One step further into Ahmad Taymūr’s library

Last year, I spoke about some of the difficulties in researching the private library of Aḥmad Taymūr, which has been housed in the Egyptian National Library for almost ninety years now. Since October, I have been working on this collection more systematically, particularly during an archival visit in Cairo. What follows results mostly from my findings there.

Continue reading “One step further into Ahmad Taymūr’s library”

The Library of Ahmad Taymur

How is Ahmad Taymur, the Egyptian bibliophile and ‘gentleman scholar’ who received an obituary in the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft upon his death in 1930, still awaiting his own study? Joseph Schacht praises in said obituary Taymur’s outstanding knowledge of Arabic literature, his altruistic support of “European scholarship”, and him as the “creator of the most important private library in the orient” (p. 255). The Russian Arabist Krachkovsky mentions similar qualities of Taymur in his autobiographical work Among Arabic Manuscripts. Nonetheless, when Taymur appears at all in more recent publications, he appears mostly as a side-character to someone else who is deemed worthy of a study.

Continue reading “The Library of Ahmad Taymur”

Between historians: Ibn Tulun on al-Maqrizi

As an historian, Ibn Tulun often stood on the shoulders of giants. Among the authorities he mentions, we frequently find the Damascene great ones: al-Safadi, al-Dhahabi, Abu Shama, Ibn Qadi Shuhba (often by his nisba al-Asadi) and, first and foremost, Ibn Asakir. This post introduces another important name in history, yet one which was not concerned with Damascus as such: al-Maqrizi.

Continue reading “Between historians: Ibn Tulun on al-Maqrizi”