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Mapping the Ottomans









The Journal of the Society for Textual Reasoning






Amir Ahmadi, The Daeva Cult in the Gathas: An Ideological Archaeology of Zoroastrism, Iranian Studies 24, New York, NY: Routledgem 2015.


Addressing the question of the origins of the Zoroastrian religion, this book argues that the intransigent opposition to the cult of the daēvas, the ancient Indo-Iranian gods, is the root of the development of the two central doctrines of Zoroastrianism: cosmic dualism and eschatology (fate of the soul after death and its passage to the other world).

The daēva cult as it appears in the Gāthās, the oldest part of the Zoroastrian sacred text, the Avesta, had eschatological pretentions. The poet of the Gāthās condemns these as deception. The book critically examines various theories put forward since the 19th century to account for the condemnation of the daēvas. It then turns to the relevant Gāthic passages and analyzes them in detail in order to give a picture of the cult and the reasons for its repudiation. Finally, it examines materials from other sources, especially the Greek accounts of Iranian ritual lore (mainly) in the context of the mystery cults. Classical Greek writers consistently associate the nocturnal ceremony of the magi with the mysteries as belonging to the same religious-cultural category. This shows that Iranian religious lore included a nocturnal rite that aimed at ensuring the soul’s journey to the beyond and a desirable afterlife.

Challenging the prevalent scholarship of the Greek interpretation of Iranian religious lore and proposing a new analysis of the formation of the Hellenistic concept of ‘magic,’ this book is an important resource for students and scholars of History, Religion and Iranian Studies.


About the Author:

Amir Ahmadi is an Adjunct Researcher at the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University. He has published in Philosophy, History of Religions and Iranian Studies.


Palmira Brummett, Mapping the Ottomans, Sovereignty, Territory, and Identity in the Early Modern Mediterranean. Cambridge: CUP, 2015.

Simple paradigms of Muslim-Christian confrontation and the rise of Europe in the seventeenth century do not suffice to explain the ways in which European mapping envisioned the “Turks” in image and narrative. Rather, maps, travel accounts, compendia of knowledge, and other texts created a picture of the Ottoman Empire through a complex layering of history, ethnography, and eyewitness testimony, which juxtaposed current events to classical and biblical history; counted space in terms of peoples, routes, and fortresses; and used the land and seascapes of the map to assert ownership, declare victory, and embody imperial power's reach. Enriched throughout by examples of Ottoman self-mapping, this book examines how Ottomans and their empire were mapped in the narrative and visual imagination of early modern Europe's Christian kingdoms. The maps serve as centerpieces for discussions of early modern space, time, borders, stages of travel, information flows, invocations of authority, and cross-cultural relations.
ISBN:9781107090774         ISBN:9781107462953
Patricia Crone, Pre-Industrial Societies. Anatomy of the pre-modern world. One World, 2015.

Eminent historian Patricia Crone defines the common features of a wide range of pre-industrial societies, from locations as seemingly disparate as the Mongol Empire and pre-Columbian America, to cultures as diverse as the Ming Dynasty and seventeenth-century France. In a lucid exploration of the characteristics shared by these societies, the author examines such key elements as economic organization, politics, culture, and the role of religion. An essential introductory text for all students of history, Pre-Industrial Societies provides readers with all the necessary tools for gaining a substantial understanding of life in pre-modern times. In addition, as a perceptive insight into a lost world, italso acts as a starting point for anyone interested in the present possibilities and future challenges faced by our own global society.



Mulla Shamsa Gilani (d. ca. 1064/1654), The Incipience of the Cosmos [Huduth al-Alam], edited with notes by Alireza Asghari and Gholamreza Dadkha; English introuction by Sajjad Rizvi, Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers, 2015. 

