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Middle-East-msg - 11/6/08


Information and references about the period Middle East.


NOTE: See also the files: Arabs-msg, Ethiopia-msg, Islamic-bib, Moors-msg, Palestine-msg, Scythians-msg, ME-dance-msg, Islamic-Feast-art, ME-feasts-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: keikos at aol.com (Keiko S)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: middle eastern persona

Date: 3 Jun 1995 18:39:35 -0400


Yes, they did. They had property rights, and custom dictated that a

married woman had a right to total privacy. Even her husband was not

allowed in her section of the living quarters uninvited, and she owned the

cooking utensils and the tent itself. The dress code was in her favor,

too, strange as it may seem.  All those layers are insulating and keep you

safe from sunburn, and the fact that your shape is pretty much concealed

means you don't get ogled.  Also, if you want to get into mischief, you're

almost completely anonymous in the everyday outdoor wear. Modesty and

propriety were expected of the men as well as the women. She kept her

dowry as her personal property, and if there was a divorce, it went with

her, as well as the bride price the groom paid originally in order to get

married.  The husband could take other wives, but only if he could support

them equally and separately.  Does that seem liberal enough?  Considering

the state of the times and the European codes which were extremely

oppressive of women.  


Keiko S (Kadijah)



From: Simone89 at aol.com

Date: Wed, 27 Oct 1999 11:09:48 EDT

Subject: Fwd: D. Ayalon, "Eunuchs, Caliphs and Sultans"

To: atlantia at atlantia.sca.org


Here is the updated information on the "Eunuchs" book that several gentles





Date:         Wed, 27 Oct 1999 10:22:30 -0400

Reply-To: H-NET List on Islamic Lands of the Medieval Period            


From: Steven Judd <judd at scsu.ctstateu.edu>

Subject:      D. Ayalon, "Eunuchs, Caliphs and Sultans"


        The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

                The Institute of Asian and African Studies

                The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation


                wishes to announce the publication of



                        Eunuchs, Caliphs and Sultans:


                        A study of power relationships




                                        David Ayalon


The Magnes Press 1999; 376 pp., including bibliography and index.

(distributed by The Max Schloessinger Memorial Foundation at the Institute

of Asian andAfrican Studies of the Hebrew University.)




        The study of the eunuch phenomenon in Islam is still in its infancy in

spite of its unique importance within Muslim civilization until the early

twentieth century. There has existed an aversion to the study of the

subject among scholars in general. For its study within Islam, there was

yet another obstacle: the misunderstandings of the terms by which eunuchs

were designated. The book covers a period from the beginning of Islam

until the beginning of the sixteenth century, and deals mainly with

eunuchs in the major centers of Islam in the East (Umayyads, 'Abbasids,

Seljuks, Zangids, Ayy=FDbis, Mamluks and, to some extent, the Fatimids of

Egypt). It is not a history of the eunuchs in that wide area, but is

rather concerned with the power accumulated by the eunuchs militarily,

socially and even economically (especially as trustees of financial

affairs and property).

        The ultimate aim of the study is to bring out the close ties

connecting  the harem, the eunuchs and the Mamluks. In all these areas,

the dominant  element had been slaves (Islamized and often enfranchised)

who were  imported from beyond the frontiers of Islam. The eunuchs were

usually the  trainers of the young Mamluk=FDsand quite often their

commanders. The  Mamluks themselves, in various and changing forms,

constituted the mainstay of Islam's military might through the greatest part

of its

history. The book also discusses castrations, the eunuchs' prices, and

their so-called sexual life, romances and marriages.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


                        ORDER FORM


The price of the volume is $38. Postage and handling: $2 for the first

volume and $1 for each additional volume. Members of the association "From

Jahiliyya to Islam" will pay $27  + $2 (direct sales only, not through

booksellers). Cheques payable to the Schloessinger Memorial Foundation

should be sent to the Director of Publications, The Max Schloessinger

Memorial Foundation, Institute of Asian and African Studies, The Hebrew

University, Jerusalem 91905, Israel. Please note that we do not accept

Eurocheques, but personal and institutional cheques are acceptable.

Inquiries: E-mail: msjsai at pluto.mscc.huji.ac.il / fax: +972-2-588-3658


Please send ______ copies of "Eunuchs, Caliphs and Sultans"


Name: _______________________________________________________________


Address: _____________________________________________________________


Steven C. Judd

Assistant Professor of History

Southern Connecticut State University

New Haven, CT 06515

ph: 203/392-5605        fax: 203/392-5670

judd at scsu.ctstateu.edu



Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 23:25:21 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] recipes using sumac berries?

