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Abbasid History Podcast

AbbasidHistoryPodcast.com

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An audio platform for the study of the pre-modern Islamic(ate) past and beyond. We interview academics, archivists and artists on their work for peers and junior students in the field. We aim to educate, inspire, perhaps infuriate, and on the way entertain a little too. https://linktr.ee/abbasidhistorypodcast Suitable also for general listeners with an interest in geographically diverse medieval history.
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The bathhouse is an iconic feature of the medieval middle eastern city up until the present. But how did this come to be? In this episode we look into the origins of bathing culture in the Middle East by going back to the Roman, late antique and early Islamic development of bathhouses. Speakers: Nathalie de Haan and Sadi Maréchal. Interviewer: Edmu…
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Part of the “Source of Life: Water Management in the Premodern Middle East” project (Radboud Institute for Culture and History). Ep2. Mesopotamia: Taming the Euphrates Mesopotamia means “the land between the rivers.” The fertile silt and life-giving waters from the rivers Tigris and Euphrates allowed the region to develop into a key area of human s…
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This episode was produced by Edmund Hayes and Jouke Heringa. Ep1. Water History and the Pre-Modern Middle East The cities of the medieval Middle East were some of the largest in the world, dwarfing the major cities of western Europe, for example. So how did they support large populations in relatively arid conditions? In this episode we provide an …
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Hayrettin Yücesoy is a historian with a specialization in the premodern Middle East. His scholarly interests revolve around the intricate realm of political thought and practice, covering themes such as political messianism, monarchy, republican practices, visions of social order throughout premodern literature, and the historiography of these subj…
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Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥarīrī was an Arab poet, scholar and Seljuk government official who died in 1122CE aged 68 years old. His work al-Maqāmāt, a compilation of 50 highly-stylised comic anecdotes about the exploits of trickster Abū Zayd, received widespread renown in his time across the Muslim world and is regarded as a high point of Arabic literature. …
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In 1319 Roger de Stangrave, a Hospitaller knight, and a Jew named Isaac arrived in England. For a ransom of 10,00 gold florins, Isaac had freed Stangrave, a stranger to him, from over 30 years of Mamluk captivity and then accompanied the knight home to be repaid. By 1322, Isaac has converted to Christianity and become Edward of St. John, with King …
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This is the second part of two presentations. More on our guest: https://isabelle-imbert.com 0:50 In your previous presentation, you gave us an overview of the history of Islamic art. Give us an overview of the Islamic arts market scene: who are the main players? Where are the main auctions, and so on? 7:05 You advised in your Bayt al-Fann intervie…
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Works of Islamic arts mesmerise their viewers, be it calligraphy, vases or mausoleums, but knowledge of their developments continues to be weak for the general enthusiast. To give an introductory survey on how to delve deeper into the fascinating ocean of Islamic arts is Dr. Isaballe Imbert. Dr. Imbert completed her PhD in 2015 at Sorbonne in Persi…
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Dr. Azim Ahmed, Research Associate in British Muslim Studies at Cardiff University, discusses the late Shahab Ahmed's (no relation!) seminal work "What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic" leading us to identify the Anglophone as the New Persianate for the Cathay-to-California Complex. Links: Abdul-Azim Ahmed, Mind the Gap — The Textual, The …
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Despite many a tattoo of his alleged verses decorating limbs of heartbroken US college students, the actual life, works and legacy of the Sunni Hanafi jurist and Māturīdī theologian Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī have been conveniently overlooked. To provide a historical introduction to Rumi, we are joined by Muhammad Ali Mojaradi, a University of Mich…
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Abū Manṣūr al-Māturīdī (d.944CE) was a Persian Sunni Hanafi jurist, theologian, and scriptural exegete based in Samarkand. His eponymous codification of Sunni creed became the dominant theological school for Sunni Muslims in Central Asia and later enjoyed a preeminent status as the school of choice for both the Ottoman Empire and the Mughal Empire.…
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Our series concludes with this live session with our guest and listeners. For more on our guest, see kblankinship.com. Sponsored by shop.ihrc.org Get 15% off with discount code AHP15 at checkout. Terms and conditions apply. Contact IHRC Bookshop for details.
