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Ṣamṣām al-Dawla

(529 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, Abū Kālīd̲j̲ār Marzubān, S̲h̲ams al-Milla (353-88/964-98), Buyid amir and eldest son of ʿAḍud al-Dawla [ q.v.]. On his father’s death in S̲h̲awwāl 372/March 983, Ṣamṣām al-Dawla succeeded to power as amīr al-umarāʾ , but his position was immediately disputed by another brother, S̲h̲araf al-Dawla S̲h̲īrzīl, who seized Fārs and Ḵh̲ūzistān. From his base in ʿIrāḳ, Ṣamṣām al-Dawla had also to combat the Kurdish chief Bād̲h̲, ancestor of the Marwānid dynasty [see marwānids ] of Diyār Bakr, who had seized various towns in al-Ḏj̲azīra and who even for a while held Mawṣil.…

Bāriz

(437 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. E.
, D̲j̲abal , a mountainous and, in early Islamic times, apparently wooded region of the Kirmān province in Iran, described by the mediaeval historians and geographers as the haunt of predatory peoples like the Kūficīs or Ḳufṣ and the Balūč [see balūcistān , kirmān and ḳufṣ ]. It is the steepsided granite chain running in a NW-SE direction from the mountain massif of central Kirmān (sc. the massif which culminates in such peaks as the Kūh-i Hazār and the Kūh-i Lālazār), to the south of the towns of Bam [ q.v.] and Fahrad̲j̲; the geographers count it as amongst the garmsīrāt or warm regions [see ḳi̊s…

al-Ḥusaynī

(370 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C. E.
, Ṣadr al-Dīn Abu ’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. Nāṣir b. ʿAlī , author of the late Sald̲j̲ūḳ period and early decades of the 7th/13th century, whose work is known to us through its incorporation within an anonymous history of the Sald̲j̲ūḳs and succeeding Atabegs of Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān, the Ak̲h̲bār al-Dawla al-sald̲j̲ūḳiyya (ed. Muhammad Iqbal, Lahore ¶ 1933; Tkish. tr. Necati Lugal, Ankara 1943; cf. Brockelmann, I2, 392, Suppl. I, 554-5). Al-Ḥusaynī apparently composed the Zubdat al-tawārīk̲h̲ , ak̲h̲bār al-umarāʾ wa ’l-mulūk al-sald̲j̲ūḳiyya , which forms the first…

al-Urdunn

(7,466 words)

Author(s): Buhl, F. | Bosworth, C.E. | Cobb, P.M. | Bosworth C.E. | Wilson, Mary C.
, the Arabic name for the Jordan River, used also from early Islamic times onwards to designate the regions adjacent to the river’s course. 1. The river This appears in Arabic as the nahr al-Urdunn , in Old Testament and later Hebrew as ha-ϒardēn , and in the Septuagint and the classical geographers as ô ’Ιορδάνης. After the Crusading period, local Arabic usage often referred to it as al-S̲h̲arīʿa [ al-kabīra ] “the [Great] watering-place”. It was, and still is, revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims, by Christians in particular on account of…

Ṣāʾifa

(2,000 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E. | Latham, J.D.
(a.), pl. ṣawāʾif (< ṣayf ‘‘summer”), summer raid or military expedition (see Lane, 1756; Dozy, Supplément, i, 857). 1. In the Arab-Byzantine warfare. The term is used by the early Islamic historians to denote the raids of the Arabs into Byzantine Anatolia. These were normally mounted annually, over a period of some two centuries, beginning during the governorship in Syria of Muʿāwiya b. Abī Sufyān [ q.v.], i.e. from ca. 640 onwards. They tailed off in the 3rd/9th century as the ʿAbbāsid caliphate became racked by internal discord and as the Macedonian emperors i…

Rawāndiz

(782 words)

Author(s): Nikitine, B. | Bosworth, C.E.
, Ruwāndiz , a town of Kurdish ʿIrāḳ, the chef-lieu of a ḳaḍāʾ in the liwāʾ of Irbil. In ca. 1940 it had a population of 7,000. It lies in lat. 36° 37ʹ N. and long. 44° 33ʹ E. at an altitude of ca. 914 m/3,000 feet on a route which connects Mawṣil and Irbil [ q.vv.] via the Garū S̲h̲inka pass (1,830 m/6,000 feet) with Mahābād/Sāwd̲j̲-Bulāḳ [ q.vv.]. The route was described in early Islamic times only by Yāḳūt, enumerating seven stages from Mawṣil to Sāwd̲j̲-Bulāḳ. History. It will be evident that Rawāndiz, situated at the intersection of the communications of…

