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Making Tools for Transmission: Mamluk and Ottoman Cairo’s Papermakers, Copyists and Booksellers

In: Eurasian Studies
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Anthony T. Quickel Philipps-Universität Marburg

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Abstract

A growing body of scholarship regarding the nature of book production and ownership has greatly aided in advancing understandings of the intellectual and cultural history of the Middle East. The majority of these studies, however, focuses on the technical and art historical aspects of book production. This article seeks to take such scholarship a step further and explore the nature of the actual places where books were obtained in Mamluk and Ottoman Cairo. Using chronicles and annalistic sources, it will show that the traditionally understood paper markets had a far more extensive role in book production. Furthermore, the article will show that multiple centers in medieval Cairo were engaged in various tasks related to the creation of texts. A discussion of the extant corpus of secondary literature will be offered on the basis of these conclusions.

With a growing body of historical and art historical works relating to the book in the Islamicate lands, the issue of the technical production of written works is more fully being developed and explored.1 Yet central to the question of how books were produced, the ways in which books were obtained remains understudied. Recent scholarship on book ownership in Damascus and Cairo, illustrates that books were a relatively common material fixture of Mamluk and Ottoman society.2 Furthermore, the religious foundations of these and other cities also had extensive collections. To fill these shelves and satisfy the needs of future possessors, the book markets of the city produced the written texts that continue to serve as material records of the surrounding society and, when copied, as links in a chain transmitting knowledge created from earlier periods still. But for all of the extant manuscripts that fill archives, libraries, and private collections worldwide and all of those texts that must certainly have been lost in the interceding centuries since their creation, we know very little about the nature of their production beyond the technical and artistic. Where did one go within Cairo to buy a book? Who were the people that made and copied the texts? What can the location of these markets within their urban surroundings explain about the role of books generally and the linkages between book production and other urban activities or crafts?

This paper seeks to answer these and other questions, and in so doing, will draw several conclusions about the markets for books in Mamluk and Ottoman Cairo: firstly, the book markets were located within the city with reference to religious and educational institutions; secondly, the traditionally understood Papermakers’ Market had a much larger role in book production than its name suggests. On the basis of this, a reevaluation of the relationship between the traditionally understood Papermakers’ Market and Booksellers’ Market will be offered; and finally, grounded in these conclusions, suggestions for further study, questions, and ramifications will be offered.

Before moving on to a broader discussion of the various book production and selling locations within the Mamluk and Ottoman city, it is important to first define two key terms within the contemporary chronicles and annalistic sources of the period: the sūq al-warrāqīn and the sūq al-kuttubiyyin. These two markets will be referred to as proper nouns for the place locations in the traditional translation of Papermakers’ Market and Booksellers’ Market, respectively. These terms are problematic, as will be discussed below, but for the sake of convention and continuity both will be used. When book markets or markets for books is employed as a common noun, the intention is to describe the general localities throughout the city in which books were produced or sold without reference to a specific market or place. This paper employs a broad historical scope with the purpose of hopefully capturing the trends and changes which occurred relating to the book markets over time; doing this is helpful in creating a clearer picture, especially when clear and specific references are lacking.

Locating Cairo’s Booksellers’ Market in the Mamluk and Ottoman Periods

The major source that allows for siting and describing the book markets within Cairo is the Ḫiṭaṭ of al-Maqrīzī. Writing at the end of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth centuries, the chronicler tells that the Booksellers’ Market, sūq al-kuttubiyyin, was originally located in Fusṭāṭ, along the eastern side of the mosque of ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAṣ. Remnants of this market still existed as late as 780/1378, as the chronicler claims to have seen several shops, but thereafter al-Maqrīzī says they were no longer to be found.3 The move to Cairo proper occurred around the year 700/1301, when the Booksellers’ Market was established in the area between the gold-sellers and the Madrasa al-Ṣāliḥiyya (see Fig. 1). Once there, the shops contributed to the waqf of the Bīmāristān al-Manṣūrī, established by al-Manṣūr Sayf al-Dīn Qalāwūn in 683/1284.4 At some later point in the fourteenth century, the Booksellers’ Market was on the move again. This time, it was established in an area to the north near the al-Āqmar Mosque. At this spot, the booksellers shared a building that also housed apartments. The humidity in the structure’s cellar, however, ruined the books, so the booksellers moved yet again returning back to their original location near the Madrasa al-Ṣāliḥiyya.5 At this final location, al-Maqrīzī describes the Booksellers’ Market as a popular gathering spot for scholars. In a few lines of verse, he states that although most market gatherings should be discouraged, those in the Booksellers’ Market were commendable:

