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ancient manuscripts


  • Originally published 03/04/2013

    1001 nights ‘younger sibling,’ medieval manuscript found, translated

    Almost everyone is in some way familiar with the epic “1,001 Nights,” we all know the tale of Sultan Shahryar who, heartbroken by his wife’s infidelity, remarries every night only to kill his new bride at sunrise. This carried on until he married his vizier’s daughter Scheherazade who, gifted with an extraordinary ability to weave exciting stories, manages to save her own life by promising to tell the king a new story every night. Throughout the 100,1 nights readers remain enthralled and entangled in the stories narrated by Scheherazade. The Egypt Independent reported on Thursday that a new collection of stories had come to light and been translated, the 101 nights....

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    On vegetable carts, in millet sacks, people of Timbuktu conspire to save priceless manuscripts

    TIMBUKTU, Mali — For eight days after the Islamists set fire to one of the world’s most precious collections of ancient manuscripts, the alarm inside the building blared. It was an eerie, repetitive beeping, a cry from the innards of the injured library that echoed around the world.The al-Qaida-linked extremists who ransacked the institute wanted to deal a final blow to Mali, whose northern half they had held for 10 months before retreating in the face of a French-led military advance. They also wanted to deal a blow to the world, especially France, whose capital houses the headquarters of UNESCO, the organization which recognized and elevated Timbuktu’s monuments to its list of World Heritage sites....

  • Originally published 01/31/2013

    Mali manuscripts in Timbuktu are mostly safe, South Africa university says

    JOHANNESBURG — Islamist extremists damaged or stole only a limited number of manuscripts in Timbuktu in Mali before they fled the fabled desert city, a South African university said Wednesday.People in the north Malian city who have knowledge of the documents reported that there was no malicious destruction of any library or collection, said the University of Cape Town, which helped fund a state-of-the-art library to house manuscripts.“The custodians of the libraries worked quietly throughout the rebel occupation of Timbuktu to ensure the safety of their materials,” said the university. Islamist rebels have been in control of Timbuktu for nearly 10 months....

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Louis René Beres: Ancient Manuscripts and Modern Politics

    Louis René Beres, Professor of Political Science and International Law at Purdue, was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971). He is currently examining previously unexplored connections between human death fears and world politics. Born in Zürich, Switzerland, at the end of World War II, Professor Beres is the author of ten books, and several hundred articles, on international relations and international law. He is a regular contributor to the OUPblog.Oddly, perhaps, there are striking similarities between Western Epicureanism and Eastern Buddhism. Even a cursory glance at Lucretius, On The Nature of Things, reveals a characteristically “Buddhist” position on human oneness and human transience. Greek and Roman Stoicism, too, share this animating concept, a revealing vision of both interpersonal connectedness and civilizational impermanence.