Gog and Magog in Early Eastern Christian and Islamic Sources

Gog and Magog in Early Eastern Christian and Islamic Sources

Author: Emeri J. van Donzel

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9789004174160

Category: Social Science

Page: 271

View: 713

Alexander's Alleged Wall Against Gog and Magog, often connected with the enclosure of the apocalyptic people, was a widespread theme among Syriac Christians in Mesopotamia. In the ninth century Sallam the Interpreter dictated an account of his search for the barrier to the Arab geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih. The reliability of Sallam's journey from Samarra to Western China and back (842-45), however, has always been a highly contested issue. Van Donzel and Schmidt consider the travel account as historical. This volume presents a translation of the source while at the same time it carefully looks into other Eastern Christian and Muslim traditions of the famous lore. A comprehensive survey reconstructs the political and topographical data. As so many other examples, this story pays witness to the influence of the Syriac Christian tradition on Koran and Muslim Traditions.

The Edge of the Plain

The Edge of the Plain

Author: James Crawford

Publisher: Canongate Books

ISBN: 9781838852047

Category: Travel

Page: 432

View: 297

Today, there are more borders in the world than ever before in human history. In this book James Crawford argues that our enduring obsession with borders has brought us to a crisis point: that we are entering the endgame of a process that began thousands of years ago, when we first started dividing up the earth. Beginning with the earliest known marker which denoted the end of one land and the beginning of the next, James follows the story of borders into our fragile and uncertain future – towards the virtual frontiers of the internet, and the shifting geography of a world beset by climate change. In the process, he travels to many borders old and new: from a melting border high in the glacial landscapes of the Austrian-Italian Alps to the only place on land where Europe and Africa meet; from the artist Banksy’s ‘Walled Off Hotel’ in the conflict-torn West Bank to the Sonoran Desert and the fault lines of the US/Mexico border. Combining history, travel and reportage, The Edge of the Plain explores how borders have grown and evolved to take control of our landscapes, our memories, our identities and our destinies. As nationalism, climate change, globalisation, technology and mass migration all collide with ever-hardening borders, something has to give. Can we let go of the lines that separate us? Or are we fated to repeat the mistakes of the past, as our angry, warming and segregated planet lurches towards catastrophe?

Cultures of Eschatology

Cultures of Eschatology

Author: Veronika Wieser

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

ISBN: 9783110593587

Category: History

Page: 864

View: 904

Apokalyptische Vorstellungen von Untergang und Verheißung, von letzten Dingen und äußersten Wahrheiten, von Endgültigem und noch nie Dagewesenem begleiten die europäische Kulturgeschichte seit mehr als 2000 Jahren. Die vorliegende Reihe Kulturgeschichte der Apokalypse legt eine heterogene und interdisziplinäre Durchmessung des Endzeitdenkens aus historisch-kulturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive vor. Sie betont die einzigartigen Verhaftungen apokalyptischer Diskurse in jeweils zeitgenössischen, epistemischen, medialen und politischen Kontexten und plädiert für den Mut zum Bruch – zum Bruch mit homogenen Lesarten, linearen Denktraditionen und lediglich formalen Rückführungen auf einen apokalyptischen Ursprung. Dabei öffnet sie den Blick in andere religiöse wie geographische Kontexte und lädt zum interdisziplinären Vergleich ein.

The Prester John Legend between East and West During the Crusades

The Prester John Legend between East and West During the Crusades

Author: Ahmed M. A. Sheir

Publisher: ISD LLC

ISBN: 9786156405296

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 369

View: 750

This book considers the history of the Prester John legend and its impact on the Crusades, investigating its entangled mythical history between East and West during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The present study thus responds to the still pressing need for a comprehensive historical investigation of the twelfth and thirteenth crusading history of the legend and its impact on the Muslim-Crusader encounters, examining various Latin, Arabic, Syriac, and Coptic accounts. It further reflects on new eastern aspects of the legend, presenting a new Arab scholarly view. This book first charts a pre-history of the legend in the late ancient Christian prophecy of the Last Emperor down to the emergence of the legend in the mid-twelfth century. Second, the work presents a historical discussion of the legend and its association with actual occurrences in the Far East and the Levant, analysing the legend history under the crusading crisis and the imperial papal schism in Europe. Meanwhile, the work considers the vague Prester John Letter addressed to Manuel I Komnenus, Byzantine Emperor, and its elaborate conception of a mythical eastern kingdom, revealing imaginative parallels on the wondrous East and legendary Eastern Christian kings in Arabic Muslim and Christian accounts of the Muslim geographer and cartographer al-Idrisi, the Coptic Abu al-Makarim and the Syriac Ibn al-'Ibri (Bar Hebraeus), among others. Moreover, the book examines how the legend impacted war and peace processes between the Ayyubids and the Crusaders during the Fifth Crusade against Egypt (1217-1221), revealing how it was mingled with Arabic and Eastern Christian prophecies at the time. The study concludes by investigating the perception of Prester John by the papal and European envoys to the Mongols in the thirteenth century, revealing how the legend was instrumentalised (and even weaponised) to establish a Latin-Mongol crusade through a parallel exploration of relevant Latin, Arabic and Syriac sources.

