Saturday, August 20, 2016

Multilingualism in the Graeco-Roman Worlds, ed. by Alex Mullen and Patrick James, Cambridge University Press 2012

Through words and images employed both by individuals and by a range of communities across the Graeco-Roman worlds, this book explores the complexity of multilingual representations of identity. Starting with the advent of literacy in the Mediterranean, it encompasses not just the Greek and Roman empires but also the transformation of the Graeco-Roman world under Islam and within the medieval mind. By treating a range of materials, contexts, languages, and temporal and political boundaries, the contributors consider points of cross-cultural similarity and difference and the changing linguistic landscape of East and West from antiquity into the medieval period. Insights from contemporary multilingualism theory and interdisciplinary perspectives are employed throughout to exploit the material fully.

Greek Language and Education Under Early Islam, Maria Mavroudi 2014

A must read and online available thorough the website of the author herself on

1- Maria Mavroudi, “Greek Language and Education Under Early Islam,” in Islamic Cultures, Islamic Contexts: Essays in Honor of Professor Patricia Crone, eds. Behnam Sadeghi, Asad Q. Ahmed, Robert Hoyland, Adam Silverstein (Leiden: E. J. Brill 2014), 295-342.

Manuscript of Sughrat (Socrates) belongs to a 13th century Seljuk illustrator. It is currently kept at Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul, Turkey

Friday, August 19, 2016

Kitto's the Greeks (1951) into Arabic

In 1962, Kitto's the Greeks was translated into Arabic by Mohamd S. Khafaga of Cairo University. 

The Greeks is a 1951 non-fiction book on classical Greece by University of Bristol professor and translator H. D. F. Kitto

Two New Editions of the Arabic Translation of Aristotle's Politics

The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies has recently published a new edition of  Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed 's(15 January 1872 – 5 March 1963) translation of Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire's Politique d'Aristote (Paris, 1874). In addition to this, there is a direct translation from Greek into Arabic. This is the translation done by Augstin Baraba (1981-1917) and published in Beirut in 1957.  A new edition of this direct translation has been also recently in 2012 published by the Arabic Organization of Translation. See all book covers below.

Nicomachean Ethics from the French (of Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire, Morale d'Aristote 1856) into Arabic

Digging in the Internet, I found the Arabic translation of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics available to Egyptian readership in 1914. The translation is done by the anti-colonial activist and the first director of Cairo University, Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed (15 January 1872 – 5 March 1963). It is not a direct translation from Greek, but through an intermediate language, French. Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed translated the French translation done by Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire (19 August 1805 – 24 November 1895) the French philosopher and statesman. The original French book, published in Paris in 1856, can be downloaded from It is to be noted that the same translator has translated  Aristotle's de Generatione et Corruptione into Arabic from the French of Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire. See my post about this translation here:

Βάτραχοι (The frogs) of Aristophanes into Arabic by Abdelmoety Sharawy (2011)

Abdel Moaty Sharawy of Cairo University has translated Βάτραχοι (The frogs) of Aristophanes into Arabic. The translation was published in March 2012 in the international theater's series of  the Kuwaiti National Council of Culture, Arts and Literature (KNCCAL).

The Frogs of Aristophanes is not translated into Arabic, but it is performed on the stage by famous Egyptian actors and recorder for the national Radio. See my post about this performance on July 31, 2014 in this blog (, where you can find also the link to the audio file, if you want to listen to it in Arabic.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

H. Idris Bell's Egypt, from Alexander the Great to the Arab conquest (1948, Oxford, at the Clarendon Press) into Arabic

Whenever I dig deeper in the Internet, I find lots of interesting translations of classical books of Greco-Roman Studies into Arabic. This time I have found the Arabic translation of H. Idris Bell's Egypt, from Alexander the Great to the Arab conquest:  a study in the diffusion and decay of Hellenism : being the Gregynog lectures for 1946 (1948, Oxford, at the Clarendon Press). Zaki Aly, the late Prof. of Ancient History in Cairo University, has done the translation for Dar Almaref publishing house. In which year this translation has appeared, I can not tell. Here is a link to the original English in . Below is the book cover of the translation and the content.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Alexander the great, a play by Mustafa Mahmoud

I have just finished reading a short play of four acts titled Alexander the great by the prominent Egyptian writer Mustafa Mahmoud (25 December 1921 – 31 October 2009). Every one in Egypt knows who is Mustafa Mahmoud. According to Wikipedia Mustafa Mahmoud "...wrote 89 books in science, philosophy, religion, politics, and society as well as plays, Tales, and travelogues. His writing style was notable for its simplicity and depth." But I think that few knows about this play. The play was published in 1963 by Dar Al Marefa publishing house. It is an interesting piece of work and worth reading. 