Blameful are those who gather in the market / and from those gatherings that are considered / Do not go near those but of the market of nobles / [which is] the market of arms and the market of books / For that is the instrument of Warriors / And this is the instrument of Scholars.6

Assuming that al-Maqrīzī’s account is correct, there are two issues that are striking: the movement of the markets from Fusṭāṭ to Cairo at such a late date, and secondly, their location within the city. On the issue of a late transfer from Fusṭāṭ, the problem remains unanswered. Being that Cairo had been established and settled for roughly three hundred years and that the Fatimid city was known for its centers of learning, the lack of a book market is unexpected. The original Fatimid city was exclusive to the court and military, but by the later Fatimid period, Cairo was already open to settlement to anyone willing to build. Furthermore, with the establishment of a madrasa during the Ayyubid period, that of Ṣāliḥ al-Nijm al-Dīn al-Ayyūb in 641/1243, that Cairo would still lack a book market until 700/1301 seems improbable, and the issue needs further study. Secondly, the commonly held model for the “Oriental” city places the book markets near the main, central mosque. This fits the urban layout of Fusṭāṭ, with the booksellers located alongside the mosque of ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAṣ – the central mosque of that settlement. However, when the Booksellers’ Market was settled in Cairo at the start of the fourteenth century, it was located along the city’s main thoroughfare, the Qaṣaba, near the Madrasa al-Ṣāliḥiyya and not near the al-Azhar Mosque. This seeming inconsistency, however, can be explained by the fact that the al-Azhar Mosque had been demoted by the Ayyubids in an attempt to de-emphasize the Fatimid legacy.7 In place of al-Azhar’s prominence during the Ayyubid period, we see the rise of regime-sponsored madrasa complexes.8 That the Booksellers’ Market was located near the Madrasa al-Ṣāliḥiyya is logical, therefore, given the fuller context of al-Azhar’s position at the start of the fourteenth century.

FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1

Locations of relevant sites in Central Cairo.

Citation: Eurasian Studies 15, 2 (2017) ; 10.1163/24685623-12340040

© A.T. Quickel, 2017.

Returning to a description of the Booksellers’ Market, other Mamluk sources confirm al-Maqrīzī’s placement but fail to go into the further detail which he supplies. Notably, Ibn Iyās – who was writing during the transition between Mamluk and Ottoman periods – explicitly sites the Booksellers’ Market at the location described by al-Maqrīzī near the Madrasa al-Ṣāliḥiyya.9 Otherwise, the only glimpses of the Booksellers’ Market can be gained in reference to other events. For example, Ibn Taġrī Bīrdī, in an obituary for the year 857/1457, tells of the death of a bookseller: “the Šaykh ʿIzz al-Dīn Muḥammad the bookseller, known as al-ʿIzz al-Takrūrī, (died) on Wednesday, the 27th of 1st Jumādā. He was accounted one of the prominent men; he had a bookshop in the Booksellers’ Market and was comparatively learned”.10

