Tweeting Historians Profile picture
Wkly rotating acct ft. a new historian. Do Not use content w/o permission. Creator/mngr @SasanianShah, co-manager @DrWorsTen. Tweets this week: @PieterCoppens8
Pradeep Gowda Profile picture Md Redza Ibrahim محمد رضا إبراهيم Profile picture 4 added to My Authors
3 Aug
So, why was Walid Saleh essential? His works were the first to address the ideological problems in our understanding of the history of tafsir. If you ask people about the most important tafsir ever written, the answer will probably be Tabari, with Ibn Kathir a good second. (1/7)
In his monograph on the tafsir of Tha’labi, Saleh showed we overestimate the importance of Tabari for the later tradition. Tha’labi may have been much more influential, but was subtly written out of the history of the genre, due to his incorporation of material that was (2/7)
In another study Saleh also shows how the tafsir of Maturidi draws upon very different sources than Tabari, and how the scope of the genre was much wider than Tabari shows in his selection: (3/7)
Read 9 tweets
29 Jul
Let me tell you this story of a #pizza. To start with, the term pizza was likely first be recorded in the 10th century, in a Latin manuscript, but when was pizza delivery invented? And what is the connection to #bookhistory, anyway?
Well, do you like #magic?
If you follow my account (@dbellingradt) you may have noticed that I co-wrote a small book in 2017 about a famous collection of 140 magical manuscripts: the Leipzig collection. By the way, this is the book:…

The #pizza story, I mentioned in this thread, is one of too many fantastic stories these 140 manuscripts offer. Conjuring spirits, traveling through time and space, marrying nymphs, you name it, it is all here. Fancy an open access look on all mss:…

Read 18 tweets
22 Jul
On my third day as the host of @Tweetistorian, I will tweet about how the relationship between Palestinians and the radical left in W-Germany changed after the Six-Day War. 1/16
Until 1967, the left in W-Germany was largely supportive of Israel. Reflections on Germany’s historical responsibility and criticism of the conservative government’s failure to build diplomatic relations with Israel were important elements of leftist discourse. 2/16
In 1967, a split emerged between older leftists, like Helmut Gollwitzer, who called for a continued support of Israel, and members of the student movement, who increasingly turned towards anti-Zionism. Parts of the radical left also adopted antisemitic slogans and violence. 3/16
Read 16 tweets
21 Jul
Today, I want to explore Palestinian politics in W-Germany before 1967. Why is this year important? It marks Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War and the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai. 1/12
Historians consider the war as the beginning of solidarity movements with Palestinians in several countries. Studies of W-Germany are no exception. Various authors have taken 1967 as a fundamental rupture, which led to the pro-Palestinian activism of the student movement. 2/12
But what about Palestinian politics in the country before the Six-Day War? Palestinian sources highlight an important development that started in the 1950s and later came to underpin the solidarity movement: The emergence of a Palestinian diaspora in W-Germany. 3/12
Read 12 tweets
20 Jul
Hello everyone! This is @jbprestel. This week, I will tweet about my research on the shifting fate of relations between Palestinians and the radical left in West Germany between the 1950s and the 1980s. I will start by introducing the topic and the gist of my research. 1/16
Beginning in the 1960s, a solidarity movement with Palestinians emerged in West Germany. Palestine solidarity committees mushroomed at various universities and support for Palestinians became a central component of the radical left’s internationalism. 2/16
The commitment to Palestinian politics started to fade away in the late 1970s, as a disillusion with internationalism and a reckoning with Antisemitism in the West German left set in. 3/16
Read 16 tweets
6 Jul
QUANTIFYING THE MAHJAR: So now that I've shown you this map, let's talk about what goes into it. This thread will explore why/how Ottoman Arabs emigrated to the Americas, the stakes of quantifying them, and the challenge of diasporic demography.

au:@SDFahrenthold Map of the mahjar c. 1926. Source: OUP2019.
This diaspora is of eastern Mediterranean migrants, Arabic-speaking Ottoman subjects from places now in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, parts of Jordan & Iraq. Though diverse in origin, the historiography refers to them as "Syrians," "Shawam," or "Syro-Lebanese." More on that later.
Syrians were one of many groups participating in the Mediterranean-to-Atlantic circuit that brought millions of migrants abroad. This circuit emerged after 1870 as a result of:
- the abolition of Atlantic slavery
- the advent of steamship travel
- economic recession in Syria.
Read 27 tweets
6 Jul
The biggest problem with how US theatre history is conventionally written/taught is that it has settled for a segregated narrative. All too often when focused on white Anglophone stories it fails at including any others. Look at late 19th/early 20th c.
Generally the narrative focuses on vaudeville as the emergence of the entertainment industry & monopolistic control over theatre booking/touring. The monopolies foreclose almost every possibility for an independent, heterogeneous local professional theatre. Or so we are taught.
That teaching is so far from accurate. From 1890-1940 there were two hundred Yiddish theatres in the USA & toured across the Americas & Europe. Yiddish theatre would inspire innovation in US theatre and help create the method acting movement. Thalia Theatre poster, New York, 1897.
Read 8 tweets
28 Jun
As you might imagine, I have barely scratched the surface of what we know about the fall of the Aztec Empire and the lives of its last emperor and empress.