Ovid's Amores into Arabic

I am so happy to report that Ovid's Amores is finally translated into Arabic by the Egyptian latinist Dr. Alaa Saber of Cairo University. Dr. Alaa himself has posted this news to his Facebook account. The translation is published in 2016 by the National Center of Translation (NCT) and revised by Dr. Abdel Moaty Shaarawy. The Arabic translation of the three books' edition that has come down to us is proceeded by an extensive introduction, as one can see from the table of contents attached to this post.

He has also give us an image of the book cover and a beautiful excerpt of the translation; Ov. Am. 1.9-15

لقد كنت ذات مرة أخاف من الليل 
وأشباحه الفارغة. كنت أعجب كيف
يجرؤ شخص ما على المشى فى الظلام 
ضحك "كيوبيد" فى أذنى ، ومعه أمه 
الحانية ، وقال بلطف : "أنت أيضاً ستكون شجاعاً !"
وجاء الحب بدون تأخير ، بأشباح لا 
تهرب من الليل ، ولم تستخدم الأسلجة 
لتدفع عن قدرى ، مع ذلك لا أشعر بالخوف ،
إننى أخاف منك أنت فقط ...
At quondam noctem simulacraque vana timebam;

10 Mirabar, tenebris quisquis iturus erat.

     Risit, ut audirem, tenera cum matre Cupido

     Et leviter 'fies tu quoque fortis' ait.

     Nec mora, venit amor — non umbras nocte volantis,

     Non timeo strictas in mea fata manus.

15 Te nimium lentum timeo ...

The Classical legacy in Tawfiq al-Hakim's Drama

Tawfiq al-Hakim, the prominent Egyptian novelist and playwright, was not only aware of the Greek and Latin theater, but used it extensively in his plays.
This is very evident from the titles of three of his works; Praxa/The problem of ruling (1939), Pygmalion (1942) and Oedipus the King (1949). Yet Ahemd Etman, in his study about the classical sources of Tawfiq al-Hakim's Drama, reveals to us more about the interest of this novelist with the Greek and Roman Literature. The comparative study was published in 1993 in Cairo by The Egyptian International Publishing Co-Longman (ISBN 977-16-0106-7).  It consists of an introduction, five chapters and a conclusion in 345 pages. Here is the book cover. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Chevening Scholarships Programme for 2017/2018 is now open

Chevening Scholarships Programme for 2017/2018 is now open with two significant updates;

ü Firstly, Tuition is not capped
ü And secondly, scholarship covers all fields of study in any UK university.

Chevening Scholarships offer the opportunity to study for a one-year Master’s degree in any subject at any UK universities, and are awarded to outstanding established or emerging leaders across a wide range of fields.

Applications for a Chevening Scholarship must be submitted online at and the deadline for receipt of applications is 8 November at 23.59 GMT. Applicants should read the online guidance and demonstrate how they meet the Chevening selection criteria before submitting an application.

To be eligible for a Chevening Scholarship, the applicant must: ·

Be an Egyptian citizen, and intend to return to Egypt after completion of his/her studies ·
Hold a BA degree ·
Have completed at least two years’ work or equivalent experience before applying for a Chevening Scholarship ·
Be able to meet the Chevening minimum English language requirement ·
Be able to receive an unconditional offer from a UK university .

Please feel free to forward and pass the Chevening announcement to your contacts and networks who may be interested to apply to help find those talented young Egyptian professionals who can make use of these opportunities!

The announcement is now the Chevening facebook pages:

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Contesting Antiquity in Egypt, AUC press 2015 by Donald Malcolm Reid

[ from the publisher's website 13-08-2016]

The history of the struggles for control over Egypt's antiquities, and their repercussions during a period of intense national ferment 

The sensational discovery in 1922 of Tutankhamun’s tomb, close on the heels of Britain’s declaration of Egyptian independence, accelerated the growth in Egypt of both Egyptology as a formal discipline and of ‘pharaonism'—popular interest in ancient Egypt—as an inspiration in the struggle for full independence. Emphasizing the three decades from 1922 until Nasser’s revolution in 1952, this compelling follow-up to Whose Pharaohs? looks at the ways in which Egypt developed its own archaeologies—Islamic, Coptic, and Greco-Roman, as well as the more dominant ancient Egyptian. Each of these four archaeologies had given birth to, and grown up around, a major antiquities museum in Egypt. Later, Cairo, Alexandria, and Ain Shams universities joined in shaping these fields. Contesting Antiquity in Egypt brings all four disciplines, as well as the closely related history of tourism, together in a single engaging framework. Throughout this semi-colonial era, the British fought a prolonged rearguard action to retain control of the country while the French continued to dominate the Antiquities Service, as they had since 1858. Traditional accounts highlight the role of European and American archaeologists in discovering and interpreting Egypt’s long past. Donald Reid redresses the balance by also paying close attention to the lives and careers of often-neglected Egyptian specialists. He draws attention not only to the contests between westerners and Egyptians over the control of antiquities, but also to passionate debates among Egyptians themselves over pharaonism in relation to Islam and Arabism during a critical period of nascent nationalism. Drawing on rich archival and published sources, extensive interviews, and material objects ranging from statues and murals to photographs and postage stamps, this comprehensive study by one of the leading scholars in the field will make fascinating reading for scholars and students of Middle East history, archaeology, politics, and museum and heritage studies, as well as for the interested lay reader.

