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Cambridge University Press
Expected online publication date:
December 2024
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Book description

In this essential new work, Christopher D. Bahl departs from the established historiography on trade, shipping and pilgrimage to argue for the emergence of Arabic learning as a crucial form of transoceanic mobility from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries. From Egypt to the Hijaz, Yemen and further on to Gujarat and the Deccan, networks of manuscript circulation created shared social and cultural spaces across the early modern western Indian Ocean, in which South Asia was a key node of connection. Largely unstudied Arabic manuscripts from collections in ten different archives offer a new source-base to explore the region as a hub of Arabic scholarly culture, while marginalia and notes provide an empirical treasure trove for the study of social spaces and cultural practices. This is the first book to trace these truly transoceanic encounters between scholars, sultans, scribes, readers, and librarians.


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