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when one considersthat we are still veryfar from there is the being in a positionto produce a historyof Arabic literature. It is also known all that Arabic manuscripts over the world.up to now it has been impossible to make an even vaguely correctestimate of their total numberhave been the subject of increasinginterestover the past two decades. facts.academies and other academic organisations of which have been urging.and particularlyon Wilhelm Ahlwardt's ten-volume Verzeichnissder arabischen Handschriften der K6niglichen for zu Bibliothek Berlin.However. However it is less well-known that Brockelmann's GAL is based mainlyon the large descriptive manuscript catalogues published in the 19th century. These catalogues providedBrockelmann the most not only with the necessarydates.to manuscript include in one handy volume a registerof authors and titles as quickly as possible.with the exception of one final comprehensive section which deals with modernliterature.but have in our modern world become almost fashionable. It has been mostlylibraries. very relevant question of whethermanuscriptcatalogues compiled on a . this superb tainingtens of thousands of works.From a librarian'spoint of view this is an understandable This becomes even more understandablewhen one realises that biblioworks of various kinds in many places graphical and academic reference are not only necessary.THE CATALOGUINGOF ARABIC MANUSCRIPTS AS A LITERARY PROBLEM by RudolfSellheim am Frankfurt Main It is well-knownthat Carl Brockelmann'smonumentalGeschichte der arabischenLitteratur consists basically of nothingmore than a catalogue of the catalogues of manuscriptsand publications of works writtenin Arabic .The main concernhere has been. but part also the systemforthe lay-out of the tremendous volume of materialconGAL.and which continueto urge .registration collections.materialwhichwas describedin the last wish. century.subjectsand summaries.and to includein this. and remains. being continuedand added to with Fuat Sezgin's is des Geschichte arabischenSchrifttums (GAS) is a wonderfulgain for our studies and one which cannot be highlyenough praised. That Brockelmann's source of reference.
because Carl Brockelmann had already taken abstractsfromthese registers and evaluated these to a large extent forhis supplementary volumesand the second editionof the GAL. ofsuchmanuscript use material presupposes in many cases personal knowledge of collections involved:forBrockelmann's is GAL.Firstly.literary-historical monography stillrarely in tered. to publish more exhaustive descriptions isolation without in them relating to a specificline of academic study: for the majorityof the manuscripts contains worksand articleswhich have already been dealt with in the old would be descriptivecatalogues or have even been printed. of Arabic manuscriptholdings in Germany. Editing has is encounverymuchsloweddown. Re-printing completely superfluous.and not on a criticalbasis. It is not considered feasible: a . will properly satisfyacademic requirements.to publish the estimated 10000 titles in a handlist. Things are different the Orient:but here thereare problemsof a different kind to be dealt with. in particularfrom in the Orientalcountries concerned.sometimes even erroneous.and secondly.and in conjunction with the German Oriental Society. manuscript specialists After the studiesare placed. infrequently Therefore is advisable for anyone who is searchingfor specificsource it materialto stick to the traditional.Furthermore.it is not and cannot be consideredfeasible.instead of such handlists. b .The Cataloguingof Arabic Manuscripts a LiteraryProblem as 307 technical.which generally appropriateinformation or one ofthe many possess adequate card-indexsystems.It is only fairto mentionhere that in dealing with this matterwe should not forget that interestof occidental scholars in these almost embarrassingly large holdingsof manuscriptsat the momentremains very slight. as everybody knowns. not onlyincomwhich on account of its brevityis not plete. This matterappeared all the more urgentto us in Frankfurt when we of started a cataloguing programmewithin the framework the German Research Association programme. considering situationin whichArabicliterary a and aftercompleting preliminary recordof several hundredmanuscripts we came up withthe following answeras a resultof workon the increased amountof sourcematerialwhichpassed through our hands. but also containsinformation both confusingand misleading.For example.editorsin manycases have to be satisfied withsourcematerial whichavailable in a moreorless haphazard is fashion.old-fashioned approach: to obtain the direct fromlibrariesthemselves. It would seem to be most sensibleto: .It is rareforanybodyto be in a positionto thinkofphilology based on a wide rangeofmanuscript material.because a copy of the acquisition registersavailable in Berlin would do more or less the same service.
