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A Companion to Late Antique and Medieval Islamic Cordoba cover the history and culture of Roman, late antique, Visigoth and al-Andalus Cordoba in nineteen contributions, from the foundation of the city in the 169/168 B.C. by the praetor Marcus Claudius Marcellus to the end of the Muslim period in 1236 B.C., when the city fell into the hands of Ferdinand III the Saint, King of Castile.

Making use of archaeological data and historical sources, combined with the latest research on the various fields under study, its authors give a compelling account of Cordoba’s most important archaeological, urban, political, legal, social, cultural and religious facets throughout the most exciting fifteen centuries of the city.
Accumulated Meaning and Performative Historiography in the First Muslim Civil War
Author: Aaron M. Hagler
In The Echoes of Fitna, Aaron M. Hagler engages in a close reading of the fitna narratives of three related texts: al-Ṭabarī’s Taʾrīkh al-rusul wa-l-muluk, Ibn al-Athīr’s al-Kāmil fī al-taʾrīkh, and Ibn Kathīr’s Kitāb al-bidāya wa-l-nihāya. Because the latter two texts’ presentations of the fitna follow al-Ṭabarī’s so closely, moments of divergence in the texts are understood as clear markers of the later historians’ goals, perspectives, and literary-narrative strategies.

The analysis of these changes demonstrates that the desire to reframe the meaning of Karbalāʾ is central to Ibn al-Athīr’s and Ibn Kathīr’s narrative construction, and that—while they left al-Ṭabarī’s versions of key events intact—small, even minute changes to contextual expository moments fundamentally change their meaning.
Volume Editor: Amina Inloes
The Hand of Fatima traces the development and symbolism ascribed to the hand motif in the Arab and Islamic world, and beyond. Richly illustrated, it details the many types of khamsas produced historically and today – such as khamsas with swords, and khamsas with eagles – and the many objects on which khamsas appear, such as on amulets and flags. It traces the journey of the khamsa into the contemporary world of social and fine art, including museum highlights. Special sections are dedicated to the khamsa in Algeria; cultural crossover in Spain, Portugal, and Brazil; and the symbol of the hand in Shiʿism.
Author: Norman Cigar
Ibn Ibrāhīm al-Dukkālī’s Historical Chronicle, edited and translated by Norman Cigar, is a valuable contemporary manuscript source from Morocco’s poorly documented and seldom-studied mid-eighteenth century, a period marked by weak rulers and conflicts, but also a golden age for local political actors and the autonomous power centers in the cities. As a well-placed observer and active participant in events in his native city of Fes, al-Dukkālī provides unique data that helps us address key questions about cities in the Muslim world raised in multiple disciplines, such as whether cities could be considered communities or were simply an agglomeration of disparate elements, and to what extent cities enjoyed autonomy in their relations with the central government, and in what sense they were “Islamic.”
Johann Michael Wansleben’s Travels in Turkey, 1673–1676 is a hitherto unpublished version of a remarkable description of Istanbul, Izmir, and Bursa by the German scholar traveller Wansleben. Wansleben was in the Ottoman Empire to buy manuscripts, statuary, and curios for the French king, but it is his off-hand observations about Ottoman society that often make Wansleben’s account such a valuable historical source. His experiences add to our knowledge of such diverse topics as prostitution in the Ottoman Empire, taxation, and the French consular system. His visit to Bursa is also noteworthy because few Western travellers included the first Ottoman capital in their tours of the East or described it at such length.