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Rashid Al-Din: Agent and Mediator of Cultural Exchanges in Ilkhanid Iran

Anna Ayse Akasoy and edited by Charles Burnett and Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim
Warburg Institute Colloquia


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Warburg Institute


Rashid al-Din (1274-1318), physician and powerful minister at the court of the Ilkhans, was a key figure in the cosmopolitan milieu in Iran under Mongol rule. He set up an area in the vicinity of the court where philosophers, doctors, astronomers, and historians from different parts of Eurasia lived together, exchanged ideas and produced books. He was himself involved in collecting, collating and editing these materials, and the substantial oeuvre that resulted is a gold-mine for anyone studying the transmission of knowledge across cultures. By bringing together contributions from the fields of the history of religion, medicine, science and art, this book examines the cultural dynamics of Rashid al-Din’s circle. It addresses questions such as: How were different or conflicting perceptions mediated? What were Rashid al-Din’s aims in gathering information about different religions and societies? To what extent does Rashid al-Din’s intellectual contribution represent something new and different from its individual components?


Birgitt Hoffmann
Speaking about Oneself: Autobiographical Statements in the Works of Rashid al-Din

Mika Natif
Rashid al-Din’s alter ego: the Seven Paintings of Moses in Jami? al-tawarikh

Kazuhiko Shiraiwa
Rashid al-Din’s Primary Sources in Compiling the Jami? al-tawarikh; a Tentative Survey

Judith Pfeiffer
The Canonization of Cultural Memory: Ghazan Khan, Rashid al-Din, and the Construction of the Mongol Past

Reuven Amitai
Rashid al-Din as a Historian of the Mamluks

Hodong Kim
Reappraisal of the ‘Register of Chiliarchies’ in Jami? al-tawarikh

Leigh Chipman
A Tale of Two Doctors: Rashid al-Din and Qu?b al-Din al-Shirazi

Vivienne Lo and Yidan Wang
A Comparative Study of Rashid al-Din’s Tansuqnama and its Chinese Sources

Anna Akasoy
The Buddha and the Straight Path. Rashid al-Din’s Life of the Buddha: Islamic Perspectives

Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim 
Life of the Buddha, Some Tibetan Perspectives

Ron Sela
Rashid al-Din’s Historiographical Legacy in the Muslim World

Christopher Atwood
Mongols, Arabs, Kurds, and Franks: Rashid al-Din’s Comparative Anthropology of Tribal Society