Monday, May 16, 2022

Open Access E-Book: Empires and Communities in the Post-Roman and Islamic World, C. 400-1000 CE

 Empires and Communities in the Post-Roman and Islamic World, C. 400-1000 CE

Rutger Kramer and Walter Pohl

Oxford Studies in Early Empires

"This book deals with how empires affect smaller communities such as ethnic groups, religious communities, and local or peripheral populations. It raises the question of how these different types of community were integrated into larger imperial edifices and in which contexts the dialectic between empires and particular communities caused disruption. How did religious discourses or practices reinforce (or subvert) imperial pretenses? How were constructions of identity affected? How were Egyptians accommodated under Islamic rule, Yemenis included in an Arab identity, Aquitanians integrated into the Carolingian Empire, Jews into the Fātimīd caliphate? Why did the dissolution of Western Rome and the Abbasid caliphate leave different types of polities in their wake? How was the Byzantine Empire preserved in the seventh century; how did the Franks construct theirs in the ninth? How did events in early medieval Rome and Constantinople promote social integration in both a local and a broader framework? Focusing on the post-Roman Mediterranean, the book deals with these questions from a comparative perspective. It considers political structures in the Latin West, Byzantium, and the early Islamic world in a period exceptionally well suited for studying the expansive and erosive dynamics of empires and their interaction with smaller communities. By never adhering to a single overall model and avoiding Western notions of empire, this volume combines individual approaches with collaborative perspectives. The chapters are in-depth studies written in full awareness of the other contributions; taken together, they constitute a major contribution to the advancement of comparative studies on premodern empires."

Keywords: Mediterranean history, medieval history, Roman Empire, Carolingian, Arabia, Byzantine history, Islamic history, Fātimīds, Ummayad, Byzantium

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780190067946

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2022


Monday, May 9, 2022

Open Access E-book: Amulets and Talismans of the Middle East and North Africa in Context

Amulets and Talismans of the Middle East and North Africa in Context

Transmission, Efficacy and Collections

Series: Leiden Studies in Islam and Society, Volume: 13

Editors: Marcela A. Garcia Probert and Petra M. Sijpesteijn

In this volume amulets and talismans are studied within a broader system of meaning that shapes how they were manufactured, activated and used in different networks. Text, material features and the environments in which these artifacts circulated, are studied alongside each other, resulting in an innovative approach to understand the many different functions these objects could fulfil in pre-modern times. Produced and used by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the case studies presented here include objects that differ in size, material, language and shape. What the articles share is an all-round, in-depth approach that helps the reader understand the complexity of the objects discussed and will improve one’s understanding of the role they played within pre-modern societies.


Hazem Hussein Abbas Ali, Gideon Bohak, Ursula Hammed, Juan Campo, Jean-Charles Coulon, Venetia Porter, Marcela Garcia Probert, Anne Regourd, Yasmine al-Saleh, Karl Schaefer and Petra M. Sijpesteijn.

Copyright Year: 2022

E-Book (PDF)

Availability: Published

ISBN: 978-90-04-47148-1

ISBN: 978-90-04-47147-4

Publication Date: 28 Apr 2022

Thursday, April 21, 2022

300 Syria Report articles available

Syria Report, which is otherwise a commercial, subscription based resource has made 300 articles available free of charge. 

"For the past 18 months The Syria Report has been covering housing, land, and property (HLP) rights stories across Syria. We have published news stories, analyses, a glossary of terms and expressions and interviews on various HLP aspects across all areas of control in Syria.
You can read them all on the following page:

As all Syria Report content, HLP section is searchable through our search engine. The same 300 articles are also available in Arabic. "

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Variant Readings Of The Quran: A Critical Study of Their Historical ​and Linguistic Origins

Author: Ahmad Ali Al-Imam

Paperback: ISBN: 1-56564-420-4 
This fascinating and important book attempts to investigate the nature of the seven Ahruf in which the Qur’an has been revealed and the reason for the variations in readings among the Qurraa of the Quran. It studies, examines, and discusses: the revelation of the Qur’an in the seven ahruf concluding that they represent seven linguistical ways of recitation; the compilation of the Quran during the lifetime of the Prophet and the preservation of the Quran in the memories of the Companions as well as in written form, the compilation during the time of Abu Bakr, and the further compilation during the time of Uthman; the problem of naskh to demonstrate the completeness and trustworthiness of the Quran and that no verses are missing or were read and abrogated by naskh al-tilawah either with or without hukm; the Uthmanic masahif and their relation to the seven ahruf; the language of the Quran and whether it includes one, several, or all the dialects of the Arabs; the origin of the qiraat and conditions governing accepted readings; and ikhtiyar (i.e., the selection of one reading rather than another) and the rules governing the Qurraa’ who selected a reading.


