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Drawing upon Arabic literary sources, iconographic evidence and archaeological finds, this book examines trade, port towns, ship construction, seamanship, ship typology and their historical development in the Western Indian Ocean, focussing on the Medieval Islamic period but including earlier sources.
Edited byArabic Studies in the NetherlandsEdited by by Arnoud Vrolijk and Richard van Leeuwen portrays the lives and careers of the most distinguished Arabists from the Netherlands from the late sixteenth to the mid-twentieth century.
In this classic work George Hourani deals with the history of the sea trade of the Arabs in the Indian Ocean from its obscure origins many centuries before Christ to the time of its full extension to China and East Africa in the ninth and tenth centuries. The book comprises a brief but masterly historical account that has never been superseded. The author gives attention not only to geography, meteorology, and the details of travel, but also to the ships themselves, including a discussion of the origin of stitched planking and of the lateen fore-and-aft sails. Piracy in the Indian Ocean, day-to-day life at sea, the establishment of ancient lighthouses and the production of early maritime guides, handbooks, and port directories are all described in fascinating detail. Arab Seafaring will appeal to anyone interested in Arab life or the history of navigation. For this expanded edition, John Carswell has added a new introduction, a bibliography, and notes that add material from recent archaeological research.
This volume is an inter-disciplinary endeavour which brings together recent research on aspects of urban life and structure by architectural and textual historians and archaeologists, engendering exciting new perspectives on urban life in the pre-modern Islamic world. Its objective is to move beyond the long-standing debate on whether an ‘Islamic city’ existed in the pre-modern era and focus instead upon the ways in which religion may (or may not) have influenced the physical structure of cities and the daily lives of their inhabitants. It approaches this topic from three different but inter-related perspectives: the genesis of ‘Islamic cities’ in fact and fiction; the impact of Muslim rulers upon urban planning and development; and the degree to which a religious ethos affected the provision of public services. Chronologically and geographically wide-ranging, the volume examines thought-provoking case studies from seventh-century Syria to seventeenth-century Mughal India by established and new scholars in the field, in addition to chapters on urban sites in Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Central Asia. Cities in the Pre-Modern Islamic World will be of considerable interest to academics and students working on the archaeology, history and urbanism of the Middle East as well as those with more general interests in urban archaeology and urbanism.
In the 1820s, Rifa'a Rafi' al-Tahtawi, a young Muslim cleric, was a leading member of the first Egyptian educational mission to Paris, where he remained for five years, documenting his observations of European culture. His account, Takhlis al-Ibriz fi Talkhis Bariz, is one of the earliest and most influential records of the Muslim encounter with Enlightenment-era European thought, introducing ideas of modernity to his native land. In addition to its historical and literary value, al-Tahtawi's work offers invaluable insight into early conceptions of Europe and the 'Other'. Its observations are as vibrant and palpable today as they were over 150 years ago; informative and often acute, to humorous effect. An irrefutable classic, this new edition of the first English translation is of seminal value. It is introduced and carefully annotated by a scholar fluent in the life, times and milieu of its narrator. 'An Imam in Paris lets us share the responses of a highly intelligent scholar ... Daniel L. Newman is to be congratulated on making the first translation into English of this remarkable book, and on supporting the text with a first-class introduction and with footnotes that are as full as one could wish.' Times Literary Supplement 'A touchstone for thinking about the tangled relations between Islam and modernity' Jewish Quarterly '[A] fine translation ... extensively and meticulously notated' The International History Review
Objects of Translation offers a nuanced approach to the entanglements of medieval elites in the regions that today comprise Afghanistan, Pakistan, and north India. The book--which ranges in time from the early eighth to the early thirteenth centuries--challenges existing narratives that cast the period as one of enduring hostility between monolithic "Hindu" and "Muslim" cultures. These narratives of conflict have generally depended upon premodern texts for their understanding of the past. By contrast, this book considers the role of material culture and highlights how objects such as coins, dress, monuments, paintings, and sculptures mediated diverse modes of encounter during a critical but neglected period in South Asian history. The book explores modes of circulation--among them looting, gifting, and trade--through which artisans and artifacts traveled, remapping cultural boundaries usually imagined as stable and static. It analyzes the relationship between mobility and practices of cultural translation, and the role of both in the emergence of complex transcultural identities. Among the subjects discussed are the rendering of Arabic sacred texts in Sanskrit on Indian coins, the adoption of Turko-Persian dress by Buddhist rulers, the work of Indian stone masons in Afghanistan, and the incorporation of carvings from Hindu and Jain temples in early Indian mosques. Objects of Translation draws upon contemporary theories of cosmopolitanism and globalization to argue for radically new approaches to the cultural geography of premodern South Asia and the Islamic world.
In 922 AD, an Arab envoy from Baghdad named Ibn Fadlan encountered a party of Viking traders on the upper reaches of the Volga River. In his subsequent report on his mission he gave a meticulous and astonishingly objective description of Viking customs, dress, table manners, religion and sexual practices, as well as the only eyewitness account ever written of a Viking ship cremation. Between the ninth and fourteenth centuries, Arab travellers such as Ibn Fadlan journeyed widely and frequently into the far north, crossing territories that now include Russia, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Their fascinating accounts describe how the numerous tribes and peoples they encountered traded furs, paid tribute and waged wars. This accessible new translation offers an illuminating insight into the world of the Arab geographers, and the medieval lands of the far north.
This volume introduces the geographical setting of Central Asia and follows its history from the palaeolithic era to the rise of the Mongol empire in the thirteenth century. Distinguished international scholars discuss chronologically the varying historical achievements of the disparate population groups in the region.