3-4 November 2023: Verena Klemm "The Collectanea of an Eminent Ismaili Scholar from Gujarat"

Titel: "The Collectanea of an Eminent Ismaili Scholar from Gujarat (19th century)" Workshop on Mecmûa Typologies / Mejmûa Tipologjileri Çalıştayı Organizers: Berat Açil (Marmara Üniversitesi), Hülya Çelik (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) Istanbul, 3.-4. November 2023

The collectanea of an eminent Ismaili scholar from Gujarat (19th century)
This essay takes as its focus the personal notebook of the eminent Ismaili scholar Sayyidī
Muḥammad ʿAlī al-Hamdānī(1833-1898) from Surāt. He filled it over time with a wide variety
of content, using several languages (Arabic, Gujarati)and scripts (Arabic, Gujarati, Gujarati in
Arabic and Persian Script, Secret Script ….) and different text and table formats (excerpts of
classical religious, philosophical and scientific texts, marginal and interlinear comments,
magical formula, lists, sketches, interreligious and correlation and comparative tables for
astronomical terms and constellations, time measure and other systems, chronologies,
currencies. The book bears witness to the versatile intellectual interests of its owner, his mental
focus, and his memory, as well as the working methods of his owner.
The manuscript (ms. 1662) is part of the famous Hamdani Collection, an old family library
whose oldest manuscripts come from Yemen, at the Institute of Ismaili Studies inLondon. In
our contribution, the manuscript will be shortly presented in its historical contexts and then
described in terms of its materiality, organization and content. On this basis, I would like to
contribute to ongoing debates about a differentiated typology and terminology of notebooks.

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