Browse results

In: Al-Maqrīzī’s al-Ḫabar ʿan al-bašar
In: Al-Maqrīzī’s al-Ḫabar ʿan al-bašar
In: Al-Maqrīzī’s al-Ḫabar ʿan al-bašar
Aqdam Riḥla Shinqīṭiyya Mudawwana: al-Riḥla al-Mubāraka lil-Ḥājj Muḥammad b. Abī Bakr al-Burtulī al-Wulātī ilā al-Ḥaramayn al-Sharīfayn (1204-1205H/1789-1790M)
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 The travelogue contains many historical references and reports on some ancient Arabic linguistic phenomena and is characterized by its level of detail and cautiousness.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 من بلاد شنقيط (موريتانيا الحالية) والتي ضاعت منذ زمن طويل. 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. تنفرد الرحلة بوصف الصحراء الجزائرية المجهولة تنزروفت ويصف 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.
Ḫvāndamīrs Ḥabīb as-siyar im Handschriftenzeitalter
Author: Philip Bockholt
In Weltgeschichtsschreibung zwischen Schia und Sunna, Philip Bockholt addresses the question of how history was written in the premodern Islamic world, and offers new insights into one of the most important chronicles composed in Persian, Khvāndamīr’s universal history Ḥabīb al-siyar. Taking into account the political events which occurred in Iran and India around 1500, he examines the manuscript tradition of the work, and gives an in-depth analysis of how the author adapted his chronicle to the Shiʿi and Sunni religio-political outlook of his Safavid and Mughal overlords. Making use of new approaches in the fields of history and philology, Philip Bockholt convincingly proves how texts were transmitted and modified for various audiences during premodern times.

In Weltgeschichtsschreibung zwischen Schia und Sunna untersucht Philip Bockholt am Beispiel von Ḫvāndamīrs Weltgeschichtschronik Ḥabīb as-siyar, wie Geschichte in der islamischen Vormoderne geschrieben wurde. Vor dem Hintergrund der politischen Umbrüche in Iran und Indien um 1500 analysiert er die intentionale Ebene von Historiografie und zeigt auf, wie ein Historiker sein Werk in verschiedenen Fassungen sowohl für die Safaviden als auch die Moguln an schiitische und sunnitische Kontexte anpasste. Mit der Erforschung der Handschriftentradition eines der am häufigsten kopierten Geschichtswerke der islamischen Welt legt Philip Bockholt die Techniken des Autors offen, die Darstellung von Ereignissen im Sinne des jeweiligen Patrons zu verändern, wodurch Einblicke in den Prozess von Geschichtsschreibung sowie zu Textüberlieferung und Leserschaft im Handschriftenzeitalter möglich werden.
Vol. V, Section 6: The Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Franks, and Goths
Editor / Translator: Mayte Penelas
This volume contains the edition and translation of the chapter of al-Maqrīzī’s al-Ḫabar ʿan al-bašar dealing with Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Franks, and Goths. This chapter is, for the most part, an almost exact reproduction of Ibn Ḫaldūn’s Kitāb al-ʿIbar, from which al-Maqrīzī derived material from many other sources, including prominent Christian sources such as Kitāb Hurūšiyūš, Ibn al-ʿAmīd’s History, and works by Muslim historians like Ibn al-Aṯīr’s Kāmil. Therefore, this chapter of al-Ḫabar ʿan al-bašar is a continuation of the previous Arabic historiographical tradition, in which European history is integrated into world history through the combination of Christian and Islamic sources.
Author: Nadja Danilenko
In Picturing the Islamicate World, Nadja Danilenko explores the message of the first preserved maps from the Islamicate world. Safeguarded in al-Iṣṭakhrī’s Book of Routes and Realms (10th century C.E.), the world map and twenty regional maps complement the text to a reference book of the territories under Muslim rule. Rather than shaping the Islamicate world according to political or religious concerns, al-Iṣṭakhrī chose a timeless design intended to outlast upheavals. Considering the treatise was transmitted for almost a millennium, al-Iṣṭakhrī’s strategy seems to have paid off. By investigating the Persian and Ottoman translations and all extant manuscripts, Nadja Danilenko unravels the manuscript tradition of al-Iṣṭakhrī’s work, revealing who took an interest in it and why.
Aramaic, South Arabian, Coptic, Arabic and Judeo-Arabic Documents
Volume Editors: Andreas Kaplony and Daniel Potthast
The renaissance of Arabic Papyrology has become obvious by the founding of the International Society for Arabic Papyrology (ISAP) at the Cairo conference (2002), and by its subsequent conferences in Granada (2004), Alexandria (2006), Vienna (2009), Tunis/Carthage (2012), Munich (2014), and Berlin (2018). This volume collects papers given at the Munich conference, including editions of previously unpublished Coptic, Arabic and Judeo-Arabic documents, as well as historical studies based on documentary evidence from Achaemenid Bactria, Ancient South-Arabia, and Early Islamic, Fāṭimid and Mamlūk Egypt.

Contributors: Anne Boud'hors; Ursula Bsees; Peter T. Daniels; Maher A. Eissa; Andreas Kaplony; W. Matt Malczycki; Craig Perry; Daniel Potthast; Peter Stein; Naïm Vanthieghem; Oded Zinger 
Author: Craig Perry

Abstract

This study uses Arabic—and Hebrew—script documents from the Cairo Geniza to analyze how scribes used the reverse sides of bills of sale for slaves to write supplementary deeds for subsequent sales of the same slave. Scribes who composed such supplementary deeds (faṣl/fuṣūl) employed a particular Arabic vocabulary and arranged the text of the reverse in a graphically specific manner. Geniza documents demonstrate that scribes in Muslim and Jewish courts used the faṣl in a manner that suggests it was a common legal practice. This chapter further suggests how historians can use the data contained in parent and supplementary deeds to trace the life trajectories of marginal social groups, such as enslaved people, over time.

