The purpose of this article is a reinterpretation of Farabi's philosophy. Several difficult questions have arisen concerning Farabi's Trilogy, which consists of Tahsil al-Sa'ada, Falsafat Aflatun and Falsafat Aristutalis, one of which is how to understand the relationship among the three works. But in view of the general theme of the three works, i. e. investigation (fahs), and on comparing them with another investigative work, Kitab al-Huruf, we can see how Tahsil al-Sa'ada relates to the other two works. In the course of this examination, we must, at the start, solve the difficult question, how to interpret Farabi's assertion: ‘philosophy was completed with Aristotle’, which appears in two places (one in Tahsil al-Sa'ada, and the other in Kitab al-Huruf). If we take this assertion, it would mean that Farabi made no contribution to philosophy- he was only a transmitter, not a true philospher. However by considering Farabi's thought on the history of mathematics and the relation between mathematics and philosophy (especially logic), this phrase can be interpreted with subtle shade. (1) It is safe to say that in the age of Plato and Aristotle, as far as Farabi thought, mathematics was not fully developed, and so he could not really have believed that philosophy had been completed, for it seems that he thought mathematics and philosophy go hand in hand. (2) What he called into question when he discussed mathematics was not substantial matters or mathematical problems, but methodology. So we infer that his treatment of philosophy too is about methodology. This line of thought can show us the process of his introducing a mathematical methodology to his philosophy in the Trilogy. Now we can see how he describes in Tahsil al-Sa'ada the way his own philosophical investigation differs from that of Plato or Aristotle as seen in Falsafat Aflatun or Falsafat Aristutalis. Mathematical methodology has affected on Farabi's philosophy in various ways. This paper suggests some aspects of this effect, for example, we describe how it works in metaphysics and politics. This article cannot follow all the consequences of this thought, so it remains only preliminary research, but this step, I trust, is an important one for our understanding of Farabi's philosophy, especially of how he was a ‘true philosopher’.
Qaytbay (r. 1468-96) and Qansuh al-Ghawri (r. 1501-16), the two most prominent Sultans of the late Circassian Mamluk period, donated substantial properties such as agricultural lands, houses, caravansaries, public baths, etc. as Waqfs (religious endowments). C. F. Petry regards their activities as a “financial policy” intended to secure a private source of revenue independent of the traditional state financial system against the political and economic crises of the times. However, it must be noted that the preceding Sultans had also striven to hold private and Waqf properties. It is necessary to comprehend the meaning of their “financial policy” from the point of view of the historical development of the Sultan's private financial affairs. It seems that the Sultans developed their own resources because of practical necessity due to fundamental problems of the state and the political structure in this period. From this aspect, this paper examines the process by which Barquq, the first Sultan of the Circassian Mamluks (r. 1382-89, 90-99), accumulated property and its background, using narrative and archival sources. Consequently, the following facts have become clear: firstly, Barquq held various kinds of private and Waqf properties, and thus the Diwan al-Amldk wal-Awqaf wal-Dhakhira, the special office having charge of them, headed by an Ustadar, was established; secondly, holding those properties was helpful for him in operating a government in the midst of political instability and the malfunction of the traditional state machinery; thirdly, he accumulated the properties by both fair means and foul, such as the diversion of state propery, confiscation, the Istibdal (exchange of Waqf properties) etc. Subsequently, the role of the Sultan's property in the political and financial spheres grew in importance throughout the Circassian Mamluk period.
Although Pre-Pottery Neolithic culture developed for a long time without pottery, when pottery-making appeared in Western Asia it expanded rapidly and widely from the beginning. This suggests that social or economic demands for pottery suddenly appeared. The earliest specimens of pottery in Western Asia are found in the northern Levant, Cilicia, the upper Euphrates and the upper Khabur region. They are identical in many aspects: tempering with minerals, burnishing on the surface, relatively thick walls, and simple vessel shapes, consisting only of bowls whose diameters measure around 20cm. More sites in these regions yield the succeeding type of pottery. It can be divided into at least two regional groups; the border was probably west of the Euphrates. The western type consists mainly of the so-called Dark-Faced Burnished Ware, and the eastern type consists mainly of chaff-tempered ware. The emergence of regional varieties makes it harder to discuss the inter-regional relative chronologies because of the difficulty of comparison. Moreover, on the assumption that the functions of pottery would suggest the reasons for its demands, if regional differences indicated different functions of pottery, the regional varieties might be a critical obstacle in the way of explaining why pottery making was expanded rapidly and widely. But the general presence of moyen de préhension (means of gripping), i. e. various handles or applied horizontal bands, across regions could be a clue as to the function of the pottery. Their function seems to have been to allow them to be tied with a cord or gripped by hand. These actions are apparently related to the use of pottery for transportation rather than for cooking, storage or serving. Therefore, at least a part of the early pottery was probably made primarily for transportation, although most of it was multi-functions. It is concluded that pottery appeared as containers for transportation, stimulated by the increased production of commodities in established farming communities.
