The Written Word in the Medieval Arabic Lands

A Social and Cultural History of Reading Practices

Medieval Islamic societies were extremely learned, textually-oriented cultures. The use of the written word grew significantly in Egypt and Syria between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries, and within these societies, more and more groups began to participate in individual and communal acts of reading. New reading sessions, revised schoolroom curricula, the growth of endowed libraries, and the increasing presence of popular written literature all attest to the profound transformation of cultural practices and social contexts engendered by the influx of texts. Consulting a range of documentary, narrative, and normative sources, Konrad Hirschler explores the growth of reading audiences in a pre-print culture and develops his history around the key themes of literacy, orality, and aurality. He focuses particularly on the proliferation and accessibility of libraries and reviews popular reading practices often associated with notions of the illicit.


Konrad Hirschler is senior lecturer in the history of the Near and Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

"This is an impressive book ... clearly written and argued ... and of particular interest to scholars of textual practices elsewhere in the medieval world, both Arab and beyond."--Jamie Wood, University of Lincoln, Al-Masaq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean"[Konrad Hirschler's] book is a model of meticulous scholarship and should be in the library of all readers interested in the premodern cultural history of the Arabo-Islamic world."--Roger Allen, Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania, American Historical Review"This is a clever book looking at the writing practices amongst Arab intellectual classes during the Middle Ages ... The research is meticulous, the arguments and evidence are beautifully presented, and comparative references to Europe as well as further east are interesting and mean that this book should have an audience far beyond Islamic Studies."--BRISMES Book Prize 2012
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Einband Taschenbuch
Seitenzahl 304
Erscheinungsdatum 01.03.2013
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-7486-7734-4
Verlag Edinburgh University Press
Maße (L/B/H) 234/161/13 mm
Gewicht 418
Abbildungen Illustrations (chiefly col.)
Buch (Taschenbuch, Englisch)
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