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The First Russian Book Printer, 1583
This book, published in Kiev in 1895, is a short biography of Ivan Fyodorov (circa 1510–83), intended for the general reader. Along with Schweipolt Fiol and Francysk Skaryna, Fyodorov was one of the fathers of printing in the East Slavic region. He graduated from Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, and later worked in Moscow, where he published liturgical works using movable type, the first books printed in Russia. He was driven from Moscow by scribes who feared competition from his innovation and fled to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania ...
Sketches from the Life of Mahmud Pasa
This manuscript, completed by an anonymous scribe in 1716, is a copy of a late-15th century biography of Mahmud Pasha, who served as grand vizier to Sultan Mehmed II. Mahmud Pasha (surnamed Angelović) came from Byzantine Christian parents, and was known for his military leadership and his patronage of literature and the arts. He fell out of favor with the sultan and was executed in 1474. Mahmud Pasha was popular, and stories from his life were widely read. The author of the original 15th-century work is unknown. The manuscript is ...
Genealogy of the Liu Family of Xiuyi Mining
Chinese genealogical works are historical records that document the pedigree, deeds, and events relating to a patriarchal clan. A genealogical work generally was composed of: a preface; table of contents; rules of compilation; rules and instructions to be observed by clansmen; images of the ancestral temple, tombs, and portraits; pedigree charts; and biographies of worthy members of the clan. Also included were the names of the person or persons responsible for issuing the work, as well as a postscript. Such works complement the available general historical records and are an ...
Genealogy of the Wang Family
This printed Chinese genealogy is in four volumes. Chinese genealogical works are historical records that document the pedigree, deeds, and events relating to a patriarchal clan. A genealogical work generally was composed of: a preface; table of contents; rules of compilation; rules and instructions to be observed by clansmen; images of the ancestral temple, tombs, and portraits; pedigree charts; and biographies of worthy members of the clan. Also included were the names of the person or persons responsible for issuing the work, as well as a postscript. The title inscription ...
Records of Zixia, the Purple Gorge
Cao Zongzai (1754–1824) a native of Haining, Zhejiang Province, a city famous for its dramatic views and for the spectacular tidal bore in the Qiantang River, produced a number of poetry collections. Among them was this manuscript, which he compiled in his studio, Dongshanlou (East Mountain Hall), in two juan, in one volume, entitled Zi xia wen xian lu (Records of Zixia, the Purple Gorge). Another collection of Cao’s was called Xiachuan shi chao (The Xiachuan poetry collection). In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, local literati ...
The Genealogy of Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi
Nasab-nama (The genealogy of Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi) is considered to be the only written document in Kazakhstan confirming the family tree of Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi (died 1166), a philosopher, Sufi mystic, and the earliest known poet to write in a Turkish dialect. The author was Ibrakhim ibn Makhmud, the father of Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi and a well-known sheikh in Isfijab (present-day Sayram, in Kazakhstan), the city where Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi was born. Khodzha Akhmed Iassavi was known during his lifetime as a holy person and people from all parts of ...
The Authority on Discriminating Scholarly Men
Abd ul-Nabi ibn Saad al-Jazaairi (died circa 1610 AD, 1021 AH) was a Shiite biographer, cleric, and jurist. Hawi al-Aqwal fi maarifat al-rijal (The authority on discriminating scholarly men) is his four-volume anthology of biographies of Shiite scholars and other figures, who communicated the hadith, sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad that were transmitted by word of mouth. In order to verify the credibility of any hadith, the trustworthiness of each link (person) in the chain of narration had to be checked. Consequently, this work divides the narrators discussed into ...
Ibn Khallikan’s Biographical Dictionary, Volumes 1 and 2
Abu-l ‘Abbas Ahmad Ibn Khallikan (1211–82 AD, 608–81 AH) was a Kurdish Muslim jurist who lived in present-day Iraq, Syria, and Egypt. Wafayat al-a’yan wa-anba abna az-zaman (Obituaries of eminent men and history of the contemporaries), better known as Ibn Khallikan’s biographical dictionary, is the book on which its author’s fame rests. Considered a work of the highest importance for the civil and literary history of the Muslim people, it occupied Ibn Khallikan from 1256 until 1274. The dictionary is of enormous scope—the English ...
Jabir ibn Hayyan
Jabir ibn Hayyan (also known by the Latinized version of his name, Geber, 721–815 AD, 103–200 AH) was a Muslim polymath, philosopher, and alchemist. He was probably born in Tus, Khorasan, in present-day Iran, although some sources claim that he was born and grew up in Kufa, Iraq. Some aspects of the life of Jabir ibn Hayyan as well as the authenticity of tens, if not hundreds, of the titles of his vast body of work have been questioned. More than 3,000 treatises or books are attributed ...
Abū Zayd ‘Abdu r-Rahman bin Muhammad bin Khaldūn Al-Hadrami (also known as Ibn Khaldun or Ibn Khaldoun, 1332–1406 AD) was an Arab historiographer and historian. He was born in Tunisia but also lived in Andalusia and Egypt. He is considered the greatest social scientist of his time. His name is closely tied to his major work al-Muqaddima (also known by its Greek title, Prolegomenon), the first volume of a seven-volume universal history. The eminent British historian Arnold Toynbee (1889–1975), himself the author of a 12-volume study of the ...
