The Lost Archive : Traces of a Caliphate in a Cairo Synagogue

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Material Type
E-books
Author
Rustow, Marina.
Imprint
Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2020.

Details

Description
1 online resource (621 pages)
text txt rdacontent
computer c rdamedia
online resource cr rdacarrier
Series
Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Ancient to the Modern World Ser. ; v. 63
Jews, Christians, and Muslims from the Ancient to the Modern World Ser.
JSTOR EBA.
Note
Print version record.
Contents
Frontmatter -- Contents -- Technical Note -- Introduction: Middle East History's Archive Problem -- I. Source Survival -- 1. The Geniza: Blind Spots and Cataclysms -- 2. The Storage Capacity of State Power -- 3. The Corpus: Its Shape and Coherence -- II. Chancery Practice -- 4. Paper: The Search for a Sustainable Support -- 5. Layout: Early Arabic Chancery Norms -- 6. Script: The Impact of the Abbasid East -- 7. Imperial Norms: The Abbasid Chancery -- 8. The Fatimid Petition-and- Response Procedure -- III. The Ecology of the Documents -- 9. Supply: A Proliferation of Decrees -- 10. Administrative Manuals and Nonmanuals -- 11. The Source: The Chancery -- 12. Copying, Storage, and Dissemination -- 13. The Probative Value of Documents: Archiving and Registration -- Appendix to Chapter 13: Fatimid ʿAlāʼim and Registration Marks -- IV. The Problem of Archives -- 14. The Rotulus as an Instrument of Performance -- 15. The Ontological Status of the Decree -- 16. Archives, Documents, and the Persistence of "Despotism" -- Notes -- Acknowledgments -- Bibliography -- Subject Index -- Index of Manuscripts with Shelfmarks -- Photo Credits and Permissions
Summary
The lost archive of the Fatimid caliphate (909-1171) survived in an unexpected place: the storage room, or geniza, of a synagogue in Cairo, recycled as scrap paper and deposited there by medieval Jews. Marina Rustow tells the story of this extraordinary find, inviting us to reconsider the longstanding but mistaken consensus that before 1500 the dynasties of the Islamic Middle East produced few documents, and preserved even fewer. Beginning with government documents before the Fatimids and paper's westward spread across Asia, Rustow reveals a millennial tradition of state record keeping whose very continuities suggest the strength of Middle Eastern institutions, not their weakness. Tracing the complex routes by which Arabic documents made their way from Fatimid palace officials to Jewish scribes, the book provides a rare window onto a robust culture of documentation and archiving not only comparable to that of medieval Europe, but, in many cases, surpassing it. Above all, Rustow argues that the problem of archives in the medieval Middle East lies not with the region's administrative culture, but with our failure to understand preindustrial documentary ecology. Illustrated with stunning examples from the Cairo Geniza, this compelling book advances our understanding of documents as physical artifacts, showing how the records of the Fatimid caliphate, once recovered, deciphered, and studied, can help change our thinking about the medieval Islamicate world and about premodern polities more broadly.
Local Note
JSTOR
Subject
Fatimites -- History -- Sources.
Cairo Genizah.
Africa, North -- History -- 647-1517 -- Sources.
Fātimides -- Histoire -- Sources.
Génizah du Caire.
Afrique du Nord -- Histoire -- 647-1517 -- Sources.
RELIGION -- Islam -- History.
Cairo Genizah
Fatimites
North Africa
Chronological Term
647-1517
Indexed Term
Abbasid Caliphate.
Al-Dawla.
Ancien Régime.
Anecdote.
Arabic script.
Arabic.
Arabs.
Archive.
Archivist.
Authentication.
Ayyubid dynasty.
Book hand.
Bookbinding.
Bureaucrat.
Buyid dynasty.
Cairo Geniza.
Caliphate.
Calligraphy.
Calque.
Cambridge University Library.
Cartulary.
Central Asia.
Chancery hand.
Civilization.
Consideration.
Copts.
Copying.
Copyist.
Decree.
Deed.
Despotism.
Documents (magazine).
Dowry.
Ductus (linguistics).
Dunhuang.
Encyclopaedia of Islam.
Epigraphy.
Fatimid Caliphate.
Fustat.
Genizah.
Geoffrey Khan.
Governance.
Government Office.
Grammar.
Historiography.
Ibn Muqla.
Illustration.
Infrastructure.
Injunction.
Institution.
Investiture.
Islam.
Jews.
Laissez-faire.
Late Antiquity.
Leopold von Ranke.
Literacy.
Literature.
Manuscript.
Middle East.
Mosque.
Muslim world.
Narrative.
Near East.
Orientalism.
Ottoman Empire.
Papyrology.
Papyrus.
Parchment.
Payment.
Petitioner.
Philology.
Poetry.
Precedent.
Proportion (architecture).
Publication.
Quantity.
Rabbinic literature.
Raw material.
Receipt.
Records management.
Recto and verso.
Religious text.
Rescript.
Reuse.
Romance languages.
Rotulus.
Ruler.
Sanskrit.
Sasanian Empire.
Sharia.
Sitt al-Mulk.
Sogdia.
Tax collector.
Tax.
Treatise.
Umayyad Caliphate.
Vassal.
Vizier.
Writing.
Genre/Form
History
Sources
Other Form:
Print version: Rustow, Marina. Lost Archive : Traces of a Caliphate in a Cairo Synagogue. Princeton : Princeton University Press, ©2020 9780691156477
ISBN
0691189528
9780691189529 (electronic bk.)
9780691156477 (hardcover alkaline paper)