The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition
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|Author||: Shihab al-Din al-Nuwayri|
For the first time in English, a catalog of the world through fourteenth-century Arab eyes—a kind of Schott’s Miscellany for the Islamic Golden Age An astonishing record of the knowledge of a civilization, The Ultimate Ambition in the Arts of Erudition catalogs everything known to exist from the perspective of a fourteenth-century Egyptian scholar and litterateur. More than 9,000 pages and thirty volumes—here abridged to one volume, and translated into English for the first time—it contains entries on everything from medieval moon-worshipping cults, sexual aphrodisiacs, and the substance of clouds, to how to get the smell of alcohol off one’s breath, the deliciousness of cheese made from buffalo milk, and the nesting habits of flamingos. Similar works by Western authors, including Pliny’s Natural History and Diderot’s Encyclopédie, have been available in English for centuries. This groundbreaking translation of a remarkable Arabic text—expertly abridged and annotated—offers a look at the world through the highly literary and impressively knowledgeable societies of the classical Islamic world. Meticulously arranged and delightfully eclectic, it is a compendium to be treasured—a true monument of erudition. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
|Author||: Aḥmad ibn ʻAbd al-Wahhāb Nuwayrī|
"An astonishing record of the knowledge of a civilization, the book catalogs everything known to exist from the perspective of a fourteenth-century Egyptian scholar and litterateur. More than 9,000 pages and thirty volumes--here abridged to one volume, and translated into English for the first time--it contains entries on everything from medieval moon-worshipping cults, sexual aphrodisiacs, and the substance of clouds, to how to get the smell of alcohol off one's breath, the deliciousness of cheese made from buffalo milk, and the nesting habits of flamingos."--Provided by publisher.
|Author||: Ira M. Lapidus|
|Editor||: Cambridge University Press|
First published in 1988, Ira Lapidus' A History of Islamic Societies has become a classic in the field, enlightening students, scholars, and others with a thirst for knowledge about one of the world's great civilizations. This book, based on fully revised and updated parts one and two of this monumental work,describes the transformations of Islamic societies from their beginning in the seventh century, through their diffusion across the globe, into the challenges of the nineteenth century. The story focuses on the organization of families and tribes, religious groups and states, showing how they were transformed by their interactions with other religious and political communities. The book concludes with the European commercial and imperial interventions that initiated a new set of transformations in the Islamic world, and the onset of the modern era. Organized in narrative sections for the history of each major region, with innovative, analytic summary introductions and conclusions, this book is a unique endeavour.
|Author||: Fred M. Donner|
|Editor||: Harvard University Press|
Looks at the history of Islam, arguing that its origins began with the "Believers" movement that emphasized strict monotheism and righteous behavior that included both Christians and Jews in its early years.
|Author||: Ḥannā Diyāb|
|Editor||: NYU Press|
The adventures of the man who created Aladdin The Book of Travels is Ḥannā Diyāb’s remarkable first-person account of his travels as a young man from his hometown of Aleppo to the court of Versailles and back again, which forever linked him to one of the most popular pieces of world literature, the Thousand and One Nights. Diyāb, a Maronite Christian, served as a guide and interpreter for the French naturalist and antiquarian Paul Lucas. Between 1706 and 1716, Diyāb and Lucas traveled through Syria, Cyprus, Egypt, Tripolitania, Tunis, Italy, and France. In Paris, Ḥannā Diyāb met Antoine Galland, who added to his wildly popular translation of the Thousand and One Nights several tales related by Diyāb, including “Aladdin” and “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.” When Lucas failed to make good on his promise of a position for Diyāb at Louis XIV’s Royal Library, Diyāb returned to Aleppo. In his old age, he wrote this engaging account of his youthful adventures, from capture by pirates in the Mediterranean to quack medicine and near-death experiences. Translated into English for the first time, The Book of Travels introduces readers to the young Syrian responsible for some of the most beloved stories from the Thousand and One Nights. A bilingual Arabic-English edition.
