Volume 1 (1996-7)
Edited by Joseph Norment Bell with Petr Zemánek
Adrian Gully, The Discourse of Arabic Advertising: Preliminary Investigations (Adobe Acrobat 2.0 PDF file, 425 kB, pp. 1-49)
Abstract: This article explores the discourse of commercial consumer advertising in the written and visual media of Egypt. After setting advertisements in the context of genres and schemas, it focuses mainly on the relationship between language and cultural representation within the discourse of advertising. The paper places special emphasis on the role of intertextuality within the advertising framework. It also assesses the effectiveness of using different language levels in a given advertisement or commercial, and looks at the deployment of rhetorical devices to reinforce the advertising message.
Heinz Grotzfeld, The Age of the Galland Manuscript of the Nights: Numismatic Evidence for Dating a Manuscript? (Adobe Acrobat 2.0 PDF file, 133 kB, pp. 50-64)
Abstract: The importance of the age of the Galland manuscript of the Nights derives from its being the oldest manuscript extant of this text. There is no date of transcription in the manuscript. In an earlier study, the present writer postulated 1426 as a date post quem because of the mention of the coin ashrafi (first issued by al-Ashraf Barsbay in 1426). This date post quem has been rejected by Muhsin Mahdi, the editor of the manuscript, in a recent publication in which he attempted to identify the ashrafi mentioned in the text with the gold coin issued by al-Ashraf Khalil (1290?93). This article shows that his identification is untenable, and that the Galland manuscript, in all likelihood, was not copied earlier than 1450.
Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila, Ibn Shuhayd and his Risalat al-tawabi' wa 'l-zawabi' (Adobe Acrobat 2.0 PDF file, 140 kB, pp. 65-80)
Abstract: Ibn Shuhayd's (d. 1035) Risalat al-tawabi' has been preserved in fragments in Ibn Bassam's al-Dhakhira. The early eleventh century was a period of great experimentation in narrative prose. Just a few decades before Ibn Shuhayd wrote his work, al-Hamadhani had written his maqamas on the other side of the Islamic world. The Risalat al-tawabi' comes into the margin of maqama literature. The original structure of the treatise is reconstructable to a certain extent, especially with the help of al-Tha'alibi's Yatimat al-dahr, which has been neglected in earlier studies. In his work, Ibn Shuhayd quotes not only from his own poetry but also from his rasa'il. One of these quotations shows how Ibn Shuhayd himself has revised his original Risalat al-halwa' and modified it to fit it into the new context of the Tawabi'.
Petra G. Schmidl, Two Early Arabic Sources on the Magnetic Compass (Adobe Acrobat 4.0 PDF file, 342 kB, pp. 81-132)
Abstract: In this paper two previously unpublished texts on the magnetic compass from the medieval Islamic world will be discussed, the first by the Yemeni Sultan al Ashraf (ca. 1290) and the second by the Cairene astronomer Ibn Sim'un (ca. 1300). These two treatises constitute the earliest known evidence attesting the use of the magnetic compass for the determination of the qibla, the sacred direction of Islam. A brief introduction glimpses at the history of the magnetic compass in Europe and China and mentions previously known early Arabic sources on the instrument and its use. This is followed by some remarks on the authors and the manuscripts, the Arabic texts with English translations, and comments on problems encountered while working on the texts.