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Gerd Althoff

Gerd Althoff´s new book collects fifteen of his more recent contributions, most of them previously published in German, which elucidate the functioning of prestate societies. Examples from the Frankish and later German realm (800-1200) are used to clarify how rules and political rituals governed behavior in the power games between kings, churchmen and nobles. Such rules (Spielregeln) and rituals guided public and private behavior despite the fact that they existed only as unwritten customs. The long-overlooked significance of this way of establishing order has sparked a vivid and controversial international discussion in the last decades which continues today.

Waiting for the End of the World

European Dimensions, 950–1200

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Tsvetelin Stepanov

The French president Charles de Gaulle spoke of a Europe “from the Atlantic to the Urals”. Europe was spatially formed with these topographic parameters from the late 10th century onwards, with the massive Christianization of its inhabitants. At that time, however, all three monotheistic religions already had a steady presence there. Could such a macro-space be thought-and-narrated from a macro-perspective, in view of its medieval past? This has already been done through common ʻdenominatorsʻ such as the Migration Period, wars, trade, spread of Christianity. Could it also be seen through a common religious-philosophical and spiritual phenomenon – the Anticipation of the End of the world among Christians, Muslims, and Jews? This book gives a positive answer to the last question.

Warriors, Martyrs, and Dervishes

Moving Frontiers, Shifting Identities in the Land of Rome (13th-15th Centuries)

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Buket Kitapçı Bayrı

Warriors, Martyrs, and Dervishes: Moving Frontiers, Shifting Identities in the Land of Rome (13th-15th Centuries) focuses on the perceptions of geopolitical and cultural change, which was triggered by the arrival of Turkish Muslim groups into the territories of the Byzantine Empire at the end of the eleventh century, through intersecting stories transmitted in Turkish Muslim warrior epics and dervish vitas, and late Byzantine martyria. It examines the Byzantines’ encounters with the newcomers in a shared story-world, here called “land of Rome,” as well as its perception, changing geopolitical and cultural frontiers, and in relation to these changes, the shifts in identity of the people inhabiting this space. The study highlights the complex relationship between the character of specific places and the cultural identities of the people who inhabited them.

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David J. Fuller

Habakkuk is unique amongst the prophetic corpus for its interchange between YHWH and the prophet. Many open research questions exist regarding the identities of the antagonists throughout and the relationships amongst the different sections of the book. In A Discourse Analysis of Habakkuk, David J. Fuller develops a model for discourse analysis of Biblical Hebrew within the framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics. The analytical procedure is carried out on each pericope of the book separately, and then the respective results are compared in order to determine how the successive speeches function as responses to each other, and to better understand changes in the perspectives of the various speakers throughout.

An Azanian Trio

Three East African Arabic Historical Documents

Edited by James McL. Ritchie and Sigvard von Sicard

This work consists of the translation and annotation of three East African Arabic / Swahili manuscripts together with the original texts. They cover aspects of the history of the coast from the early Himyaritic period up to the beginning of the 20th century. By the use of earlier, in some cases hitherto unused Arabic sources, the authors of the texts have contributed to a fuller picture of the East African coastal history. The texts relate directly to works on East African coastal history that have appeared since the latter part of the 19th century. They are presented against the background of general Arabic and Islamic history. The annotations indicate, and some case stress, significant hints and references to matters that need to be borne in mind, along with archeological and other evidences.

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Keren Zdafee

The Egyptian caricature is generally studied as part of Egyptian mass culture, and mainly discussed in the context of Egypt's anti-colonial resistance to British foreign rule, as part of the forging of a “national style". In Cartooning for a Modern Egypt, Keren Zdafee foregrounds the role that Egypt’s foreign-local entrepreneurs and caricaturists played in formulating and constructing the modern Egyptian caricature of the interwar years, that was designated for, and reflected, a colonial and cosmopolitan culture of a few. Keren Zdafee illustrates how Egyptian foreign-local caricaturists envisioned and evaluated the past, present, and future of Egyptian society, in the context of Cairo's colonial cosmopolitanism, by adopting a theoretical, semiotic, and historical approach.

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Ismail Lala

Can we know God or does he reside beyond our ken? In Ibn ʿArabī and ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Qāshānī’s Metaphysics of the Divine, Ismail Lala conducts a forensic analysis of the nature of God and His interaction with creation. Looking mainly at the exegetical works of the influential mystic, Muḥyī al-Dīn ibn ʿArabī (d. 638/1240), and one of his chief disseminators, ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Qāshānī (d. 736/1335?), Lala employs the term huwiyya, literally “He-ness,” as an aperture into the metaphysical worldview of both mystics. Does Al-Qāshānī agree with Ibn ʿArabī’s conception of God? Does he agree with Ibn ʿArabī on how God relates to us and how we relate to Him? Or is this where Sufi master and his disciple part ways?

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Edited by Stefan Winter and Mafalda Ade

Aleppo and its Hinterland in the Ottoman Period comprises eleven essays in English and French by leading scholars of Ottoman Syria which draw on new research in Turkish, Levantine and other archival sources. Focusing on both the city and its place in the wider region, the collection examines trade guilds and Christian settlement in Aleppo, Turkmen and Bedouin tribes in Aleppo’s interior, international trade and the establishment of an Ottoman commercial tribunal in the Tanzimat period, Aleppo and the rise of the millet system, the Belgian consular presence, Sufi networks in the province of Aleppo, the countryside of Antioch under the Egyptian occupation, and the urban revolt of 1850.

With contributions from Enver Çakar, Elyse Semerdjian, Charles Wilkins, Stefan Winter, Mary Momdjian, Bruce Masters, Sylvain Cornac, Mafalda Ade, Feras Krimsti, Nicolas Jodoin, Stefan Knost.

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L.W.C. van Lit

Working with manuscripts has become a digital affair. But, are there downsides to digital photos? And how can you take advantage of the incredible computing power you have literally at your fingertips? Cornelis van Lit explains in detail what happens when manuscript studies meets digital humanities. In Among Digitized Manuscripts you will learn why it is important to include a note on the photo quality in your codicological description, how to draw, collect, and publish glyphs of paleographic interest, what standards (such as TEI and IIIF) to abide by when transcribing a text, how to write custom software for image recognition, and much more. The leading principle is that learning a little about computers will already be of great benefit.

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Melis Taner

Caught in a Whirlwind: A Cultural History of Ottoman Baghdad as Reflected in its Illustrated Manuscripts focuses on a period of great artistic vitality in the region of Baghdad, a frontier area that was caught between the rival Ottoman and the Safavid empires. In the period following the peace treaty of 1590, a corpus of more than thirty illustrated manuscripts and several single page paintings were produced. In this book Melis Taner presents a contextual study of the vibrant late sixteenth-century and early seventeenth-century Baghdad art market, opening up further avenues of research on art production in provinces and border regions.