|Author||: Sir Martin Ewans,Martin Ewans|
|Editor||: Psychology Press|
Sir Martin Ewans, former Head of the British Chancery in Kabul, puts into an historical and contemporary context the series of tragic events that have impinged on Afghanistan in the past fifty years. The book examines the roots of these developments in Afghanistan's earlier history and external relationships, as well as their contemporary relevance, internally, regionally, and globally. The book also reviews in details the emergence of the Taliban, their ideology and their place within Islam, and examines Afghanistan's relevance in global issues, notably the nature of Islamic extremism, the international drugs trade and international terrorism. It ends with an analysis of the country post-Taliban.
|Editor||: Penguin UK|
Comic Sagas and Tales brings together the very finest Icelandic stories from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, a time of civil unrest and social upheaval. With feuding families and moments of grotesque violence, the sagas see such classic mythological figures as murdered fathers, disguised beggars, corrupt chieftains and avenging sons do battle with axes, words and cunning. The tales, meanwhile, follow heroes and comical fools through dreams, voyages and religious conversions in medieval Iceland and beyond. Shaped by Iceland's oral culture and their conversion to Christianity, these stories are works of ironic humour and stylistic innovation.
|Author||: Benson Bobrick|
|Editor||: Simon and Schuster|
Traces the story of the celebrated late-eighth and early ninth caliph from The Thousand and One Nights against a backdrop of Baghdad's cosmopolitan culture and its complex influence on the Byzantine Empire and Frankish kingdom of Charlemagne. By the award-winning author of Wide as the Waters. 35,000 first printing.
|Author||: James E. Lindsay|
|Editor||: Greenwood Publishing Group|
From the time of its birth in Mecca in the 7th century C.E., Islam and the Islamic world rapidly expanded outward, extending to Spain and West Africa in the west, and to Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent in the east. An examination of the daily life in these Islamic regions provides insight into a civilized, powerful, and economically stable culture, where large metropolitan centers such as Damascus, Baghdad, and Cairo thrived in many areas, including intellectual and scientific inquiry. In contrast with medieval Europe, there is little common knowledge in the West of the culture and history of this vibrant world, as different from our own in terms of the political, religious, and social values it possessed, as it is similar in terms of the underlying human situation that supports such values. This book provides an intimate look into the daily life of the medieval Islamic world, and is thus an invaluable resource for students and general readers alike interested in understanding this world, so different, and yet so connected, to our own.
|Author||: William Hardy McNeill,Marilyn Robinson Waldman|
The Islamic World is a collection of important and representative documents from all periods of Islamic history. From the formative years in Arabia to the confrontations with and responses to modernity, these translations indicate the continuity and development of the youngest of the world's greatest civilizations. Included are historical, theological, philosophical, and political writings, as well as poetry and narratives, from Muslim writers in the Arab lands, Turkey, Persia, and other parts of the Islamic world.
