Arabic Medieval Documents for Scroll Texts

Does anyone have any sources for translated Arabic medieval documents to base scroll texts on? I’ve been trying to find something suitable for hours and I don’t know if I just don’t have the right search terms or what but I’m driving myself nuts. Any help would be appreciated!

Check out these books for English translations of period Arabic literature/documents:

Classic Arabic Literature: A Library of Arabic Literature Anthology
by New York University Press, 2012
Includes verse and prose
http://books.google.com/books?id=rpM266Jd4OoC&dq=Classical+And+Medieval+Arabic+Literature+English&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Medieval Arabic Praise Poetry: Ibn al-Rumi and the patron’s redemption
Beatrice Gruendler, 2013
The concept of “praise poetry” (qit’ah) seems like it could be really cool if adapted to scroll texts. Yay for poetic texts! Using resources like this to get a sense of rhyme/meter could be helpful.
http://books.google.com/books?id=OJJmAgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Medieval+Arabic+Literature+English&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Mgb1U8rfMMn8yQTcoILwDQ&ved=0CEMQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q&f=false

From Al-Andalus to Khurasan: Documents from the Medieval Muslim World
Petra Sijpesteijn, 2007
This has some translations of court proceedings/documents, but nothing that resembles a grant of arms or anything. It still may be useful for sentence structure and whatnot.
http://books.google.com/books?id=ovnVttnmMYgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Medieval+Arabic+documents&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cAb1U8umG4uBygTstYHQDg&ved=0CBwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Geoffrey Khan (1990). The historical development of the structure of medieval Arabic petitions. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 53, pp 8-30. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00021224. 

A Collection of Medieval Arabic Documents in the Islamic Museum at the Ḥaram Al-Šarīf
Linda S. Northrup and Amal A. Abul-Hajj
Arabica
T. 25, Fasc. 3 (Sep., 1978), pp. 282-291
Published by: BRILL
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4056411
You can sign up for a free JSTOR account and read this online. 😀

An Arabic Document of Acknowledgement from the Cairo Genizah
Geoffrey Khan
Journal of Near Eastern Studies
Vol. 53, No. 2 (Apr., 1994), pp. 117-124
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/546077
Another JSTOR – This might be the closest thing to a scroll text.

Medieval Sourcebook: Turkish Poetry
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/turkishpoetry1.html

Beeswax Candles

Frith, J., Appleby, R., Stacey, R., & Heron, C. (January 01, 2004). Sweetness and light: chemical evidence of beeswax and tallow candles at Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire.Medieval Archaeology, 48, 220-228.
http://www.worldcat.org/title/sweetness-and-light-chemical-evidence-of-beeswax-and-tallow-candles-at-fountains-abbey-north-yorkshire/oclc/108412065

Sweetness and light: the mysterious history of the honeybee, by Hattie Ellis, 2010
http://books.google.com/books?id=NJvwAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA211&dq=medieval+beeswax+candles&hl=en&sa=X&ei=t7vzU_KpNJLYoATj3oHgDQ&ved=0CGoQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=medieval%20beeswax%20candles&f=false

Medieval Candle-Making Class, by Hl Cathus the Curious (Keith Roberts)
Video has a comment re: using beeswax in molds.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1lDdsgVaZk

All Things Medieval: An Encyclopedia of the Medieval World (2 volumes) by Ruth A. Johnston, 2011.
Link to page discussing beeswax candles
http://books.google.com/books?id=yPcIuJ5TNxMC&lpg=PA450&ots=lZllyFw11j&dq=medieval%20beeswax%20candles&pg=PA450#v=onepage&q&f=false

Stairway to Heaven: The Function of Medieavl Upper Spaces by Toby Huitson, 2014
Link to page about lighting; cites beeswax candles c. 1250.
http://books.google.com/books?id=NJvwAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA211&dq=medieval+beeswax+candles&hl=en&sa=X&ei=t7vzU_KpNJLYoATj3oHgDQ&ved=0CGoQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=medieval%20beeswax%20candles&f=false

Chinese Name Resources

Period Chinese Names (by Valerie L. Putman/Yin Mei Li)
Includes introduction, background, basic practices, cautions, and lists of feminine names.
http://www.ida.net/users/valerie_lee/Octofoil/ChineseNames/