In: From Qom to Barcelona

Abstract

In 2012, Aramaic Documents from Ancient Bactria in the Khalili Collection was published by the late Joseph Naveh and Shaul Shaked. These comprise 30 items on leather—many excellently preserved—and 18 wooden tally sticks, all inscribed with ink. They date to the middle of the 4th century BCE, spanning the end of the Achaemenid Empire and the rule of Alexander. Their provenance is unknown; the editors believe they came from Balkh, Afghanistan = ancient Bactra, the capital of the satrapy of Bactria—near the farthest eastern extremity of the empire. What is most striking about the assemblage is their uncanny resemblance to the documents known since the 1950s as the “Driver Letters,” a sheaf of correspondence, also on leather, also in Aramaic, discovered presumably somewhere in Egypt, from Arsames, the satrap of Babylonia, of the late 5th century BCE (just under a century earlier than the Bactrian material). The grammar is almost identical, and the script is so similar that the eminent epigrapher Naveh has nothing to say about it.

These documents show for the first time that there was a uniformity in the diplomatics of chancery practice throughout the empire—not just in the west where Aramaic was in general use—that presages the striking uniformity in orthographic practice among the scribes of the variety of Iranian languages that gradually succeeded Aramaic in writings and inscriptions in Parthian and Sassanian times: there was precedent for what must have been a very close-knit intellectual community across West and Central Asia.

But even more interesting, these documents take us nearly to the exact time and place of the invention of the Kharoṣṭhi script of northwest India—of Gandhara—so that the dearth of epigraphic Aramaic script that might have modeled for the pandits who first wrote an Indic language is made up for by proof that paleographic Aramaic was available. At present we have no Kharoṣṭhi manuscripts dating as early as the Bactria documents, but the demonstrated unity makes it licit to accept that the contemporary epigraphic forms of Aramaic script known from the west can be taken as the models for the earliest known Kharoṣṭhi inscriptions. This was posited by Georg Bühler at the end of the 19th century, but has hitherto always had to be considered no more than a plausible suggestion.

In: From Qom to Barcelona

Abstract

Besides Arabic material, the Papyrus Collection of the National Library and Archives of Egypt (Dār al-Kutub wa-l-Wathāʾiq al-Qawmīya) contains around 200 Coptic and Greek documents. This article offers some insights on these papyri and provides the edition of two of them, namely, P.Cair.Eg.Lib.inv. 29 and inv. 30, both of which have Arabic texts on their back sides.

In: From Qom to Barcelona
In: From Qom to Barcelona
Author: Daniel Potthast

Abstract

The loss of the premodern state archives in the Arabic world forces researchers, when they want to include documentary sources, to rely on document quotations found in chancery manuals, collections of exemplary letters, and historiographical works. Even though chancery secretaries composed many of these works, we can never know for certain how correct their quotations are. Cases in which the original document is preserved elsewhere in addition to its being quoted in inshāʾ (composition manual) literature would help us a great deal in determining the actual strategies by which documents were quoted. To date, we know of only one such case: an original Mamlūk-Aragonese treaty (of 1293) that is partialy preserved in the Archivo de la Corona de Aragón in Barcelona and completely quoted in al-Qalqashandī’s Ṣubḥ al-aʿshà (Dawn of the Nightblind). A comparison of the two texts shows that al-Qalqashandī’s text follows the original very closely but shortens the formulaic parts. Hence we can assume that quotations in inshāʾ literature can be used as historical sources. Their value for a diplomatic analysis of documents and chancery practices is, in contrast, limited.

In: From Qom to Barcelona
In: From Qom to Barcelona
In: From Qom to Barcelona
In: From Qom to Barcelona
Author: Ursula Bsees

Abstract

This article takes up the long-neglected study of Ḥadīth on papyus anew. It discusses previous papyrological publications with respect to the treatment of Arabic literary papyri, which have hitherto been highly underrepresented. Aided by five papyri from the Austrian National Library Papyrus Collection, some questions on Ḥadīth scholarship and textual transmission during the first Islamic centuries are discussed, including further possible directions for future research.

In: From Qom to Barcelona
Author: Peter Stein

Abstract

The method of manuscript writing in Ancient South Arabia is unique in the Ancient World. In contrast to other societies in the Ancient Near East, the Sabaeans and their neighbors used pieces of wood to write down their everyday correspondence. Wooden sticks, cut off from any kind of tree, form in fact the most easily prepared writing material one can imagine. Thousands of such sticks have come to light—most of them at a single place. They are inscribed with a particular cursive script that developed separately from the well-known lapidary script used for publicly displayed monumental inscriptions.

Among these texts are, first of all, business accounts such as contracts and settlements, as well as letters on business and private matters, but also oracular decisions and other records of religious practice. Numerous writing exercises testify to a developed curriculum in school education. As it seems, the present hoard is the residue of a large public archive in the city of Naššān, a local center in the Wādī al-Ǧawf in northern Yemen, covering the entire history of that region from the early 1st millennium BCE up to the 6th century CE. Since their discovery in the 1970s, the sticks have been dispersed in several collections in Yemen and abroad, with about 400 of them housed by the Bavarian State Library in Munich and another 340 by the Oosters Instituut in Leiden.

Though examination of this type of document is still in its infancy, present research on this and other collections has already yielded rich and partly unexpected data about economic, social, and religious life in pre-Islamic Arabia. It testifies to a well-established tradition of manuscript writing that flourished in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula for more than 1,500 years—contemporary to the cuneiform culture of the Neo-Assyrian Empire as well as to the early Arabic tradition at the time of the Prophet of Islam.

In: From Qom to Barcelona