Scholarly Networks in Arabic Historical and Geographical Literature of the 8th and 9th Centuries

Imad Samir
My research focuses historical and geographical literature of the 8th and 9th centuries in Arabic, such as the the historical chronicle work of al-Tabari “Tārīkh al-Rusul wa al-Mulūk” (History of the Prophets and Kings), “Tārīkh al-Ya'qūbī” (The history of  al-Ya'qūbī), the works of Al-Jāḥẓ, the book of Al-Masʿūdī “Mūrūj Al-ahab” (Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems), and “Al-Buldān” of Ibn al-Faqīh al-Hamadānī. 

The goal of my work is twofold. First, I want to explore the presence of scientific terms such as the ones that appeared in mathematical sciences, medicine, philosophy, and the so-called occult sciences, and the presence of people names connected with such terms in order to explore the views of historians, geographers, and literati on the introduction and translation of non-Islamic knowledge forms.
Second, I aimed at unearthing networks between scholars in Baghdad, the capital of the caliphate, and networks that included people from other regions. Here I hoped to discover new information about the trajectories of people, books, and information across communities and quarters in Baghdad as well as between the capital and the provinces –or perhaps even territories that seceded from the Abbasid centre. In the second part of my talk, I present a survey on my research results.