|Author||: Alexander Bevilacqua|
|Editor||: Harvard University Press|
A Longman–History Today Book Prize Finalist Winner of the Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize A Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year “Deeply thoughtful...A delight.” —The Economist “[A] tour de force...Bevilacqua’s extraordinary book provides the first true glimpse into this story...He, like the tradition he describes, is a rarity.” —New Republic In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a pioneering community of Western scholars laid the groundwork for the modern understanding of Islamic civilization. They produced the first accurate translation of the Qur’an, mapped Islamic arts and sciences, and wrote Muslim history using Arabic sources. The Republic of Arabic Letters is the first account of this riveting lost period of cultural exchange, revealing the profound influence of Catholic and Protestant intellectuals on the Enlightenment understanding of Islam. “A closely researched and engrossing study of...those scholars who, having learned Arabic, used their mastery of that difficult language to interpret the Quran, study the career of Muhammad...and introduce Europeans to the masterpieces of Arabic literature.” —Robert Irwin, Wall Street Journal “Fascinating, eloquent, and learned, The Republic of Arabic Letters reveals a world later lost, in which European scholars studied Islam with a sense of affinity and respect...A powerful reminder of the ability of scholarship to transcend cultural divides, and the capacity of human minds to accept differences without denouncing them.” —Maya Jasanoff “What makes his study so groundbreaking, and such a joy to read, is the connection he makes between intellectual history and the material history of books.” —Financial Times
|Author||: Amin Maalouf|
European and Arab versions of the Crusades have little in common. For Arabs, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were years of strenuous efforts to repel a brutal and destructive invasion by barbarian hordes. Under Saladin, an unstoppable Muslim army inspired by prophets and poets finally succeeded in destroying the most powerful Crusader kingdoms. The memory of this greatest and most enduring victory ever won by a non-European society against the West still lives in the minds of millions of Arabs today. Amin Maalouf has sifted through the works of a score of contemporary Arab chroniclers of the Crusades, eyewitnesses and often participants in the events. He retells their stories in their own vivacious style, giving us a vivid portrait of a society rent by internal conflicts and shaken by a traumatic encounter with an alien culture. He retraces two critical centuries of Middle Eastern history, and offers fascinating insights into some of the forces that shape Arab and Islamic consciousness today. 'Well-researched and highly readable.' Guardian 'A useful and important analysis adding much to existing western histories ... worth recommending to George Bush.' London Review of Books 'Maalouf tells an inspiring story ... very readable ... warmly recommended.' Times Literary Supplement 'A wide readership should enjoy this vivid narrative of stirring events.' The Bookseller 'Very well done indeed ... Should be put in the hands of anyone who asks what lies behind the Middle East's present conflicts.' Middle East International
|Author||: Jonathan Kirsch|
|Editor||: Ballantine Books|
Sex. Violence. Scandal. These are words we rarely associate with the sacred text of the Bible. Yet in this brilliant new book, Jonathan Kirsch shows that the Old Testament is filled with some of the most startling and explicit stories in all of Western literature. These tales of seduction and rape, voyeurism and exhibitionism, intermarriage and illegitimacy, assassination and murder have been suppressed by religious authorities throughout history precisely because they are so shocking. "You mean that's in the Bible?" is the common reaction of the contemporary reader to the stories that Kirsch retells and explores. In The Harlot by the Side of the Road, Kirsch recounts these suppressed and mistranslated tales in the grand storytelling tradition. Here is the tale of Dinah, the young Israelite daughter raped by a princely suitor. The price for her hand in marriage? The circumcision of every man in his kingdom. Here, too, is the story of Lot's daughters, who, when faced with the possibility that they are the last survivors on earth, must copulate with their drunken father to continue their race. And the story of Tamar, the harlot by the side of the road, who must disguise herself as a prostitute and seduce her father-in-law in order to bear the child who has been promised her. Kirsch places each story within the political and social context of its time, and delves into the latest biblical scholarship to explain why each story was originally censored. He also brings to light when and where each story was first written down, and how it found its way into the Bible. And he shows how these stories have something important to say to contemporary readers who might never pick up a Bible. Kirsch reveals that the Bible's real power lies in its unflinching lessons in human nature. And he illuminates the surprising modernity of the Bible's characters: these were, like us, people delicately balanced between their destructive and generous natures. Certain to excite controversy and ignite intellectual debate, The Harlot by the Side of the Road will undoubtedly be one of the year's most talked-about books.
|Author||: Gregory of Tours|
|Editor||: Penguin UK|
Written following the collapse of Rome's secular control over western Europe, the History of Gregory (c. AD 539-594) is a fascinating exploration of the events that shaped sixth-century France. This volume contains all ten books from the work, the last seven of which provide an in-depth description of Gregory's own era, in which he played an important role as Bishop of Tours. With skill and eloquence, Gregory brings the age vividly to life, as he relates the exploits of missionaries, martyrs, kings and queens - including the quarrelling sons of Lothar I, and the ruthless Queen Fredegund, third wife of Chilperic. Portraying an age of staggering cruelty and rapid change, this is a powerful depiction of the turbulent progression of faith at a time of political and social chaos.