A dramatic shift occurs moving into the Ottoman period: not only is the book market nearly absent from the sources, other than a few scant references, but it is also, by the end of the period, located by the doors of al-Azhar, perhaps showing the prominence the institution had regained. In the obituaries given by al-Jabartī in his chronicle of the late eighteenth century, we find a few members of the ʿulamā whose ties to the Booksellers’ Market bring it back into the picture. One of these is the Shafiite scholar, Aḥmad al-Sanablāwī who died around 1180/1766-7, and who al-Jabartī says was learned and regularly taught fiqh and logic at al-Azhar Mosque. In addition to his teaching, Šayḫ al-Sanablāwī was also a bookseller and had shops in front of the mosque itself. We also hear that he was a decent and handsome man, and had a great, white beard, a note which the author provides as an aspirational aside.11 In one of the few times in which someone is encountered actually buying books, al-Jabartī tells of the death of the amīr Aḥmad Jāwīš Arnūṭ Pāša in 1201/1787, who was supposedly among the most venerable of the state. Al-Jabartī says that amīr Aḥmad Jāwīš went often to the book market and purchased books for a waqf for students of ʿilm. Additionally, he acquired some particularly valuable books, which he also placed in waqf while he was living. These books were kept in a library, what al-Jabartī refers to as a ḫaznat al-kutub, at the mosque of Šayḫūn al-ʿamrī in Ṣalībiyya, where they were under the care of a certain Šayḫ Mūsā.12

The portrait of the Booksellers’ Market is one of a relatively vibrant locale, with scholars gathering and buying books and even sometimes serving as merchants themselves. Located initially near the city’s first Ayyubid madrasa and later Mamluk constructions, the Booksellers’ Market was positioned to gain from neighborhood activities. That the Booksellers’ Market moved to the gates of al-Azhar as the institution regained its prominence and centrality in learning reaffirms the notion that its merchants were aware of the criticality of location and that its markets were sited and oriented towards need.

A Surprise and a Seeming Contradiction

For a location of such seeming importance to the intellectual and cultural life of Mamluk and Ottoman society, it is quite a surprise that the sources yield almost no other clues about the Booksellers’ Market, especially in the late Ottoman period. There are a few other obituaries of scholars and a few scant references like those preceding, yet nothing substantial that really allows a deeper look into the market itself. That there are few references, especially in the later period, runs parallel with the remarks of foreign visitors to the city, who claimed the Booksellers’ Market was especially small. Evliya Çelebi claimed that there were only twenty merchants when he visited in 1082/1672; Edward Lane put the number at eight in 1804; and Michaud and Poujulat, who visited a bit later in 1831, also suggest around eight to ten sellers.13

That the sources are scant, and the foreign visitors claim the Booksellers’ Market to be small creates a major problem of contradiction with the growing body of secondary scholarship about books in Cairo, particularly in the Ottoman period. This secondary literature argues that book ownership and production during the Ottoman era was active and high. This contradiction, itself, plays out in the secondary literature. André Raymond wrote that these are “une indication intéressante sur le niveau médiocre de la vie intellectuelle au Caire”.14 And yet, Nelly Hanna has shown that books were prevalent and production was strong; she writes: “the major catalogues of manuscript collections illustrate the preponderance of manuscripts copied in the eighteenth century, regardless of when they were actually composed, their numbers by far exceeding those of any other period”.15 In the catalogue of the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, for example, there are one hundred entries in its holdings of “universal histories”. Of these, more than a third, thirty-seven in fact, were copied in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in Cairo.16 Furthermore, a sampling of the number of books in private libraries is also astounding, as Hanna has also shown.17

Thus, there is an immediate problem in resolving the disparity between so many books and yet so few book sellers. Furthermore, if books and the written word did play an important role in the intellectual life of the city, as both Hanna and Hirschler, among others, have shown is true, then why are the Booksellers’ Markets not featured more prominently in the chronicles? Addressing this issue requires a reexamination of the markets and especially a renewed focus on the market traditionally described as having belonged to the papermakers. Delving deeper into understanding the functioning of this market as well as reconsidering its description will help to resolve the problematic disconnect between the primary and secondary sources regarding the prevalence of books in pre-modern Cairene society.