Ṭabarsarān

(188 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
(in Yāḳūt, Buldān , ed. Beirut, iv, 16, Ṭabarstarān), a district of the eastern Caucasus, essentially the basin of the Rūbās river which runs into the Caspian Sea just south of Darband [see derbend ], the early Islamic Bāb al-Abwāb [ q.v.]. It now comes within the southernmost part of Dāg̲h̲istān (see map in ḳabḳ , at IV, 344). Its population comprises Caucasian mountaineers plus a considerable admixture of Iranian speakers of Tātī dialect [see tāt ]. At the time of the Umayyad prince Marwān b. Muḥammad’s raids through the Caucasus, there was a Ṭabarsarān S̲h̲āh (known a…

Lamg̲h̲ānāt

(778 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, a district of eastern Afg̲h̲ānistān, ¶ thus designated in the Islamic sources of the later mediaeval period, deriving its name from its urban centre Lamg̲h̲ān (later form, Lag̲h̲mān). It comprises the fertile plain of the middle course of the Kābul River, much of it lying to the north and east of Kābul city [ q.v.] itself. It is bounded on the north by the mountains of Kāfiristān [ q.v.], modern Nūristān, and includes the lower reaches of the Alingār and Alis̲h̲ang Rivers; on the south and east, it adjoins, and was sometimes considered (e.g. by Bābur) to includ…

Muʿammā

(756 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
(a.), literally, “something made obscure, hidden”. 1. In the sense of word puzzle, riddle [see lug̲h̲z ]. 2. In the sense of secret writing, code. Codes were regularly used in classical Antiquity. Thus the skytalē of the Spartans, mentioned by Plutarch, in which a message was written on a parchment or leather ribbon which was wrapped round a tapered wooden baton for purposes of writing and then could only be read by a recipient possessing a baton of the same shape and size, is an early example of a typical …

Sardāb

(486 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
(p.), literally “cool water”, often found in the Arabised form sirdāb , an underground chamber used for keeping cool during the extreme heat of e.g. the ʿIrāḳī or Persian summers. Such building constructions are an ancient feature of Middle Eastern life, being found amongst the Egyptians of Pharaonic times and in Babylonia. Examples of them have been found in the remains of the early ʿAbbāsid palace at al-Uk̲h̲ayḍir [ q.v.] and at al-Muʿtaṣim’s palace, the D̲j̲awsaḳ al-K̲h̲āḳānī, at Sāmarrā. At Bag̲h̲dād until recent times, traditional-type houses had a semi-base…

Sād̲j̲ids

(1,278 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, a line of military commanders who governed the northwestern provinces of the caliphate (Ād̲h̲arbāyd̲j̲ān. Arrān and Armenia) in the later 3rd/9th and early 4th/10th centuries on behalf of the ʿAbbāsids. The Sād̲j̲ids were just some of several commanders, originally from the Iranian East and Central Asia, who came westwards to serve in the early ʿAbbāsid armies. The family seems to have originated in Us̲h̲rūsana [ q.v.] on the middle Syr Darya in Transoxania, the region where the Afs̲h̲īns [ q.v.] were hereditary princes until at least the end of the 3rd/9th century, and w…

Muwāḍaʿa

(227 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
(a.). 1. In Islamic law, this means the rescission of a sale or transaction (synonym, mutāraka ); see for lexical aspects of the term, LA 1, x, 282; TA 1, v, 535; Freytag, Lexicon , iv, 476. 2. In mediaeval Eastern Islamic administrative usage, it denotes the contract of service of officials, in accordance with the term’s further meaning of “the laying down of conditions for an agreement with some one”. We possess the texts of two muwāḍaʿa s made by early Ghaznavid viziers with their sovereign: one made by Aḥmad b. Ḥasan al-Maymandī [ q.v.] with Sultan Masʿūd b. Maḥmūd [ q.v.] on his appointment…

Ṣaymara

(152 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, a town of mediaeval Persia, in what later became known as Luristān [ q.v.], and the chef-lieu of the district of Mihrad̲j̲ānkad̲h̲aḳ. A tributary of the Kark̲h̲ā, which flows into the Kārūn river [ q.v.], is still today known as the Saymareh. The district passed peacefully into the hands of Abū Mūsā al-As̲h̲ʿarī’s Arab troops (al-Balād̲h̲urī, Futūḥ , 307), and in mediaeval times prospered as a meetingplace of Arab, Persian and Lur ethnic elements, apart from the devastations of a severe earthquake in 258/872 (al-Ṭabarī, iii, 187…