Below you'll find a bibliography, containing my sources for this week's threads & other works I encourage you to read.









Read 4 tweets
28 Jun
Last thread by @DavidOBowles about the invasion and conquest of the Aztec Empire through the lens of the lives of its last emperor and empress.

The night Cuauhtemoc finally surrendered (after weeks of failed negotiations), the heavens opened up in a massive downpour.

But the following morning, the ruins of the island were still smoking. It was like hell, one Spaniard would recall. Virtually no buildings had been left intact.

Cortés held a feast. Then he started trying to find the gold. Women fleeing the island underwent cavity searches.

Cuauhtemoc had been imprisoned (despite asking to be executed). Cortés appointed his cihuacoatl or prime minister, Tlacotzin as puppet ruler.

When Tlacotzin couldn't satisfactorily account for what Cortés believed was the missing treasure of Mocteuczoma, he tried torture.

Read 13 tweets
28 Jun
The invasion and conquest of the Aztec Empire, as seen through the lens of the lives of its last emperor and empress.

A thread for keeping track of the guest threads by @DavidOBowles

Read 9 tweets
27 Jun
Day 6! @DavidOBowles here, reviewing the invasion & conquest of the Aztec Empire by Spaniards & indigenous allies, using the biographical lens of the last emperor & empress.

7-20-1521. Six weeks into the siege, Cortés has Pedro Alvarado push into Tenochtitlan from the West.

Alvarado meets up with Cortés in the Atzacualco borough (Cortés passed through the ceremonial center). Cannons are pulled block to block by horses, to flatten houses as the enemy begin to push fleeing residents to the water. Canoes & brigantines start to pick them off.

This becomes the routine for the next week, as Cuauhtemoc sends his armies from the less accessible Tlatelolco to engage with the enemy in the ruined capital.

Tenochcah who remain suffer greatly. Food has run out everywhere in Tenochtitlan. Canal water is brackish now—

Read 15 tweets
27 Jun
Hey, @DavidOBowles here. I'm back to finish talking about the invasion & conquest of the Aztec Empire through the life of its last emperor, Cuāuhtemōc.

As the city recovered from smallpox, the emperor learned Cortés was making more allies. Cuāuhtemōc couldn't spare men, so—

—he sent jewels to what tributary kingdoms he could, promising a moratorium on tribute to the rest.

But his diplomatic efforts were seen as weakness. More & more city-states saw the writing on the wall, especially after Tetzcohco, 1/3 of the Alliance, aligned with Cortés.

As Cortés built brigantines on the shores of the lake & worked his growing army closer, conquering the kingdoms that refused an alliance, Cuāuhtemōc worked to stock up on supplies & food.

Then, on May 22, 1521, Cortés began his siege.

After shattering the vital aqueduct—

Read 12 tweets
24 Jun
Hey, there! It's me, @DavidOBowles, back for the 3rd day of my one-week stint at the wheel of this ship.

We're looking at the invasion of Mexico & fall of the Aztec Empire through the lives of its last emperor & empress. We've discussed Tecuichpo; let's turn to Cuauhtemoc.

Cuāuhtemōc, last huēyi tlahtoāni or Aztec emperor, was the son of a previous emperor Āhuitzotl, & a princess of Tlatelōlco, sister city of Tenōchtitlan, occupying the same architecturally magnificent isle.

In Nahuatl, his name's pronounced kwah w’ TEH mohk

/kwa:w te mo:k/

The name is constructed as a compound verb. “Temōc” is “descended,” from “temo,” which means “descends.” The root “cuāuh-” or “eagle” appears to have been compounded onto it. This blend creates a new verb, “cuāuhtemo,” meaning “eagle-descends” or “descends like an eagle.”

Read 11 tweets
23 Jun
Hi! @DavidOBowles, back in the saddle for day 2 of our examination of the invasion & conquest of Mexico, seen through the lives of its last emperor & empress.

Yesterday was background on Tecuichpo, Moctezuma's daughter.

Let's look at her life.


Tēcuichpo has unique value to the power struggles in Tenochtitlan: in her are finally merged the 2 main lines of the royal family—the city-state’s 2nd king, Huitzilihuitl, & his bastard half-brother Itzcoatl, 4th king and founder of the Triple Alliance. First Aztec Emperor.

Before the Spanish arrive, she is married to Atlixcatl—son of previous ruler Āhuitzotl, therefore both her cousin & maternal uncle.

With this marriage, Motēuczōma signals whom he wants as his successor. But Altixcatl dies on the battlefield in 1520, leaving her a widow.

Read 14 tweets
22 Jun

I'm going to be using some familiar and unfamiliar terms this week, so I wanted to make sure we're all on the same page when discussing the fall of Tenochtitlan and its aftermath.


