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Author: Boris Liebrenz
Arab Traders in their Own Words explores for the first time the largest unified corpus of merchant correspondence to have survived from the Ottoman period. The writers chosen for this first volume were mostly Christian merchants who traded within a network that connected the Syrian and Egyptian provinces and extended from Damascus in the North to Alexandria in the South with particular centers in Jerusalem and Damietta. They lived through one of the most turbulent intersections of Ottoman and European imperial history, the 1790s and early 1800s, and had to navigate their fortunes through diplomacy, culture, and commerce. Besides an edition of more than 190 letters in colloquial Arabic this volume also offers a profound introductory study.
K. al-Anwār al-bahiyya fī taʿrīf maqāmāt fuṣaḥāʾ al-bariyya is a work of adab attributed to the renowned littérateur and historian of literature Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī. The work consists of an introduction and four chapters. The first three chapters are concerned with knowledge (ʿilm): Chapter One discusses the merit and application of knowledge, Chapter Two the definition of knowledge and its true meaning, and Chapter Three the conditions of knowledge. The fourth chapter, which constitutes the bulk of the book, is concerned with occasions on which scholars and sages made speeches in the presence of rulers. It is divided into two parts: Part One presents pre-Islamic (jāhiliyya) speeches, incorporating Arab, Greek, Byzantine, Persian, and Indian traditions, and Part Two presents Islamic speeches. The work is introduced by an analytical study discussing the attribution of the work, its relation to the Maqāmāt genre, and the manuscripts used.
Persian Calligraphy and related traditional arts of books make up the most important forms of Iranian-Islamic art, which are still living practiced traditions up to today. This volume puts together a first-of-a-kind handbook and contains the most important termini technici as well as expressions and techniques connected to the traditional art of Persian calligraphy (mostly Nastaʿlīq), calligraphy tools such as the reed pen, paper and ink as well as some related fields, like taẕhīb (illumination), tašʿīr (historiated painting), book binding, etc. The content is based on thirty prominent classical Persian treatises, composed between twelfth and twentieth centuries. All terms and expressions are followed by an English description and often accompanied by an illustration. These expressions, which are key to understanding old calligraphic treatises and many relevant sources on Islamic art, are meant to familiarise the reader with both common and forgotten techniques and terminology of calligraphic traditions. The volume addresses not only the artists and scholars of Iranian and Islamic art history, but also those, who are dealt with Islamic and Iranian manuscripts, manuscript cultures, codicology and palaeography.
Both the author and the editor of this volume are trained practicing calligraphers and illuminators, who learned the art of calligraphy and illumination through long, traditional study under masters of this art.
Arabs and Arabists contains nineteen selected articles by Alastair Hamilton on the Western acquisition of knowledge of the Arab and Ottoman world in the early modern period. The first essays are on Arabs who visited Europe and gave instruction to Western Arabists, and on Europeans who either visited the Arab (or the Ottoman) world in search of manuscripts and information or who, like Franciscus Raphelengius, Isaac Casaubon and Adriaen Reland, studied it at a distance and remained in the West. These are followed by a section on the actual study of the Arabic language in Europe, and above all the creation of the first Arabic-Latin dictionaries, and another on the European study of Islam and Western translations of the Qur’an.
A Critical Edition of Saʿdeddīn Efendi’s (d. 1599) Selimname
Saʿdeddīn Efendi was a renowned Ottoman chief jurisconsult, influential statesman, eminent scholar, and prolific translator of Arabic and Persian works into Turkish. Prognostic Dreams, Otherworldly Saints, and Caliphal Ghosts comprises a critical edition, English translation, and a facsimile of his hagiographic work on controversial Ottoman sultan Selim I (“the Grim”). Saʿdeddīn’s Selimname consists of a preface and twelve anecdotes in which Selim I is portrayed as a divinely ordained sultan who delves into the realm of meditation, communicates with otherworldly saints and the “rightly guided” caliphs, and foretells the future.
The Sound Traditions: Studies in Ismaili Texts and Thought is a collection of Ismail K. Poonawala’s articles on Ismaili studies. Divided into three sections, the volume consists of nineteen articles that have been published over a long period of more than forty years. Part One focuses on Ismaili sources and the question of their authorship. The aspects of Ismaili rational discourses are examined in Part Two. Focusing on the scriptural knowledge of Ismaili tradition, Part Three then delves into investigating al-Qāḍī al-Nuʿmān’s life and contribution. This volume is an excellent gateway to the study of origins and development of Ismaili thought.
