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Third Diwan of Suleyman the Lawgiver

Save the date: Angels and Mankind

Annual Report 2014


BTS 135 new edition

Bettina Fischer-Genz

Newsletter 3/2015
Events and News

My Tears Flowed Like Water Because of this Gracious Cypress: Imagery and meaning in the third diwan of Sultan Suleyman the Lawgiver
Public research seminar by Christiane Czygan (Hamburg University)
Tuesday, 28 April 2015, 6-8pm, Orient-Institut Beirut
It is a tiny manuscript that shimmers when one opens its brittle cover. This poem collection written by one of the most prominent Ottoman rulers was discovered by Petra Kappert in Hamburg in the 1980s. Completed in 961/1554, this highly elaborated product of art is the oldest known existing poem collection by Sultan Suleyman. Questions about its content, production and the ruler behind the lyrical persona continue to challenge scholars to this day. The sultan commanded an extraordinarily powerful army that enlarged Ottoman territory far beyond the realm inherited by his father Selim, and had to deal with ongoing struggles for political and religious hegemony. In the midst of these, Suleyman devoted himself to ambitious lyrical creations. At that time, poetry referred to medieval models which depicted the world as part of a far more complex system of cosmic intersections. Images played a fundamental role in providing a link between the divine and the earthly realms. The Third Diwan's use of images such as the lock of hair, the zephyr and the cypress establish this connection in an exemplary way. However, it remains unclear whom these images were meant to appeal to. This presentation proposes an answer to this question.

Angels and Mankind: Nature, role and function of celestial beings in Near Eastern and Islamic traditions
International conference
2 - 4 July 2015, Orient-Institut Beirut
Save the date for this forthcoming international conference.
Angels appear in Near Eastern and Islamic traditions as transcendental messengers in different contexts. While there are a number of studies about angels in different religious traditions, the entanglement of Islamic developments with regard to earlier religious substrates has been studied only rudimentarily. The conference seeks to investigate the multiple concepts and the evolution of Near Eastern and especially Islamic conceptions of nature, role and function of angelic beings by focusing on theological, literary, visual and material representations. The aim of this conference is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for scholars investigating issues that may include questions of the physiology of heavenly beings, the topography and the hierarchical scheme of the heavenly host, but also the mission and agency of angels, their nomenclature and iconographic representation in Islamic and Near Eastern sources. More details to follow.

2014 Annual Report now Online!

Find out about the Orient-Institut Beirut's activities in 2014 in our latest annual report (in German), including information about our research projects, publications, events, fellows, library news and more.

Vacancy at the OIB - DEADLINE next week!
Position: Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin/Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter
Deadline for applications: 30 April 2015
Starting Date: 1 September 2015
Further particulars on our website.



Second edition of Lubnan at-tawa'if (BTS 135) now available
The second edition of this widely reviewed volume first published in 2014 is now available. Lubnan at-tawa'if fi dawla ma ba'da at-Ta'if by Abdel Raouf Sinno focuses on Lebanon's history of the last twenty years (1990-2011), starting with the Ta'if Agreement that formally ended the civil war. The author argues that the confessional system hinders the development of a modern state in Lebanon and should be replaced by a secular constitution. For a list of reviews have a look at the press review section of our annual report 2014 (pp.81-86). Like all books in the BTS series, it is distributed in Europe and overseas by the Ergon-Verlag, and in the Middle East by Dar al-Furat. Individual copies can also be purchased at the Orient-Institut.



Bettina Fischer-Genz
Bettina Fischer-Genz joined the OIB publication department. She studied classical archaeology, ancient history and modern history at the universities of Tübingen and Aix-en-Provence between 1991 and 1997. From 2002 to 2011 she worked as a researcher at the German Archaeological Institute on the Baalbek research project in Lebanon, focusing on a survey of rural settlements around the Roman Heliopolis-Baalbek. Apart from teaching at the American University of Beirut, from 2013 to 2015 Bettina held a Marie-Curie Fellowship at the Musée de Préhistoire Libanaise (USJ) looking at the Romanization of the northern Beqaa. At the publication desk she currently focuses on implementing the restructuring of the storage facilities and building up the online archive of relevant documents.

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