e.constantly relevant of collecting and stimulating material. documentsand papers of the most various kinds. translating. with many anecdotes and tales in the style of the 'Treatise on Statecraft' (Fiirstenspiegel).g. or.as well as countlesscolophons and owners' marks.This would include. First: it is always surprising discover how many to couple on turnout to be rarities. traditional-historical.Originality documentation would have to be clearlypresented. or manuscripts. Aftera checkeredcareer as a - . Wiesbaden 1967). oct. This little work must be thought of in connectionwith Ghazzali's Nasihat al-muljk from which quotations are have since been workedon and throughediting. or. Both manuscripts translation or monographicalinvestigationhave been made generally accessible. to c . the Berlin Ms. closerexamination. For example. b . 3377 (published. in secondaryliterature particularknowsor registers. even unique.this would ensurethat materialwhichis in two senses of great value would no longerbe permitted remainunused. yet when seen as part of a whole and summarizedthen appears of firstimportance.: editing. made.throughthis it will be possible to ensure that largely unexplored areas of Arabic literatureand Islamic cultural historywill be further no less reliablesignposts and guidelines and f . We have already indicated elsewhere the importance for biography and forknowledge the chronology the literary of of workof such an eminent scholar as Yaqit (died 626/1228)from study of one single Ijaza which was found at the end of Ms./13. 3194 nor anywhere lexicographical in secondaryliterature. e .that such materialwhichconsideredin isolationseems to be of little interest.century). In fact material which on account of its uniqueness which neitherprimarynor provides a wealth of new direct information. Let us continue this point a little further. fol. This has not been philologist registeredin later more comprehensiveArabic lexicographic literature' The Ms.withthe resultthat cataloguing willbecomea rich. or.308 RudolfSellheim considercataloguingas research. way and demands by giving a Let me now expand on these considerations of examples.This would involve placing manusand cript material against secondaryund primaryliterature. monography. literaryand biographical material. made available to scholars.that preliminary decisions make clear what material requires more special investigation. oct. foredification. d .for be example. 3142 containsan unknownhomonym ma'ndhuby the famous entitledMd ttafaqalafzuhilwa-khtalafa dictionary Hibatallah Ibn al-Shajari (died 542/1148). containsa kitdb al-Zahral-maqt~if fathal-ra'iifby an anonymous min writer from Mongolian the It is a typicalAdab workwritten period (7.
or. oct. 3808. it with existingliterature. 623. the Khurasanian family of the Mahbfibis(Ms.he as decidedthe best thingto do was to leave this district quicklyas possible. If one then. Brockelmann (GAL2 2/594S 2/666)as well as more recent specialist publicationsmentiona Muhammadal-Qisafniwho is supas posed to have workedsuccessfully doctor under Sulaymin I (926/1520- . becomes possible to recreatein great detail the way in which a society changed in structureand achievementthrough re-settlement.the originsand achievementsof five familiescould be cripts revealed. These refugeesfromKhwdrezm. For example. or. as today. But even here his stay was not to be a permanent one: forwhen Bukhara fell into the hands of the Mongols at the end of the winter 1219/20. We then reach the quite inexhaustiblesubject of familyhistoryor the of history scholarsand academic schoolsvia an analysisof names and dates which is made possible throughstudy of manuscripts. or. the familyof the Rdzis fromIIims in Syria (Ms. 3531). 3898).against whom they had foughtforyears . in the manner indicated. to flee grievedhim all the more on account of the splendidpublic Having and private librariesof Khurdsdnand Khwdrezmwhere he had spent so many happy hours.May I offerjust the one or two examplestaken from manypossibleones. similarproblemswere who up till then had involved: what was one to do with these foreigners ? been enemies The solutionto the problemwas also analogous to what has ceded to theseKhwdrezmians happenedin the 20th century.Ydqfit founda second home in northern Persia. but very soon lefttheirculturalmark on this region which till then had been inhabited mostlyby nomadic and seminomadictribes. The centrewas the ancientcity of Zur'a .and in secondary literatureeven more so. oct.on the edge ofthe Lajd' plain.Livingproofofthiscan be foundin records suchas the Ms.a very giftedpeople.The Ayyubides the inhospitableareas east and southeastof Damascus. 890) and the Cairo and Istanbul family of the Qfisinis (Ms. These were the Andalusian familyof the Ibn Abi Jamras (Ms. see 3385). brought with them not only theirHanafit laws. compares these records oct. the Brussian familyof the Fandris (Ms. Since the members thesefamilies of all had to bear the same laqab or nisba theywereconstantly beingconfused with each other in primaryliterature. 1466). These can in some cases be tracedback forseven centuries. or. oct. oct.Afterthe defeats many of his soldierspreferred move to the bordersof Azerbaijan and go overto the Ayyubides.as The Catalogungof Arabic Manuscripts a LiteraryProblem 309 employee of a Baghdad businessmanand years of restlesswanderingas a booksellerand copyist. oct.Then. or. Takingfivemanusas a source. The last Khwirezm-Shdhhad desperatelytried to to fightoffthe Mongols.ratherthan capitulate to the Mongols and be leftto theirtendermercies.today called Izra' . or.