Cairo’s Papermakers’ Market in the Mamluk and Ottoman Periods

Returning to the Ḫiṭaṭ of al-Maqrīzī, the chronicler sites the Papermakers’ Market, sūq al-warrāqīn – along with the spice-sellers and druggists – in the area around the madrasa-ḫānqāh of al-Āšraf Barsbāy; this site is confirmed by Ibn Iyās.18 This location, quite appropriately, was only a couple of hundred meters away from the Booksellers’ Market in their original Mamluk location near the Madrasa al-Ṣāliḥiyya.19 It is worth noting, as well, that the city’s ink sellers could also be found in the general location, being just alongside the Ḫān al-Ḫalīlī. Thus, all of the instruments of the scholar, as per al-Maqrīzī’s verse above, could be found within steps of each other. That al-Maqrīzī mentions the Papermakers’ Market alongside that of the spice-sellers/druggists, using the combination sūq al-ʿaṭṭārīn wa al-warrāqīn, seems to confirm the argument of Levey who first suggested the connection between paper/book making and chemistry and pharmacology.20 Levey examined the process of paper and bookmaking via two medieval manuscripts devoted to that topic: the eleventh-century Umdat al-kuttāb wa ʿuddat ḏawī al-albāb by Ibn Bādis; and, the seventeenth-century Ṣinaʿat al-tasfīr al-kutub wa-ḥill al-ḏahab by al-Sufyānī. In doing so, Levey was able to show that a complex knowledge of chemicals, compounds, metals, and other scientific and craft skills was required in order to produce the various components that went into completing a book. Creating inks of assorted colors, producing paper of a multitude of tones and types, stitching bindings in different techniques, and blending the dyes for the leather book covers, among other skills, all required training and learning, which were not dissimilar from the skills of the druggist, making clear the connection between the trades.

The papermakers, warrāqīn, are featured prominently in the chronicles. Ibn Iyās mentions them frequently in the period just before and after the Ottoman takeover of Egypt at the start of the sixteenth century. In two accounts, he tells of attacks on the market by brigands. In the first case, he says that a gang came during the night, broke a number of the shops, plundered the goods inside, and killed three of the watchmen. The gang had nearly one hundred members, some of whom, on horseback were carrying bows and arrows, while others walked. In the end, they stole not only from the Papermakers’ Market but also ten thousand dinars worth of cloth and textiles.21 In the second, under much the same circumstances, another gang plundered twenty of the warraqīn’s shops, and a number of merchants lost a great deal of money.22 It is not only under such dramatic circumstances that we find the Papermakers’ Market. In happier times, such as the Nile reaching its maximum during the flooding season, the market is mentioned among those who decorated as part of the celebrations.23 And, after the Ottoman takeover, either the šayḫ who led the paper merchants or a group of prominent paper merchants themselves, participated in a number of delegations which either met in Cairo with representatives of the sultan or were sent by ship to Istanbul for the same reason.24 It is worth mentioning in light of the preceding discussion that amongst these delegations there is never a reference to the Booksellers’ Market, kutubiyyin, being represented. Furthermore, of the various occupations mentioned in the obituaries of Ibn Iyās at the start of the Ottoman era and in al-Jabartī at the end of the eighteenth century, those who worked with the warrāqīn outnumber the references to those in the Booksellers’ Market.

Thus, while al-Maqrīzī’s description of the Booksellers’ Market may be more detailed, the Papermakers’ Market is far more visible in the succeeding chronicles. Playing a role in both the events of the city as well as in its social and political life, the Papermakers’ Market had a more observable role to that of its book selling counterparts. Continuing to be located next to the druggists and spice-sellers at its original location throughout the Ottoman period, the Papermakers’ Market remained at the center of the traditional city. Its role in producing the implements required for bookmaking alone would have assured its prominence in facilitating the intellectual pursuits of the city, yet its function was something larger still.

