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Document Details :
Title: Manuscript Production by Christians in 13th-14th Century Greater Syria and Mesopotamia and Related Areas
Author(s): HUNT, Lucy-Ann
Journal: ARAM Periodical
Volume: 9 Issue: 1-2 Date: 1997
This paper is concerned with the role and preoccupations of Christian artists and scribes in the production of illustrated manuscripts of the 13th-14th centuries. With the emphasis on Greater Syria and Mesopotamia, mention will be made of the contacts maintained by Christian communities under Islam in the period. The secular and the religious will be considered in turn, and interrelations suggested. First, the phenomenon of cultural transmission – from Greek and Syriac into Arabic – introduces discussion of the role of Christians in a common secular Arab culture, with a Dioscorides manuscript as the focus. Next, the production by Christians of religious manuscripts will be discussed through specific, little studied, manuscripts produced by different Christian communities. In addresssing these issues a number of questions arise. What were the affiliations and priorities of the Christian communities? How did manuscript production develop within a social environment in which Arabic was being increasingly adopted as a religious and liturgical, as well as the everyday, language?