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My blog explores whatever intellectual issues catches my fancy. Much of my work is original research, but I do occasionally review published research.

Douglas Galbi
17 posts

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  • January 6, 2013
  • 03:14 PM
  • 300 views

dialogue with infidel women in Matthew of Edessa’s chronicle

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

Via Armenian captive's dialogue with infidel women, Matthew of Edessa points to capabilities of eye and ear beyond grand public prophecy and chronicle. ... Read more »

MacEvitt, Christopher. (2007) The Chronicle of Matthew of Edessa: Apocalypse, the First Crusade, and the Armenian Diaspora. Dumbarton Oaks Papers, 157-181. info:/

  • January 1, 2013
  • 05:57 PM
  • 436 views

Gog and Magog behind Alexander the Great’s wall in China

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

Gog and Magog, Alexander the Great's wall, and a great wall in China coalesced in an official report to Abbasid Caliph al-Wathiq about 845.... Read more »

Donzel, E. J. van, Andrea B. Schmidt, and Claudia Ott. (2009) Gog and Magog in early Syriac and Islamic sources: Sallam's quest for Alexander's wall. Leiden: Brill. info:/

  • December 16, 2012
  • 12:07 PM
  • 379 views

Roads of Arabia: new perspectives on human society

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

The Sackler's exhibit Roads of Arabia shows culturally developed ancient Arabian societies built upon incense trade, then extended to Islamic pilgrimage.... Read more »

Ghabbān, ʻAlī ibn Ibrāhīm. (2010) Roads of Arabia: archaeology and history of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Paris: Somogy Art Publishers. info:/

  • December 9, 2012
  • 12:48 PM
  • 291 views

al-Biruni’s quest for truth encompassed religions and natures

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

Al-Biruni's understanding of human natures and human history engaged with his knowledge of sacred words in his truth-seeking.... Read more »

Starr, S Frederick. (2009) Rediscovering Central Asia. The Wilson Quarterly, 33-43. info:/

  • December 5, 2012
  • 12:45 AM
  • 380 views

spiritual use of images in ancient Asian Christianity

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

Amid vigorous, decentralized visual-spiritual competition across ancient Asia, the story of Jesus, not spiritual use of images, distinguished "The Way."... Read more »

Parry, Ken. (2012) The Art of the Christian Remains at Quanzhou. Lieu, Samuel N. C. 2012. Medieval Christian and Manichaean remains from Quanzhou (Zayton). Turnhout: Brepols. info:/

  • November 25, 2012
  • 10:03 PM
  • 306 views

al-Biruni treats Hindu idolatry like ancient Greco-Roman idolatry

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

In al-Biruni view, Muslim scholars should study Hindu thought and be no more concerned Hindu idolatry than about similar Greco-Roman idolatry. ... Read more »

Friedmann, Yohanan. (1972) The temple of Multan: a note on early Muslim attitudes to idolatry. Israel Oriental Studies, 176-182. info:/

  • November 18, 2012
  • 10:11 PM
  • 363 views

ibn Sīnā’s Treatise on Love is about money

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

Ibn Sīnā' apparently wrote his Treatise on Love quickly and relatively thoughtlessly for a monetary commission.... Read more »

Fackenheim, Emil L. (1945) A Treatise on Love by Ibn Sina. Mediaeval Studies, 7(1), 208-228. info:/

  • November 12, 2012
  • 11:11 PM
  • 399 views

Nahid in the Shahnameh: bad breath makes world history

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

In the Shahnameh, Nahid's bad breath brings Alexander the Great to Greece. Al-Jahiz's claim that Persian men have sex with women with bad breath is undone. ... Read more »

  • October 22, 2012
  • 11:46 PM
  • 587 views

views of India from the ancient Islamic world

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

Disengagement from India in the ancient Islamic world more plausibly resulted from reconfiguration of scholarly interests than from deep cultural differences.... Read more »

Friedmann, Yohanan. (1975) Medieval Muslim Views of Indian Religions. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 95(2), 214. DOI: 10.2307/600318  

  • October 14, 2012
  • 11:44 PM
  • 483 views

al-Jahiz’s profoundly serious work on scholarly hospitality

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

Al-Jahiz's attacks on tedious and repulsive scholarly disputes and his formulation of much more hospitable alternatives are serious scholarly work.... Read more »

Behzadi, Lale. (2009) Al-Jahiz and his Successors on Communication and the Levels of Language. Heinemann, Arnim, Manfred Kropp, Tarif Khalidi, and John Lash Meloy. 2009. Al-Jāḥiẓ: a Muslim humanist for our time. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag in Kommission, 125-132. info:/

  • October 7, 2012
  • 10:10 PM
  • 340 views

misery of literary writers in the ancient Islamic world

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

Intense literary status competition in the ancient Islamic world created considerable misery among literary writers.... Read more »

Bonebakker, Seeger A. (2001) The Misery of the Men of Letters: Some Quotations from their Poetry. Quaderni di Studi Arabi, 147-161. info:/

  • October 2, 2012
  • 07:45 PM
  • 408 views

Aziz and Aziza in love with Daphnis and Chloe

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

The story of Aziz and Aziza from the Arabian Nights outrageously re-arranges the romance of Daphnis and Chloe from an ancient Greek novel. ... Read more »

Grunebaum, Gustave E. von. (1942) Greek Form Elements in the Arabian Nights. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 62(4), 277-292. DOI: 10.2307/594031  

  • September 22, 2012
  • 11:03 PM
  • 335 views

Marian aretalogy of an impious Christian physician to Abbasid caliphs

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

An aretalogy fragment from the early Abbasid caliphate features the Christian physician Yūhannā ibn Māsawayhi, known also for being crude and impious.... Read more »

Howard C. Kee. (1973) Aretalogy and Gospel. Journal of Biblical Literature, 92(3), 402-422. DOI: 10.2307/3263581  

  • September 16, 2012
  • 12:01 PM
  • 450 views

early Arabic love poetry caps Roman love elegy on aging

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

An early Arabic poem -- Buthaynah and Jamīl's conversation on aging -- works to redeem Roman love elegy in exquisite, humane poetic truth.... Read more »

Jayyusi, Salma K. (1983) Umayyad poetry. In Beeston, A. F. L. Arabic literature to the end of the Umayyad period. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., 387-432. DOI: 10.1017/CHOL9780521240154.021  

  • September 2, 2012
  • 11:56 PM
  • 355 views

Apollonius of Tyre through Arabian Nights

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

Apollonius of Tyre, like Arabian Nights, is patterned text. A medical student's affair with a girl's corpse is an entertaining relational-textual feature.... Read more »

  • August 26, 2012
  • 12:07 PM
  • 360 views

ibn Butlān and ibn Ridwān in vicious intellectual competition

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

In the 11th century, the eminent physicians ibn Butlān and ibn Ridwān viciously disputed the question "which is warmer, the chick or the chicken?"... Read more »

Conrad, Lawrence I. (1995) Scholarship and social context: a medical case from the eleventh-century Near East. Bates, Donald G., ed. Knowledge and the scholarly medical traditions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., 84-100. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511621666.005  

  • August 19, 2012
  • 12:09 PM
  • 329 views

qadi criminal justice in comparative perspective

by Douglas Galbi in purple motes

Present-day U.S. prosecutors dispense criminal justice much more like King Louis IX in 13th-century France than like a qadi in the ancient Islamic world.... Read more »

Dripps, Donald A. (2005) Overcriminalization, Discretion, Waiver: A Survey of Possible Exit Strategies. Penn State Law Review, 1155-1179. info:/

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