Author: Torsten Wollina

A horrific crime—at an ominous time

The criminal underworld of medieval Damascus is certainly not my field of expertise. But as for the …

The Library of Ahmad Taymur

How is Ahmad Taymur, the Egyptian bibliophile and ‘gentleman scholar’ who received an obituary in th…

Sufis in war: an update

In my article “Between Beirut, Cairo, and Damascus: Al-amr bi-al-maʿrūf and the Sufi/Scholar …

2018 in Retrospect / Perspectives 2019

2018 was easily the most successful year of this outlet yet. New pieces have been published at at a…

The Princeton ijāzas

Over the last year, Ibn Ṭūlūn’s documentation of teaching has repeatedly been addressed here. According to my own plan, this will be the last post on this issue for the foreseeable future. Thus, I would like to use this post to talk about some more general characteristics of these documentary…

Let’s talk survival bias

How many manuscript copies were produced of any given texts? How many were circulating at any given …