New Definitions and Reassessing Functions

The prominence of the Papermakers’ Market in the sources suggests that better appreciating its function is critical to understanding the contradiction between the Booksellers’ Market in the primary sources and the book production and ownership patterns discussed in the secondary literature, as discussed above.

Moving beyond a definition of the warrāqīn as papermakers or stationers, a broader view is required. Turning to Ibn Ḫaldūn’s discussion of the crafts of the city, we are given such an insight. Writing in the Muqaddima in the fourteenth century, Ibn Ḫaldūn discusses the need for the written word in sedentary cultures. Furthermore, he states that an increase in literary pursuits led to the occupation of the warrāq that was focused on the copying, correcting, and binding of books and all other tasks related to bookmaking and writing.25 Concurring with this definition, al-Zabīdī, compiling his dictionary Tāj al-ʿarūs four centuries later in Cairo, defines al-warrāq, as “he who makes paper and writes books”.26 Thus, the warrāqīn were performing a great many functions beyond the mere production of paper. They were also heavily involved in the copying, producing, and binding of the books which were so prevalent in the Ottoman period. Their prevalence and prominence in the chronicles matches with their importance in producing the books which were ever-growing in number in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, especially. Johannes Pedersen supports this view in his work The Arabic Book:

The books written in the course of the warrāq’s business were produced either to order or with a view towards sale on the open market. To this end he also obtained books by purchase. A warrāq might hold quite a considerable stock of books. Al-Jāḥiẓ, who was a versatile author and great bookworm, hit upon the idea of hiring booths from the warrāqs and spending the nights in them reading; it was cheaper than buying the books. Anyone wanting a particular work approached a warrāq and got him to procure it.27

That said, Pedersen, like others, does not clearly distinguish between the activities of the warrāq and those of the kutubī, even as a number of cities, like Cairo, had distinct quarters for each. His extremely helpful and informative discussion of the production of books and the professionals he calls “bookmen” almost entirely centers around the warrāqs. François Déroche discusses the warrāq in detail as well and is the clearest in expressing the difficulty in delineating the specific activities undertaken by warrāq:

À l’époque ancienne, la figure du warrâq se détache ; il est pourtant malaisé de ranger dans une catégorie précise un personnage protéiforme. J. Pedersen (…) a relevé plusieurs anecdotes où le warrâq intervient dans une situation qui rappelle un peu celle d’un éditeur moderne. Il tient boutique et vend des ouvrages: les a-t-il copiés ? les a-t-il fait copier ? Il est difficile de le dire.28

Furthermore, he argues that other job titles that have traditionally been understood directly as copyists, such as a nassāḫ or kātib, muddle the picture of the role of the warrāq.29 Again, throughout a very detailed study into the role of the warrāq, Déroche does not mention the kutubī.

Assuming the warrāqs were involved in almost all aspects of book production, from producing paper and ink to copying and gathering the leaves, there is yet a question as to the activities of the traditionally understood booksellers or kutubīs. In defining this role, André Raymond gives, what is perhaps, the best indication of the activities in which the kutubīs were engaged: “Le Kutubiyya enfin et le Sūq al-Kutubiyya où travaillaient relieurs, fabricants de couvertures de livres, colleurs de carton et libraires, étaient situés aux portes mêmes de la mosquée al-Azhar, c’est-à-dire là où les manuscrits se copiaient et se vendaient …”.30 In this definition, we find the kutubīs engaged in the finishing tasks of bookbinding, as well as making covers. This is important because not all of the texts produced were bound. Oftentimes pages were gathered in quires and codices, with pages stitched together or placed entirely unbound within a loose case.31 Based on what we know of the warrāqs, it is possible that they were engaged in the processes of text production from papermaking to copying and then the unbound leaves were taken to the kutubīs for finishing, i.e. binding and covering.

