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CSI'S Monday Majlis: Isabel Toral and Jens Scheiner

Baghdad: Insights into a city (seven centuries) and the making of a book (eleven years)

The CSI Monday Majlis is a Monday evening, online event, where invited speakers present on aspects of their current research.

Event details

Isabel Toral and Jens Scheiner 

Baghdad: Insights into a city (seven centuries) and the making of a book (eleven years)

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Baghdād: From Its Beginnings to the 14th Century (Brill, 28 Jul 2022) offers an exhaustive handbook that covers all possible themes connected to the history of this urban complex in Iraq, from its origins rooted in late antique Mesopotamia up to the aftermath of the Mongol invasion in 1258. Against the common perception of a city founded in 762 in a vacuum, which, after experiencing a heyday in a mythical “golden age” under the early ʿAbbāsids, entered since 900 a long period of decline that ended with a complete collapse by savage people from the East in 1258, the volume emphasizes the continuity of Baghdād’s urban life, and shows how it was marked by its destiny as caliphal seat and cultural hub.
Isabel Toral, studied History and Arabic Studies in Tübingen (PhD 1997), Habilitation 2008 (FU Berlin). Between 1997 and 2018 she had numerous research positions in Freiburg, Berlin, London, Göttingen and Mainz. Since 2018 she has been senior lecturer (since 2020 professor) for Arabic studies (FU Berlin) and deputy PI of the project AnonymClassic. Her main publishing and research fields are: Arabia and the Near East in Late Antiquity; urban history; cultural history; translation in the Islamicate world; advice literature and adab in Classical Islam. Her publications include (together with Jens Scheiner, eds.) Baghdād: from its beginnings to the 14th century (2022); Al-Ḥīra. Eine arabische Kulturmetropole im spätantiken Kontext. (2014), and (together with Alberto León) “Ornament of the World: Urban Change in Early Islamic Qurṭuba”, in S. Panzram (ed.) The Power of Cities (2019).

Jens Scheiner is professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Göttingen (Germany). His main focuses of interest are the history of the Near East in the classical period and Hadith studies.