Monday, October 30, 2017
Open Access E-book: A Journal of Three Months’ Walk in Persia in 1884 by Captain John Compton Pyne : Introduction, Notes and Translation
A Journal of Three Months’ Walk in Persia in 1884 by Captain John Compton Pyne : Introduction, Notes and Translation
Editor(s): Harris, Russell & Afsharian, Marjan
Publisher: Leiden University Press, Leiden
Abstract : A primary source on a journey to Persia by Captain John Compton Pyne in 1884 revealing the West’s fascination with the Middle East in Victorian times. The book includes an introduction by the editors and a transcription of the manuscript with notes and the original illustrations, mainly watercolours. An important historical document and eye-witness account pertaining to Iran, anthropology, area studies, study of ‘orientalism’ and colonialism, and for historians.
Series Iranian Studies Series
ISBN 9789087282622 9789087282820
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Open Access Books by Irfan Shahid from Dumbarton Oaks
Irfan ShahîdByzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century, volume 1, part 1, Political and Military History is devoted to the main Arabian tribes that federates of the Byzantine Roman Empire. In the early sixth century Constantinople shifted its Arab alliance from the Salahids to the Kindites and especially the Ghassanids, who came to dominate Arab-Byzantine relations through the reign of Heraclius. Arranged chronologically, this study, the first in-depth account of the Ghassanids since the nineteenth century, draws widely from original sources in Greek, Syriac, and Arabic. Irfan Shahîd traces in detail the vicissitudes of the relationship between the Romans and the Ghassanids, and argues for the latter’s extensive role in the defense of the Byzantine Empire in its east.
Irfan ShahîdByzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century, volume 1 part 2, Ecclesiastical History provides a chronologically ordered account of the involvement of the Ghassanids in ecclesiastical affairs in the eastern region of the Byzantine Empire. Tracing the role of Arab tribes both inside and outside the Roman limes, Irfan Shahîd documents how the Ghassanids in particular came to establish and develop a distinct non-Chalcedonian church hierarchy, all the while remaining allies of the Chalcedonian emperors. Ghassanid phylarchs such as Mundir emerge not merely as loyal foederati but devout Christians. Shahîd extensively and critically analyzes the Greek, Syriac, and Arabic sources, including many obscure or unfamiliar texts to illuminate the religious landscape of the Arabs of the sixth century.
Irfan ShahîdByzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century, volume 2, part 1, Toponymy, Monuments, Historical Geography, and Frontier Studies is a topical study of the military, religious, and civil structures of the Ghassanids. Irfan Shahîd’s detailed study of Arab buildings of the sixth century illuminates how Byzantine provincial art and architecture were adopted and adapted by the federate Arabs for their own use. As monuments of Christian architecture, these federate structures constitute the missing link in the development of Arab architecture in the region between the earlier pagan (Nabataean and Palmyrene) and later Muslim (Umayyad). Drawing from literary and material evidence, Shahîd argues that the Gassanids were not nomadic, as traditionally believed, but thoroughly sedentary both in their roots and in the late Roman frontier zone they inherited. The third of four volumes dedicated to the sixth century, this book extensively depends upon the previous two volumes (volume 1, part 1, Political and Military History; volume 1, part 2, Ecclesiastical History).
Irfan ShahîdByzantium and the Arabs in the Sixth Century, volume 2, part 2, Economic, Social, and Cultural History is a topical study of Arab economic, social, and cultural history in the sixth century. Irfan Shahîd focuses on the economy of the Ghassanids and presents information on various trade routes and fairs. He reconstructs Ghassanid daily life by discussing topics as varied as music, food, medicine, the role of women, and horse racing. Shahîd concludes the volume with an examination of cultural life, including descriptions of urbanization, Arabic script, chivalry, and poetry. Throughout the volume, the author reveals the history of a fully developed and unique Christian-Arab culture. Shahîd exhaustively describes the society of the Ghassanids, and their contributions to the cultural environment that persisted in Oriens during the sixth century and continued into the Umayyad caliphate.