Here again, however, the image is muddled. Raymond also states that the kutubīs were copying, and in some of the chronicles this is confirmed as several of al-Jabartī’s necrologies for ʿulamā place them within the Booksellers’ Market and as part-time copyists.32 One additional activity that may be ascribed to the Booksellers’ Market was the selling of “second-hand” books. In one instance, al-Jabartī decries “how the libraries of many of the madrasas which had been very well endowed with books and manuscripts, were dispersed and their books stolen or sold in the book market”.33

Thus, while the kutubīs were clearly involved in the selling, and perhaps production, of books, their exact role cannot be clearly defined. This unfortunate inability to clearly demarcate between the roles of the warrāq and the kutubī in the Cairene milieu stands in contrast to the description of Evliya Çelebi regarding those involved in book production in Istanbul, as detailed by Hitzel. Here we find numerous craftsmen involved in the process of making manuscripts with each of their roles clearly defined. Travelling booksellers, papermakers, binders, illuminators, manufacturers of ink, etc. are all clearly described by Çelebi in Istanbul.34 Such succinct and clear descriptions of the individuals involved in the bookmaking process as well as their professional roles is, unfortunately, lacking for Cairo during the period of study.

Conclusions

It would seem, then, that both the warrāqs and the kutubīs were engaged in some of the aspects of book production, whether entirely so or only in some partial aspects. Trying to delineate between the roles and functions of each, while critical to forming an exact definition, may not be entirely possible with the general paucity of the sources. Even given the challenge, trying to gain a better portrait of the broad conditions of book production in Mamluk and Ottoman Cairo is worth the effort and does enhance the ways in which the subject may be discussed. In illustrating the importance of this issue, one need only turn to the secondary literature on book production and ownership in the Ottoman period.

As stated before, Raymond in Artisans et commerçants argues that the few numbers of bookshops in the later eighteenth century, as accounted by foreign visitors was “une indication intéressante sur le niveau médiocre de la vie intellectuelle au Caire”.35 Meanwhile, Hanna in her important study of the cultural life of Ottoman Cairo, In Praise of Books, heavily discusses the booksellers and their activities to the exclusion of any book production within the Papermakers’ Market, yet Hanna is able to argue for a great deal of book production and ownership on the basis of probate court records.36 In both accounts, therefore, the book market is treated as the preeminent location for book production and buying. In one instance in the secondary literature, Robert Irwin does refer to the warrāqīn as copyists, which is much closer to the definition towards which this paper strives and shows an awareness of the warrāqīn’s more involved role in book production. Yet he also does not clearly delineate between their function as copyists and those of the booksellers, nor mention the warrāqīn’s additional function in papermaking.37 On the other hand, many secondary sources ignore the issue entirely, and the warraqīn are straightly designated as the papermakers and the kutubiyyin as the booksellers. And based on these understandings, assumptions are made accordingly by scholars and readers alike.

It should be clear – based on the preceding – that new, conclusive definitions for the warrāqīn and kutubiyyin cannot be offered at this time. Perhaps the past definitions are sufficient for the time being, so long as the multifaceted nature of the warraqīn’s work may enter an understanding of their professional purview. Beyond definition, however, this examination opens up even more lines of enquiry than it endeavored to put to rest. But it is an opening salvo in an attempt to better understand the general conditions by which books were copied and produced. By appreciating that the warrāqīn alongside the kutubīs had a role in book production, we can move past a narrow understanding of the Booksellers’ Market as the sole center within urban Cairo for knowledge dissemination. Rather instead, multiple centers were engaged in activities relating to the creation of the texts that entered the private household libraries as well as madrasa collections throughout the city. Certainly, a scholar had a favorite book dealer or copyist from whom he commissioned works. A specific merchant may have been known for the quality of paper he produced or imported and was patronized accordingly. Maybe various aspects of the book production were carried out in different quarters: the paper purchased in one market, copied by a specific hand, and then bound in another. All of these details remain, as of yet, unseen and may continue to be so. That said, viewing the warraqīn as manuscript producers and sellers – alongside their kutubiyyin counterparts – helps us to get closer to seeing the processes involved in the making and selling of books in the pre-modern city. And in so doing, we can start to have a clearer picture of what it meant to produce, sell, or buy a book in Mamluk and Ottoman Cairo.

