Arabic translators & Greek philosophy

Peter Adamson has a short article, entitled Arabic translators did far more than just preserve Greek philosophy, over at Aeon on the impact of the Arabic translations of Greek philosophy. You can even listen to the article being read by someone at!

Reception of Islam in Iran

Crone, Patricia. 2016. The Iranian reception of Islam: The non-traditionalist strands (Islamic History and Civilization 130). Collected Studies in Three Volumes. Vol. 2 edited by Hanna Siurua. Leiden; Boston: Brill.

The chronology of early Islam

Wright Lecture Series, Easter Term 2015

The Chronology of Early Islam

Prof. François de Blois

The calendar and the system of timekeeping in Central Arabia at the beginning of Islamic history are discussed extensively in Arabic religious and scientific literature. My paper is an attempt, on the one hand, to confront these data with contemporaneous epigraphic and historic material and, on the other, to assess the arithmetical and astronomical plausibility of the data. This in turn sheds light on the problem of the chronology of early Islam and the reliability or otherwise of the sīra and maghāzī literature.

Digital humanities and text re-use

The concept of text re-use in early Islamic historiography was first brought to my attention by François de Blois, whose courses were always so much more than just an introduction to a language such as Middle Persian. Recently, it has been Sarah Savant, who has drawn attention to text re-use and its application in the study of early Islamic literature. And now there is this very exciting Hackathon taking place in Göttingen in July 2015:

Workshop: Iran and Islam

Iran and Islam: Early Encounters. Formation of Islam 
and Transformation of Iranian Religious Traditions

12 March 2015 09:00–13 March 2015 18:00, Workshop Room: FNO 02/ 40-46

Contact: Kianoosh Rezania

For more information, see the workshop schedule

Islamic cultures, Islamic contexts

Sadeghi, Behnam, Asad Ahmed, Adam Silverstein & Robert Hoyland (eds.) 2014. Islamic cultures, Islamic contexts: Essays in honor of Professor Patricia Crone. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

This volume brings together articles on various aspects of the intellectual and social histories of Islamicate societies and of the traditions and contexts that contributed to their formation and evolution. Written by leading scholars who span three generations and
who cover such diverse fields as Late Antique Studies, Islamic Studies, Classics, and Jewish Studies, the volume is a testament to the breadth and to the sustained, deep impact of the corpus of the honoree, Professor Patricia Crone.

For more information, see the publisher’s website.

The early Islamic world

This very interesting volume has an article by Jairus Banaji On the Identity of Shahrālānyōzān in the Greek and Middle Persian Papyri from Egypt:

Schubert, Alexander & Petra Sijpesteijn (eds.). 2014. Documents and the history of the early Islamic world. Leiden: Brill.

Historians have long lamented the lack of contemporary documentary sources for the Islamic middle ages and the inhibiting effect this has had on our understanding of this critically important period. Although the field is richly served by surviving evidence, much of it is hard to locate, difficult to access, and philologically intractable. Presenting a mixture of historical studies and new editions of Greek, Arabic and Coptic material from the seventh to the fifteenth century C.E. from Egypt and Palestine, Documents and the History of the Early Islamic World explores the untapped wealth of documentary sources available in collections around the world and shows how this exciting material can be used for historical analysis.

For more information, see here.

Middle East Medievalists

Middle East Medievalists is an international professional association of scholars interested in the study of the medieval Islamic world’. The association’s website and online journal, Al-`Usur al-Wusta, are hosted by the Islamic History Commons.

MEM also have a page on Facebook.

Review: The millennial sovereign

Truschke, Audrey. 2014. Review of Afzar Moin: The millennial sovereign: Sacred kingship and sainthood in Islam. New York: Columbia University Press. International Journal of Middle East Studies 46. 809–842.

The Millennial Sovereign recovers a shared world of sacred kingship that pervaded India, Iran, and Central Asia in early modernity. A. Azfar Moin argues that a Timurid-based social dispensation produced a particular type of sovereignty in which a ruler promoted his political claims largely through embodied spiritual practices.

Read the review here.