Irfan ShahîdJust as the Tanūkhids rose and fell as the principal Arab foederati of Byzantium in the fourth century, so too in the fifth did the Salīḥids. The century, practically terra incognita in the history of Arab-Byzantine relations, is explored by Irfan Shahîd, who recovers from the sources the political, military, ecclesiastical, and cultural history of the Arab foederati in Oriens and the Arabian Peninsula during this period. Unlike their predecessors or successors, the foederati of the fifth century lived in perfect harmony with Byzantium. Federate-imperial relations were smooth: the Arab horse reached as far as Pentapolis in the West and possibly took part in Leo’s expedition against the Vandals. They were staunchly orthodox and participated in two ecumenical councils, Ephesus and Chalcedon, where their voice was audible. But their more enduring contributions were cultural, and may be associated with Dāwūd (David), the Salīḥid king; Petrus, the bishop of the Parembole; and possibly also Elias, patriarch of Jerusalem (494–516), a Roman Arab. The federate culture gave impetus to the rise of the Arabic script, Arabic poetry, and a simple form of an Arabic liturgy—the foundation for cultural achievements in subsequent centuries.
Irfan ShahîdThe fourth century, the century of Constantine, witnessed the foundation and rise of a new relationship between the Roman Empire and the Arabs. The warrior Arab groups in Oriens became foederati, allies of Byzantium, the Christian Roman empire, and so they remained until the Arab conquests. In Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fourth Century, Irfan Shahîd elucidates the birth of the new federate existence and the rise of its institutional forms and examines the various constituents of federate cultural life: the phylarchate, the episcopate, the beginnings of an Arab Church, an Arabic liturgy, and the earliest attested composition of Arabic poetry. He discusses the participation of the Arab foederati in Byzantium’s wars with her neighbors—the Persians and the Goths—during which those Arab allies, most notably the Tanūkhids, contributed to the welfare of the imperium and the ecclesia. The Arab federate horse galloped for Byzantium as far as Ctesiphon, Constantinople, and possibly Najrân in Arabia Felix. In the reign of Valens, the foederati appeared as the defenders of Nicene Orthodoxy: their soldiers fought for it; their stern and uncompromising saint, Moses, championed it; and their heroic and romantic queen, Mavia, negotiated for it.
Irfan ShahîdThe Arabs played an important role in Roman-controlled Oriens in the four centuries or so that elapsed from the Settlement of Pompey in 64 B.C. to the reign of Diocletian, A.D. 284–305. In Rome and the Arabs Irfan Shahîd explores this extensive but poorly known role and traces the phases of the Arab-Roman relationship, especially in the climactic third century, which witnessed the rise of many powerful Roman Arabs such as the Empresses of the Severan Dynasty, Emperor Philip, and the two rulers of Palmyra, Odenathus and Zenobia. Philip the Arab, the author argues, was the first Christian Roman emperor and Abgar the Great (ca. 200 A.D.) was the first Near Eastern ruler to adopt Christianity. In addition to political and military matters, the author also discusses Arab cultural contributions, pointing out the role of the Hellenized and Romanized Arabs in the urbanization of the region and in the progress of Christianity, particularly in Edessa under the Arab Abgarids.
Monday, October 16, 2017
Open Access Manuscripts Collection: Manuscripts in the Libraries of the Greek and Armenian Patriarchates in Jerusalem
Manuscripts in the Libraries of the Greek and Armenian Patriarchates in Jerusalem
1009 manuscripts digitized by Library of Congress from the set of microfilms.
"As Jerusalem, the location of Christ’s Passion, has been central to the Christian religion since its inception, all the early churches sought a presence in that storied and holy city. The Greek Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church, for example, both maintain ancient patriarchates in Jerusalem and both have created renowned libraries in them..."Languages:
- Greek, Ancient (to 1453) 399
- Greek 270
- Georgian 125
- Arabic 96
- Armenian 32
- Syriac 27
- Geez 20
- Slavic Languages 20
- English 9
- Turkish, Ottoman (1500 to 1928) 8
- More Languages
Manuscripts in St. Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai
1694 manuscripts digitized by Library of Congress from the set of microfilms.
"The renowned Eastern Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine’s on Mt. Sinai was constructed by the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian I, in the late sixth century AD over the relics of the martyred saint and the place of the biblical burning bush as identified by St. Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor, Constantine. It is home to reputedly the oldest continuously run library in existence today. Its holdings of religious and secular manuscripts are legendary and allegedly second only in number to the collection held by the Vatican: from bibles, to patristic works, to liturgies and prayers books, and on to legal documents such as deeds, court cases, Fatwahs (legal opinions). The greater proportion of the manuscripts were copied in Greek, and then in Syriac, Georgian, Coptic, Armenian, Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, and Ethiopic, as well as Old Church Slavonic..."See also: Alphabetical List of Open Access Islamic Manuscripts Collections