Empires and Exchanges in Eurasian Late Antiquity

Empires and Exchanges in Eurasian Late Antiquity

Author: Nicola Di Cosmo

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108548106

Category: History

Page:

View: 613

Empires and Exchanges in Eurasian Late Antiquity offers an integrated picture of Rome, China, Iran, and the Steppes during a formative period of world history. In the half millennium between 250 and 750 CE, settled empires underwent deep structural changes, while various nomadic peoples of the steppes (Huns, Avars, Turks, and others) experienced significant interactions and movements that changed their societies, cultures, and economies. This was a transformational era, a time when Roman, Persian, and Chinese monarchs were mutually aware of court practices, and when Christians and Buddhists criss-crossed the Eurasian lands together with merchants and armies. It was a time of greater circulation of ideas as well as material goods. This volume provides a conceptual frame for locating these developments in the same space and time. Without arguing for uniformity, it illuminates the interconnections and networks that tied countless local cultural expressions to far-reaching inter-regional ones.

The Grand Finale

The Grand Finale

Author: Anton Wessels

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 9781725275997

Category: Religion

Page: 340

View: 296

We often hear that we are living in apocalyptic times. Wars like those in the Middle East are just more signs that the end is near. That, however, is a misunderstanding of the message of the Bible and the Qur’an. The basic meaning of “apocalypse” is disclosure, revelation, bringing to light what is happening now and what has happened throughout all of history. The “apocalypse” is not about making predictions about the future but about determining who bears responsibility for injustice in the world. In that sense, all times—including ours—are “apocalyptic,” though in a different way than what is usually thought. Since the devastating Greek conquest of the world by Alexander the Great, there have been apocalyptic insights and “revelatory” readings of the whole Hebrew Bible. The same is true of the New Testament with “Rome” as the world power then. The same apocalyptic message is confirmed by the Qur’an when the Byzantines and the Persians fought for mastery of the world. The apocalyptic message is that God will put an end to the unjust dominion of violence, money, and lies. God’s kingdom will certainly arrive, but not through violence—after all, there “is no violence in God” (Diognetus).

When Christians First Met Muslims

When Christians First Met Muslims

Author: Michael Philip Penn

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520284937

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 668

The first Christians to meet Muslims were not Latin-speaking Christians from the western Mediterranean or Greek-speaking Christians from Constantinople but rather Christians from northern Mesopotamia who spoke the Aramaic dialect of Syriac. Living in what constitutes modern-day Iran, Iraq, Syria, and eastern Turkey, these Syriac Christians were under Muslim rule from the seventh century to the present. They wrote the earliest and most extensive accounts of Islam and described a complicated set of religious and cultural exchanges not reducible to the solely antagonistic. Through its critical introductions and new translations of this invaluable historical material, When Christians First Met Muslims allows scholars, students, and the general public to explore the earliest interactions of what eventually became the world's two largest religions, shedding new light on Islamic history and Christian-Muslim relations.

The Transmission and Dynamics of the Textual Sources of Islam

The Transmission and Dynamics of the Textual Sources of Islam

Author: Nicolet Boekhoff-van der Voort

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9789004206786

Category: History

Page: 514

View: 785

This volume provides new insights into the transmission of the textual sources of Islam and combines this with the dynamics of these scriptures by paying close attention to how believers interpret and apply them.