|Author||: Franny Moyle|
|Editor||: Penguin UK|
The man behind the paintings: the extraordinary life of J. M. W Turner, one of Britain's most admired, misunderstood and celebrated artists J. M. W. Turner is Britain's most famous landscape painter. Yet beyond his artistic achievements, little is known of the man himself and the events of his life: the tragic committal of his mother to a lunatic asylum, the personal sacrifices he made to effect his stratospheric rise, and the bizarre double life he chose to lead in the last years of his life. A near mythical figure in his own lifetime, Franny Moyle tells the story of the man who was considered visionary at best and ludicrous at worst. A resolute adventurer, he found new ways of revealing Britain to the British, astounding his audience with his invention and intelligence. Set against the backdrop of the finest homes in Britain, the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, this is an astonishing portrait of one of the most important figures in Western art and a vivid evocation of Britain and Europe in flux.
|Author||: Elias Muhanna|
|Editor||: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG|
Over the past few decades, humanistic inquiry has been problematized and invigorated by the emergence of what is referred to as the digital humanities. Across multiple disciplines, from history to literature, religious studies to philosophy, archaeology to music, scholars are tapping the extraordinary power of digital technologies to preserve, curate, analyze, visualize, and reconstruct their research objects. The study of the Middle East and the broader Islamic world has been no less impacted by this new paradigm. Scholars are making daily use of digital tools and repositories including private and state-sponsored archives of textual sources, digitized manuscript collections, densitometrical imaging, visualization and modeling software, and various forms of data mining and analysis. This collection of essays explores the state of the art in digital scholarship pertaining to Islamic & Middle Eastern studies, addressing areas such as digitization, visualization, text mining, databases, mapping, and e-publication. It is of relevance to any researcher interested in the opportunities and challenges engendered by this changing scholarly ecosystem.
|Editor||: Penguin UK|
On the shrouded corpse hung a tablet of green topaz with the inscription: 'I am Shaddad the Great. I conquered a thousand cities; a thousand white elephants were collected for me; I lived for a thousand years and my kingdom covered both east and west, but when death came to me nothing of all that I had gathered was of any avail. You who see me take heed: for Time is not to be trusted.' Dating from at least a millennium ago, these are the earliest known Arabic short stories, surviving in a single, ragged manuscript in a library in Istanbul. Some found their way into The Arabian Nights but most have never been read in English before. Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange has monsters, lost princes, jewels beyond price, a princess turned into a gazelle, sword-wielding statues and shocking reversals of fortune.
|Author||: Ruth R. Wisse|
|Editor||: JEWISH ENCOUNTERS SERIES|
Part of the Jewish Encounter series Taking in everything from the Kingdom of David to the Oslo Accords, Ruth Wisse offers a radical new way to think about the Jewish relationship to power. Traditional Jews believed that upholding the covenant with God constituted a treaty with the most powerful force in the universe; this later transformed itself into a belief that, unburdened by a military, Jews could pursue their religious mission on a purely moral plain. Wisse, an eminent professor of comparative literature at Harvard, demonstrates how Jewish political weakness both increased Jewish vulnerability to scapegoating and violence, and unwittingly goaded power-seeking nations to cast Jews as perpetual targets. Although she sees hope in the State of Israel, Wisse questions the way the strategies of the Diaspora continue to drive the Jewish state, echoing Abba Eban's observation that Israel was the only nation to win a war and then sue for peace. And then she draws a persuasive parallel to the United States today, as it struggles to figure out how a liberal democracy can face off against enemies who view Western morality as weakness. This deeply provocative book is sure to stir debate both inside and outside the Jewish world. Wisse's narrative offers a compelling argument that is rich with history and bristling with contemporary urgency.