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Ṣafī al-Dīn al-Ḥillī was a Shʿī poet who was born in Iraq but lived much of his life in Mardin in modern day Turkey. He was an exemplar of versatility in verse for the much neglected Mamluk period of literary history. Timestamps 01:20 Ṣafī al-Dīn al-Ḥillī was born in 1278 just over a decade after the Mongol sack of Baghdad. What do we know about hi…
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Ibn ʿArabī was an Andalusian Muslim scholar, mystic, poet, and philosopher. He is renowned among practitioners of Sufism by the names al-Shaykh al-Akbar ("the Greatest Shaykh"; from here the Akbarian school derives its name). Timestamps 01:36 Ibn ʿArabī was born in 1165 in Andalusia whose literary history we covered in episode 35. What do we know a…
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Abū al-Walīd Aḥmad Ibn Zaydūn al-Makhzūmī, or simply known as Ibn Zaydūn, was considered the greatest neoclassical poet of al-Andalus. His love affair with the princess and poet Wallada and his exile inspired many of his poems. Timestamps 01:37 Ibn Zaydūn grew up during the decline of the Caliphate of Córdoba. What do we know about his socio-politi…
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Dr. Kevin Blankinship, BYU Utah, speaks about the life, works and legacy of Abū Firās al-Ḥamdānī, prince, prisoner, poet. Al-Ḥārith b. Abū al-ʿAlā Saʿīd ibn Ḥamdān al-Taghlibī, better known by his nom de plume of Abū Firās al-Ḥamdānī, was an Arab prince and poet. He was a cousin of Sayf al-Dawla, the ruler of northern Syria, whom we mentioned in ep…
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Dr. Kevin Blankinship, BYU Utah, speaks about the life, works and legacy of al-Mutanabbī, whose poetry continues to inspire. Timestamps 01:44 Al-Mutanabbī was born in 915CE in the city Kufah in modern day Iraq at the height of the Abbasid caliphate but with rising challenges from sectarian foes. What do we know about his socio-political context? 05…
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Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakariyyāʾ al-Rāzī (865–925 CE), also known by his Latinized name Rhazes, was one of the greatest figures in the history of medicine in the Islamic tradition, and one of its most controversial philosophers. While we have ample surviving evidence for his medical thought, his philosophical ideas mostly have to be pieced together…
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The laws of Dhimma, or governance of non-Muslim minorities in a Muslim polity, can arouse difficult feelings amongst both Muslims and non-Muslims especially at sites of tension and conflict between them around the globe. To discuss with us today a medieval legal work on these rulings is Dr. Antonia Bosanquet, author of Minding their Place: Space an…
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"This blessed cenotaph was made for the Imam (al-Shāfʿī)…by ʿUbayd the carpenter, known as Ibn Maʿālai, in the months of the year five hundred seventy-four. May God have mercy on him; may he [also] have mercy on those who are merciful toward him, those who call for mercy upon him, and upon all who worked with him—the woodworkers and carvers—and all…
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Literally meaning "speech, word, utterance" among other things, Kalām or philosophy of religion within the Islamic ecumene has divided Muslim believers about it scope, methods and even its validity in itself. To give us a brief history of Kalām is the presenter of a new podcast devoted to explaining Kalām to the uninitiated, Dr. Hannah Erlwein. Dr.…
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Considered by Sunni Muslims as the second most authentic book after the Quran, Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl al-Bukhārī's collection of the Prophet's sayings and traditions, or ḥadīth, holds an esteemed station in Sunni scholasticism. To discuss with me the life, works and legacy of al-Bukhari is Dr. Jonathan Brown. Dr. Brown is the Alwaleed bin Talal Chair…
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In February 2015, the former Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released a video showing their destruction of Mesopotamian antiquities at the museum of Mosul. Although perhaps ironic that images are used to show the destruction of images, a video intended to shock can be turned against its makers when analysed thoughtfully. Our guest this episo…
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In and around 869CE, African slaves used to cultivate the salt marshes of Basra in present-day Iraq revolted against their master. Led by an ʿAlī b. Muḥammad, a charismatic messianic figure, their uprising would prove to very damaging to an already beleaguered Abbasid caliphate before being finally crushed in 883CE. To explain the cause, details an…
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To discuss with us the life, works and legacy of Shaykh al-Mufīd is Dr. Ahab Bdaiwi. Dr. Bdaiwi completed his PhD at Exeter on Islamic intellectual history and is currently the Cook-Crone Research Bye-Fellow in Ancient and Medieval History at the university of Cambridge. Timestamps 00.00 Introduction 01.50 Shaykh al-Mufid was born in Baghdad around…
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