Author Archives: Torsten Wollina

Towards a History of Ibn Tulun’s corpus

While much of what has been published here, has been more or less concerned with the topic of this post’s title, today it will get much more “personal”. More concretely, this post gives a list of all those people I could identify as having engaged with the corpus at one time or another.

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Nature Made Absent? Environmental History and Arabic Manuscript Studies

This is the presentation I gave recently at the 2019 conference of the European Society of Environmental History in Tallinn, Estonia (21-24 August). The theme was “Boundaries in/of Environmental History” and the paper was given in James L. Smith’s panel:

What follows is my presentation with images as far as I can use them.

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Into Ibn Tulun’s library

My project is mostly concerned with Ibn Tulun’s own body of work, his own corpus. This focus has partially emerged due to my fascination with his organization of knowledge and partly due to constraints exerted by the current state of cataloguing. It is rather easy to find the author of any given manuscript but much more time-consuming to identify former owners of a manuscript. Today, however, let us take a look at which other books Ibn Tulun called his own.

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The Crustacean Returns: A possible context for Ibn Tulun’s observations

April 2018 saw the publication of a post on Ibn Ṭūlūn’s excursus on freshwater crustaceans indigenous to Syrian bodies of water. At the time, I could not give that much context on the meaning of this passage upon which I came in a biographical dictionary. Having recently ventured into some new literature for a course at Hamburg University, I will now try to give at least a bit more information as to the meaning of this zoological passage in a biographical work.

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Introducing: ʿAʾisha al-Salihiyya

This week we return to the final biography in the chapter on women in Ibn Tulun’s work al-Ghuraf (fol. 359a). The subject of the following short biography sheds light on some intriguing aspects of such transmission. It also poses somewhat of a riddle with regard to her own role within transmission.

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