Affect, Emotion and Subjectivity in Early Modern Muslim Empires presents new approaches to Ottoman Safavid and Mughal art and culture. Taking artistic agency as a starting point, the authors consider the rise in status of architects, the self-fashioning of artists, the development of public spaces, as well as new literary genres that focus on the individual subject and his or her place in the world. They consider the issue of affect as performative and responsive to certain emotions and actions, thus allowing insights into the motivations behind the making and, in some cases, the destruction of works of art. The interconnected histories of Iran,Turkey and India thus highlight the urban and intellectual changes that defined the early modern period.
Nasrin Askari explores the medieval reception of Firdausī’s
Book of Kings (completed in 1010 CE) as a mirror for princes. Through her examination of a wide range of medieval sources, Askari demonstrates that Firdausī’s oeuvre was primarily understood as a book of wisdom and advice for kings and courtly elites. In order to illustrate the ways in which the
Shāhnāma functions as a mirror for princes, Askari analyses the account about Ardashīr, the founder of the Sasanian dynasty, as an ideal king in the
Shāhnāma. Within this context, she explains why the idea of the union of kingship and religion, a major topic in almost all medieval Persian mirrors for princes, has often been attributed to Ardashīr.
Why did premodern authors in the Arabic-Islamic culture compile literary anthologies, and why were these works remarkably popular? How can an anthology that consists of reproduced material be original and creative, and serve various literary and political ends? How did anthologists select their material, then record and arrange it?
This book examines the life and works of Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī (350–429/961–1039), an eminent anthologist from Nīshāpūr, paying special attention to his magnum opus,
Yatīmat al-dahr (
The Unique Pearl), and its sequel,
Tatimmat al-Yatīma (
The Completion of the Yatīma). This book is a direct window on to an anthologist’s workshop in the second half of the fourth/tenth century. It examines the methodological consciousness expressed in Thaʿālibī’s selection and arrangement, and his sophisticated system of internal references and cross-references to other works; how he selected from his contemporaries’ oeuvres; how he sought, recorded, memorized, misplaced, and sometimes lost or forgot his selections; how he scrutinized the authenticity of material, accepting, questioning, or rejecting its attribution; and the errors and inconsistencies that resulted from this process.
The Turkic-Turkish Theme in Traditional Malay Literature is the first detailed study of the representation of the Turkic peoples and Ottoman Turks in Malay literature between the 14th–19th centuries. Drawing on a wide range of texts, Vladimir Braginsky uncovers manifold metamorphoses and diverse forms of localisation of this Turkic-Turkish theme. This theme has strongly influenced the religious and political ideals and political mythology of Malay society. By creating fictional rather than realistic portrayals of the Turks and Turkey, imagining the king of Rum as the origin point of Malay dynasties, and dreaming of Ottoman assistance in the jihad against the colonial powers, Malay literati ultimately sought to empower the Malay ‘self’ by bringing it closer to the Turkish ‘other’.
This work examines the entire corpus of the
Sistani Cycle of Epics, both parts included in Ferdowsi’s
Shāhnāmeh and those appearing in separate manuscripts. It argues that the so-called “epic literature” of Iran constitutes a kind of historiography, encapsulating reflections of watershed events of Iran’s antiquity.
By examining the symbiotic relationship of the texts’ content and form, the underpinning discourse of the various stories is revealed to have been shaped by polemics of political legitimacy and religious conflict. This discourse, however, is not abstract. The stories narrate, within their generic constraint, some of the affairs of the Sistani kingdom and its relationship to the Parthian throne, mainly from the first century BCE to the end of the second century CE.
Philological Encounters is dedicated to the historical and philosophical critique of philology.
The journal welcomes global and comparative perspectives that integrate textual scholarship and the study of language from across the world. Alongside four issues a year, monographs and/ or collected volumes will occasionally be published as supplements to the journal in the book series
Philological Encounters Monographs.
The journal is open to contributions in all fields studying the history of textual practices, hermeneutics and philology, philological controversies, and the intellectual and global history of writing, archiving, tradition-making and publishing. Neither confined to any discipline nor bound by any geographical or temporal limits,
Philological Encounters takes as its point of departure the growing concern with the global significance of philology and the potential of historically conscious and politically critical philology to challenge exclusivist notions of the self and the canon.
Philological Encounters welcomes innovative and critical contributions in the form of articles as well as review articles, usually of two or three related books, and preferably from different disciplines.
Farāmarz, the Sistāni Hero Marjolijn van Zutphen discusses the manuscripts, storylines and main themes of the shorter and the longer
Farāmarznāme (c. 1100), in relation to Ferdowsi’s
Shāhnāme and several other later maṡnawis about the warriors from Sistān (the Persian Epic Cycle). Farāmarz, a secondary figure of the
Shāhnāme, gained importance in later epic traditions and as the invincible protagonist of both Farāmarznāmes reached a status that equalled, if not surpassed, that of his famous father Rostam.
Van Zutphen further shows how Farāmarz displays parallels to the fictional figures of Garshāsp (his ancestor) and Eskandar and argues that some story elements of Farāmarz’s Indian conquest may be rooted in historical events from both the Parthian and the Ghaznawid period.