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Al-Abharī, Athīr al-Dīn

(966 words)

Author(s): Eichner, Heidrun
Athīr al-Dīn al-Mufaḍḍal b. ʿUmar b. al-Mufaḍḍal al-Abharī (d. between 660/1263 and 663/1265) was a philosopher and an astronomer, most probably from Abhar, a small town between Qazwīn and Zanjān. He is known to have been a student of Kamāl al-Dīn b. Yūnus (d. 639/1242) and Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1210). The scanty information on his career places him mainly in Mosul, but he also spent time in Anatolia, Hama (Ḥamāt), and Damascus. Among his students were al-Kātibī al-Qazwīnī (d. 657/1276?), Abū Za…
Date: 2020-12-18

Afḍal al-Dīn Turka

(713 words)

Author(s): Eichner, Heidrun
Afḍal al-Dīn Turka is the name of three members of the Turka family of qāḍīs and religious scholars of Isfahan: Afḍal al-Dīn b. Abī Ḥāmid (fl. late eighth/fourteenth century), Abū l-Fatḥ Muḥammad Afḍal al-Dīn b. Ṣadr al-Dīn (d. 850/1446), and Afḍal al-Dīn b. Ḥabīballāh (d. 991/1583). It was a common trend, from the eighth/fourteenth to the tenth/sixteenth century, for members of notable families in the Isfahani administration to inherit the same office, from one generation to the next, and this was true of the Turkas, who mostly served as qāḍīs. An interest in philosophy and mystici…
Date: 2020-12-18

Text/Textual Criticism

(2,031 words)

Author(s): Eichner, Heidrun
1. The word ‘text’ derives from the Latin textus, ‘tissue,’ and then acquires the meaning, still familiar today, of a supply of linguistic signs written down and gathered in a ‘work’ or textual corpus—a manuscript, a novel, a sermon, a sacred writing such as the → Bible or the → Qur'an. The rhetorical concept of ‘text’ was coined by Roman orator Quintilian, first in the sense of an ‘address connection’ (9, 4, 13), in his influential work Institutio Oratoria (c. 95 CE). Humanistic philology adopted this concept, and applied it to the object of its work: a ‘text’ became tha…


(2,011 words)

Author(s): Eichner, Heidrun
History of the Find 1. In Jerusalem, in the late fall of the year 1947, and at the beginning of the following year, seven scrolls were brought to market that had been found in a cave by a boy who had been chasing his sheep. The region was that of the hill of Khirbet Qumran with its ruins, at the Northwestern end of the Dead Sea, twelve kilometers south of Jericho. Only from 1949 on were systematic excavations undertaken—from 1951 to 1956, at the hands of Roland de Vaux—in the region of the same hill…