Sacred Trash in medieval Damascus: how Mamluk-period scribes 'recycled' legal documents
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 from 12:30 to 14:00 (GMT)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
By Dr Konrad Hirschler
The Cairo Gheniza, a collection of more than 300,000 documents dating from the 9th-19th is well known. However the Gheniza was not the only depository for 'sacred trash' in the Egyptian and Syrian lands. A wide variety of social groups deposited their documents in the Damascus Dome of the Treasury.
Dr Hirschler will present an attempt to reconstitute documents (marriage contracts, bequest-related legal disputes, and private letters) from this depository which were recycled in late Mamluk manuscripts.
The talk will also address issues of access to Damascene manuscripts while the Syrian war is ongoing.
Dr Konrad Hirschler is Professor of Middle Eastern History at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of Medieval Damascus: Plurality and Diversity in an Arabic Library – The Ashrafīya Library Catalogue (forthcoming 2016), 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).
When & Where
Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations
AKU-ISMC provides a multifaceted approach to the study of Muslim civilisations - within a framework of world cultures and through the humanities and social sciences - allowing for a wider analytical and comparative perspective. This approach is reflected in a post-graduate master's programme, professional programmes and through quality research and publications. It is reinforced by a unique bibliographical project, the Muslim Civilisations Abstracts.