Non-Muslim Provinces under Early Islam

Non-Muslim Provinces under Early Islam

Author: Alison Vacca

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781107188518

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 396

Eighth- and ninth-century Armenia and Caucasian Albania were largely Christian provinces of the then Islamic Caliphate. Although they formed a part of the Iranian cultural sphere, they are often omitted from studies of both Islamic and Iranian History. In this book, Alison Vacca uses Arabic and Armenian texts to explore these Christian provinces as part of the Caliphate, identifying elements of continuity from Sasanian to caliphal rule, and, more importantly, expounding on significant moments of change in the administration of the Marwanid and early Abbasid periods. Vacca examines historical narrative and the construction of a Sasanian cultural memory during the late ninth and tenth centuries to place the provinces into a broader context of Iranian rule. This book will be of benefit to historians of Islam, Iran and the Caucasus, but will also appeal to those studying themes of Iranian identity and Muslim-Christian relations in the Near East.

Envisioning Islam

Envisioning Islam

Author: Michael Philip Penn

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 9780812291445

Category: History

Page: 304

View: 675

The first Christians to encounter Islam were not Latin-speakers from the western Mediterranean or Greek-speakers from Constantinople but Mesopotamian Christians who spoke the Aramaic dialect of Syriac. Under Muslim rule from the seventh century onward, Syriac Christians wrote the most extensive descriptions extant of early Islam. Seldom translated and often omitted from modern historical reconstructions, this vast body of texts reveals a complicated and evolving range of religious and cultural exchanges that took place from the seventh to the ninth century. The first book-length analysis of these earliest encounters, Envisioning Islam highlights the ways these neglected texts challenge the modern scholarly narrative of early Muslim conquests, rulers, and religious practice. Examining Syriac sources including letters, theological tracts, scientific treatises, and histories, Michael Philip Penn reveals a culture of substantial interreligious interaction in which the categorical boundaries between Christianity and Islam were more ambiguous than distinct. The diversity of ancient Syriac images of Islam, he demonstrates, revolutionizes our understanding of the early Islamic world and challenges widespread cultural assumptions about the history of exclusively hostile Christian-Muslim relations.

Eastern Rome and the Rise of Islam

Eastern Rome and the Rise of Islam

Author: Olof Heilo

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317326632

Category: History

Page: 150

View: 548

The emergence of Islam in the seventh century AD still polarises scholars who seek to separate religious truth from the historical reality with which it is associated. However, history and prophecy are not solely defined by positive evidence or apocalyptic truth, but by human subjects, who consider them to convey distinct messages and in turn make these messages meaningful to others. These messages are mutually interdependent, and analysed together provide new insights into history. It is by way of this concept that Olof Heilo presents the decline of the Eastern Roman Empire as a key to understanding the rise of Islam; two historical processes often perceived as distinct from one another. Eastern Rome and the Rise of Islam highlights significant convergences between Early Islam and the Late Ancient world. It suggests that Islam’s rise is a feature of a common process during which tensions between imperial ambitions and apocalyptic beliefs in Europe and the Middle East cut straight across today’s theological and political definitions. The conquests of Islam, the emergence of the caliphate, and the transformation of the Roman and Christian world are approached from both prophetic anticipations in the Ancient and Late Ancient world, and from the Medieval and Modern receptions of history. In the shadow of their narratives it becomes possible to trace the outline of a shared history of Christianity and Islam. The "Dark Ages" thus emerge not merely as a tale of sound and fury, but as an era of openness, diversity and unexpected possibilities. Approaching the rise of Islam as a historical phenomenon, this book opens new perspectives in the study of early religion and philosophy, as well as providing a valuable resource for students and scholars of Islamic Studies.

Prognostication in the Medieval World

Prognostication in the Medieval World

Author: Matthias Heiduk

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

ISBN: 9783110499773

Category: History

Page: 1039

View: 403

Two opposing views of the future in the Middle Ages dominate recent historical scholarship. According to one opinion, medieval societies were expecting the near end of the world and therefore had no concept of the future. According to the other opinion, the expectation of the near end created a drive to change the world for the better and thus for innovation. Close inspection of the history of prognostication reveals the continuous attempts and multifold methods to recognize and interpret God’s will, the prodigies of nature, and the patterns of time. That proves, on the one hand, the constant human uncertainty facing the contingencies of the future. On the other hand, it demonstrates the firm believe during the Middle Ages in a future which could be shaped and even manipulated. The handbook provides the first overview of current historical research on medieval prognostication. It considers the entangled influences and transmissions between Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and non-monotheistic societies during the period from a wide range of perspectives. An international team of 63 renowned authors from about a dozen different academic disciplines contributed to this comprehensive overview.