Series: Bibliotheca Iranica: Iranshahr Scientific and Philosophical Writings 2


The question of temporality (huduth) or eternity (qidam) of the cosmos was one of the central philosophical and theological debates among thinkers of medieval Iran. One of the most interesting responses to this problem came from the founder of the philosophical school of Isfahan, Mir Damad (d. 1041/1631) and his theory of perpetual creation (huduth dahri).

Mulla Shamsa Gilani (d. 1064/1654), a distinguished student of Mir Damad, took up the issue and wrote his Huduth al- ‘alam in defense of his master's position, insisting upon the creative agency of God as well as considering seriously the philosophical case for eternity. Drawing mostly upon Avicennan philosophy, Mulla Shamsa made a critical evaluation of the theory of the eternity of the cosmos held by the Greek philosopher Proclus (d. 485), and opposed those Muslim theologians who considered the cosmos to be coming into existence in time.

Huduth al-‘alam is pivotal to understanding how the philosophical school of Mir Damad was perpetuated in the Safavid period and allows us to develop a history of philosophy in early modern Iran beyond the direct milieu of Mulla Sadra.

ISBN: 978-1-56859-259-6


Fabian Käs, Al-Maqrizis Traktat über die Mineralien: Kitāb al-Maqāṣid al-saniyyah li-maʿrifat al-aǧsām al-maʿdiniyyah, Leiden: Brill, 2015.


Der kurze Traktat al-Maqāṣid al-saniyyah li-maʿrifat al-aǧsām al-maʿdiniyyah des berühmten ägyptischen Geschichtsschreibers al-Maqrīzī (gest. 845/1442) befasst sich mit der Klassifikation der Mineralien, ihren medizinischen Anwendungen sowie Theorien über ihre Entstehung. Käs legt hier erstmals eine kritische Textedition mit deutscher Übersetzung und ausführlichem Kommentar vor. Grundlage der Edition des arabischen Texts war in der Hauptsache ein Leidener Codex, der von al-Maqrīzī eigenhändig korrigiert und mit Glossen erweitert wurde. Ein Faksimile der Handschrift wird in diesem Band ebenfalls abgedruckt. Käs konnte nachweisen, dass der Traktat fast vollständig von den Enzyklopädien Ibn Faḍlallāh al-ʿUmarīs und al-Qazwīnīs abhängig ist. Die Inhalte der Mineralienkapitel dieser Werke lassen sich ihrerseits bis zu den frühen arabischen Naturphilosophen und ihren griechischen Vorläufern zurückverfolgen.


ISBN: 9789004277601



Oliver Kahl, The Sanskrit, Syriac and Persian Sources in the Comprehensive Book of Rhazes, Leiden: Brill, 2015.


This work offers a critical analysis of the Sanskrit, Syriac and Persian sources in Rhazes’ (d. 925 CE) Comprehensive Book (or al-Kitāb al-Ḥāwī), a hugely famous and highly unusual medico-pharmaceutical encyclopedia originally written in Arabic. All text material appears in full Arabic with English translations throughout, whilst the traceable Indian fragments are represented here, for the first time, in both the original Sanskrit and corresponding English translations. The philological core of the book is framed by a detailed introductory study on the transmission of Indian, Syrian and Iranian medicine and pharmacy to the Arabs, and by extensive bilingual glossaries of relevant Arabic and Sanskrit terms as well as Latin botanical identifications.

ISBN: 9789004290259



Burhan al-Din Nasafi ( d. 684/1286), Commentary Upon the Foundation of Intellectual Perspicacity Concerning Logic, Natural Philosophy, Metaphysics and Mathematics [ Sharh Asas al-Kiyasat], Costa Meza: Mazda Publishers, 2015.

 Series: Bibliotheca Iranica: Iranshahr Scientific and Philosophical Writings 3


Sharh Asas al-qiyasah is an important, yet little known, philosophical writing of Burhan al-Din Nasafi (d. 684/1286), a leading member of the intellectual School of Ma-wara’-al-nahr. In this work, Nasafi has followed the lead of the Peripatetics, notably Avicenna, in most philosophical issues.

