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Sandra Aube

Abstract

In the region of Mazandaran (Northern Iran) is preserved an outstanding corpus of wooden works associated with fifteenth-century tomb-towers. A large portion of these wooden panels bear the signature of a woodworker (or “carpenter”, najjār). These constitute a significant resource for the study of woodworking and woodworkers. This article presents two woodworkers from this exceptional corpus: Master Faḫr al-Dīn and his son, Master ʿAlī. The first is recorded in Sārī around the 840s/1440s, the latter in Bābul and Bābulsar between 876/1471-2 and 906/1500. Through an analysis of their remaining works of art, this article examines the stylistic evolution of these two craftsmen and the transmission of skills and models through a professional and familial regional network.

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Alberto Tiburcio

Abstract

This study focuses on a conversion narrative from the late Safavid period, the Iʿtirāf-nāma, written by an Armenian merchant known after his conversion as ʿAlī Akbar Armanī. The study addresses questions on the transmission of texts, the conventions of the genre of convert literature, and the socialization of converts into Muslim scholarly families. This study seeks to contextualize this text not only vis-à-vis the cultural and social milieu of religious minorities in the late Safavid period, but also within the wider history of the genre of convert literature.

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Valentina Laviola

Abstract

The paper focuses on Iranian and Eastern Iranian artisans who signed metalwork datable up to the Mongol period. An updated list gathers 37 names, for the most already known but scattered in many different publications. The epigraphic and palaeographic analysis, supported by drawings of signatures, highlights general rules and specific exceptions.

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Khalida Mahi

Abstract

Who are the “Masters of Tabriz”? Scholars have attempted to reply to this question by trying to discover the historical and geographical origins of these ceramists who decorated ottoman buildings. However, the absence of biographies makes their identification uncertain and leads to many different theories about their identity. In reality, these masters are only known for their names found on monumental inscriptions and from ottoman archives. To fill in the lack of evidence, researchers have resorted to investigating ancient texts. However, some of these written sources are subject to extrapolations and uncertain speculations. These are nevertheless considered as convincing elements, which obviously falsifies the identification of these ceramists. This study proposes to reconsider the elements of identification notably in rereading the primary sources written in Ottoman, Arabic and Persian. The objective is to show evidence of concrete notions concerning the “Masters of Tabriz” and dismiss unfounded hypotheses. It will thus be possible to have a clearer vision of these craftsmen, as their enigmatic history tends to create myths.

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David Durand-Guédy

Abstract

This article discusses the origin of the Persian word ḫargāh, which is used by medieval authors to speak of the trellis tent (yurt). It argues that the word xrγ’xh found in the Sogdian text P.3 written in pre-Samanid Central Asia refer to the same object. It also builds a case for a local origin of the word, and a probable link with kërëkü, the Turkic word referring to the same type of tent.

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Andrew Shimunek

Abstract

This paper identifies a Late Old Chinese word for silk in Mongolic and its comparanda in Old Uygur, Chagatay, New Persian, Jurchen, Manchu, Ewenki, and Solon. Routes of lexical borrowing are identified, and their likely historical contexts are discussed. This paper offers contributions to the study of early Chinese ethnolinguistic contact with neighboring peoples.