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The Plurality of Historical Worlds From Epicurus to Modern Science
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By digging through the stratigraphy of the history of ideas we can find within and beyond Marxism an ‘aleatory current’ that values the role of chance in history. Using this perspective, the book builds a case for a historical materialism that is stripped of all teleology. Starting in the ancient Mediterranean with Epicurus, it traces the history of conceiving history as plural up to Marxism and modern science. It shows that concrete historical ‘worlds’ such as ancient Mesoamerica and Eurasia cannot be reduced to a single template. Affirming the potentiality of a future non-capitalist ‘world’, it invalidates any ‘end of history’ thesis.
Historical and contemporary accounts
Narrating the pilgrimage to Mecca discusses a wide variety of historical and contemporary personal accounts of the pilgrimage to Mecca, most of which presented in English for the first time. The book addresses how being situated in a specific cultural context and moment in history informs the meanings attributed to the pilgrimage experience. The various contributions reflect on how, in their stories, pilgrims draw on multiple cultural discourses and practices that shape their daily lifeworlds to convey the ways in which the pilgrimage to Mecca speaks to their senses and moves them emotionally. Together, the written memoirs and oral accounts discussed in the book offer unique insights in Islam’s rich and evolving tradition of hajj and ʿumra storytelling.

Contributors
Kholoud Al-Ajarma, Piotr Bachtin, Vladimir Bobrovnikov, Marjo Buitelaar, Nadia Caidi, Simon Coleman, Thomas Ecker, Zahir Janmohamed, Khadija Kadrouch-Outmany, Ammeke Kateman, Yahya Nurgat, Jihan Safar, Neda Saghaee, Leila Seurat, Richard van Leeuwen and Miguel Ángel Vázquez.
Volume Editors: and
Ammianus Marcellinus composed a history of the Roman empire from 96 AD to 378 AD, focusing on the mid-fourth century during which he served in the army. His experience as a soldier during this period provides crucial realia of warfare, while his knowledge of literature, especially the genre of historiography, enabled him to imbue his narrative with literary flair. This book explores the tension between Ammianus’ roles as soldier and author, examining how his military experience affected his history, and conversely how his knowledge of literature affected his descriptions of the Roman army.
This book, the first of three, offers an anthology of Western descriptions of Islamic religious buildings of Spain, Turkey, India and Persia, mostly from the seventeenth to early twentieth centuries, taken from books and ambassadorial reports. As travel became easier and cheaper, thanks to viable roads, steamships, hotels and railways, tourist numbers increased, museums accumulated eastern treasures, illustrated journals proliferated, and photography provided accurate data. The second volume covers some of the religious architecture of Syria, Egypt and North Africa, while the third deals with Islamic palaces around the Mediterranean. All three deal with the impact of Western trade, taste and imports on the East, and examine the encroachment of westernised modernism, judged responsible for the degradation of Islamic styles.
A Memorial in the World offers a new appraisal of the reception and role of Constantine the Great and Ardashir I (the founder of the Sasanian Empire c.224-651), in their respective cultural spheres. Concentrating on marked parallels in the legendary material attached to both men it argues that the memories of both were reshaped by processes referencing the same deep literary heritage.

What is more, as “founders” of imperial systems that identified with a particular religious community, the literature that developed around these late antique figures applied these ancient tropes in a startlingly parallel direction. This parallel offers a new angle on the Kārnāmag tradition, an originally Middle Persian biographical tradition of Ardashir I.