“Petitionary letters to god (Gottesbriefe, letter-prayers) ” written in Sumerian are products of the Old Babylonian scribal schools. They are prayers in letter-style, addressed and dedicated to gods by “pious sufferers”, urging the gods to release them from suffering. Six similar letters in Akkadian have also been identified. It is indisputable that there are similarities between the Sumerian and Akkadian genres in their presentation of the plight and petition. There are differences as well. Unlike the Sumerian genre, mostly attested in multiple copies, most Akkadian letters are written by the archival hand and attested in just a single example. The Akkadian letters are addressed to the personal deity of the letter-writer, but in the Sumerian examples such is not necessarily the case. Scholars have considered that since the Akkadian letters are thus essentially archival and personal, the Sumerian and the Akkadian petitionary letters have no historical or genetic relationship. In this article, I conduct a more comprehensive study, focusing on the structural features of the Akkadian petitionary letters in comparison with Sumerian generic features, and suggest a slight modification in the previous understanding about the relationship between the two genres. I describe several features that three of the Akkadian petitionary letters have that the other three do not-lengthy opening salutations, descriptions of past benefits received and services rendered, and vows and expressions of praise and thanksgiving. These features are also shared by some of the Sumerian petitionary letters, particularly those from the Larsa period, which are relatively late examples of the genre. Since I found it difficult to determine the historical sequence of all the Akkadian petitionary letters, I cannot make any definite claim about development or influences. However, I think it likely that the genre experienced stylistic development and the Akkadian letters with those features were influenced by the Larsa period letters as it seems that some important similarities in style and content that I describe cannot be explained without considering that one genre knew the other.
The aim of the present paper is to clarify the position and function of the official called the “Governor of Akkad (Babylonia)” (LB: lúmu-ma-'i-ir/lúGAL. UKKIN kurURIki, with variants) in the Seleucid and Aršakid Empires in the period from 305/4 to 61/0 B. C., the end of the period covered in the Astronomical Diaries, the main source of my research. Under Seleucid rule (305/4-141/0 B. C.), at least until the mid-third century B. C., the Governor was probably in charge of the financial administration of Babylonia. Although the commander of the military forces in Babylonia was the “General (of Akkad), ” the transportation of munitions was also under the control of the Governor. The “(Royal) Appointees (in Akkad)” (LB: lúpaq-dume [š] šá LUGAL/lúpaq-dumeššá inakurURIki) probably had the role of assisting the Governor in his work. Under Aršakid rule (141/0-61/0 B. C.), it is notable that the Governor frequently visited the “King's encampment” (madakti šarri) (probably his residence during progresses to Babylonia), while neither the General (of Akkad) nor the “General who is above the Four Generals” did so. (The latter official was the Governor General of Upper Satrapies under Seleucid rule, but under Aršakid rule the territory controlled by him was probably limited to Babylonia.) At least until the 120's, the loyalty of Greco-Macedonian cities and of generals/vassal kings was in question. Therefore, at least during this time, the King probably tried to build a close relation to the Governor and/or appointed his trusted subordinates to that office in order to keep these elements under control.
There have been many studies about maslaha since the early 20th century and they agree that Al-Ghazali (d. 1111, 505A. H.) formulated maslaha as a legal concept. They, however, only discuss maslaha from Al-Ghazali on, so it has remained unclear on what kind of theoretical bases Al-Ghazali formulated his famous maslaha thesis by now. In this paper I present some parts of maslaha theory by Al-Juwayni (d. 1085, 478A. H.) so as to consider how Al-Ghazali innovated former theories of maslaha. The core of Al-Ghazali's maslaha thesis is that he defined it as ‘the purpose of God's law’. Al-Juwayni, in his book Al-Burhan, uses the words ‘the intention of the lawgiver’ When writing abaut maslaha. Although he discussed that both maslaha and ‘the intention of the lawgiver’ were ultimate sources of all legal judgements, he treated them a little differently. Legal theorist before Al-Juwayni had regarded maslaha as God's law itself or compliance with it. Then it can be said that Al-Ghazali could have depended on his master, Al-Juwayni's theory of maslaha, or at least got some crucial ideas from it even if the position as the formulator of maslaha is appropriate to Al-Ghazali.
This paper analyzes Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (d. 1111)'s Book on the Manners of Marriage (Kitab Adab al-Nikah) in his The Revival of the Religious Sciences (Ihya' 'Ulum al-Din), and examines the relation between the ideal married life and the practices of Sufism. In studies until now, the contents of this book have been often examined from the viewpoint of sexuality and the problem of women in Islam; however, not much attention has been paid to al-Ghazali's evaluation of marriage within Sufism in these studies. Rather, in studies of marriage, women, and sexuality in Sufism, the focus has usually been on the ideas on sexuality of Ibn al-'Arabi (d. 1240), while few studies of al-Ghazali's Sufism analyze his discussion of marriage. Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to examine al-Ghazali's discussion of marriage from the viewpoint of Sufism and to clarify its originality in the history of Sufi thought, comparing it with that of Abu Talib al-Makki (d. 998), a Sufi who influenced al-Ghazali considerably and discussed marriage in detail. Al-Ghazali argues that there are many advantages in living with a wife in marriage, and he demonstrates that a man can devote himself to the worship of God and lead an ideal Sufi life with the help of marriage. On the other hand, al-Makki maintains that celibacy is preferable, at least in his time. Most of his discussion is fragmentary and not as developed as al-Ghazali's, though he does treat marriage more comprehensively than the Sufis before him. Al-Ghazali demonstrates that for practicing the remembrance of God which leads to seeing God in the hereafter, marriage is better than celibacy. It is concluded that al-Ghazali's theoretical discussion of marriage is an effort toward the popularization of Sufism.