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Memoirs of an Arabian Princess: An Autobiography
Emilie Ruete (1844–1924), also known as Princess Sayyida Salme of Zanzibar and Oman, was born in Zanzibar (part of present-day Tanzania), the daughter of Saʻīd bin Sulṭān, sultan of Zanzibar and Oman. In 1867 she married a German merchant, Rudolph Heinrich Ruete (1839–70). The couple settled in Hamburg. Memoirs of an Arabian Princess is an account of Ruete’s royal youth in Zanzibar and Oman. First published in German in 1886, the book describes the culture and society of Zanzibar as experienced by an Arab girl growing to ...
Medical Digest. Book I. On the Diseases of the Respiratory System
Fī ʻilal al-jihāz al-tanaffusī (On the diseases of the respiratory system) is a translation from the French into Arabic of Hippolyte de Brun's Traité des Maladies de l'Appareil Respiratoire. Hippolyte de Brun (1855−1931) was professor of medicine at the Université Saint-Joseph, a Catholic university in Beirut founded by the Jesuits in 1875. He was also a physician at the French hospital in Beirut, and chair of clinical medicine from 1885 to 1914 and 1919 to 1926. The translator of this work, Khayr Allāh Faraj Ṣufayr ...
Islamic Civilization in the City of Peace
Hadharat al-Islam fi Dar al-Salam (Islamic civilization in the city of peace) is a work of historical imagination, written as a straightforward narrative free of stylistic adornments. The city referred to is Baghdad. The book straddles the transition in Arabic literature from baroque, poetic metaphor to a modern, economic prose style. Treatment of the subject is also innovative. Rather than an essay on glories of the Abbasid period (750−1258), the work is presented as the tale of an anonymous Persian traveler writing home about conditions in the largely Persianate ...
Chosön, the Land of the Morning Calm; a Sketch of Korea
Percival Lowell was born in 1855 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, into a distinguished New England family. His brother, Abbott Lawrence Lowell (1856–1943), was president of Harvard University; his sister, Amy Lowell (1874–1925), an important poet and critic. Lowell studied mathematics at Harvard and, after graduation, spent six years in business, managing a family-owned cotton mill. In the spring of 1883, he made his first trip to Japan. In August of that year, he was asked by the United States Legation in Tokyo to serve as secretary and counselor to ...
Otto Finsch (1839–1917) was a German ornithologist and ethnographer who was involved in the establishment of Kaiser Wilhelms-Land, a German protectorate located in the northeastern part of present-day Papua New Guinea. Finsch worked as a curator at the Museum of Natural History and Ethnography in Bremen. He was awarded an honorary doctorate for his ornithological work by the University of Bonn in 1868 and became director of the Bremen museum in 1876. After an initial expedition to the Pacific in 1879–82, he returned to Germany and became a ...
High School, Monastir
This photograph from the Abdul-Hamid Collection in the Library of Congress shows a high school in Bitola, Macedonia, a city known in the Ottoman Empire as Monastir. Sultan Abdul-Hamid II (1842-1918) ruled the empire from 1876 to 1909. The Abdul-Hamid Collection consists of 1,819 photographs in 51 large-format albums dating from about 1880 to 1893. An avid collector and promoter of photography, the sultan appears to have conceived the work as a portrait of his empire for a Western audience, intended to highlight the empire's modernization. Well-known Ottoman ...
Commentary by Islam's Sheikh Zakariyya al-Ansari on Ibn al-Hā’im's Poem on the Science of Algebra and Balancing Called the Creator's Epiphany in Explaining the Cogent
This work is a commentary on a versified, 59-line introduction to algebra, entitled Al-Muqni‘ fī al-jabr wa al-muqābila, by the prolific and influential mathematician, jurist, and man of letters Abū al-‘Abbās Shihāb al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn ‘Alī al-Maqdisī al-Shāfi‘ī, known as Ibn al-Hā’im (circa 1356-1412 [circa 753-815 AH]). It clarifies the nomenclature and explains the basic concepts of algebra, and provides succinct examples. The manuscript, completed on Thursday night, 8 Sha‘bān 1305 AH (March 21, 1888), is in the hand of Tāhā ibn Yūsuf.
Glosses of al-Hifnī on the Yāsamīnīyya
This work is an elaboration of the commentary written by the Egyptian mathematician Sibṭ al-Māridīnī (i.e., a commentary on another commentary), on the versified introduction, or urjūzah, to the science of algebra, originally composed by the Berber mathematician and man of letters Abū Muḥammad ‘Abd-Allāh al-Ishbīlī al-Marrakushī, also known as Ibn al-Yāsamīn (died 1204 [600 AH]). Ibn al-Yāsamīn’s work has not been examined in detail by scholars, so the apparent inclusion in this treatise of original lines by Ibn Yasamīn is of great importance in studying his contribution ...