The biographical sources mention Nasafi, first and foremost, as a dialectician, due to his short treatise on the rules of jadal, al-Muqaddamat al-nasafiyah. Later in life, however, when he settled in Baghdad, teaching the intellectual and transmitted sci-ences, he was remarkably recognized as being well versed in philosophy. The famous historian Ibn al-Wardi (d.749/1349) described him as “the greatest master of philosophy in Baghdad.”

Nasafi`s main writings include: Sharh al-Isharat wa al-tanbihat, al-Muqaddamat al-nasafiyah, Sharh al-Asma’ al-husna, and Makarim al-akhlaq.

ISBN: 978-1-56859-307-4 


Ahmad H. al-Rahim, The Creation of Philosophical Tradition. Biography and the Reception of Avicenna’s Philosophy from the Eleventh to the Fourteenth Centuries A.D.
Series Diskurse der Arabistik, vol. 21
ISBN:  978-3-447-10333-6


The reception history of the 11th-century philosopher Ibn Sīnā, known in the West by his Latinized name Avicenna, has received little scholarly attention and remains to this day largely virgin territory. Presenting a detailed analysis of the medieval Arabo-Islamic bio-bibliographical tradition, this volume investigates the lives and critically inventories the works of the principal philosophers who created the Avicennan philosophical tradition in the Islamic world between the 11th and 14th centuries. The author’s critical prosopographical studies elucidate the literary tropes of the genres of secular and religious biography in Arabic literature, demonstrating how philosophical authority was constructed and deconstructed within the “rational” and “traditional” sciences in Islam; and how the genealogies and methods of these often opposing intellectual trends shaped the scholastic identities and vocations of these philosophers-cum-Islamic theologians and jurists. A work of intellectual archaeology, this volume clearly documents the vitality of the post-classical philosophical tradition as reflected in literary biography, the genres of commentary and gloss, and within the madrasatradition of medieval Islamic civilization.



Dhruv Raina, Needham's Indian Network. The Search for a Home for the History of Science in India (1950-1970). New Delhi, Yoda Press, 2015.


The essays appearing in this book attempt to create a space for the disciplinary history of science in India in the first few decades following the achievement of independence from colonial rule. The 1950s were marked by a number of efforts in nation building, in a variety of spheres, and in the present volume, Dhruv Raina looks at the role envisaged for the history of science, as it was ensconced within the science academies that played a fundamental role in the institutionalisation of science in independent India. In doing so, he effectively analyses the conditions of production of the disciplinary history of science in India.' Dhruv Raina is Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science, Jawaharlal Nehru University. 

  • ISBN-10: 9382579117
  • ISBN-13: 978-9382579113


Al-Razi, On the Treatment of Small Children (De curis puerorum). The Latin and Hebrew Translations, edited and translated by Gerrit Bos and Michael McVaugh, Leiden: Brill, 2015.


 The short Latin treatise De curis puerorum is the translation of a lost Arabic original attributed (perhaps mistakenly) to the famous al-Rāzī (Rhazes); one of the rare texts on pediatrics circulating in the Middle Ages, it was so popular that it was soon re-translated into Hebrew, not once but three times! Gerrit Bos and Michael McVaugh have edited the Latin and Hebrew texts, accompanying them with an English translation and a full commentary situating the original Arabic against the medical writings available to tenth-century Islam. The contents of the work range remarkably widely, covering skin diseases, eye and ear infections, teething, vomiting and diarrhea, constipation, worms, and bladder stones, among other things, outlining their causes, symptoms, and possible treatments.


ISBN: 9789004292284 


Abdulrahman al-Salimi, Inter-religious Dialogue and Debate in Classical Islam: ibn Kammuna’s Cultural Model,

al-Tafahom Journal, Sultanate of Oman, Journal of Textual Reasoning, vol. 8.1, The Journal of the Society for Textual Reasoning










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