Ilex Series is published by the Ilex Foundation in partnership with the Center for Hellenic Studies. The series plays an integral part in the Foundation’s overall mission to promote the study of humanistic traditions that derive from the civilizations of the Mediterranean and the Near East, from the second millenium BCE to the present.

Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.

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1.Cover: Dreaming Across Boundaries: The Interpretation of Dreams in Islamic Lands

Dreaming Across Boundaries: The Interpretation of Dreams in Islamic Lands

Marlow, L.

This volume explores the context of theological speculations and political aspirations through the medium of dreams to present fascinating insights into the social history of the pre-modern Islamic world in all its cultural diversity. Wider cultural exchanges are discussed through concrete examples such as the Arabic version of the Aristotelian treatise De divinatione per somnum, and some of the current scholarly assumptions about dreams are challenged by personal reports that express individual personalities, self-awareness, and spiritual development.

2.Cover: Strī: Women in Epic Mahābhārata

Strī: Women in Epic Mahābhārata

McGrath, Kevin

This book is a study of heroic femininity as it appears in the epic Mahabharata, and focuses particularly on the roles of wife, daughter-in-law, and mother, on how these women speak, and on the kinship groups and varying marital systems that surround them.

3.Cover: Persian Literature and Judeo-Persian Culture: Collected Writings of Sorour S. Soroudi

Persian Literature and Judeo-Persian Culture: Collected Writings of Sorour S. Soroudi

Soroudi, Sorour S.
Chehabi, H. E.

S. S. Soroudi’s research concentrated on modern Persian poetry, particularly of the constitutional era; Judeo-Persian literature and folk culture; and the history and culture of Iranian Jewry, which she situated in the larger context of Iranian history. This collection includes one previously unpublished piece and one newly translated into English.

4.Cover: The Rhetoric of Biography: Narrating Lives in Persianate Societies

The Rhetoric of Biography: Narrating Lives in Persianate Societies

Marlow, L.

Within a growing scholarly literature devoted to the topics of biography and autobiography, especially in the Arabic literary tradition, the essays in this volume explore the forms and meanings of these genres with particular reference to Persian writings, as well as to writings in Arabic and Turkish that were also composed in Persianate societies.

5.Cover: Jaya: Performance in Epic Mahābhārata

Jaya: Performance in Epic Mahābhārata

McGrath, Kevin

JAYA is a study of how the four poets of the Indian epic Mahābhārata fuse their separate performances of the poem into a single and seamless work of art. The subtle poetics of preliteracy and literacy which are compounded in one performance are demonstrated and made distinct in both a literary and a conceptual light.

6.Cover: The <i>History</i> of Beyhaqi: The History of Sultan Mas‘ud of Ghazna, 1030–1041, Volume I: Introduction and Translation of Years 421–423 A.H. (1030–1032 A.D.)

The History of Beyhaqi: The History of Sultan Mas‘ud of Ghazna, 1030–1041, Volume I: Introduction and Translation of Years 421–423 A.H. (1030–1032 A.D.)

Beyhaqi, Abu’l-Fażl

This is the first complete translation, with detailed commentary, of the surviving volumes of Beyhaqi’s massive project. The historian’s writings, dealing with the years 1030–1041, combine astute criticism and wry humor with an unobtrusive display of mastery of the learned literature of the time, both in Arabic and Persian.

6.Cover: The <i>History</i> of Beyhaqi: The History of Sultan Mas‘ud of Ghazna, 1030–1041, Volume II: Translation of Years 424–432 A.H. (1032–1041 A.D.) and the History of Khwarazm

The History of Beyhaqi: The History of Sultan Mas‘ud of Ghazna, 1030–1041, Volume II: Translation of Years 424–432 A.H. (1032–1041 A.D.) and the History of Khwarazm

Beyhaqi, Abu’l-Fażl

This is the first complete translation, with detailed commentary, of the surviving volumes of Beyhaqi’s massive project. The historian’s writings, dealing with the years 1030–1041, combine astute criticism and wry humor with an unobtrusive display of mastery of the learned literature of the time, both in Arabic and Persian.