972 and 3385.In connexion with a small work(Ms. who died in 224/838. Exact details of theirlives and publicationscan be producedforall three. Congress Orientalists Canberra.It can be equally withthe Turkish provedthat none ofthemhad any connection satisfactorily can be traced back to a mistakemade Nid 'i. and of whereas an understanding Islamic civilizationand its relationsto preas civilizations well as the historyof the sciences ceding and contemporary .all three of whom workedas doctorsand wrotemedicalarticles and books. and that this suggestion poet by Hammer-Purgstall. 1330) by a certainGhimrini (ca. which has always been and remains. Howeverpositively the publicationofthe first nevertheless hereone would be one may standin regardto Arabictradition. This methodof exact analysis has also had as consequencethat at long last light has been cast on the problemsinherentin such a many-sided as or literature that of rhetoric that of grammar.and this may come as a surprise a veryreasonable 1053) Taisir. or. Closer investigation father (died 931/1524) and son (died that grandfather (died 917/1511)./13.) (died after684/1285)al-Lubdb 1-nahw fi or Bayd~awi's(died 716/1316)Lubb al-albdbfi 'ilm al-i'rdb. a controversial one. 1188/1775) on the Qird'at 'Asim (died 127/745 it could not only be establishedthat ?) that is fromDani's (died 444/ this Qira'a was taken fromthe Shdtiblya. or. in to well-advised checkeach and everyparticular thismatter. 976/1568). . In connectionwith these two items. pseudo-Abfi finally. a repeatedly a pseudo-Tanikhi and a pseudo-Ibn al-Wardi. of in on On the occasion of the 28 International 8th. And Huraira.g. this paper was read in the sectionWest Asia.the developmentof these two branchesof literarystudy could or be workedout exactlyafterSakkaki's Miftdh al-'ulitm. c. cross-sectionwork we were In the course of such literary-historical successfulin tracingdown pseudo-epigraphic literature:e. The resulting resolution: forth following the "Whereas Islamic civilization.withinand withoutthe Arabic speaking countries. afterIsfarayini's and Abarqfihi's (died end 7.withthe result that these sectionsin the GAL could be re-written. Arabic.310 RudolfSellheim and who was furthermore 974/1566) and Selim II (974/1566-982/1574) has revealed identical with the Turkishpoet Nida'i. This matter. January discussionbrought 1971.a quick mentionof the Arabic literatureof the Umayyad period. oct. but started only argumentcould be presentedto prove that Qira'a-literature withAbfi'Ubaid.in this connexion. oct.Here I should just like to remind you of Mss. has come all the more to the fore in discussionssince volumeofFuat Sezgin's GAS.has in large measure laid down its achievementsand left its in self-portrait an exceedinglyrich legacy of Arabic manuscripts. were thoughtto be one and the same person.
alone cataloguingof and the history medicine remain of will untilthislegacymay precarious these tasks when undertakenby individuals. plenarysession.owingto the magnitude of not be terminated withinthe lifetime any and all here assembled. and whereas. single and complexity. The above-mentioned have been describedand discussedin thisfirst volume. and that resol ved of that by the 28 International Congress Orientalists itrecognize the of further factthatsuccessful completion thisall-important on task willbe contingent an international initiative startworkwhere to it has not yet been begun. Attia Rizk has finished editionofIbn al-Shajari's important his to homonym dictionary. of the entirecataloguing der in Handschriften DeutschVerzeichnis orientalischen programme: land. b e and are efforts accomplish to thosemanuscripts farfrom complete. in: ZDMG f. be published in the Bibliotheca Islamica. entitled:ArabischeHandMaterialien zur arabischenLiteraturgeschichte. despite substantial efforts extending let over more than a century. Meanwhile(spring 1973). George. whereas it in this Congress. manuscripts Dr.recognizethe need for early cataloguing not of all Arabic manuscripts yetadequatelylistedand described.The Cataloguingof ArabicManuscripts a LiteraryProblem as 311 be surveyed in full." This resolutionwas unanimouslyaccepted by the Final Plenary Session of the Congress. 124/1974/386 . registration.to consolidate efforts whereneeded ongoing by financial assistance.academic institutions. printingof the firstvolume has begun. appearing as volume 17.For the resolution see D. 8chriften. states or even groupsof stateswill. part A 1. and to secure and maintain co-operation and of co-ordination cataloguingendeavoursin progressor to be undertaken.location. .
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