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Invasions, Conquest, and Government of a Frontier Region in Thirteenth-Century Eurasia (1204-1295)
The work focuses on the Mongol conquest and domination of Caucasia in the 13th century, from the Sea of Azov in the north to present-day Georgia and Armenia.
While sedentary civilizations and nomadic cultures had a long history of interaction in this region, the Mongol conquest made it into a frontier in which Medieval Europe and Asia became more intensely integrated and interconnected. The Mongols made Caucasia into a coherent power based on both European and Asian experiences and traditions. The genesis of this deeply transformational process constitutes the central theme of this book.
The Huihui Yaofang was an encyclopedia of Near Eastern medicine compiled under the Mongol Yuan Dynasty for the benefit of themselves and the then Chinese medical establishments. Some 15% of the work survives, from a Ming Dynasty edition, and is here translated for the first time into English. We extensively introduce the translation with introductions situating it within the history of western and Chinese medicine, and provide critical apparatus for understanding. We provide accounts of the medicines and foods, with comparisons to other works of the time and to modern folk uses of these medicines in the Middle East. We show that the work is solidly western Asian, specifically derived from Persian-speaking Central Asia, and is adapted to Chinese use in several ways but without losing its western character.
A Socio-Political History of Architecture
Author: R.D. McChesney
In Central Asia, Muslim shrines have served as community centers for centuries, particularly the large urban shrines that seem, in many cases, to have served as the inspiration as well for a city’s architectural development. In Four Central Asian Shrines: A Socio-Political History of Architecture R. D. McChesney documents the histories of four such long-standing shrines—Gur-i Mir at Samarqand, Khwajah Abu Nasr Parsa Mazar at Balkh, the Noble Rawzah at Mazar-i Sharif, and the Khirqat al-Nabi at Qandahar. In all four cases the creation and evolution of the architecture of these shrines is traced through narratives about their social and political histories and in the past century and a half, through the photographic record.
A Portrait of a Local Intermediary in Russian Central Asia
Author: Tetsu Akiyama
In The Qїrghїz Baatïr and the Russian Empire Tetsu Akiyama gives a vivid description of the dynamism and dilemmas of empire-building in nomadic Central Asia from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century, through reconstructing the biography of Shabdan Jantay uulu (ca. 1839–1912), a chieftain from the northern Qїrghїz (Kirghiz, Kyrgyz) tribes. Based on the comprehensive study of primary sources stored in the archives of Central Asian countries and Russia, Akiyama explores Shabdan’s intermediary role in the Russian Empire’s military advance and rule in southern Semirech’e and its surrounding regions. Beyond the commonly held stereotype as a “faithful collaborator” to Russia, he appears here as a flexible and tough leader who strategically faced and dealt with Russian dominance.
vāndamīrs Ḥabīb as-siyar im Handschriftenzeitalter
Author: Philip Bockholt
In Weltgeschichtsschreibung zwischen Schia und Sunna, Philip Bockholt addresses the question of how history was written in the premodern Islamic world, and offers new insights into one of the most important chronicles composed in Persian, Khvāndamīr’s universal history Ḥabīb al-siyar. Taking into account the political events which occurred in Iran and India around 1500, he examines the manuscript tradition of the work, and gives an in-depth analysis of how the author adapted his chronicle to the Shiʿi and Sunni religio-political outlook of his Safavid and Mughal overlords. Making use of new approaches in the fields of history and philology, Philip Bockholt convincingly proves how texts were transmitted and modified for various audiences during premodern times.

