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Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī and His Yatīmat al-dahr
Author: Bilal Orfali
Why did premodern authors in the Arabic-Islamic culture compile literary anthologies, and why were these works remarkably popular? How can an anthology that consists of reproduced material be original and creative, and serve various literary and political ends? How did anthologists select their material, then record and arrange it?

This book examines the life and works of Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī (350–429/961–1039), an eminent anthologist from Nīshāpūr, paying special attention to his magnum opus, Yatīmat al-dahr ( The Unique Pearl), and its sequel, Tatimmat al-Yatīma ( The Completion of the Yatīma). This book is a direct window on to an anthologist’s workshop in the second half of the fourth/tenth century. It examines the methodological consciousness expressed in Thaʿālibī’s selection and arrangement, and his sophisticated system of internal references and cross-references to other works; how he selected from his contemporaries’ oeuvres; how he sought, recorded, memorized, misplaced, and sometimes lost or forgot his selections; how he scrutinized the authenticity of material, accepting, questioning, or rejecting its attribution; and the errors and inconsistencies that resulted from this process.
Editor: Islam Dayeh
Philological Encounters is dedicated to the historical and philosophical critique of philology.

The journal welcomes global and comparative perspectives that integrate textual scholarship and the study of language from across the world. Alongside four issues a year, monographs and/ or collected volumes will occasionally be published as supplements to the journal in the book series Philological Encounters Monographs.

The journal is open to contributions in all fields studying the history of textual practices, hermeneutics and philology, philological controversies, and the intellectual and global history of writing, archiving, tradition-making and publishing. Neither confined to any discipline nor bound by any geographical or temporal limits, Philological Encounters takes as its point of departure the growing concern with the global significance of philology and the potential of historically conscious and politically critical philology to challenge exclusivist notions of the self and the canon. Philological Encounters welcomes innovative and critical contributions in the form of articles as well as review articles, usually of two or three related books, and preferably from different disciplines.

Philological Encounters is a publication of the research program Zukunftsphilologie ( Forum Transregionale Studien Berlin).

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Texts and Traditions of the Farāmarznāme and the Persian Epic Cycle
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.