6.Cover: The <i>History</i> of Beyhaqi: The History of Sultan Mas‘ud of Ghazna, 1030–1041, Volume III: Commentary, Bibliography, and Index

The History of Beyhaqi: The History of Sultan Mas‘ud of Ghazna, 1030–1041, Volume III: Commentary, Bibliography, and Index

Beyhaqi, Abu’l-Fażl

This is the first complete translation, with detailed commentary, of the surviving volumes of Beyhaqi’s massive project. The historian’s writings, dealing with the years 1030–1041, combine astute criticism and wry humor with an unobtrusive display of mastery of the learned literature of the time, both in Arabic and Persian.

7.Cover: The Last of the Rephaim: Conquest and Cataclysm in the Heroic Ages of Ancient Israel

The Last of the Rephaim: Conquest and Cataclysm in the Heroic Ages of Ancient Israel

Doak, Brian R.

Doak explores how the giants of the Hebrew Bible—which represent a connection to primeval chaos—offer insight into central aspects of Israel’s symbolic universe. By placing biblical traditions within a broader Mediterranean context regarding giants and the end of the heroic age, Doak sheds new light on monotheism and monarchy in ancient Israel.

8.Cover: Ruse and Wit: The Humorous in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish Narrative

Ruse and Wit: The Humorous in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish Narrative

Brookshaw, Dominic Parviz

These essays examine a millennium of humorous and satirical writing in the Islamic world. Humor in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish narrative emerges here as a culturally modulated phenomenon that demands examination with reference to its historical framework and that, in turn, communicates as much about its producers as it does about its audience.

9.Cover: Heroic Kṛṣṇa: Friendship in Epic Mahābhārata

Heroic Kṛṣṇa: Friendship in Epic Mahābhārata

McGrath, Kevin

Heroic Krsna depicts a pre-Hindu superhuman hero who became the divinity Krsna. Drawn from the epic Mahābhārata, Kevin McGrath’s account of the warrior-charioteer and his friendship with Arjuna explores cultural continuities from the Bronze Age Vedic world and illustrates the pre-divine life of one of the most popular Indian deities of today.

10.Cover: On the Wonders of Land and Sea: Persianate Travel Writing

On the Wonders of Land and Sea: Persianate Travel Writing

Micallef, Roberta
Sharma, Sunil

On the Wonders of Land and Sea is a comparative study of travel writers in the eastern Islamic world from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. Situating texts in their socio-historical contexts, the essays study works by male and female Muslim and Parsi/Zoroastrian travelers in the Hijaz, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Europe.

11.Cover: Poet and Hero in the Persian Book of Kings: Third Edition

Poet and Hero in the Persian Book of Kings: Third Edition

Davidson, Olga M.

Olga M. Davidson’s major reassessment of the classical Persian epic the Shāhnāma argues that its poet is actually a character in the work who coexists with the heroes and kings celebrated in the poem. Documenting the text’s oral performance tradition, Davidson shows that the heroic style of the Shāhnāma stems from ancient Indo-European traditions.

12.Cover: Comparative Literature and Classical Persian Poetics: Second Edition

Comparative Literature and Classical Persian Poetics: Second Edition

Davidson, Olga M.

Olga M. Davidson applies comparative literary approaches to classical Persian traditions of composing and performing poetry and song. She focuses on the eleventh-century CE epic Shāhnāma and its relationship to other genres embedded in it, including forms of verbal art originally composed without the aid of writing, such as women’s laments.

13.Cover: Ferdowsi’s <i>Shāhnāma</i>: Millennial Perspectives

Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāma: Millennial Perspectives

Davidson, Olga M.
Simpson, Marianna Shreve

The Shāhnāma or Book of Kings glorifies the spectacular achievements of Iranian civilization from its mythologized beginnings to the time of the Arab Conquest. Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāma: Millennial Perspectives takes a fresh look at the reception of Ferdowsi’s poetry, especially in the twelfth through fifteenth centuries.