In Weltgeschichtsschreibung zwischen Schia und Sunna untersucht Philip Bockholt am Beispiel von Ḫ vāndamīrs Weltgeschichtschronik Ḥabīb as-siyar, wie Geschichte in der islamischen Vormoderne geschrieben wurde. Vor dem Hintergrund der politischen Umbrüche in Iran und Indien um 1500 analysiert er die intentionale Ebene von Historiografie und zeigt auf, wie ein Historiker sein Werk in verschiedenen Fassungen sowohl für die Safaviden als auch die Moguln an schiitische und sunnitische Kontexte anpasste. Mit der Erforschung der Handschriftentradition eines der am häufigsten kopierten Geschichtswerke der islamischen Welt legt Philip Bockholt die Techniken des Autors offen, die Darstellung von Ereignissen im Sinne des jeweiligen Patrons zu verändern, wodurch Einblicke in den Prozess von Geschichtsschreibung sowie zu Textüberlieferung und Leserschaft im Handschriftenzeitalter möglich werden.
This comprehensive history of nineteenth century Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city, uses not only traditional historical sources, but unpublished diaries, archived military reports, contemporary photographs, drawings, paintings, and maps of the city drawn by British soldiers, other European visitors, and Asian sources. In addition to its detailed expansion on familiar political history, he addresses the social structure, tribal and ethnic composition, religious institutions, and economic activity during this century. Central to his work is an often street-by-street description of the geographical layout of Kandahar, its key features, and how they changed over time. Both for historians and those seeking the context of contemporary issues in Central Asia, Trousdale’s work is an essential read.
Divinatory Practices Among Jews Between Qumran and the Modern Period
In Unveiling the Hidden—Anticipating the Future: Divinatory Practices Among Jews Between Qumran and the Modern Period, Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas and Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum collect ten studies based on primary sources ranging from Qumran to the modern period and covering Europe and the Mediterranean basin. The studies show Jews practising divination (astrology, bibliomancy, physiognomy, dream requests, astral magic, etc.) and implementing the study and practice of the prognostic arts in ways that allowed Jews to make them "Jewish," by avoiding any conflict with Jewish law or halakhah. These studies focus on the Jewish components of this divination, providing specific firsthand details about the practices and their practitioners within their cultural and intellectual contexts—as well as their fears, wishes, and anxieties—using ancient scrolls and medieval manuscripts in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Judaeo-Arabic.

Contributors are Michael D. Swartz, Helen R. Jacobus, Alessia Bellusci, Blanca Villuendas Sabaté, Shraga Bar-On, Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Amos Geula, Dov Schwartz, Joseph Ziegler, and Charles Burnett.
As the title implies, New Approaches to Ilkhanid History explores new methodologies and avenues of research for the Mongol state in the Middle East. Although the majority of the Ilkhanate was situated in Iran, this volume considers other regions within the state and moves away from focusing on the center and the Ilkhanid court. New consideration is given to the source material, particularly how they have been composed, but also how the sources can inform on the provinces of the Ilkhanate. Several authors also examine lower-tier personages, groups, and institutions.

Contributors include: A.C.S. Peacock; Kazuhiko Shiraiwa; Christopher P. Atwood; Stefan Kamola; Qiu Yihao; Koichi Matsuda; Judith Kolbas; Reuven Amitai; Na'ama O. Arom; Timothy May; Michael Hope; Pier Giorgio Borbone; Dashdondog Bayarsaikhan; Dmitri Korobeinikov.
A Critical Edition of Ḥāfiẓ-i Baṣīr’s Maẓhar al-ʿAjāʾib
The Maẓhar al-ʿajāʾib is the devotional work written to expound upon the teachings of Aghā-yi Buzurg, a female religious master active in the early 16th century in Bukhara. The work was produced in 16th century Central Asia, when the region underwent major socio-economic and religio-political changes in the aftermath of the downfall of the Timurid dynasty and the establishment of the Shibanid dynasty in Mavarannahr and the Safavid dynasty in Iran.
In its portrayal of Aghā-yi Buzurg, the Maẓhar al-ʿajāʾib represents a tradition that maintained an egalitarian conception of gender in the spiritual equality of women and men, attesting to the presence of multiple voices in Muslim discourse and challenging conventional ways of thinking about gender history in early modern Central Asia.
Editor: Alexandre Papas
This volume describes the social and practical aspects of Islamic mysticism (Sufism) across centuries and geographical regions. Its authors seek to transcend ethereal, essentialist and “spiritualizing” approaches to Sufism, on the one hand, and purely pragmatic and materialistic explanations of its origins and history, on the other. Covering five topics (Sufism’s economy, social role of Sufis, Sufi spaces, politics, and organization), the volume shows that mystics have been active socio-religious agents who could skillfully adjust to the conditions of their time and place, while also managing to forge an alternative way of living, worshiping and thinking.

Basing themselves on the most recent research on Sufi institutions, the contributors to this volume substantially expand our understanding of the vicissitudes of Sufism by paying special attention to its organizational and economic dimensions, as well as complex and often ambivalent relations between Sufis and the societies in which they played a wide variety of important and sometimes critical roles.

Contributors are Mehran Afshari, Ismail Fajrie Alatas, Semih Ceyhan, Rachida Chih, Nathalie Clayer, David Cook, Stéphane A. Dudoignon, Daphna Ephrat, Peyvand Firouzeh, Nathan Hofer, Hussain Ahmad Khan, Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Richard McGregor, Ahmet Yaşar Ocak, Alexandre Papas, Luca Patrizi, Paulo G. Pinto, Adam Sabra, Mark Sedgwick, Jean-Jacques Thibon, Knut S. Vikør and Neguin Yavari