Verschlagwortet: manuscript studies

Aḥmad Ḥasībī-zādeh and Ibn Ṭūlūn MTMs

Last year, my article on different modes of transmission of Ibn Ṭūlūn manuscripts was published in the Journal of Islamic Manuscripts. One figure that was ostentatiously involved in the certification of the manuscripts Chester Beatty Library, MS Ar. 3101 and Staatsbibliothek, MS Landberg 704, I could not identify by that time. He inscribed himself on the title pages of both manuscripts as Aḥmad Efendī Ḥasībī-zādeh in the year 1265/1849. Today, we revisit the identity of this person. First, in both cases Ḥasībī-zādeh’s full note reads as … Continue reading Aḥmad Ḥasībī-zādeh and Ibn Ṭūlūn MTMs

A First Global Distribution of Ibn Tulun manuscripts?

Ibn Tulun is usually perceived as an inherently local author with a decidedly local readership, that is before the late 19th century. And while the global distribution that emerged around 1900 has been addressed occasionally here before and by other scholars, this piece will question the general assessment of Ibn Tulun’s earlier reception as exclusively local, which might very well have been cemented only in the last century. To quote Kristina Richardson, “modern interest in Ibn Ṭūlūn has centered on his historical and biographical … Continue reading A First Global Distribution of Ibn Tulun manuscripts?

New Publication on the transmission of Ibn Tulun manuscripts

The Journal of Islamic Manuscripts has just published its newest iteration, a special issue on manuscript notes. The editor Boris Liebrenz is well-known as an authority on this “marginal” topic. My contribution looks in particular at four manuscripts today held at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, and traces their historical trajectories from Ibn Ṭūlūn’s original book endowment until their acquisition by Chester Beatty. As has been mentioned before on this blog, Ibn Ṭūlūn’s multiple-text manuscripts share a particular feature, which is their title page which includes … Continue reading New Publication on the transmission of Ibn Tulun manuscripts

The Princeton ijāzas

Over the last year, Ibn Ṭūlūn’s documentation of teaching has repeatedly been addressed here. According to my own plan, this will be the last post on this issue for the foreseeable future. Thus, I would like to use this post to talk about some more general characteristics of these documentary texts. Once before, the difference between ijāzas and samāʿāt in this corpus has been discussed (Link). Now it is finally time to give the ijāzas a more structured treatment as the samāʿāt received back then. … Continue reading The Princeton ijāzas

Let’s talk survival bias

How many manuscript copies were produced of any given texts? How many were circulating at any given time? When were they lost, discarded or destroyed?  How often are the works penned on their pages cited in other texts by the same or different authors? These questions lie at the very heart of our epistemology and are usually subsumed under the term ‘survival bias’. Works that survive longer obviously have a greater chance at being read, recited, reproduced, acknowledged. And it is today commonly assumed … Continue reading Let’s talk survival bias

The history of MS Tarikh Taymur 631: vol. 1 of al-Ghuraf al-ʿaliyya

Still these Cairene manuscripts. Among others, they have one volume of Ibn Ṭūlūn’s biographical dictionary, al-Ghuraf al-ʿaliyya fī tarājim mutaʾakhkhirī al-ḥanafiyya. The British Library holds the second volume of the work. I have spoken about this work before here and here. Also, Guy Burak made use of an Istanbuli copy of it in his dissertation, The Abū Ḥanīfah of his time? Islamic Law, Jurisprudential Authority and Empire in the Ottoman Domains (16th-17th Centuries).As can be seen from the collections where they are held nowadays, the different volumes … Continue reading The history of MS Tarikh Taymur 631: vol. 1 of al-Ghuraf al-ʿaliyya

A whole Majmūʿa copied? MS Majāmīʿ 315

In March, I returned to the Dār al-Kutub in Cairo and spent a whole week with their collection. Ibn Ṭūlūn’s name pops up very often in the different collections of the Dār al-Kutub. The earliest acquisitions are certainly found in the Taymūriyya Library, whereas the general collection seems to have made a bulk order of Ibn Ṭūlūn autographs only by the early 1930s. Aḥmad Taymūr did not only acquire “originals”, however; he also created copies. One modern way of bridging the gap between both … Continue reading A whole Majmūʿa copied? MS Majāmīʿ 315

Með handritum skal land byggja (“With manuscripts shall land be built”). An interview with Signe Hjerrild Smedemark, conservator at “The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies” in Reykjavík

“The Árni Magnússon Insitute for Icelandic Studies” (Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum) in Reykjavík is named after the Icelandic scholar and famous collector of manuscripts Árni Magnússon (Arnas Magnæus, 1663–1730). At the age of 22, Árni started collecting old…

Carolingian Critters IV: Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, BPL 67F. A peep into the workshop of a ‘text engineer’

After some time, I am back with news from the world of Carolingian manuscripts. My critter this time is manuscript BPL 67F of the University Library of the University of Leiden, a collection of different glossographic texts from the late eighth or the early ninth century that came into being in northeastern France.[1] Such collections were relatively common in the course of the eighth and the ninth centuries. They were, in fact, the most common form in which glossographic texts, i.e. texts concerned with […]

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