The Arcadian Library: Western Appreciation of Arab and Islamic Civilization

Hardcover | May 15, 2011

byAlastair Hamilton

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The Arcadian Library is unique in Europe. The 10,000 or so volumes which it owns provide a complete picture of the encounter between two cultures and show how the civilization of the Arab and Islamic worlds was appreciated in the Christian West from the earliest times to the present day. Thepurpose of this heavily-illustrated survey is to provide an idea of the variety of works, documents, and images which the library holds in different domains. Travel writings prevail, a reflection of the impressions made on Europeans by the vast region centred on Arabia and the Levant and stretchingfrom the Maghreb to South and Central Asia, and of the discoveries they made and the effect of their findings on Western knowledge and sensibility. The section on travellers also includes some of the rarer items in the library - unique manuscripts and maps, colour-plate books, and unpublishedletters from figures such as Richard Burton, T.E. Lawrence, and Gertrude Bell. In addition to travel there is a large collection of Turcica, with its rare pamphlets and illustrations; a section on Arab science and medicine which contains priceless incunables of translations of Arabic texts; an important selection of Quran translations and material on Eastern Christianity;documents both published and unpublished on the Arabs in Spain and the influence of the tradition they established on early modern Spain and the rest of Europe; numerous products of oriental scholarship and, finally, works of oriental literature which include, besides translations from Turkish andPersian, unpublished manuscripts, and splendidly illustrated copies of The Arabian Nights.Over 200 illustrations of some of the finest items in the library, including four 8-page fold-outs, complement the text. The bibliography, running to almost 2000 entries, gives an overview of some of the most important items in the library.

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The Arcadian Library is unique in Europe. The 10,000 or so volumes which it owns provide a complete picture of the encounter between two cultures and show how the civilization of the Arab and Islamic worlds was appreciated in the Christian West from the earliest times to the present day. Thepurpose of this heavily-illustrated survey is...

Alastair Hamilton is Arcadian Visiting Research Professor at the School of Advanced Study at London University, attached to the Warburg Institute.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:408 pages, 12.6 × 9.45 × 0.01 inPublished:May 15, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199609632

ISBN - 13:9780199609635

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Table of Contents

IntroductionRobert Jones: Introduction1. Travel1. Pilgrims2. Missionaries3. Merchants4. Diplomats5. Scientists6. Antiquarians and Archaeologists7. Soldiers8. Tourists, Artists, and Professional Travellers9. Crossroads10. Arabia11. Women2. Turcica1. War2. Curiosity Satisfied3. Arab Science4. Islam and Christianity1. Islam2. Christians in the East and Eastern Christians5. Spain6. Oriental Scholarship and Literature1. Oriental Scholarship2. Oriental Literature