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Stefan li Rous <stefanlirous at austin.rr.com>

>  I'm not quite sure which recipes these "'Abbasid recipes" are,


Well, there's

1.) al-Warraq's 10th century Kitab al-Tabikh, a compendium of 9th and

10th century recipes

2.) al-Baghdadi's 13th century Kitab al-Tabikh (means "Book of

Dishes", i.e., "cookbook")

3.) the as-yet not fully translated book that has a long complex

title that is sometimes translated to include "The Link of the



4.) the 14th century Book of the Description of Familiar Foods which

was compiled in Mamluk Egypt, but the recipes are about 1/3

al-Baghdadi and many, if not most, of the rest are in a similar vein,

so clearly 'Abbasid.


There are several others, as well, which have not been translated

into English. And while the 13th c. Andalusian cookbook is not

'Abbasid, per se, being from a kingdom far far away with its own

unique set of flavorings (such as lavender, which is never used in

al-Baghdadi), it has many dishes of 'Abbasid origin.


As for what was the 'Abbasid dynasty... The 'Abbasid family came into

power by organizing non-Arab Muslims to fight against the Umayyad

armies in 750 CE, and then by murdering* every single member* of the

ruling family, except one youthful prince who fled to North Africa,

and became 'abd al-Rachman I, the first ruler of al-Andalus.


The next generation moved the 'Abbasid capital from Damascus (Syria)

(which they felt was both too Byzantine and too Umayyad) to Baghdad

(Iraq). There they built a fabulous and wonderful city - a circular

city with well laid out roads. The ruler was the Caliph of Dar

al-Islam. It was in this remarkable city that the Caliph Harun

al-Rashid (r. 786-809) lived, half-brother to a famous recipe writer,

and mentioned in the fabled "1,000 Nights and a Night".


But within a generation of taking control, the 'Abbasid caliph was

clearly the ruler over all Dar al-Isalm in name only. Dar al-Islam

quickly split in to many smaller kingdoms, only some of whom gave

lip-service the the 'Abbasid Caliph, but basically ruled ignoring

him. When the 'Abbasid caliph was petitioned to help the people of

the Levant fight of the invading Franji (European crusaders), the

caliph couldn't be bothered to lift a finger.


And then Baghdad was truly madly deeply sacked and destroyed when the

Mongols invaded in 1258. The 'Abbasid caliph was killed by the

Mongols. And the remaining scion of the family was taken into...

uh... mmm... protective custody in Egypt, where an 'Abbasid caliph

remained while the Mamluks ruled, until the Ottoman invasion of 1517.


By this time the 'Abbasid caliph was no longer a ruler of anything,

although he was generally recognized as a religious authority, and he

was often used as a political pawn.


A sophisticated gourmet culture arose in early 'Abbasid Baghdad, when

men met to eat the finest foods, tell stories, and recite poetry,

often with food as a subject. It was from this culture gastronomes

that all the cookbooks i mentioned above arose.


More than you probably wanted to know, but truly a slight and

insufficient description of a great culture.


Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita



Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2006 08:41:15 -0700

From: David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] recipes using sumac berries?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


> As for what was the 'Abbasid dynasty... The 'Abbasid family came into

> power by organizing non-Arab Muslims to fight against the Umayyad

> armies in 750 CE, and then by murdering* every single member* of the

> ruling family, except one youthful prince who fled to North Africa,

> and became 'abd al-Rachman I, the first ruler of al-Andalus.


Murdering at a banquet to which they had been invited under promise

of safety, if my memory is correct.


Your account of the glories and nobility of the Abbasids also left

out the murder of Abu Muslim, the general who won them the caliphate.






From: Catalina Ana de Salamanca <catalina at ravenkeep.org>

Date: July 15, 2008 11:45:23 PM CDT

To: Barony of Bryn Gwlad <bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org>, moggiekat at gmail.com

Subject: [Bryn-gwlad] Bedouin tent links









http://www.flickr.com/photos/17424601 at N00/281088669/


Several folks have asked me about traditional Bedouin tent construction. While I can't vouch for the period accuracy of any of the above links, they will show you many modern tents. I've also included an account from a historical traveler, as well as some older pictures. I suspect (having very little to base this on) that the tents haven't changed all that much from our time period. With all the YMMV stuff out of the way, does anyone have a few black goats I can borrow that need a haircut?




<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org