Uganda's White Man of Work: A Story of Alexander M. Mackay
Uganda's White Man of Work: A Story of Alexander M. Mackay is a children’s biography of Alexander Murdoch Mackay (1849–90), a pioneering missionary to Uganda. In 1876 Mackay answered a call of the Church Missionary Society to go to Uganda after King Mutesa I of Buganda told the explorer Henry Morton Stanley of his interest in receiving Christian missionaries. Mackay spent nearly 14 years in Uganda. In addition to teaching the Christian gospel, he worked as a farmer, carpenter, bridge and road builder, schoolmaster, printer, and translator ...
A. M. Mackay: Pioneer Missionary of the Church Missionary Society to Uganda
Alexander Murdoch Mackay (1849–90) was a pioneering missionary to Uganda. The son of a Free Church of Scotland minister, he studied engineering in Edinburgh and Berlin. In 1876 Mackay answered a call of the Church Missionary Society to go to Uganda, where King Mutesa I of Buganda (reigned, 1856–84) had expressed an interest in receiving Christian missionaries. In November 1878 Mackay arrived in Uganda, where he spent nearly 14 years, never once returning to his native Scotland. He translated the Gospel of Matthew into Luganda and applied his ...
In Uganda for Christ: The Life Story of the Rev. John Samuel Callis B.A., of the Church Missionary Society
In Uganda for Christ is a biography of the Reverend John Samuel Callis (1870–97), an early Christian missionary to Uganda. Callis was born in England and graduated from Saint Catharine’s College, Cambridge. Moved by the death of his eldest sister, he decided to dedicate his life to the church. After studying theology and working among the poor in London, he was ordained an Anglican priest on May 28, 1893. He served three years as curate outside London and then offered himself to the Church Missionary Society for the ...
Memoirs of Babur
Recognized as one of the world’s great autobiographical memoirs, the Bāburnāmah is the story of Zahīr al-Dīn Muhammad Bābur, who was born in 1483 and ruled from the age of 11 until his death in 1530. Babur conquered northern India and established the Mughal Empire (or Timurid-Mughal Empire). Originally from Fergana in Central Asia, Babur descended on his father’s side from Timur (Tamerlaine) and on his mother’s from Chingiz (Ghengis) Khan. Babur wrote his memoir in Chagatai, or Old Turkish, which he called Turkic, and it was ...
On the Life of Plotinus. The Six Enneads
Under the influence of Italian humanism and of his book-collector tutor János Vitéz, the Archbishop of Esztergom, Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (1443–1490), developed a passion for books and learning. Elected king of Hungary in 1458 at the age of 14, Matthias won great acclaim for his battles against the Ottoman Turks and his patronage of learning and science. He created the Bibliotheca Corviniana, in its day one of Europe’s finest libraries. After his death, and especially after the conquest of Buda by the Turks in 1541, the library ...
Mirror and Example for the Worshippers of Christ: the Life of the Blessed Father Benedict, Most Holy Patriarch of Monks
Speculum & exemplar Christicolarum: vita beatissimi patris Benedicti monachorum patriarchae sanctissimi (Mirror and example for the worshippers of Christ: the life of the blessed Father Benedict, most holy patriarch of monks) is an illustrated life of Saint Benedict of Nursia (circa 480–547), with a poetic text by Dom Angelus Fagius Sangrinus (1500–93), abbot of Monte Cassino. The abbey was established by Benedict in about 529. This version of the life of Benedict, the patriarch of Western monasticism, is based on Book II of the Dialogues traditionally ascribed to Saint ...
Four Books of Dialogues
This book is a copy of the first printed edition of the Dialogues traditionally ascribed to Saint Gregory the Great (540–604, pope 590–604). The first three books of the Dialogues recount the deeds of Italian saints, with the second book devoted entirely to Saint Benedict (circa 480–547), author of the famous Rule of Benedict for monks and founder of the abbey and monastery of Monte Cassino near Rome. Gregory's literary portrait of Benedict has provided the iconography for the ornamentation of Benedictine monasteries and manuscripts through ...
The Story of the Life of Mackay of Uganda Told for Boys
The Story of the Life of Mackay of Uganda Told for Boys is a biography of Alexander Murdoch Mackay (1849–90), a pioneering Scottish missionary to Uganda. Written by Mackay’s sister, Alexina Mackay Harrison, and published in London in 1892, the book was intended to inspire boys to follow Mackay’s example and devote their lives to service in Africa. It begins with a brief account of the early European explorers of Africa: Mungo Park, who in 1796 ventured up the River Niger; James Bruce, who in 1770 traced ...
Tucker of Uganda: Artist and Apostle, 1849-1914
Tucker of Uganda: Artist and Apostle, 1849-1914 is a biography of Alfred R. Tucker, the first bishop of Uganda. The book traces Tucker’s early life in England, his training and success as an artist, his studies at Oxford, his work as an Anglican clergyman, and his call to go to Africa as a missionary. Consecrated bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa by the Archbishop of Canterbury on April 25, 1890, Tucker left for Africa the same day. He made a survey trip of the Uganda Protectorate in late 1890–early ...