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Crafts of Iraq

"The Crafts of Iraq site contains information about craft activities in cities, towns, and rural areas across Iraq, drawn from primary texts, archaeological and ethnographic publications, historical photographs, online sources, and signatures on objects, buildings and manuscripts. Entries cover a period from the seventh century to the present day. The site also comprises a glossary of technical terms, timeline, and other research supports..."

Project of Dr Marcus Milwright, Professor of Islamic Art and Archaeology, University of Victoria, Canada.

See also: Crafts of Syria

Open Access Ebook: Authors as Readers in the Mamlūk Period and Beyond


Title: Authors as readers in the Mamlūk period and beyond

Author: Élise Franssen
Publisher: Venezia : Edizioni Ca' Foscari - Digital Publishing, 2022. Series: Filologie medievali e moderne, 26.; Filologie medievali e moderne., Serie orientale ;, 5.

ISBN: 9788869695605 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

New Open Access Journal: Al-Markaz: Majallat al-Dirāsāt al-ʿArabiyya

Al-Markaz: Majallat al-Dirāsāt al-ʿArabiyya = المركز: مجلة الدراسات العربية

Online ISSN: 2772-8250
Print :ISSN: 2772-8242
Publisher: Brill, 2022-

"Al-Markaz: Majallat al-Dirāsāt al-ʿArabiyya [ The Centre: Journal of Arabic Studies] focuses on Arabic language, literature and culture studies, encompassing a range of historical and analytical trends. It covers a chronological period that extends from before Islam to contemporary times. The journal offers a forum for matters of formal language and spoken dialects, written and oral heritage, in poetry and prose, and welcomes submissions with an interdisciplinary and comparative approach."

See: Alphabetical List of Open Access Journals in Middle Eastern Studies

Open Access Ebook: The presence of the Prophet in early modern and contemporary Islam

The presence of the Prophet in early modern and contemporary Islam

Author: David Jordan; Rachida Chih; Stefan Reichmuth

Publisher: Leiden ; Boston : BRILL, 2022.
Series: Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1 The Near and Middle East, 159/2

ISBN : 9789004466753 

Open Access Ebook: Handbook of Islamic Sects and Movements

Handbook of Islamic Sects and Movements

Afzal Upal, Muhammad.

Handbook of Islamic Sects and Movements

Published: Brill, 2021.

ISBN: 9789004425255

Monday, February 14, 2022

Qur’an Tools

Qur’an Gateway, a tool for critical study of the text, construction, and language of the Qur’an which used to require subscription is now available as open source under the name Qur’an Tools.

Registration is required.

Monday, February 7, 2022



"The journal Aca’ib: Occasional papers on the Ottoman perceptions of the supernatural publishes original research articles in English and French, research reports (including reports on scientific meetings), source presentations, book reviews and translations of sources pertaining to Ottoman occultism, science and beliefs on supernatural phenomena. This journal forms part of a five-year research project, “GHOST”: Geographies and Histories of the Ottoman Supernatural Tradition: Exploring Magic, the Marvelous, and the Strange in Ottoman Mentalities”, funded by the European Research Council under the program Consolidator Grant 2017. The journal aims at keeping the community informed of our activities, presenting some sources and literature surveys, but also serving as a forum for scholars interested in such topics. There are four issues scheduled until the end of the project (February 2023), but the Editors will do their best to continue publication afterwards.

The journal covers research on Ottoman occult sciences (divination, oneiromancy, magic, science of letters, astrology, alchemy etc.) or specific treatises thereof; Ottoman theological or philosophical discussions on Hermeticism, the limits of knowledge, the reality of miracles, the existence of natural laws and so forth; Ottoman collections of strange stories and phenomena and their epistemological background; history of Ottoman science with emphasis on new explanations of phenomena previously considered inexplicable or supernatural."

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

New OA Journal: Journal of Safavid Studies


"The Journal of Safavid Studies is an academic journal published by Safavid Studies center, University of Isfahan. The journal welcomes the articles that engage with any aspect of Safavid Studies that provide a scholarly platform for critical and informed articles with a historical approach.

Permission to Publish from MSRT

The journal conscientiously aims to provide a scholarly platform for critical and informed articles with a historical approach in all fields of Safavid studies such as religious, political, cultural, social, economic, educational, artistic, international relations. The articles will cover the most debate-worthy issues in the aforementioned fields in the hope of ultimately contributing to the resolution of various theoretical, methodological and practical dilemmas encountered in Safavid Studies. This journal also aims to pave the way to increase cultural exchanges at the international level with an approach to introduce Safavid history and Shi’ism."

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Storey Online Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey

Storey Online - Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey

C.A. Storey’s Persian Literature: A Bio-Bibliographical Survey is the most authoritative reference work on the Persian written tradition, offering the names of authors and the titles of those of their works that have survived in the Persian language.

