Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Aljamiado (Spanish: [alxaˈmjaðo]; Arabic: عَجَمِيَة‎ trans. ʿajamiyah) or Aljamía texts are manuscripts that use the Arabic script for transcribing European languages, especially Romance languages such as Mozarabic, Portuguese, Spanish or Ladino. According to Anwar G. Chejne,[2] Aljamiado or Aljamía is "a corruption of the Arabic word ʿajamiyah (in this case it means foreign language) and, generally, the Arabic expression ʿajam and its derivative ʿajamiyah are applicable to peoples whose ancestry is not of Arabian origin". In linguistic terms, the Aljamía is the use of the Arabic alphabet to transcribe the Romance language, which was used by some people in some areas of Al-Andalus as an everyday communication vehicle, while Arabic was reserved as the language of science, high culture and religion.


177 Messianic symbolism In a second level of meaning, the seal of Solomon is a symbol, andwe will now trace its Jewish origins. Victor Klagsbald explained the relationship of the Star of David or Shield of David (magen David) with the rabbinic symbolism of the lily. The lily symbol is the representation of the people of Israel, and draws its messianic sense from a rabbi’s allegorical interpretation of the Song of Songs.This approach is instructive for the topic under examination sincethe authorship of the Biblical book is traditionally attributed toSolomon. The six-pointed star would originally be the sign announcing the coming of the Messiah of the lineage of David; therefore the conjecture supports the identification of that symbol with the announcement of a new era heralded by the wise king of Judaism and prophet of Islam. Whereas Islamic sources kept thesix-pointed star related to their prophet, they called it “Seal of Solomon.” The Jewish, on the other hand, named it “Shield of David” or “Star of David” (Klagsbald 1997). Islamic eschatological symbolism To some extent the seal is appropriated as a typically eschatological symbol and this is evidenced in the hadit (a story on Muhammad’s sayings or actions transmitted within achain of authority) by Ibn Habib ͤal-Andalusi in the 9th century. This tradition relates how those convicted at Doomsday are identified by the seal of Solomon engraved on their foreheads, by contrast to Moses’ pole identifying the true believers. [... another example, less relevant] The seal of Solomon thus might have assumed a negative meaning in Islamic eschatology at least in al-Andalus.However, there is clear evidence showing that the seal of Solomon took on a specific meaning in orthodox Islam. As Almudena Ariza has noted, the use of the seal in Caliphal coins of al-Andalus is due to a call of support to the berber population. The symbol had been already minted in the Idrisid coins of North Africa and used as a political instrument. It meant the adoption of the attributes of Solomon, wisdom and power, by the rulers; probably containing another hidden meaning to the population since the trend of the [shiit?] current is based in the esoteric interpretation of the sacred book: the Quran (Ariza 2010).

Thursday, March 19, 2015


 p. 143 ...Jie and Zhou were oppressive and chaotic, and Tang and Wu campaigned against them. Now, to have the building up of wood and the boring of wood in the time of the Xia would certainly have made Gun and Yu laugh, and to have the opening of channels in the time of the Yin and Zhou would certainly have made Tang and Wu laugh. As such, to exalt the way of Yao, Shun, Tang, Wu, and Yu in the present age would certainly make the new sages laugh. This is why sages do not try to cultivate the ancient ways and do not model them-selves on constancy.


 In short, both the Shangjun shu and the Han Feizi celebrate their lack of concern with precedent and give free rein to the sage to create anew as necessary. But here, of course, is a major tension. On the one hand, these texts are committed to the claim that circumstances change, and that the ruler must therefore be free to create a completely new order, unre-stricted by past practice or precedent—hence the celebration in these texts of radical innovation on the part of the ruler. But the texts are also committed to the claim that, once this order has been created, the ruler must stop being active and instead practice noninterference. The problem, of course, is that, since times change, the ruler must always be prepared to become active once again and to create anew yet again. Ironically enough, this unresolvable tension may in part explain the appeal of these texts—precisely because it allows the texts to be ap- propriated in different ways by different figures. Ministers would tend to support such texts’ assertions of the need for clear procedures and regulations—and thus for a noninterfering ruler. But in periods of radical transformation rulers would tend to appeal to such texts be-cause of their strong affirmation of the need for a highly active ruler to innovate. In others words, as problematic as this tension was in prac-tice, the tension was also part of the appeal of the texts to political actors with very different concerns.

(having miserably little time to work on those issues deeper. dumping the scraps here)

Friday, February 27, 2015

"Recently, upon discovering that ancient Iranian conceptions and practices concerning the retention of seminal essences were uncannily similar to those in late classical Greece and among early sexual hygienists in China (Daryaee 2000), I brought this information to the attention of several of the most noted authorities on sex in ancient China. Their responses were uniformly dismaying, consisting essentially of the following sentiments: (a) I know next to nothing about Greece; (b) I am ignorant of Iran; (c) I do not care about origins and influences; (d) I care only about my research on certain aspects of early China. It is difficult to imagine that one could be aware of the multiple startling correspondences among Iranian, Greek, and Chinese practitioners of sexual meditation during a comparable time frame and not be at least curious about how this remarkable concatenation of highly specific extraordinary ideas and techniques occurred. Such, however, is indeed the case for the majority of scholars. This is what may be referred to as “blindered scholarship,” a mode of inquiry that one encounters at every turn in academe.

 - Victor H. Mair

in-depth vs correlativity in methodology