Chinese characters; their origin, etymology, history, classification and signification; a thorough study from Chinese documents (by Leon Wieger)
cited by the Academy of St. Gabriel
http://www.worldcat.org/title/chinese-characters-their-origin-etymology-history-classification-and-signification-a-thorough-study-from-chinese-documents/oclc/325356

A Chinese biographical dictionary (by Herbert Giles)
cited by the Academy of St. Gabriel
http://www.worldcat.org/title/chinese-biographical-dictionary-gu-jin-xing-shi-zu-pu/oclc/3722702

My country and my people (by Yutang Lin)
cited by the Academy of St. Gabriel
http://www.worldcat.org/title/my-country-and-my-people/oclc/412588

Acadmey of St. Gabriel search results for Chinese name articles (some are Japanese):

The Harley Griffin

The griffin from the Harley Bestiary (Harley 4751) might just be my favorite period manuscript griffin ever. I love 13th century stuff anyway, but this griffin works for both 13th and 14th, style-wise.

Harley Griffin

I was encouraged awhile back to make a tutorial for how to draw the Harley Griffin, and since I am not very good at the “process shots” or the “how to draw step-by-step” breakdowns like in those skinny paperback books, I made a video! Yay video!

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My Process – Choosing Inspiration

When I get a scroll assignment, the first thing I do is find out who the person is. More than likely, I have never met them before.  I always try to match the inspiration for my scroll to the recipient’s persona.  In this post, I’ll talk about how I go about finding a period illumination to base a scroll on.

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Pinning Illuminations

I really, really like Pinterest 1. For lots of reasons.

I may or may not stalk people’s Pinterests boards so that I get to see when someone goes on an illumination-pinning splurge.  If I did do this, I would follow these boards:

Scribal Scribinations
Medieval Illuminaria
Scribal
Illuminated Manuscripts

Lastly, I own a collaborative board for people to pin to.  If I re-pin illuminations, it is always to this board: SCA Scroll Inspiration/Sources

But one of the easiest ways for me to get frustrated with Pinterest is when people do not pin responsibly.  Thankfully, when looking at pins related to manuscripts and illumination, most pinners are pretty responsible and actually pin the image where it lives in a library’s digital collection, or at the very least include a title and folio citation in their description.

Let’s look at some examples!

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  1. If you don’t know what Pinterest is, here is an explanation in plain English.

Searching for Digitized Manuscripts: The Bodleian Library

One of my all-time favorite places to browse for illuminated manuscripts to use either as a resource or just inspiration is what I call Bodley’s Luna, or the Luna.  This is just my own title for a collaboration between ARTstor (more on them later) and the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford.

My first piece of advice is to bookmark this website.  It’s not an easy URL to remember. You could just do a Google search for “bodley luna” whenever you want to pull it up, but it’s worth just bookmarking.  I’m not going to go over how to “search” the Luna, but I will highlight some of my favorite features.  I highly encourage you to poke around with it. It’s just too fun!

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Searching for Digitized Manuscripts: The British Library, Part 2

(Psst! You can find part 1 here.)

So the British Library is in the process of phasing out one database of digitized manuscripts,  Digitized Manuscripts site (DM), in favor of another,  Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts (CIM).  This post is going to focus on searching the DM.

Before we get too far in here, remember that you’re not going to find everything in the DM.  The only things that can be found here reliably are the Cotton manuscripts – that is, any manuscript with the word “Cotton” in the shelfmark. So, the Lindisfarne Gospels, AKA Cotton MS Nero D.IV, are going to be in the DM.  Also note that the DM is being tinkered with because it is going away, so don’t be surprised if things don’t load correctly or you get an error.

Continue reading “Searching for Digitized Manuscripts: The British Library, Part 2”

What’s that thing called?

Did you know that the British Library has a glossary specific to illuminated manuscripts? If you’re like me, you’ve been reading metadata on a record and come across a term that made your eyebrows spike and your head get itchy.  Or maybe it was in one of those big coffee table books filled with beautiful glossy scans of manuscript pages.  Well, now you know where to go to find out what it means.

The Glossary for the British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts!

Or you could Google it, I guess. But I like going directly to a source that I know will give me a good definition.  Now then, let’s look at some fun terms!

Continue reading “What’s that thing called?”