaḥāt, Andalusian music traditions, Arabic Studies, orality, and sociolinguistics.

Gender Justice in Muslim-Christian Readings

Christian and Muslim Women in Norway: Making Meaning of Texts from the Bible, the Koran, and the Hadith

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Anne Hege Grung

In recent decades, women in the Christian and Islamic traditions have been negotiating what it means to participate in religious practice as a woman within the two traditions, and how to interpret canonical scripture. This book creates a shared space for Muslim and Christian women with diverse cultural and denominational backgrounds, by making meaning of texts from the Bible, the Koran, and the Hadith. It builds on the reading and discussion of the Hagar narratives, as well as 1 Timothy 2:8-15 and Sura 4:34 from the New Testament and the Koran respectively, by a group of both Christian and Muslim women. Interpretative strategies and contextual analyses emerge from the hermeneutical analysis of the women’s discussions on the ambiguous contributions of the texts mentioned above to the traditional views on women.
This book shows how intertextual dialogue between the Christian and Islamic traditions establishes an interpretative community through the encounter of Christian and Muslim readers. The negotiation between a search for gender justice and the Christian and Islamic traditions as lived religions is extended into a quest for gender justice through the co-reading of texts. In times when gender and the status of women are played into the field of religious identity politics, this book shows that bringing female readers together to explore the canonical texts in the two traditions provides new insights about the texts, the contexts, and the ways in which Muslim-Christian dialogue can provide complex and promising hermeneutical space where important questions can be posed and shared strategies found.

Metapoesis in the Arabic Tradition

From Modernists to Muḥdathūn

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Huda J. Fakhreddine

In Metapoesis in the Arabic Tradition Huda J. Fakhreddine expands the study of metapoesis to include the Abbasid age in Arabic literature. Through this lens that is often used to study modernist poetry of the 20th and the 21st century, this book detects and examines a meta-poetic tendency and a self-reflexive attitude in the poetry of the first century of Abbasid poets. What and why is poetry? are questions the Abbasid poets asked themselves with the same persistence and urgency their modern successor did. This approach to the poetry of the Abbasid age serves to refresh our sense of what is “modernist” or “poetically new” and detach it from chronology.

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Philip D. Handyside

William of Tyre's history of the Kingdom of Jerusalem has long been viewed as one of the most useful sources for the Crusades and the Latin East from the beginnings of the First Crusade to William's death shortly before Saladin's conquest of Jerusalem. However, this text was most popular during the medieval period in an Old French translation.
In The Old French of William of Tyre Philip Handyside identifies the differences between the Latin and French texts and analyses the translator motives for producing the translation and highlights significant changes that may provide a better understanding of the period in question. Handyside also argues for a complex manuscript tradition that developed across the medieval Mediterranean.

Storytelling in Chefchaouen Northern Morocco

An Annotated Study of Oral Performance with Transliterations and Translations

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Aicha Rahmouni

Storytelling in Chefchaouen Northern Morocco includes two sets of tales told by two different storytellers with an annotated study of the oral performance, transliterations and translations. The purpose is to preserve a part of the region’s oral tradition of storytelling in the vernacular language in which it has been transmitted, presenting the original texts with parallel English translation. In addition, the cultural, literary, and linguistic background necessary for understanding this body of oral performance is given. A combination of disciplines (anthropology, philology, sociolinguistics, dialectology, comparative literature, ethnography, typology) is applied to the linguistic and literary features of the present corpus.

Farāmarz, the Sistāni Hero

Texts and Traditions of the Farāmarznāme and the Persian Epic Cycle

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Marjolijn van Zutphen

In Farāmarz, the Sistāni Hero Marjolijn van Zutphen discusses the manuscripts, storylines and main themes of the shorter and the longer Farāmarznāme (c. 1100), in relation to Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāme and several other later maṡnawis about the warriors from Sistān (the Persian Epic Cycle). Farāmarz, a secondary figure of the Shāhnāme, gained importance in later epic traditions and as the invincible protagonist of both Farāmarznāmes reached a status that equalled, if not surpassed, that of his famous father Rostam.
Van Zutphen further shows how Farāmarz displays parallels to the fictional figures of Garshāsp (his ancestor) and Eskandar and argues that some story elements of Farāmarz’s Indian conquest may be rooted in historical events from both the Parthian and the Ghaznawid period.