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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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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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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.

ʿUbaidallāh Ibn Buḫtīšūʿ on Apparent Death

The Kitāb Taḥrīm dafn al-aḥyāʾ, Arabic Edition and English Translation with a Hebrew Supplement by Gerrit Bos

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Oliver Kahl and Gerrit Bos

The Kitāb Taḥrīm dafn al-aḥyāʾ, the Book on the Prohibition to Bury the Living, written by the Nestorian physician ʿUbaidallāh Ibn Buḫtīšūʿ (d. c. 1060 CE), deals with the causes, signs and treatments of apparent death. Based on a short pseudo-Galenic treatise, whose Greek original is lost, ʿUbaidallāh’s Arabic commentary is a comprehensive and in many ways unique piece of scientific writing that moreover promotes a psychological understanding of physical illness. Oliver Kahl’s present book offers a critical Arabic edition with annotated English translation of ʿUbaidallāh’s work on apparent death, framed by a detailed introductory study and extensive glossaries covering all relevant terms; for comparative purposes, the Arabic and Hebrew recensions of the lost Greek prototype are presented in an appendix.

The Orientalist Karl Süssheim Meets the Young Turk Officer İsma’il Hakkı Bey

Two Unexplored Sources from the Last Decade in the Reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II

Jan Schmidt

The book consists of transcriptions and summary translations of two texts in, mostly, Ottoman Turkish, the first of which is the recently discovered second volume of the diary of the German orientalist Karl Süssheim, covering the years 1903-08 which he mostly spent in Istanbul. The second text is a printed memoir of a Young Turk officer called İsma’il Hakkı, in which the latter discusses his life, political engagement and the resulting problems. Süssheim met İsma’il Hakkı in Cairo in 1908 and kept in contact with him later. The texts offer a lively picture of Istanbul and Cairo in the early years of the 20th century, the repressive regime of Sultan Abdulhamid II and the heady days of the Young Turk revolution of July 1908.

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.

Humanism, Theology, and Spiritual Crisis in Renaissance Florence: Giovanni Caroli’s Liber dierum lucensium

A Critical Edition, English Translation, Commentary, and Introduction

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Giovanni Caroli

Edited by Amos Edelheit

This is the first work by Giovanni Caroli (1428-1503) to appear in print. Caroli was one of the leading theologians in Florence during the last decades of the fifteenth century, a man who lived between the two great traditions of his time: the scholastic and the humanist. The volume contains a critical edition of the Latin text, entitled The Book of My Days in Lucca, an English translation, commentary notes and an introduction. Caroli presents us with his powerful personal reaction to the institutional crisis regarding the required reform in the Dominican Order, yet even here we already notice the pervasive influence of his classical education, and especially his acquaintance with authors such as Cicero, Livy, Tacitus, and especially Virgil.

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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.

‘Alā’ al-Dawla al-Simnānī Between Spiritual Authority and Political Power: A Persian Lord and Intellectual in the Heart of the Ilkhanate

With a Critical Edition of al-Wārid alšārid al-ṭārid šubhat al-mārid and its Persian version Zayn al-mu‘taqad li-zayn al-mu‘taqid

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Giovanni Maria Martini

In ʿAlāʾ al-Dawla al-Simnānī between Spiritual Authority and Political Power: A Persian Lord and Intellectual in the Heart of the Ilkhanate, Giovanni Maria Martini investigates the personality of a major figure in the socio-political and cultural landscape of Mongol Iran. In pursuing this objective, the author follows parallel paths: Chapter 1 provides the most updated reconstruction of Simnānī’s (d. 736/1336) biography, which, thanks to its unique features, emerges as a cross-section of Iranian society and as a microhistory of the complex relationships between a Sufi master, Persian elites and Mongol rulers during the Ilkhanid period; Chapter 2 contains a study on the phenomenon of Arabic-Persian diglossia in Simnānī’s written work, arguing for its socio-religious function; in Chapters 3 to 6 the critical editions of two important, interrelated treatises by Simnānī are presented; finally, Chapter 7 offers the first full-length annotated translation of a long work by Simnānī ever to appear in a Western language.

Opposition to Philosophy in Safavid Iran

Mulla Muḥammad-Ṭāhir Qummi’s Ḥikmat al-ʿĀrifīn

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Edited by Ata Anzali and S.M. Hadi Gerami

In Opposition to Philosophy in Safavid Iran, Ata Anzali and S. M. Hadi Gerami offer a critical edition of a hitherto unpublished manuscript that is arguably the most erudite and extensive polemical work against philosophy and philosophical mysticism from the Safavid period. The introduction offers an extensive and in-depth analysis of the status of philosophy in the late Safavid period, placing Mulla Muhammad-Tahir Qummi’s (d. 1689) work in the broader context of the relevant cultural and intellectual developments of his time.
The content of Hikmat al-‘arifin itself is divided between a refutation of many traditional philosophical arguments about the nature of God and His attributes and, more importantly for those interested in Safavid intellectual history, attacks on Mulla Sadra and his students for synthesizing fundamental elements Ibn ‘Arabi’s thought into the framework of traditional philosophical discourse.