April 9, 2018

"A Battle of Books: Qur'anic Manuscripts and Imperial Patronage in Early Abbasid Times"

François Déroche
Collège de France

April 18, 2018
7:30-9:00 p.m.
Breasted Hall of the Oriental Institute

We are slowly discovering the role the Qur'an as a book played in the early Islamic period. At various moments, starting with the codices of the Companions, copies of the Holy Text were involved in some way in the struggles between feuding parties. It will be argued that a group of
large Qur'anic manuscripts with 12 lines of text to the page are actually a witness of such an episode that took place towards the beginning of Abbasid rule in the second half of the 8th century CE. François Déroche, Professor at the Collège de France, is the world's foremost authority on early Qur'an manuscripts and a leading scholar of the history of the Arabic book. His many publications include Islamic Codicology: An Introduction to the Study of Manuscripts in the Arabic Script (2006), Qur'ans of the Umayyads (2014), and Le transmission écrite du Coran dans Jes débuts de l'lslam: le codex Parisino-Petropolitanus (2009), among many others. His work has done much to clarify how the Qur'an text was first transmitted, and has established a categorization of the earliest manuscripts dating to the seventh and eighth centuries CE.

The lecture organized and sponsored by the France Chicago Center. the Oriental Institute, the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilization, and the Center tor Middle Eastern Studies.