Notes on Transliteration and Style

In: Baghdād
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Notes on Transliteration and Style

This handbook uses the IJMES transliteration system and is written in American English. Most names and Arabic terms are fully transliterated, e.g. ʿAbbāsids, Sāmarrāʾ, qāḍī; only a few Arabic words that exist in English are written without macrons, e.g. Iraq, Islam, madrasa; Baghdād being an exception to this rule.

The hamzat al-waṣl is taken into full consideration; hence, Abū l-ʿAbbās, Muḥyī l-Dīn, wa-l-madīna. Even in cases where there is grammatically no hamzat al-waṣl such as ʿAlī(yun) al-Riḍā or Ibn(u) Nāʿima(tin) al-Ḥimṣī(yu), we follow the way of pronunciation and use ʿAlī l-Riḍā, Mūsā l-Hādī or Ibn Nāʿima l-Ḥimṣī.

Book titles are rendered with a capital letter in the beginning and consistently translated into English, e.g. Kitāb al-buldān (The Book of Regions), except when they start with the Arabic article al-; then the Article is kept in minuscule and the next work is capitalized, e.g. al-Fihrist (The Catalogue).

The minuscule writing also applies to articles in Arabic names, except when they start a sentence; then the article is written in capital letters. The name particles ibn (son of) and bint (daughter of) are consistently abbreviated to b. and bt., respectively. When persons are mentioned for the first time either their dates of death are provided, e.g. Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal (d. 855), or if they are rulers or patriarchs their dates of tenure are mentioned, e.g. Caliph Hārūn al-Rashīd (r. 786-809).

Dates are only used in the form of common era (CE) or before common era (BCE). Bibliographic references in the footnotes do not distinguish between monographs, articles or collective volumes, but only mention the author, a shortened title and the page number, e.g. Le Strange, Baghdād, 112.

Technical terms are usually translated into English and mentioned in transliteration in parentheses thereafter, e.g. Prophetical traditions (aḥādīth, sing. ḥadīth).

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From Its Beginnings to the 14th Century



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