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Eine Privatbibliothek im osmanischen Syrien und ihr kulturelles Umfeld
Author: Boris Liebrenz
In Die Rifāʽīya spürt Boris Liebrenz der Buchkultur des Osmanischen Syrien (16. - 19. Jahrhundert) durch den Fokus der einzig überlebenden Privatbibliothek der Epoche nach. Er fragt nach der Produktion und Transmission von Wissen sowie dem sozialen Hintergrund der Leserschaft im Zeitalter der Handschrift. Studien der arabischen Bibliotheksgeschichte haben oft nur das Mittelalter in den Blick genommen und basierten fast ausschließlich auf literarischen Quellen. Dies ist die erste Monographie, die eine einzige Region während der Osmanischen Periode in den Fokus nimmt und deren auf uns gekommene Handschriften und Notizen ihrer Leser und Besitzer systematisch als dokumentarische Quelle benutzt. So erhellt sie die materiellen, rechtlichen und sozialen Voraussetzungen von Buchbesitz und Lesepraxis.

In Die Rifāʽīya Boris Liebrenz explores the book culture of Ottoman Syria (16th to 19th century), using the only surviving Damascene private library of the time as a vantage point. He asks about the production and transmission of knowledge as well as the social background of the reading audience in a manuscript age.
Scholarship on Arabic libraries has often focussed on the medieval period and relied nearly exclusively on literary accounts. This is the first book-length study that focuses on a single region in the Ottoman period and systematically uses the vast number of surviving manuscripts as a documentary source by means of the notes left by their readers and possessors. Thus, it sheds light on the material, juridical, and social basis of book-ownership and reading.

Author: Boris Liebrenz

Little is known about the role of surgery in pre-modern medical practice in general, and in the lands under Muslim dominance in particular. There is an acknowledged gap between theoretical knowledge and medical practice, but evidence of the latter is difficult to find. Many fundamental questions therefore remain unanswered. For example, was there a division of labour between surgeons and physicians? We are also mostly ignorant about who practiced surgery, the legal context surrounding this practice, and its financial aspects. This article offers an analytical edition of two documents from the Syrian town Hamah dating from 1212/1798, which can help answer some of these questions. They concern a respected and learned physician who also personally performed the removal of bladder stones and was paid well for his services.

In: Turkish Historical Review
Author: Boris Liebrenz

The patronage of Īlkhānid rulers and statesmen in the arts is characterized by a quest for monumentality in both architecture and manuscript production. The Qurʾān in particular was commissioned numerous times in unprecedented measurements and several such copies have survived. The fragments of one of them, known as Öljeytü’s Baghdad Qurʾān, have some surprising insights to offer and may serve as a window to illuminate general aspects of the production of these monumental works of art. An investigation into the history and codicology of the surviving fragments gives hints to their fate after they were donated to their patron’s tomb.

In: Journal of Islamic Manuscripts
Author: Boris Liebrenz

Letters exchanged between early modern Orientalist scholars and their correspondents from the Islamic world are a major source for our knowledge of the networks that facilitated the acquisition of Oriental manuscripts. They are equally important for the study of Arabic epistolography in the period. This contribution adds to the growing corpus with the edition and analysis of three such letters concerning the acquisition of manuscripts. The first two were written by Jacobus Golius (1596–1667) in 1624 and probably 1644, while the third was adressed by Aḥmad ʿAzmī, the Ottoman ambassador to Prussia, to Oluf Gerhard Tychsen (1734–1815) in 1791.

In: Journal of Islamic Manuscripts
Author: Boris Liebrenz

Abstract

Wetzstein’s dealings with books during his tenure as consul in Damascus (1849–1863) are dominated by manuscripts which he bought in large quantities and sold to several collections in Germany. But he also attempted to promote the transmission of printed books in the other direction at the instigation of his academic teacher, Heinrich Leberecht Fleischer. His trading activity can shed light on the consul’s self-image and self-representation, as well as on the cultural networks that he managed to maintain in Damascus and the region. It also reveals some of the obstacles that the products of European academia in particular and printed books in general could face in late Ottoman Syria, which was still largely dominated by manuscripts. The failure of Wetzstein’s attempts will be viewed within the context of the early reception and production of printed books in the region.

In: Manuscripts, Politics and Oriental Studies
In: Die Rifāʽīya aus Damaskus
In: Die Rifāʽīya aus Damaskus
In: Die Rifāʽīya aus Damaskus
In: Die Rifāʽīya aus Damaskus