14.Cover: Mirror of Dew: The Poetry of Ālam-tāj Zhāle Qā’em-Maqāmi

Mirror of Dew: The Poetry of Ālam-tāj Zhāle Qā’em-Maqāmi

One of Iran’s leading female poets, Zhāle Qā’em-Maqāmi (1883–1946) witnessed pivotal social and political changes in Iran during its transition to modernity. Mirror of Dew is the first English translation of her poems. Deeply personal but including social critique, they offer a rare view of the impact of a modern awareness on private lives.

15.Cover: Global Medieval: Mirrors for Princes Reconsidered

Global Medieval: Mirrors for Princes Reconsidered

Forster, Regula
Yavari, Neguin

Global Medieval compares mirrors for princes from varied historical contexts and lineages of political thought in order to determine whether a genuine history of political thought in the premodern period is possible. These texts become a lens for exploring ideals and manners of good rule across political, religious, and cultural divides.

16.Cover: Erin and Iran: Cultural Encounters between the Irish and the Iranians

Erin and Iran: Cultural Encounters between the Irish and the Iranians

Chehabi, H. E.
Neville, Grace

In Erin and Iran, North American and European scholars consider parallel themes in and interactions between Irish and Iranian cultures from ancient times to the twentieth century. These studies of mythology, literature, and travelogues constitute the first-ever volume dealing with cultural encounters between the Irish and the Iranians.

17.Cover: Singing Moses’s Song: A Performance-Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy’s Song of Moses

Singing Moses’s Song: A Performance-Critical Analysis of Deuteronomy’s Song of Moses

Stone, Keith A.

How does performing affect those who perform? Starting from observation of the intergenerational tradition of performing the Song of Moses, Keith A. Stone provides a close reading of the text of the Song and explores ways in which the Song contributes to Deuteronomy’s educational program through the dynamics of reenactment.

18.Cover: Illusion and Disillusionment: Travel Writing in the Modern Age

Illusion and Disillusionment: Travel Writing in the Modern Age

Micallef, Roberta

Through engaging characters—China-bound missionaries, an Indo-Persian diplomat, a Turkish exile in India, a French teacher in America, Arab students in Moscow, a Japanese woman writer in Europe—Illusion and Disillusionment examines travel writing beyond colonialism, imperialism, and Orientalism, focusing on the experience of travel itself.

19.Cover: The Study of al-Andalus: The Scholarship and Legacy of James T. Monroe

The Study of al-Andalus: The Scholarship and Legacy of James T. Monroe

Hamilton, Michelle M.
Wacks, David A.

The Study of al-Andalus explores the many ways in which James T. Monroe’s scholarship has inspired further study in topics including Hispano-Arabic, Hebrew, and Romance literatures, Persian epic poetry, the impact of Andalusi literature in Egypt and the Arab East, and the lasting legacy of the expulsion of Spain’s last Muslims.

20.Cover: The Arts of Iran in Istanbul and Anatolia: Seven Essays

The Arts of Iran in Istanbul and Anatolia: Seven Essays

Davidson, Olga M.
Simpson, Marianna Shreve

Much medieval Persianate artwork—including books illustrated with exquisite miniature paintings—was disassembled and dispersed as isolated art objects. In The Arts of Iran in Istanbul and Anatolia, a literary historian and six art historians trace the journey from the destructive dispersal of fragments to the joys of restoration.

21.Cover: Cyrus the Great: Life and Lore

Cyrus the Great: Life and Lore

Shayegan, M. Rahim

Cyrus the Great re-contextualizes Cyrus’s epoch in light of recent scholarship. Themes include: Mesopotamian antecedents of his religious policy, the idiosyncratic genesis of Persian imperial art; Babylonian exile and the Bible; Hellenistic and Arsacid genealogical constructs; and his enigmatic evanescence in Sasanian and Muslim traditions.

22.Cover: Methodists and Muslims: My Life as an Orientalist

Methodists and Muslims: My Life as an Orientalist

Bulliet, Richard W.

Both memoir and critique, Methodists and Muslims follows Richard Bulliet’s expansive career, starting with his beginnings in Illinois to his entrée into the then-arcane field of Islamic Studies and culminating in the controversial visit to New York City by President Ahmadinejad of Iran.

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