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About this product
- DescriptionThe written text was a pervasive feature of cultural practices in the medieval Middle East. At the heart of book circulation stood libraries that experienced a rapid expansion from the twelfth century onwards. While the existence of these libraries is well kwn our kwledge of their content and structure has been very limited as hardly any medieval Arabic catalogues have been preserved. This book discusses the largest and earliest medieval library of the Middle East for which we have documentation - the Ashrafiya library in the very centre of Damascus - and edits its catalogue. This catalogue shows that even book collections attached to Sunni religious institutions could hold rather unexpected titles, such as stories from the 1001 Nights, manuals for traders, medical handbooks, Shiite prayers, love poetry and texts extolling wine consumption. At the same time this library catalogue decisively expands our kwledge of how the books were spatially organised on the bookshelves of such a large medieval library. With over 2,000 entries this catalogue is essential reading for anybody interested in the cultural and intellectual history of Arabic societies. Setting the Ashrafiya catalogue into a comparative perspective with contemporaneous libraries on the British Isles this book opens new perspectives for the study of medieval libraries.
- Author BiographyKonrad Hirschler is Professor of Middle Eastern History at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of The Written Word in the Medieval Arabic Lands (2012) and Medieval Arabic Historiography: Authors as Actors (2006) as well as co-editor of Manuscript Notes as a Documentary Source (2011).
- Author(s)Konrad Hirschler
- PublisherEdinburgh University Press
- Date of Publication28/02/2016
- LanguageArabic & English
- SubjectLibrary & Information Science
- Place of PublicationEdinburgh
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintEdinburgh University Press
- Content Noteillustrations
- Weight1157 g
- Width157 mm
- Height239 mm
- Spine41 mm
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