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The Peopling of the World from the Perspective of Language, Genes and Material Culture
This volume provides the most up-to-date and holistic but compact account of the peopling of the world from the perspective of language, genes and material culture, presenting a view from the Himalayas. The phylogeny of language families, the chronology of branching of linguistic family trees and the historical and modern geographical distribution of language communities inform us about the spread of languages and linguistic phyla. The global distribution and the chronology of spread of Y chromosomal haplogroups appears closely correlated with the spread of language families. New findings on ancient DNA have greatly enhanced our understanding of the prehistory and provenance of our biological ancestors. The archaeological study of past material cultures provides yet a third independent window onto the complex prehistory of our species.
In: Ethnolinguistic Prehistory
In: Ethnolinguistic Prehistory
In: Ethnolinguistic Prehistory
In: Ethnolinguistic Prehistory
In: Ethnolinguistic Prehistory
In: Ethnolinguistic Prehistory
In: Ethnolinguistic Prehistory
Cities of Medieval Iran brings together studies in urban geography, archaeology, and history of medieval Iranian cities, spanning the Islamic period until ca. 1500, but also the pre-Islamic situation. The cities and their inhabitants take centre stage, they are not just the places where something else happened. Urban actors are given priority over external factors. The contributions take a long-term perspective and thus take the interaction between urban centres and their hinterland into account. Many contributions come from history or archaeology, but new disciplines are also methodologically integrated into the study of medieval cities, such as the arts of the book, lexicography, geomorphology, and digital instruments.

Contributors include Denise Aigle, Mehrdad Amanat, Jean Aubin, Richard W. Bulliet, Jamsheed K. Choksy, David Durand-Guédy, Etienne de la Vaissière, Majid Montazer Mahdi, Roy P. Mottahedeh, Jürgen Paul, Rocco Rante, Sarah Savant, Ali Shojai Esfahani, Donald Whitcomb and Daniel Zakrzewski.
Author: Denise Aigle

Abstract

Shiraz is distinguished from other cities due to its reputation as the city of saints and poets, as previously emphasised in the title of Arberry’s book of 1960: “Shiraz, Persian City of Saints and Poets”. In textual sources, the city is the “Fortress of saints” (burj al-awliyāʾ). Shiraz owes its sanctity to the many mausoleums dedicated to the descendants of ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (and Šāh-i Čirāġ), as well as famous mystics such as Šayḫ Kabīr (d. 371/982) and Rūzbihān Baqlī (d. 606/1209). The poets Saʿdī (d. 691/1292) and Ḥāfiẓ (d. 792/1390) celebrated Shiraz as the city of roses and nightingales. Their sanctuaries, which still the object of pious visits, accentuate the “capital” of city’s sacrality.

After reconstructing the urban space in which the sacred buildings are located, the purpose of this paper is to show how the specific sanctity of the city emerged from the textual sources. Two major texts addressing the sanctity of Shiraz date from the eighth/fourteenth century. In the Šīrāz-nāma (completed in 744/1343), Ibn Zarkūb unfolds the history of the city and speaks of its merits. In Šadd al-īzār (ca. 791/1389), a guide for pilgrimage to Shiraz’s seven cemeteries, Junayd Šīrāzī describes the ritual geography of the city. He notes the places where the Shirazis are buried, thus establishing the symbolic presence of the deceased among the living. Alid shrines in particular thus contributed to the “capitalisation of the sacred” in Shiraz.

In: Cities of Medieval Iran