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In: Novel Medical and General Hebrew Terminology from the Middle Ages
In: Novel Medical and General Hebrew Terminology from the Middle Ages
In: Commentary on the Jumal on Logic by Khūnajī
In: Commentary on the Jumal on Logic by Khūnajī

Abstract

Premodern manuscript production was fluid. Books and papers freely changed hands, often against their authors’ wishes. In the absence of copyright laws, certain countermeasures arose. This study considers one of them: self-commentary, meaning an author’s explanations on his own works. The article deals with two cases of medieval self-commentary across linguistic and cultural boundaries: the Arabic author and rationalist Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (d. 1057 CE), and the professional Byzantine littérateur John Tzetzes (d. 1180 CE). After an overview of their lives and works, with a focus on the key role of self-explanation, the article considers their respective manuscript cultures, which involved face-to-face educational settings that nonetheless permitted widespread copying. There follows a discussion of textual materiality, which reveals a mutual concern to avoid tampering or misinterpretation. Then, the article shows how both men tried to direct readers by exploiting language’s capacity for multiple meanings. The conclusion ponders the relevance of this study for problems posed by digital book technology.

In: Philological Encounters

Abstract

This article presents an edition, translation, and study of the amulet scroll Kurd. 51 from the Kurdish collection of August D. Żaba that was presented by him to the Manuscript Department of the National Library of Russia (NLR) in St Petersburg in 1868 along with 52 manuscripts and lithographs. The amulet contains passages in Arabic and Persian and was found, according to Żaba, among the Kurds in Erzurum.

In: Journal of Islamic Manuscripts

Abstract

The religious background of manuscripts and texts from Lombok is not always certain. Nevertheless, in view of the overwhelming Muslim population on the island, many texts in manuscripts are inspired by Islam. Most manuscripts in Lombok are written on palm leaves, and these lontar manuscripts used to be kept by the people in great numbers, especially among the Waktu Telu, Muslims who adhere to a local variety of Islam, distinct from mainstream Sunni Islam. Material and non-material aspects of the lontar manuscripts from Lombok are discussed here. Apart from the Sasak inhabitants of Lombok, the Balinese community in West Lombok is also familiar with Muslim texts, and some aspects of the materiality of the lontar manuscripts from both communities containing Islamic texts are discussed here. The examples of the manuscripts highlighted here offer wider insights about these so far ill-studied manuscripts from Lombok in Indonesia.

In: Journal of Islamic Manuscripts

Abstract

This article presents a set of four multitext manuscripts made in Tabriz during the reign of the Safavid Shāh Sulaymān (r. 1666–1694). The texts are organized around one core abstruse text (lughuz) penned by the patron of the work, the vizier of Azarbayjan and mustawfī al-mamālik, Ẓahīr al-Dīn Ibrāhīm (d. 1102/1690). Analysis of these manuscripts, copied successively over a period of 12 years by the same hand, reveals the endeavours of the patron and the copyist to produce an artefact that was increasingly refined in terms of layout. The Sackler manuscript is the most recent and also the most accomplished. The amount of time and money put into this project is unusual for a non-royal patron. This editorial project might be linked to Ẓahīr al-Dīn’s political ambitions to find a position or to restore his reputation at the royal court at Isfahan.

In: Journal of Islamic Manuscripts
Author: Ahmad Kamal

Abstract

There is a high percentage of letters among Arabic documentary material. The vast majority of them remain unpublished, however. This article presents the edition, translation, and commentary of two as yet unpublished business letters currently kept at the Egyptian Museum in Berlin. The first was sent to solicit help with some calculations and to stress the importance of the results (P.Berl.inv. 8582), and the second was sent to grant a monk permission to join the harvest (P.Berl.inv. 6746 verso).

In: Journal of Islamic Manuscripts