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Author: Nabil Matar
The post-Lepanto Mediterranean was the scene of “small wars,” to use Fernand Braudel’s phrase, which resulted in acts of piracy and captivity. Thousands upon thousands of Europeans, Arabs, and Turks were seized into bagnios stretching from Cadiz to Valletta and from Salé to Tripoli. After returning to their homelands, dozens from England and France, Germany and Spain, Malta and Italy wrote about their captivities. Their accounts were printed, distributed, translated, and plagiarized, making captivity a key subject in Europe’s Mediterranean history. While Europeans wrote extensively about their ordeals, the Arabs wrote little because their religious culture militated against such writings, which would be construed as expressing disaffection with the will of God. Nor were there detailed records and registers of captives – their names, places of origin, and ransom prices – similar to what was kept in the European archives. Contrary, however, to what some historians have claimed, there was a distinct Arabic narrative of captivity that survives in anecdotes, recollections, reports, miracles, letters, fatawa, exempla and short biographies in both verse and prose. Cumulatively, these sources constitute the Arabic qiṣṣas al-asrā, or stories of the captives, in the native language and idiom of the men and women of the early modern Mediterranean.
Living and Negotiating in the Land of the Infidel
In Muslims in Spain, 1492-1814: Living and Negotiating in the Land of the Infidel, Eloy Martín-Corrales surveys Hispano-Muslim relations from the late fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, a period of chronic hostilities. Nonetheless there were thousands of Muslims in Spain during this time: ambassadors, exiles, merchants, converts, and travelers. Their negotiating strategies and the necessary support they found on both shores of the Mediterranean prove that relations between Spaniards and Muslims were based on reasons of state and a pragmatism that generated intense ties, both political and economic. These increased enormously after the peace treaties that Spain signed with Muslim countries between 1767 and 1791.
Politics, Economy and Society South of the Sahara in 2019
The Africa Yearbook covers major domestic political developments, the foreign policy and socio-economic trends in sub-Sahara Africa – all related to developments in one calendar year. The Yearbook contains articles on all sub-Saharan states, each of the four sub-regions (West, Central, Eastern, Southern Africa) focusing on major cross-border developments and sub-regional organizations as well as one article on continental developments and one on African-European relations. While the articles have thorough academic quality, the Yearbook is mainly oriented to the requirements of a large range of target groups: students, politicians, diplomats, administrators, journalists, teachers, practitioners in the field of development aid as well as business people.
Studies in the history of medieval astronomy in the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghrib
Author: Julio Samsó
In On Both Sides of the Strait of Gibraltar Julio Samsó studies the history of medieval astronomy in al-Andalus (Muslim Spain), the Maghrib and the Christian kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula. He proves that the Arabic, Latin, Hebrew, Castilian and Catalan sources belong to the same tradition whose origin can be dated in the 11th century due to the changes in Ptolemy’s astronomical theory introduced by the Toledan astronomer Ibn al-Zarqālluh/Azarquiel.
The book also analyses the role of al-Andalus and the Iberian Peninsula in the transmission of Islamic astronomy to Europe and justifies the fact that Eastern Islamic works published after ca. 950 CE were not accessible to medieval European scholars because they had not reached al-Andalus.
The Distribution of Wealth and the Making of Social Relations in Northern Nigeria
Author: Dauda Abubakar
In ‘They Love Us Because We Give Them’ Zakāt, Dauda Abubakar describes the practice of Zakāt in northern Nigeria. Those who practice this pillar of Islam annually deduct Zakāt from their wealth and distribute it to the poor and needy people within their vicinity, mostly their friends, relatives and neighbours.
The practice of giving and receiving Zakāt in northern Nigeria often leads to the establishment of social relations between the rich and needy. Dauda Abubakar provides details of the social relationship in the people’s interpersonal dealings with one another that often lead to power relations, high table relations etc. The needy reciprocate the Zakāt they collect in many ways, respecting and given high positions to the rich in society.
PART 1: Streets, Processions, Fora, Agorai, Macella, Shops. PART 2: Sites, Buildings, Dates
Author: Luke Lavan
This book investigates the nature of 'public space' in Mediterranean cities, A.D. 284-650, meaning places where it was impossible to avoid meeting people from all parts of society, whether different religious confessions or social groups. The first volume considers the architectural form and everyday functions of streets, fora / agorai, market buildings, and shops, including a study of processions and everyday street life. The second volume analyses archaeological evidence for the construction, repair, use, and abandonment of these urban spaces, based on standardised principles of phasing and dating. The conclusions provide insights into the urban environment of Constantinople, an assessment of urban institutions and citizenship, and a consideration of the impact of Christianity on civic life at this time.
Editor: Samantha Kelly
A Companion to Medieval Ethiopia and Eritrea introduces readers to current research on major topics in the history and cultures of the Ethiopian-Eritrean region from the seventh century to the mid-sixteenth, with insights into foundational late-antique developments where appropriate. Multiconfessional in scope, it includes in its purview both the Christian kingdom and the Islamic and local-religious societies that have attracted increasing attention in recent decades, tracing their internal features, interrelations, and imbrication in broader networks stretching from Egypt and Yemen to Europe and India. Utilizing diverse source types and methodologies, its fifteen essays offer an up-to-date overview of the subject for students and nonspecialists, and are rich in material for researchers.

Contributors are Alessandro Bausi, Claire Bosc-Tiessé, Antonella Brita, Amélie Chekroun, Marie-Laure Derat, Deresse Ayenachew, François-Xavier Fauvelle, Emmanuel Fritsch, Alessandro Gori, Habtemichael Kidane, Margaux Herman, Bertrand Hirsch, Samantha Kelly, Gianfrancesco Lusini, Denis Nosnitsin, and Anaïs Wion.
In: A Companion to Medieval Ethiopia and Eritrea