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Saʿdi of Shiraz and the Aesthetics of Desire in Medieval Persian Poetry
Beholding Beauty: Saʿdi of Shiraz and the Aesthetics of Desire in Medieval Persian Poetry explores the relationship between sexuality, politics, and spirituality in the lyric output of Saʿdi Shirazi (d. 1282 CE), one of the most revered masters of classical Persian literature. Relying on a variety of sources, including unpublished manuscripts, Domenico Ingenito reads the so-called “inimitable smoothness” of Saʿdi’s lyric style as a serene yet multifaceted window onto the uncanny beauty of the world, the human body, and the realm of the unseen.

The eight chapters of the book constitute the first attempt to study Sa‘di’s lyric meditations on beauty in the context of the major artistic and intellectual trends of his time. By mining unexplored connections between Islamic philosophy and mysticism, between obscene verses and courtly ideals of love, Ingenito approaches Sa‘di’s literary genius from the perspective of sacred homoeroticism and the psychology of performative lyricism in their historical context.
Author: Efraim Wust
The Yahuda Collection was bequeathed to the National Library of Israel by one of the twentieth century's most knowledgeable and important collectors, Abraham Shalom Yahuda (d. 1951). The rich and multifaceted collection of 1,186 manuscripts, spanning ten centuries, includes works representing the major Islamic disciplines and literary traditions. Highlights include illuminated manuscripts from Mamluk, Mughal, and Ottoman court libraries; rare, early copies of medieval scholarly treatises; and early modern autograph copies.

In this groundbreaking Arabic catalogue, Efraim Wust synthesizes the Islamic and Western manuscript traditions to enrich our understanding of the manuscripts and their compositions. His combined treatment of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish manuscripts preserves the integrity of the collection and honors the multicultural history of the Islamic intellectual traditions.
Cities of Medieval Iran brings together studies in urban geography, archaeology, and history of medieval Iranian cities, spanning the Islamic period until ca. 1500, but also the pre-Islamic situation. The cities and their inhabitants take centre stage, they are not just the places where something else happened. Urban actors are given priority over external factors. The contributions take a long-term perspective and thus take the interaction between urban centres and their hinterland into account. Many contributions come from history or archaeology, but new disciplines are also methodologically integrated into the study of medieval cities, such as the arts of the book, lexicography, geomorphology, and digital instruments.

Contributors include Denise Aigle, Mehrdad Amanat, Jean Aubin, Richard W. Bulliet, Jamsheed K. Choksy, David Durand-Guédy, Etienne de La Vaissière, Majid Montazer Mahdi, Roy P. Mottahedeh, Jürgen Paul, Rocco Rante, Sarah Savant, Ali Shojai Esfahani, Donald Whitcomb and Daniel Zakrzewski.
Author: Richard Salomon

Abstract

The article presents a new edition, translation, and interpretation of the inscription, which was previously published by H. Falk in 2014, of the otherwise unknown Buddhist patron Helagupta (helaüta). The inscription, datable to the latter half of the first century CE, is recorded on five copper plates and is the second longest one known in Kharoṣṭhī script/Gāndhārī language. This edition proposes several new readings and interpretations as well as discussing its cultural implications for issues such as the performance of ancestral rituals by Buddhists, and Buddhological ramifications such as the concept of “brahma merit” (Gāndhārī bramo puṇyo) and the contemporary understanding of variant forms of titles of the Buddha.

In: Indo-Iranian Journal
In: Indo-Iranian Journal
Author: Ela Filippone

On the meaning of Ved. (dual) kukṣí, a denomination for pair body parts frequently equated to bodies of water in Vedic texts, different assumptions have been made by scholars. In particular, Stephanie Jamison suggested interpreting it as “the two cheeks”, Henk Bodewitz as “the two sides of the body”. The present paper supports Bodewitz’ claim that Ved. kukṣí- was used to refer to any of the sides of the abdomen. In fact, abdominal sides may be categorised as containers of liquids. This is also proved by the denominations for the abdominal side (as distinct from the thoracic side) recorded in some Iranian languages, which may be considered as part of the legacy of the ancient theory of humours and the microcosm-macrocosm theory.

In: Iran and the Caucasus