"Charles Ambrose Storey’s (1888-1968) Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey is a standard reference work about the Persian literary tradition. Storey’s Survey originally consisted of 5 volumes (1.1; 1.2; 2; 3; and 4), but not all volumes were actually published. A new volume (no. 5) was published later by François de Blois. Based on Storey’s handwritten legacy preserved by the Royal Asiatic Society, Brill has published the missing volumes, completing the Survey in 2020 and 2021.

Explicitly intended as a counterpart to Carl Brockelmann’s Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur, Storey’s Survey offers entries on Persian authors as well as their works, listing their manuscripts and editions.

Storey Online makes available all 6 volumes of Persian Literature: A Bio-bibliographical Survey, as well as the new cumulative index volume, as an online resource. Its publication in Open Access was made possible by the Persian Heritage Foundation."

ISSN: 2772-7696

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Islamic History Geodata Initiative

The Islamic History Geodata Initiative (ihGeo) seeks to stimulate scholarship on the role of places and spaces in the history of the Middle East during the Islamic period. Established by a research unit at the University of Tübingen, it provides a forum for international exchange and envisages collaborative projects in the Spatial Humanities. Another aim is to develop novel research tools for use in the public domain.

Learn about the endeavour of ihGeo to link history, geoinformatics, and cartography for a new understanding of how the region’s societies have been geared to the making and re-making of human landscapes.


Pilot projects

ihGeo has implemented two thematic pilot projects that map important aspects of Islamic history with the help of a web-based Geographic Information System, and is currently establishing a historical WebGIS baselayer. Alpha versions have been achieved in January 2016 and are constantly being improved for open-access publication in the near future. Moreover, practical classes taught at Tübingen result in historical geo-databases to be mapped on this basis.

  • Hajj Routes and Traffic, 12th–16th Centuries. Investigator: Kurt Franz. 2015–2017.

  • Mints of the Middle East, 13th–14th Centuries. Investigator: Lutz Ilisch. 2015–2017.

  • Mamâlik Baselayer: The Physical Geography and Hydrology of the Middle East during the Islamic Middle Period for GIS Applications. Design: Kurt Franz. Cartography: Martin Grosch, Christian Wörner, Jeannine Ernst. 2015—.

  • The Ottoman Hajj Route and the Hejaz Railway. Investigators: students of the class The Ottoman Hajj, and Kurt Franz. Winter term 2015–2016.

  • Itineraries of al-Iraq and al-Jibal according al-Muqaddasi. Investigators: students of the class Early Islamic Routes, and Kurt Franz. Winter term 2016–2017.

  • Internet Resources for Space-related Islamic Studies. Investigators: students of the class Islamic Studies Internet Resources, and Kurt Franz. Summer term 2017.

Project grant proposals

  • eTAVO – Cultural Landscapes of the Middle East. Collaborative long-term project proposal by the University of Tübingen’s institutes of Asian and Oriental Studies, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Archaeological Sciences, Biblical Archaeology, Evolution and Ecology, and Geography, the university’s eScience-Center, and the University of Konstanz’s Archaeology of Ancient Mediterranean Cultures. Accepted by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities for submission to the Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften (Akademienprogramm, 2019/2020 round).

  • Mamâlik – Spatial Dynamics in Islamic History, 750–1550: An Online Geographic Information System for Interdisciplinary Middle Eastern Studies. Grant proposal for an international collaborative Web-GIS project (under preparation).


  • Die Reisen des Botanikers Carl Haussknecht (1838–1903) in das Osmanische Reich und nach Persien (1865 und 1866–1869): Die kommentierte digitale Edition seiner Tagebücher. Institute for Special Botany with Herbarium Haussknecht, University of Jena, in collaboration with the Center for Near and Middle East Studies of the University of Marburg and the Center for Interdisciplinary Regional Studies, University of Halle-Wittenberg. Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), 2017–2020.

  • Spatial Thought in Islamicate Societies, 1000–1600: The Politics of Genre, Image, and Text. Proceedings of the conference held in Tübingen, 30.03.–01.04.2017, edited by Kurt Franz, Zayde Antrim, and Jean-Charles Ducène, in preparation.

  • Räumliche Intelligenz: Kulturtechniken der Orientierung im Wandel. Interdisciplinary lecture series in the frame of the University of Tübingen’s Studium Generale, winter term 2018–2019, organized by Kurt Franz, Robert Kirstein, and Ellen Widder.

  • EGYLandscape Project: The Land and Landscapes in Mamluk and Ottoman Egypt, 13th–18th Centuries. Institut de recherches et d'études sur les mondes arabes et musulmans, Aix-Marseille Université, and Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Marburg. Funded by the Agence National de la Recherche (ANR) and German Research Foundation (DFG), 2019–2022.