Isfīdjāb

(896 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, a town and an extensive district of mediaeval Islamic Central Asia, identifiable with the later Islamic town of Sayram. Popular etymologising saw in the name the Persian component sipīd , ispīd “white”. It lay on the Aris river, a right-bank affluent of the Si̊r Daryā [ q.v.], 14 km/8 miles to the east of the later town of Chimkent (lat. 42° 16′ N., long. 69° 05′ E.); Chimkent itself, now in the southernmost part of the Kazakhstan Republic, is mentioned in the historical sources from Tīmūrid times onwards, e.g. in S̲h̲araf al-Dīn ʿAlī Yazdī. Isfīd̲j̲āb apparently had a pre-Islamic histo…

Yes̲h̲il I̊rmak

(297 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, modern Tkish. Yeşil Irmak (“the Green River”), a river of northern Anatolia, the classical Iris in the province of Pontus (see PW, ix/2, col. 2045). The upper course of the river, called the Tozanli Su, rises in the Köse Dağ to the northeast of Sivas and flows westwards by Tokat [ q.v.] and Turhal. Here there is a fertile plain, the Kazova or “Goose Plain”, which is now irrigated by waters from the Almus dam on the river’s course above it, completed in 1966, and a canal running off and parallel to the river, enabling cereals, sugar-beet and vin…

Naṭanz

(326 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, a small town of western Persia (lat. 33° 29’ N., long. 51° 57’ E., altitude 1,372 m/4,500 feet) on the lower, southeastern slopes of the Kūh-i Kargas mountains and just off the modern Tehran—Ḳum— Kās̲h̲ān—Yazd road. The early Islamic geographers do not mention it, but Yāḳūt, Muʿd̲j̲am , v, 292, describes it as a small town, administratively dependent on Iṣfahān and in the province of D̲j̲ibāl [ q.v.], and situated 20 farsak̲h̲s to the north of Iṣfahān; and Mustawfī (8th/14th century) describes it as protected by the nearby fortress of Was̲h̲ā…

Terek

(393 words)

Author(s): Barthold, W. | Bosworth, C.E.
, a large river of the northeastern Caucasus region (length 600 km/373 miles, with a breadth in some places of up to 547 m/1,500 feet). It rises from the glaciers of Mount Kazbek in the central Caucasus, and cuts its way through spectacular gorges, eventually into the Noghay steppe to a complex delta on the western shore of the Caspian Sed. Even the lower course through the plains is too swift for navigation to be possible on it, but much water is now drawn off for irrigation purposes. During the golden period of Arabic geographical knowledge (4th/10th century), the land of Terek m…

Zaḳḳūm

(175 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
(a.), a tree that figures in Islamic eschatology as growing in Hell, with bitter fruit which the damned are condemned to eat. It is mentioned in the Ḳurʾān three times (XXXVII, 60/62; XLIV, 43; LVI, 52). The lexicographers explain it as an evil-smelling tree that grows in the Tihāma, but also as a medically beneficial one that grows in the Jordan valley around Jericho; and as a foodstuff of the Arabs, composed of fresh butter with dates (see Lane, 1239a-b). Richard Bell, The Qurʾān translated, ii, 556 n. 1, cited as a parallel the same word in Syriac meaning “the hogbean”; Bell…

al-Warkāʾ

(224 words)

Author(s): Bosworth, C.E.
, Tall , the Arabic name for what is now an archaeological site in the Nāṣiriyya liwāʾ or governorate of ʿIrāḳ (lat. 31° 18’ N., long. 45° 40’ E.). It is the Sumerian and Babylonian Uruk, Biblical Erech (Gen. x. 10), one of the leading cities and religious centres of ancient Babylonia, first surveyed by W. K. Loftus in the 1850s. In early Islamic times it seems to have been a minor place in the district of Kaskar, with a reputation in Islamic tradition as being the birthplace of the Patriarch Ibrāhīm or Abraham (although many other places were mentioned for this) (Yāḳūt, Buldān

Raʾīs

(2,026 words)

Author(s): Havemann, A. | Bosworth, C.E. | Soucek, S.
(a.), pl. ruʾasāʾ , from raʾs , “head”, denotes the “chief, leader” of a recognisable group (political, religious, juridical, tribal, or other). The term goes back to pre-Islamic times and was used in various senses at different periods of Islamic history, either to circumscribe specific functions of the holder of the office of “leadership” ( riʾāsa ) or as a honorific title ( laḳab [ q.v.]). 1. In the sense of “mayor” in the central Arab lands. Here, the raʾīs most commonly referred to was the head of a village, a city or a city-region. He emerged as…
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