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The History (Taʾrikh) by Ibn Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī

Ibn Wāḍiḥ Qui Dicitur al-Yaʿqūbī, Historiae Vol. 1

M. Th. Houtsma

Abū al-ʿAbbās al-Yaʿqūbī was a Muslim imperial official and polymath of the third/ninth century. On the occasion of the publication of The Works of Ibn Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī. An English translation, edited by Matthew S. Gordon, Chase F. Robinson, Everett K. Rowson, and Michael Fishbein (Leiden, 2017-2018), Brill is making the classic Arabic edition of al-Yaʿqūbī’s Taʾrīkh by M.Th. Houtsma (2 vols., 1883) available in paperback for the first time.

Volume 1 covers Pre-Islamic history, from Adam and Eve to the Patriarchs and Prophets of ancient Israel; Jesus and the Apostles; Assyria, Babylonia, and India; the Greek and Persian Empires; a variety of other regions including China and Ethiopia; and a section on the pre-Islamic Arabs. The current volume offers the Arabic text only. The English translation is found in vol. 2 of The Works of Ibn Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī.

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Josef van Ess

Edited by Hinrich Biesterfeldt

Kleine Schriften, written by the eminent German scholar of Islamic Studies Josef van Ess, is a unique collection of Van Ess' widely scattered short writings, journal articles, encyclopaedia entries, (autobiographical) essays, reviews and lectures, in (mainly) German, English and French, some of which are published here for the first time. It includes a full bibliography of the author’s work, in addition to two indexes of classical authors and works, which aim to make accessible the remarkable riches that these Kleine Schriften have to offer. The three-volume collection, carefully selected by the author himself, offers over 150 texts organized primarily along Van Ess’ own biography and the history of the discipline. It is divided into twelve parts, beginning with Tübingen where his career began in 1968, and ending with Retrospects and Postscripts for the future, with the thematic complexes Islam and its first options and Muʿtazila as centre pieces. All parts are introduced by brief accounts of the historical context in which each of the assembled texts was written and which course subsequent scholarship may have taken.

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Edited by Gülru Necipoğlu and Maria J. Metzler

Muqarnas 34 features articles ranging from monumental architecture in seventh-century Jerusalem to modern Arab painting in Syria. It includes an archaeological study of the Agdal in Marrakesh, one of the few surviving medieval Islamic estates; as well as a fresh assessment of Ilkhanid polychrome stucco decoration in the Pir-i Bakran mausoleum. The volume contains several articles on interactions between Islamic and Christian societies as attested in architectural landscapes from the early modern period. One piece interprets an inscribed Renaissance gate at a Crimean palace; another provides a fascinating micro-history of Venetian merchants in Aleppo, who lived in commercial khans. Other highlights include an article exploring the impact of Shirazi poets and their tombs on the famous traveler, Pietro della Valle; and an investigation of the forgotten Galata New Mosque in Istanbul, built by the queen mother in 1698 to replace a prominent Catholic convent church following Ottoman military defeats.

The Notes and Sources section introduces several new texts, including a Neo-Latin poem that challenges recent modifications to the Alhambra’s iconic Fountain of Lions, and a hitherto undeciphered Persian chronogram poem, which sheds valuable light on the production sites of luster-painted ceramics in the Safavid period. Also featured is a sixteenth-century Arabic chronicle describing Ottoman construction projects in Mecca within the context of diplomatic relations between Istanbul and Gujarat.

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Anya H. King

Since antiquity, musk has been a valued perfume and medicine. Because the musk deer only lives in Central Eurasia, people in other locations had to trade for its musk. For medieval Islamic civilization, musk became the most important of all aromatics. The musk trade thus illuminates the nature of medieval Asian trade and musk's cultural effects on the Islamic world. Scent from the Garden of Paradise: Musk and the Medieval Islamic World examines the history of musk from its origins in Asia to its uses in the medieval Middle East, surveys the Islamic literature on musk, and discusses the roles of musk in perfumery and medicine, as well as the symbolic importance of musk in Islam.

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Edited by Ildikó Bellér-Hann, Birgit N. Schlyter and Jun Sugawara

Building on the rich scholarly legacy of Gunnar Jarring, the Swedish Turkologist and diplomat, the fourteen contributions by sixteen authors representing a variety of disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences provide an insight into ongoing research trends in Uyghur and Xinjiang Studies. In one way or other all the chapters explore how new research in the fields of history, linguistics, anthropology and folklore can contribute to our understanding of Xinjiang’s past and present, simultaneously pointing to those social and knowledge practices that Uyghurs today can claim as part of their traditions in order to reproduce and perpetuate their cultural identity.
Contributors include: Ildikó Bellér-Hann, Rahile Dawut, Arienne Dwyer, Fredrik Fällman, Chris Hann, Dilmurat Mahmut, Takahiro Onuma, Alexandre Papas, Eric Schluessel, Birgit Schlyter, Joanne Smith Finley, Rune Steenberg Jun Sugawara, Äsäd Sulaiman, Abdurishid Yakup, Thierry Zarcone.