Bibliographical References

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  • Rabbat, Nasser, “Al-Azhar Mosque: An Architectural Chronicle of Cairo’s History”, Muqarnas, XIII (1996): pp. 45-67.

  • Raymond, André, Artisans et commerçants au Caire au XVIIIe siècle (Damascus: Institut français de Damas, 1973).

  • Richard, Francis, “Lecteurs ottomans de manuscrits persans du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle”, in Hitzel, Frédéric (ed.), Livres et lecture dans le monde ottoman (Aix-en-Provence: Édisud [REMM, LXXXVII/LXVIII], 1999): pp. 79-83.

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  • Uluç, Lale, “Ottoman Book Collectors and Illustrated Sixteenth Century Shiraz Manuscripts” in Hitzel, Frédéric (ed.), Livres et lecture dans le monde ottoman (Aix-en-Provence: Édisud [REMM, LXXXVII/LXVIII], 1999): pp. 85-107.

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Biographical Note

After receiving his BA in International Studies at the American University in Washington, D.C., specializing in international economic relations, Anthony Quickel obtained his MA in Arabic Studies, focusing on Middle Eastern history, at the American University in Cairo. His master’s thesis was a study of the supply and distribution of foodstuffs in Mamluk Cairo. Currently, the author is conducting his doctoral research on book ownership patterns in Ottoman Cairo in a cotutelle between the Philipps-Universität Marburg and Aix-Marseille Université, under the auspices of the DFG-ANR funded DYNTRAN Research Project.

1

For examples of recent scholarship on book and manuscript production, see Gacek, Adam, Arabic Manuscripts: A Vademecum for Readers (Leiden: Brill, 2009); Humbert, Geneviève (ed.), La tradition manuscrite en écriture arabe (Aix-en-Provence: Édisud [REMM, XCIX/C], 2002); Hitzel, Frédéric (ed.), Livres et lecture dans le monde ottoman (Aix-en-Provence: Édisud [REMM, LXXXVII/LXVIII], 1999); Atiyeh, George (ed.), The Book in the Islamic World (New York: SUNY Press: 1995); Pedersen, Johannes, The Arabic Book (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984).

2

See, for example: Establet, Colette, and Pascual, Jean-Paul, “Les livres des gens à Damas vers 1700”, in Hitzel (ed.), Livres et lecture dans le monde ottoman: pp. 147-169; Hanna, Nelly, In Praise of Books: A Cultural History of Cairo’s Middle Class, Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century (Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2004); Hirschler, Konrad, The Written Word in the Medieval Arabic Lands: A Social and Cultural History of Reading Practices (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2013). Francis Richard and Lale Uluç have both shown the prevalence of Persian texts in Ottoman private libraries in Istanbul, further arguing in favor of widespread and diverse book ownership patterns within the Ottoman realms. See Richard, Francis, “Lecteurs ottomans de manuscrits persans du XVIe au XVIIIe siècle”, in Hitzel (ed.), Livres et lecture dans le monde ottoman: pp. 79-83; Uluç, Lale, “Ottoman Book Collectors and Illustrated Sixteenth Century Shiraz Manuscripts”, in Hitzel (ed.), Livres et lecture dans le monde ottoman: pp. 85-107.

3

Al-Maqrīzī, Taqī ad-Dīn Aḥmad ibn ʿAlī, Al-Mawāʿiẓ wa al-iʿtibar fi ḏikr al-ḫiṭaṭ wa al-āṯār (Cairo: Būlāq, 1853-1854): II, p. 102.

4

Ibid.

5

Ibid.

6

Ibid. The English translation is my own.

7

Rabbat, Nasser, “Al-Azhar Mosque: An Architectural Chronicle of Cairo’s History”, Muqarnas, XIII (1996): p. 56.

8

Id.

