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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Three East African Arabic Historical Documents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.

The Book in Mamluk Egypt and Syria (1250-1517)

Scribes, Libraries and Market

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Doris Behrens-Abouseif

This book is the first to date to be dedicated to the circulation of the book as a commodity in the Mamluk sultanate. It discusses the impact of princely patronage on the production of books, the formation and management of libraries in religious institutions, their size and their physical setting. It documents the significance of private collections and their interaction with institutional libraries and the role of charitable endowments ( waqf ) in the life of libraries. The market as a venue of intellectual and commercial exchanges and a production centre is explored with references to prices and fees. The social and professional background of scribes and calligraphers occupies a major place in this study, which also documents the chain of master-calligraphers over the entire Mamluk period. For her study the author relies on biographical dictionaries, chronicles, waqf documents and manuscripts.

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Edited by Anne Regourd

The nine contributions in The Trade in Papers Marked with non-Latin Characters initiated by Anne Regourd (ed.) approach global history through the paper trade. They cover, in addition to a paper used in 14th C Persia, papers used in Africa (Ethiopia, Nigeria, Tunisia) and Asia (the Ottoman Levant, Mecca, Persia, Russia, and Yemen) during the 19th-20th C. Primarily based on paper examination and quantitative data, the book invites us to treat papers as a source, and provides tools to determine the production of manuscripts in space and time for the area of interest. This methodology offers new insights on the competition between suppliers to the various markets particularly in respect of the emergence of import-export trading companies.

Le commerce des papiers à marques à caractères non-latins, dont Anne Regourd (éd.) est à l'initiative, a pour projet de traiter d'histoire globale par le commerce du papier. Les neuf contributions réunies ici font apparaître un premier exemple de ce papier, persan, dès le xive s. sous les Moẓaffarides et, principalement, des papiers utilisés en Afrique (Éthiopie, Nigéria, Tunisie) et en Asie (Levant ottoman, La Mecque, Perse, Russie et Yémen), aux xixe et xxe s. S'appuyant sur l'observation des papiers et des données quantitatives, le livre invite à prendre le support de l'écrit comme source de l'histoire du commerce et donne des instruments pour déterminer la production de manuscrits dans l'espace et le temps pour une aire définie. Cette méthode renouvelle notre connaissance de l'approvisionnement des marchés, avec, en particulier, l'apparition de compagnies d'import-export.

Contributors are: Michaelle Biddle, Evyn Kropf, Anne Regourd, Francis Richard, Alice Shafi-Leblanc, Jan Just Witkam, Olga Yastrebova. Foreword by Anna-Grethe Rischel.

The Arabic Literature of Africa Volume 5 (2 vols.)

The Writings of Mauritania and the Western Sahara

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Charles C. Stewart and Sidi Ahmed Ould Ahmed Salim

Winner of the 2016 Conover-Porter Award. The prize is awarded by the African Studies Association (ASA) to Outstanding Africa-related reference works, bibliographies or bibliographic essays published in any country, separately or as part of a larger work.

The Writings of Mauritania and the Western Sahara compiles 300 years of literary production, in excess of 10,000 titles by over 1800 authors,who document a vibrant Islamic culture and educational system in a Bedouin society lacking any overarching state. This contradicts our received wisdom about the nature of high Islamic scholarship, and it offers insights into complicated relationships between the authority of the Word and quotidian life in nomadic society. Biographical profiles of the writers and analyses of significant works tell a story of the organic growth of a Saharan scholarly tradition, linked but largely independent of the heartlands, original in its Hassaniyya verse and extensive legal literature, deeply rooted in its Islamic culture.

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Pascal Buresi and Hicham El Aallaoui

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Pascal Buresi and Hicham El Aallaoui

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Pascal Buresi and Hicham El Aallaoui

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Pascal Buresi and Hicham El Aallaoui

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Pascal Buresi and Hicham El Aallaoui

Governing the Empire: Provincial Administration in the Almohad Caliphate (1224-1269)

Critical Edition, Translation, and Study of Manuscript 4752 of the Ḥasaniyya Library in Rabat Containing 77 Taqādīm (“Appointments”)

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Pascal Buresi and Hicham El Aallaoui

In this book, Pascal Buresi and Hicham El Aallaoui edit, translate, and study an Arabic manuscript of the Royal Library of Rabat, containing 77 appointments of provincial officials. The Almohad Caliphs were the first Berbers to unite the whole Maghrib and the Iberian Peninsula under an imperial ideology elaborated at the end of the 12th C.E. by the most famous scholars, such as Averroes.
This peripheral Islamic dynasty produced a pragmatic documentation that provides exceptional information about the administrative, political, ideological, and religious organisation of the largest medieval European-African Empire. Buresi and El Aallaoui convincingly stress the importance of the literature of the Chancellery in renewing the history of power and authority in medieval Islamic lands.