In recent years, a growing interest in “oriental manuscripts” in all their aspects, including the extrinsic ones, has been observed. Research that focuses on holograph, autograph and authorial manuscripts in Arabic handwritten script has nevertheless been casual, although these manuscripts raise important and varied questions. The study of the working methods of authors from the past informs different disciplines: paleography, codicology, textual criticism, ecdotics, linguistics and intellectual history. In this volume nine contributions and case studies are gathered that address theoretical issues and convey different, disruptive perspectives. A particularly important subject of this book, so far rarely discussed in scientific literature, is the identification of an author’s handwriting. Among the authors specifically dealt with in this volume one will find: al-Maqrīzī (m. 845/1442), al-Nuwayrī (m. 733/1333), Akmal al-Dīn b. Mufliḥ (m. 1011/1603), al-ʿAynī (m. 855/1451) and Ibn Khaldūn (m. 808/1406). Contributors: Frédéric Bauden, Julien Dufour, Élise Franssen, Adam Gacek, Retsu Hashizume, Marie-Hélène Marganne, Elias Muhanna, Nobutaka Nakamachi, Anne Regourd, and Kristina Richardson.
Edited by Frédéric Bauden and Elise Franssen
Eva Mira Youssef-Grob
Volume I: Essays
Volume II: Transliteration and Facsimile, "Register of Books" (Kitāb al-kutub)
Edited by Gülru Necipoğlu, Cemal Kafadar and Cornell H. Fleischer
The subject of this two-volume publication is an inventory of manuscripts in the book treasury of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, commissioned by the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II from his royal librarian ʿAtufi in the year 908 (1502–3) and transcribed in a clean copy in 909 (1503–4). This unicum inventory preserved in the Oriental Collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MS Török F. 59) records over 5,000 volumes, and more than 7,000 titles, on virtually every branch of human erudition at the time. The Ottoman palace library housed an unmatched encyclopedic collection of learning and literature; hence, the publication of this unique inventory opens a larger conversation about Ottoman and Islamic intellectual/cultural history. The very creation of such a systematically ordered inventory of books raises broad questions about knowledge production and practices of collecting, readership, librarianship, and the arts of the book at the turn of the fifteenth century. The first volume contains twenty-eight interpretative essays on this fascinating document, authored by a team of scholars from diverse disciplines, including Islamic and Ottoman history, history of science, arts of the book and codicology, agriculture, medicine, astrology, astronomy, occultism, mathematics, philosophy, theology, law, mysticism, political thought, ethics, literature (Arabic, Persian, Turkish/Turkic), philology, and epistolary. Following the first three essays by the editors on implications of the library inventory as a whole, the other essays focus on particular fields of knowledge under which books are catalogued in MS Török F. 59, each accompanied by annotated lists of entries. The second volume presents a transliteration of the Arabic manuscript, which also features an Ottoman Turkish preface on method, together with a reduced-scale facsimile.