Manuscripts, Versions, and Transmission
Author: Vevian Zaki
In this study, Vevian Zaki places the Arabic versions of the Pauline Epistles in their historical context, exploring when, where, and how they were produced, transmitted, understood, and adapted among Eastern Christian communities across the centuries. She also considers the transmission and use of these texts among Muslim polemicists, as well as European missionaries and scholars. Underpinning the study is a close investigation of the manuscripts and a critical examination of their variant readings. The work concludes with a case study: an edition and translation of the Epistle to the Philippians from manuscripts London, BL, Or. 8612 and Vatican, BAV, Ar. 13; a comparison of the translation strategies employed in these two versions; and an investigation of the possible relations between them.
Muʾallafāt Yūsuf b. Ḥasan b. ʿAbd al-Hādī wa-Musāhamatuhu fī Ḥifẓ al-Turāth al-Fikrī
On the basis of a newly discovered manuscript this book offers the most comprehensive bibliography of the enormous output of the fifteenth-century scholar Ibn ʿAbd al-Hādī – enlarging our view of his scholarly contribution and correcting numerous mistakes in this regard. This book is thus essential reading for all those interested in the writerly world of Damascus and the scholarly world of the late fifteenth century, especially with regard to the Ḥanbalī tradition and ḥadīth scholarship. In particular, linking the titles of his books with the extant manuscripts in libraries around the world opens new perspectives to these scholarly worlds. At the same time this book offers a new framework to studying social history with reference to documents and the material culture of the book.

في اكتشاف جديد لمخطوطة تسمية كتب يوسف بن حسن بن عبد الهادي، يُقدِّم سعيد الجوماني وكونراد هيرشلر أضبط قائمة ببليوغرافية بمؤلفاته الشخصيَّة وبخط يده؛ فنبَّهت هذه القائمة إلى جزءٍ من إنتاجه الفكري كان مجهولاً تماماً، وصححت الكثير من أخطاء القراءة في القوائم السابقة. ونشرها سيدعم الأبحاث العاملة بحقل حركة التأليف بدمشق والحياة الفكريّة فيها نهاية القرن التاسع الهجريّ، خاصّةً ما يتعلق بالتراث الحنبليّ وعلم الحديث. وسيفتح الربط بين المؤلفات المذكورة في تسمية الكتب من جهة ووقف كتب ابن عبد الهادي من جهة ثانية والمخطوطات الموجودة في مكتبات العالم من جهة ثالثة باباً جديداً إلى دراسة التراث الفكري في مدينة دمشق أواخر العهد المملوكي. وتقترح هذه الدراسة إطاراً جديداً لدراسة التاريخ الاجتماعي اعتماداً على الوثائق الشخصيَّة والهيئات الماديّة للمخطوطات الشخصيّة.
Aqdam Riḥla Shinqīṭiyya Mudawwana: al-Riḥla al-Mubāraka lil-Ḥājj Muḥammad b. Abī Bakr al-Burtulī al-Wulātī ilā al-Ḥaramayn al-Sharīfayn (1204-1206H/1789-1791M)
The Oldest Travelogue from Chinguetti [Bilād Shinqīt, present-day Mauritania]: The Blessed Journey of al-Ḥājj Muḥammad b. Abī Bakr al-Burtulī al-Wulātī to the Two Holy Sanctuaries (1204-1205AH/1789-1790CE) was long considered lost. In addition to its historical value and the information it contains on the cultural relations between the western and eastern parts of the Islamic world, it stands out from other Ḥajj travelogues due to the itinerary it follows. The author describes cities, villages, and shrines of righteous people. The work is unique in its account of the unknown Algerian desert of Tenazruft, the landmarks and places along the way, as well as water wells and the notes on whether these are fresh or salty. The travelogue contains many historical references and reports on some ancient Arabic linguistic phenomena and is characterized by its level of detail and cautiousness.

إنها أقدم رحلة حج مدونة تخرج من بلاد شنقيط (موريتانيا الحالية) والتي بقيت دهرًا طويلاً في حكم المفقود. بالإضافة إلى قيمتها التاريخية وأهميتها في دراسة التواصل الحضاري بين غرب العالم الإسلامي وشرقه، فهي تتميز عن رحلات الحج الأخرى بمسارها. يصف المؤلف المدن والقرى ومزارات الصالحين. تتفرد الرحلة بوصف الصحراء الجزائرية المجهولة تنزروفت وتصف المعالم والأماكن على طول الطريق إلى الحرمين الشريفين في شبه الجزيرة العربية، وكذلك آبار المياه وما إذا كانت عذبة أو مالحة. والرحلة مليئة بالعديد من الإشارات التاريخية، بالإضافة إلى بعض الظواهر اللغوية العربية القديمة، وتتميز بدقة الوصف والاحتياط في الرواية.