In his main charitable foundation, the Rabʿ-i Rashīdī, near Tabriz, Rashīd al-Dīn Faḍl Allah al-Hamadhānī (ca. 645-648–718/1247-1250–1318) set up a manuscript production workshop in order to produce regular copies of the Qurʾān, a collection of Ḥadīth and his own works. This article addresses the question of whether this workshop can be identified as a kitāb-khānah. It focuses on the earliest preserved manuscript that was most likely produced in, or in relation to the Rabʿ-i Rashīdī: the compendium of four theological books titled Majmūʿa Rashīdiyya (The Compendium of Rashīd al-Dīn), dated to 707–710/1307–1311 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Arabe 2324). This large-scale and lavishly illuminated volume is submitted to a detailed stylistic and spectrometric analysis. Unlike previous works where style and technique, especially pigments, are usually studied independently, this article proposes a new, unprecedented approach where both dimensions are examined in close connection in an attempt to reconstruct the manuscript’s decoration process and the type of organization that lies behind it.
The wood structure of two related African genera, Cussonia Thunb. (15 of 21 species) and the monotypic Seemannaralia R.Vig. (Araliaceae) is examined. The considerable diversity in wood anatomical characters within these taxa is mostly related to environmental factors; taxonomic groupings or phylogenetic relationships seem to be less important. The shortening of vessel elements and fibres, an increase in vessel number per group, a decrease in vessel diameter and a reduction in the number of bars of perforation plates, are associated with the more temperat species. The changes in vessel grouping show a significant correlation with rainfall. The placement of the simple-leaved Cussonia species in the subgenus Protocussonia and the isolated position of C. paniculata Eckl. & Zeyh., the only member of the subgenus Paniculatae, are supported. Many Cussonia species share a very low fibre to vessel element length ratio. Despite the basal position of Seemannaralia relative to Cussonia revealed by molecular data (Plunkett et al. 2004), its wood structure is more specialised in terms of the Baileyan major trends in wood evolution. This discrepancy may be the effect of a long-term adaptation of tropical ancestors of Seemannaralia to drier biomes.
The wood and bark structure of Leucosidea sericea and two species of Cliffortia, the South African members of the tribe Sanguisorbeae (Rosaceae) are described. These two genera share few anatomical traits (the presence of schizo-rhexigenous intercellular spaces in the cortex, almost exclusively simple perforation plates, small alternate intervessel pits, etc.) with other Rosaceae. However, Leucosidea shows a distinct storied structure of the secondary phloem and wood as well as stratification of the secondary phloem, with conductive elements and nonsclerified crystalliferous axial parenchyma arranged into alternating bands. These conditions are recorded for the first time for the family Rosaceae. In contrast to Leucosidea, two species of Cliffortia show neither storied structure of secondary phloem and xylem, nor stratification of secondary phloem.
A remarkable, almost fur-like “indumentum” of velvety “hairs” (sometimes referred to as “fungi”) occurs on the roots (and to a lesser extent also on the trunk) of Lannea schweinfurthii var. stuhlmannii and is known as vhulivhadza in the Venda language (Tshivenḓa). The hairs are traditionally used by the Venda people (Vhavenḓa) of the Limpopo Province of South Africa, for various biocultural purposes. A detailed anatomical study of the origin, structure and development of these unusual “hairs” showed that they are of peridermal origin and develop from dense clusters of phelloid cells which are scattered within the stratified phellem. These cells are capable of considerable radial elongation thus forming hair-like radial files of elongated phelloid cells. The “hairy” patches on the bark may also develop from lenticels which become hypertrophied. These clusters of phelloid cells resemble the hyperhydric tissue which is reportedly formed in periderm of stems exposed to a water-saturated environment in some plant species. The formation of hyperhydric-like tissue in roots and stems of L. schweinfurthii var. stuhlmannii occurs, however, under relatively arid conditions. Since this tissue contains large intercellular spaces, it may also be regarded as a specialized type of aerenchymatous phellem. The adaptive significance, if any, of the phelloid “hairs” remains unknown.
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