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Ritual, Politics, and the City in Fatimid Cairo
Ritual, Politics, and the City in Fatimid Cairo
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Paula Sanders - Author
SUNY series in Medieval Middle East History
N/A
Hardcover - 248 pages
Release Date: March 1994
ISBN10: 0-7914-1781-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-1781-2

Out of Print
Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 248 pages
Release Date: March 1994
ISBN10: 0-7914-1782-4
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-1782-9

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

Provides an understanding of the complexities of political legitimacy in Islamic dynasties by examining Fatimid political culture in Egypt reconstructed from court rituals.

"This is a totally original contribution to the historical research on the Middle East and on the Islamic world. Sanders' book fills an important lacuna in Middle Eastern historiography. Unlike European historical studies, where the semiological approach to the ceremonial of royal and state power has an impressive tradition represented by the landmark work of such luminaries as Ernst Kantorowicz, Ralph Giesey, and Sarah Hanley, the historical literature on the Middle East contains no comparable studies along these lines. There are several reasons for this. Sources on which to base such an inquiry are neither self-evident nor abundant. Even less abundant are scholars who have the skills to identify and exploit such sources and who also possess the sensitivity and sophistication to persuasively accomplish an analysis of the representation of power in an Islamic context. Paula Sanders has succeeded in doing exactly this in a polished and professional manner." -- Abraham L. Udovitch, Princeton University

This book provides an understanding of the complexities of political legitimacy in Islamic dynasties by examining Fatimid political culture in Egypt reconstructed from court rituals. The author approaches ritual as a dynamic process through which claims to political and religious authority in Islamic societies are articulated, and in which complex negotiations of power have taken place.

Paula Sanders is Associate Professor of History at Rice University.


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Table of Contents

Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Short Titles

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1 Introduction

Fatimid History: An Overview

Approaching Fatimid Rituals

Chapter 2 The Ceremonial Idiom

Protocols of Rank

Symbols of Authority

The Caliph as Center

Chapter 3 The Ritual City

The Beginnings of the Ritual City

The Elaboration of the Ritual City under al-'Aziz

The Integration of Fustat into the Ritual City

The Restoration of al-Amir and the Reinterpretation of the Ritual City

Chapter 4 Politics, Power, and Administration: The New Year's Ceremony

The Model Procession: Ibn al-Tuwayr's Description of the New Year

The Negotiation of Power in the New Year's Procession

Chapter 5 The Urban River

The Highwayman of Egypt: Agriculture and Irrigation

The Ceremony to Cut the Canal

Late Fatimid Nile Ceremonies

Perfuming the Nilometer

Dating the Nilometer Ceremony

The Urban River

Chapter 6 Ceremonial as Polemic

The Event at Ghadir Khumm and Its Importance in Isma'ili Thought

Popular Celebrations of the Festival of Ghadir

The Festival of Ghadir and the Ritual Lingua Franca

Ceremonial as Polemic

Chapter 7 Epilogue

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Maps

Index


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25162/24616(RR/SG/FK)

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