See more and order the book at :

Classical Reception Studies: Reconceptualizing the Study of the Classical Tradition by Maarten De Pourcq

Full papers in

Classical Reception Studies: Reconceptualizing the Study of the Classical Tradition
Maarten De Pourcq

Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds, by Lorna Hardwick and Carol Gillespie, 2007

ABSTRACT [ from Oxford Scholarship Online]

Classical material was traditionally used to express colonial authority, but it was also appropriated by imperial subjects to become first a means of challenging colonialism, and then a rich field for creating cultural identities which blend the old and the new. Nobel prize winners such as Derek Walcott and Seamus Heaney have rewritten classical material in their own cultural idioms, while public sculpture in southern Africa draws on Greek and Roman motifs in order to represent histories of African resistance and liberation. These developments are explored in this collection of essays by scholars who debate the relationship between the culture of Greece and Rome, and the changes that have followed the end of colonial empires.

Classics and colonialism by Barbara Goff (2005)

This collection of well-focussed essays is the first to examine explicitly the role played by the literature and culture of classical antiquity in the various discourses that established, maintained or undermined the British empire. Drawing on reception studies and postcolonial studies, the contributors investigate topics such as the intersections among nineteenth- and twentieth-century theories of the Greek, Roman and British empires, the place of neo-classical poetry and classical education in the Caribbean, and adaptations of Greek drama by postcolonial writers in Africa and elsewhere. There is a substantial introduction that discusses the role of classics within the British empire, why it should compel our attention and how it might provide fruitful ground for further enquiry. The emphasis throughout is on the diverse ways in which the classical tradition has been used both by those who identified themselves with imperialist goals and by those engaged in struggle against imperialism. - See more at:

Friday, August 12, 2016

CALCS Project: : including Arabic names in the Greco-Roman atlas

Gabriel BODARD, in Pelagios Commons on 

With thanks to the Pelagios Commons team and especially the expert and generous SIG chairs, we’re happy to announce the CALCS Project has been funded with a small development grant. The aim of this project—which serves as a pilot for a much larger investigation into the afterlives of sites we think of as classical—is to add information about mediaeval Arabic and Ottoman, and modern Arabic and Turkish, names to sites in Pleiades.

The Pleiades Gazetteer, probably the most useful authority of any kind of the Ancient and Late Antique Linked Web, as Pelagios collaborators do not need reminding, is based on the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, the most definitive print atlas of classical antiquity. Although constantly under improvement, Pleiades is already as close to a comprehensive list of known Greco-Roman places and names as we have ever had. The majority of names in the gazetteer are those in use in Anglo-Saxon classical scholarship: either the classical names that were in the atlas (Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium; αἱ Ἀθῆναι), or the English/Italian rendering of a modern or other variant place name (Naples, Cirene).

This misses a huge part of the picture, obviously. Shortly after the end of what we call the Classical Period, and before the Latin Middle Ages or Renaissance, the Islamic world took control of huge swathes of the former Empire, and held parts of it for many centuries; Iberia and Sicily were Arabic-speaking for hundred of years, and most of the Balkans were part of the Turkish-speaking Ottoman Empire for centuries after the fall of Byzantium. Today, almost half of the former Roman Empire is still made up of countries whose first language are a form of Arabic. Many sources, from mediaeval maps and manuscripts, through Renaissance scholarship, to modern references in academic and popular works in North Africa and the Near East, will be inaccessible to the sort of computational study that Pleiades and Pelagios enable if we do not take into account the Arabic and Ottoman names for sites such as Alicante (أليكانته), Messina (مسينة), Thessaloniki (سلانیك) and Leptis Magna (لَبْدَة‎‎). More importantly, this one-sided recording of historical names runs the risk of (inadvertently) perpetuating the myth of European monoculture, the idea that there is an uninterrupted and pure line—politically, geographically, linguistically, genetically—from the grandeur of antiquity to the enlightenment of modern Europe, to which no one but white, Christian, Indo-European speaking people contributed. The inclusion of data from Arabic documents (in Pleiades) and the maps themselves (in Recogito) also helps to highlight the contribution to modern cartography (including some startlingly topological maps) from the Arabic tradition.

for more, see the original post in Pelagios commons: