Curious medieval objects, part II

Curious medieval objects, part II

Here we continue our series on curious medieval objects. This time inscriptions are central. Without taking their background and setting into consideration, we could have easily dismissed these inscriptions as ‘more of the same thing’ …. but what initially might…

Curious medieval objects, part I

Curious medieval objects, part I

A while ago one of our team members, Ed Hayes, asked us an interesting question concerning material culture from the medieval Middle East. In order to prepare a lecture for undergraduate students, he wanted us to come up with our…

Decorative

Working with Collections

Fragments of letters on paper, potsherds, shards of stone. Documents piled in stacks, heaps, dumps. Inserted into a story, cited, copied, forged. Words passed from mouth to mouth, then crafted as booklets, scrolls, rolls, books. Bits of words compressed into…

Religious extremism is not limited to Islam or to the present. 

Religious extremism is not limited to Islam or to the present. 

By Said Reza Huseini This blog from our Emco member Reza Huseini, also appeared on the Leiden Islam Blog  The latest wave of Islam-inspired violence in Europe, makes Islamic extremism seem like a seasonal flu without a cure. Certainly, extremism is a…

Bactrian Document no. 0125, letter of the steward to the commander of the fortress regarding the judgment made by the ruler related to the petition presented by Mihr-Guzg. Courtesy of The Khalili Collections, London.

The Idea and Practice of Justice represented in Bactrian Documents

By Said Reza Huseini This text first appeared in AIS Newsletter | Volume 41, Number 2 | October 2020 What do we know about the idea and practice of justice in Bactria in late antiquity? The short answer is: not…

Fighting for wealth, power and prestige: Elites in the Early Muslim Caliphate

Fighting for wealth, power and prestige: Elites in the Early Muslim Caliphate

By Alon Dar Patricians, upper stratum, ruling class, notables, and elite. These are only some of the terms that we come across when reading about the upper classes in the Medieval Caliphate. But does it make sense to use this…

Cooperating on Contesting Empires

Cooperating on Contesting Empires

On September 17 and 18, 2020 we as EMCO Team organized our first online conference: Contesting Empires: Sogdiana, Bactria and Gandhara between the Sasanian empire, the Tang dynasty and the Muslim Caliphate (ca. 600-1000 CE). In preparing for the event we…

Playing the CyberSultan: Videogames and the Islamic Empire

Playing the CyberSultan: Videogames and the Islamic Empire

I have been thinking a lot about representation of the early Islamic empires lately, and this has led me down a series of interesting rabbit holes that have distracted me from my research, but have enriched what I am doing….

The Governor's Orders, Part Two

The Governor’s Orders, Part Two

In ‘The Governor’s Orders, Part One’, we looked at the world of eighth century Egypt through the eyes of Shenoute, a village headman. The real protagonist of the story, and the object that triggered that exercise in historical imagination, was…

Illustration from the book Maqāmāt-i Harīrī written by Abū Muhammad al-Qāsim ibn Alī ibn Muhammad ibn Uthmān al-Harīrī (1054-1122).

The Diverse Processes of the Conquests of Sasanian Iran: The Example of the Region of Qom

When we use the term “Early Muslim Conquests,” we usually think of a one-way process: the Arabs taking a place with violence and causing disruption and without any cooperation from the local population. No doubt that was sometimes the case….

Skip to toolbar