Middle-East-msg - 11/6/08
Information and references about the period Middle East.
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).
Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
From: keikos at aol.com (Keiko S)
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
<H-MIDEAST-MEDIEVAL at H-NET.MSU.EDU>
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
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
history. The book also discusses castrations, the eunuchs' prices, and
their so-called sexual life, romances and marriages.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
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"
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,
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?