9

Ibn Iyās, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Badāʾiʿ al-zuhūr fī waqāʾiʿ al-duhūr (Cairo: Dar al-Kuttab wa al-Waṯāʾq al-Qumīyya bil-Qāhira: 2009): II, pp. 92, 189.

10

Popper, William, History of Egypt, 1382-1469 AD: Translated from the Arabic Annals of Abu l-Mahasin Ibn Taghri Birdi (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1960): XXII, p. 115; Ibn Taġrībirdī, Jamāl al-Dīn Yūsuf Abū al-Maḥāsin, Al-Nujūm al-zāhira fī mulūk miṣr wa al-qāhira (Cairo: Dar al-Kuttab wa al-Waṭāʾq al-Qumīyya bil-Qāhira, 1972): VII, p. 567.

11

Al-Jabartī, ʿAbd al-Raḥman Ḥaṣan, ʿAjaʾib al-āṯār fī al-tarājim wa al-āḫbār (Jerusalem: Maṭbaʿat Prīntīv, 2013): I, p. 285.

12

Ibid.: II, p. 150.

13

Raymond, André, Artisans et commerçants au Caire au XVIIIe siècle (Damascus: Institut français de Damas, 1973): I, p. 343.

14

Ibid.: I, p. 343.

15

Hanna, In Praise of Books, p. 83.

16

Ibid., p. 84. Also see (cited after Hanna): de Slane, [William Mac Guckin], Catalogue des manuscrits arabes (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, [Bibliothèque nationale. Départements des Manuscrits], 1883-1895): pp. 542-5, 546-75.

17

Hanna, In Praise of Books, p. 85.

18

Al-Maqrīzī, Al-Mawāʿiẓ wa al-iʿtibar fi ḏikr al-ḫiṭaṭ wa al-āṯār: II, pp. 89-90; Ibn Iyās, Badāʾiʿ al-zuhūr fī waqā’iʿ al-duhūr: II, p. 92, 189, and III: p. 301.

19

Ibid.: II, p. 102.

20

Levey, Martin, “Mediaeval Arabic Bookmaking and Its Relation to Early Chemistry and Pharmacology”, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, LII/4 (1962): pp. 1-79.

21

Ibn Iyās, Badāʾiʿ al-zuhūr fī waqā’iʿ al-duhūr: III, p. 434.

22

Ibid.: IV, p. 20.

23

Ibid.: IV, p. 334.

24

Ibid.: V, pp. 178, 182, 231.

25

Ibn Ḫaldūn, Muqaddimat Ibn Ḫaldūn (Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 2001): p. 532.

26

Al-Zabīdī, Muḥammad Murtaḍā al-al-Ḥuṣaynī, Tāj al-ʿarūs min juwāhir al-qāmūs (Kuwait: Maṭbʿat al-ḥakūma, 1990): XXVI, p. 460.

27

Pedersen, The Arabic Book: pp. 49-50.

28

Déroche, François, “Copier des manuscrits : remarques sur le travail du copiste”, in Humbert, Geneviève (ed.), La tradition manuscrite en écriture arabe (Aix-en-Provence: Édisud [REMM, XCIX/C], 2002): p. 135.

29

Ibid.: pp. 136-7.

30

Raymond, Artisans et commerçants: I, p. 343.

31

Gacek, Arabic Manuscripts: pp. 212-213.

32

Raymond, Artisans et commerçants: II, p. 426.

33

Hanna, Nelly, “Cultural Life in Mamluk Households”, in Philipp, Thomas, and Haarmann, Ulrich (eds.), The Mamluks in Egyptian politics and society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998): p. 197.

34

Hitzel, Frédéric, “Manuscrits, livres et culture livresque à Istanbul”, in Hitzel (ed.), Livres et lecture dans le monde ottoman: pp. 20-1.

35

Raymond, Artisans et commerçants: I, p. 343.

36

Hanna, In Praise of Books.

37

Irwin, Robert, “Mamluk Literature”, Mamluk Studies Review, VII/1 (2003): p. 2.

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