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.
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.
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.