Selected Fables for Children
The French poet Jean de La Fontaine (1621-95) is best known for his 243 Fables, which he wrote over a 26-year period between 1668 and 1694. Patterned after Aesop’s Fables, La Fontaine’s tales involve a familiar cast of rabbits, grasshoppers, ants, foxes, and other animals. Written in verse, the Fables have been read by successive generations of French children, but also have been appreciated by adult readers for their satirical commentary on human nature. This copy of a late-19th century children’s edition belonged to U.S. Supreme ...
The Festive Maronite
This Maronite prayer book was copied in 1888 by the self-styled “wretched, lazy scribe” Yūsuf Dib. The text is partly in Syriac, partly in Garshuni (Arabic written in Syriac letters). Instead of rubrication—indicating titles and important words in red ink—purple ink is mostly used for this purpose. The manuscript provides a fine example of a carefully written and well-preserved text. The Maronite Church is an Eastern Catholic Church in communion with the Holy See in Rome. Centered in Lebanon, the church takes its name from Saint Marun (died ...
The Commentary of the Šayḫ, the Head, the Extremely Knowledgeable Aḥmad al-Šāfiʻī al-Janājī al-Mālikī on the Commentary of the Šayḫ al-Islām Zakarīyā al-Anṣārī on the Compendium on the Science of Algebra and Equations by Ibn al-Hāʼim
The Arabic mathematical tradition, which flourished during the Middle Ages, transmitted and enriched the knowledge derived from Greek and Indian sources. Arabic mathematicians further developed these studies, seeking to answer theoretical as well as practical problems. Medieval Arabic mathematical treatises were extensively copied, studied, and commented upon in subsequent centuries, as exemplified in this manuscript. This supercommentary (commentary on a commentary) by Aḥmad Muhammad al-Šāfiʻī al-Janājī al-Mālikī elucidates an earlier commentary by Zakarīyā ibn Muḥammad al-Anṣārī (circa 1420–1519) on a work by Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Farāḍī ibn al-Hāʼim (circa ...
The Commentary of the Šayḫ, the Head, the Extremely Knowledgeable Aḥmad al-Šāfiʻī al-Janājī al-Mālikī on the Commentary on the Yāsamīniyya on the Science of Algebra and Equations by Sibṭ al-Māridīnī
This supercommentary (commentary on a commentary) by Aḥmad Muhammad al-Šāfiʻī al-Janājī al-Mālikī testifies to the liveliness and endurance of the Arabic mathematical tradition and demonstrates the continuous exegetical effort in which Arabic scientists commented upon previous works with the aim of expanding and clarifying their contents. The North African mathematician ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ḥajjāj ibn al-Yāsamīn (died 1204) conveyed his mathematical knowledge in a poem known as Yāsamīnīyya (The treatise by al-Yāsamīn). Al-Yāsamīn’s verses became the subject of a prose commentary, the Lum‘a al-Maridinīyya fī Šarḥ al-Yāsamīnīyya (The ...
Privy Council Meeting
This woodblock print, dated October 1888, depicts a meeting of the Japanese Privy Council, which was established in 1888 for the purpose of deliberating drafts of a constitution. The idea of writing a constitution had been discussed, both within and outside the government, from the very outset of the Meiji era (i.e., from 1868), which returned Japan to imperial government after the Tokugawa shogunate. However, the detailed work on a draft constitution that led directly to the Meiji constitution did not begin in earnest until around 1886 (Meiji 19 ...
El Mosquito, January 3, 1875
El Mosquito, which described itself as a “weekly independent, satirical, burlesque periodical with caricatures,” appeared for the first time on May 24, 1863. In the more than 1,500 issues published between then and the last issue in 1893, the newspaper satirized the behavior of local politicians. The publication provides a unique vantage point on the formation of the modern nation-state in Argentina. Published on Sundays, the newspaper consisted of four pages, with the two middle pages exclusively dedicated to lithographs that caricaturized current events and important figures of the ...
Great Map of Japan
This map of Japan is a replica of a map that was first published in 1779 by Nagakubo Sekisui (1717–1801), the first of its kind to include latitude and longitude lines. The measurements allowed for a more accurate geographic representation than previous ornate pictorial maps. It was a commercial success and was reprinted and imitated numerous times into the Meiji era (1868–1912). This map includes major points of interest on the margins, including temples and shrines, old castles, and scenic landscapes. It also notes major thoroughfares and distances ...