Nahuas—Nahuatl-speaking indigenous people of Mexico & Central America

Mexica—1 of many Nahua groups at the time of the Spanish conquest; held most power in the Triple Alliance; major sub-groups were Tenochcah & Tlatelolcah

Aztecs—modern term for citizens of Triple Alliance

Tenochtitlan—principal Mexica city, home to the Tenochcah, one of the three "places of authority" in the Triple Alliance

Tlatelolco—subjugated sister city of Tenochtitlan, home to the Tlatelolcah

Tetzcohco (Texcoco)—2nd place of authority, home to the Tetzcohcah.

Read 6 tweets
22 Jun
Hello, all. @DavidOBowles here. Since this year and next are the 500th anniversary of the invasion and conquest of Mexico by the Spanish, I'm going to spend most of this week talking about the last "Emperor" of the "Aztec Empire" and his wife.


Ladies first (also, I'm co-authoring a novel in which she features prominently)—

Empress Tecuichpo [teh KWEECH poh], later known as Doña Isabel Moctezuma.

To understand her better, let's meet her parents.

Father: Motēuczōma II (or Xōcoyōtzin, the Younger).


The primary queen of Motēuczōma II was Tlapalizquixōchitl. Lovely name. “Tlapal-” means “red-striped” & the “izquixōchitl” is the “popcorn flower” (Bourreria huanita) used by Aztecs to flavor cacao-based drinks & food. “Red-striped popcorn flower.”

She's not Tēcuichpo's mom.

Read 13 tweets
10 Jun
1) Today, I will provide an example of another type of solidarity that shaped the decolonisation of Southern Africa. In this instance solidarity in support of colonial and white minority rule. A sense of racial solidarity existed among the region's white minorities.
2) White societies across Africa’s different territories typically did not share strong daily social connections with one another. Additionally, these white societies were often further divided along ethnic and class lines, forming their own separate communities.
3) Yet each of these communities and societies shared the unique identity of being a white minority in Africa—which was privileged and dominant. Whenever a white minority was perceived to be threatened, a form of solidarity that was based on their shared identity kicked in.
Read 14 tweets
27 May
Five years and three months ago today, ISIS entered the museum in Mosul and began to destroy ancient statues with pickaxes and sledgehammers. They claimed they were destroying "false idols" in the name of Islam. In fact, there is no precedent in Islamic history for their actions.
A few months later in July of 2015, they would begin a campaign of destruction at Syria's most famed ancient site - Palmyra. Before it was over, ancient tomb towers, temples, and the famous Triumphal arch (seen here in 2009) would lie in ruin.

But that's only part of the story.
Syrian archaeologists, like Khaled al-Asaad, worked around the clock to save Palmyra. He would eventually give his life in defense of the site. His actions evoke the real history of how people in Islamic lands have related to antiquity over time: with curiosity, awe and respect.
Read 19 tweets
26 May
As an art historian and archaeologist, I think about how objects tell stories.

I'd like to lay out a few ideas about method: about what art historians do and how we do it. I'll use my own book, now in paperback @EdinburghUP!…
Art history is a discipline with a problematic history and as a result, a host of misconceptions. Art history as it's often taught in secondary and higher ed is still frequently entrenched in Eurocentric paradigms both in terms of subject matter and method.
What does this mean? It means that what's considered art - and thus worthy of study by art historians - is all-too often still a pretty narrow field, still following definitions laid out in the 17th c. European art academies - the Hierarchy of Genres.…
Read 22 tweets
29 Apr
According to tradition, Mecca was the commercial and religious center of 6th c. Arabia. But centuries earlier, there was another pilgrimage center in the Ḥigāz, ancient Dadān. Its inscriptions record these pre-Islamic ḥgg (Hajj's) ~AA. @Safaitic.
Dadān was the ancient name of the oasis of al-ʿUlā, in NW Ḥigāz. It is mentioned in the Bible and later was the seat of the kingdom of Liḥyān. It flourished in the 2nd half of the 1st mil. BCE before being annexed by the Nabataeans. Pic:…… ~AA.
The oasis had its own script and language, Dadānitic. Its primary deity was called Ḏġbt. The etymology of the name is uncertain. The rare spelling ̣ḏ-ġybt (= Arabic ̣ġayb) suggests that the divine title means "master of the unseen". Insc: Al-Ḫuraybah 12. ~AA.
Read 11 tweets
28 Apr
Ibn al-Kalbi's 'Book of Idols' depicts 6th c. Arabia (excluding Yemen) as dominated by paganism. But what do the Arabic inscriptions of 6th century Arabia tell us? day 2 ~AA @safaitic
One of the first discovered pre-Islamic Arabic-script inscriptions occurs in a Christian context. The Ḥarran inscription, from S. Syria (568 CE), commemorates the building of this martyrium of St. John. ~AA

انا سرحىل بر طلمو بنيت دا المرطول سنت 463 بعد مفسد حىىر ىعم

Several new pre-Islamic Arabic-script inscriptions have been recently published from the area of Ḥimà, N. of Nagrān by Robin, al-Ghabban, and al-Said. Many are accompanied by crosses, suggesting that their authors were Christians.
PalAR 1
ثوبن ملكو بيرح ىرك سنت 364 = 470 CE

Read 11 tweets