May Schinasi

Through years of neglect, deliberate modernization, and the effect of decades of war, Kabul’s architectural history has virtually disappeared. By meticulous use of all available records including written works, photographs, films, and oral reminiscences, Kabul: A History 1773-1948 provides a remarkably complete and unsurpassed account of the city’s history as seen through its built environment, from the pleasure gardens of the 16th and 17th century Mughals to the efforts of the Saduza’i and Muhammadza’i rulers of the 18th-20th centuries to turn this one-time resort town into a thriving capital city at the center of a country of enormous diversity. Thoroughly documented and well-illustrated, the book reveals the rich cultural legacy of a city of global importance.

The Arabic-Ethiopic Glossary by al-Malik al-Afḍal

An Annotated Edition with a Linguistic Introduction and a Lexical Index

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Maria Bulakh and Leonid Kogan

The Arabic-Ethiopic Glossary by al-Malik al-Afḍal by Maria Bulakh and Leonid Kogan is a detailed annotated edition of a unique monument of Late Medieval Arabic lexicography, comprising 475 Arabic lexemes (some of them post-classical Yemeni dialectisms) translated into several Ethiopian idioms and put down in Arabic letters in a late-fourteenth century manuscript from a codex in a private Yemeni collection. For the many languages involved, the Glossary provides the earliest written records, by several centuries pre-dating the most ancient attestations known so far. The edition, preceded by a comprehensive linguistic introduction, gives a full account of the comparative material from all known Ethiopian Semitic languages. A detailed index ensures the reader’s orientation in the lexical treasures revealed from the Glossary.

Rule-Formulation and Binding Precedent in the Madhhab-Law Tradition

Ibn Quṭlūbughā’s Commentary on The Compendium of Qudūrī

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Talal Al-Azem

In Rule-Formulation and Binding Precedent in the Madhhab-Law Tradition, Talal Al-Azem argues for the existence of a madhhab-law tradition’ of jurisprudence underpinning the four post-classical Sunni schools of law. This tradition celebrated polyvalence by preserving the multiplicity of conflicting opinions within each school, while simultaneously providing a process of rule formulation ( tarjīḥ) by which one opinion is chosen as the binding precedent ( taqlīd). The predominant forum of both activities, he shows, was the legal commentary.

Through a careful reading of Ibn Quṭlūbughā's (d. 879/1474) al-Taṣḥīḥ wa-al-tarjīḥ, Al-Azem presents a new periodisation of the Ḥanafī madhhab, analyses the theory of rule formulation, and demonstrates how this madhhab-law tradition facilitated both continuity and legal change while serving as the basis of a pluralistic Mamluk judicial system.

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Edited by Gülru Necipoğlu and Karen Leal

Muqarnas 33 contains articles that range chronologically and geographically from a study of architectural innovations in the early mosque under the Umayyads to an analysis of archaeological finds in medieval Armenia, the book culture of Bijapur, and a discussion of a nineteenth-century Muslim cemetery in Malta. Readers will also discover essays on, respectively, the influence of a Tabrizi workshop on Cairene architecture in the fourteenth century, and the brilliant ceramic tiles of the fifteenth-century Uzun Hasan Mosque in Tabriz, as well as the latest research on the coffeehouses of Safavid Isfahan and on the architectural patronage of Shah ʿAbbas. A study of a Timurid pilgrimage scroll in the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha and an essay on Bihari calligraphy round out the volume. The Notes and Sources section features a never-before-published treatise on the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul. Muqarnas 33 includes articles by Heba Mostafa, Diana Isaac Bakhoum, Sandra Aube, David Roxburgh and Mounia Abudaya-Chehkhab, Eloïse Brac de la Perrière, Keelan Overton, Charles Melville, Farshid Emami, Conrad Thake, Ünver Rüstem, and Hans Barnard, Sneha Shah, Gregory E. Areshian, and Kym F. Faull.

Muqarnas: An Annual on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic World is sponsored by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Mattʿēos Uṙhayecʿi and His Chronicle

History as Apocalypse in a Crossroads of Cultures

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Tara L. Andrews

In Mattʿēos Uṙhayecʿi and His Chronicle Tara L. Andrews presents the first ever in-depth study of the history written by this Armenian priest, who lived in Edessa (modern-day Urfa in Turkey) around the turn of the twelfth century and was an eyewitness to the First Crusade and the establishment of the Latin East.
Although the Chronicle is known as an extremely valuable source of information for the eleventh- and early twelfth-century Near East, neither its guiding structure nor Uṙhayecʿi's motivation in writing it have ever been clear to modern historians. This study elucidates the prophetic framework within which the text was written, and demonstrates how that framework has influenced Uṙhayecʿi's understanding of the time in which he lived.