In this part, the implications of negativism are interrogated, especially as they lead to a deliberate negligence on the part of some nahḍah scholars to overlook significant and in fact groundbreaking contributions to the theories of translation as laid down by al-Jāḥiẓ, for example. Counter readings by other nahḍah scholars and translators balance and should have corrected the view of
āhā Ḥusayn, whose alignment with the Enlightenment prevented him from exploring even the most salient features of a past tradition. The medieval as a powerful dynamic in the makeup of historical understanding can be traced in writings by Mudawwar, Sulaymān Khaṭṭar al-Bustānī, and others, but these draw on a Golden past (the Abbasid) as an imaginary that sustains another lineage that takes translation from a Greco-Roman tradition as an invigorating enterprise in an otherwise lively Abbasid (750–978; and then until 1258) culture that was already triumphant. In other words this reclamation of the Golden past was not meant to disparage the Middle Ages, that is, the Mamluk period (1250–1517), but to obliquely criticize cultural dependency on Europe. Hence, prominent journals and publishers did not shy away from picking their designations and names from the Mamluk parlance and architectural sites. These two trends in lexical activity, translation, and historicization attest to a differentiated nahḍah space where the proclaimed epistemic discontinuity with the immediate past was balanced by the setup of a schema for translation as a schema for the nation, a premise that was also applied to the lexicon as a pan-Arab cauldron.