(CANCELLED) Medieval Matters: Three Thousand Years of Arabic
- EVT 640
- May 27
- 7:30 pm
No Registration Required
SERIES: MEDIEVAL MATTERS
Medieval Matters is a series of public lectures co-sponsored by Stanford Continuing Studies and The Sarum Seminar. It explores the relevance of medieval history and culture to understanding the modern world.
Three Thousand Years of Arabic
Until the 19th century, the earliest historic examples of the Arabic language were the Quran and poems of the 6th and early 7th centuries ce that were recorded in the Islamic period. The language and its script before this period were shrouded in myth. Some regarded it as the language of ancient giants who wandered the world before the Flood, and others as the tongue developed by Ishmael as he roamed the wilderness. Epigraphic finds of the last century and a half have brought more than a thousand years of Arabic before Islam into the light of history. This lecture will tell the story of Arabic as it moved across various writing traditions through the ages, from the ancient Thamudic inscriptions of the Iron Age to the pious graffiti of pilgrims to Mecca; from cuneiform fragments to experimental Greco-Arabic inscriptions of the Roman period; and from Arabic glosses in Aramaic legal papyri of the Nabataeans to the Arabic writing tradition of the Quran and the script used across the world today.
Ahmad Al-Jallad, Associate Professor and Sofia Chair in Arabic Studies, Ohio State Ahmad Al-Jallad is a philologist, epigraphist, and historian of language. His work focuses on the languages and writing systems of pre-Islamic Arabia and the Ancient Near East. He has authored and edited books and articles on the early history of Arabic, language classification, North Arabian and Arabic epigraphy, and historical Semitic linguistics. He received a PhD from Harvard.
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