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Maria Szuppe

« Une description des lieux de pèlerinage (ziyāratgāh) autour de Ghazna, Afghanistan (fin du XVIIe s.?) », in : M. Bernardini, N. T. Tornesello, eds., Scritti in onore di Giovanni M. D’Erme. Vol. II, Napoli, Universita Degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Series Minor LXVIII, 2005, pp. 1167-1200.

Compte-rendu réalisé par Robert McChesney

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1A thirty-eight line anonymous qaṣīde, one of ten mystical texts bound into a volume held at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Tashkent, provides a window into the spiritual and geographical landscape of the town of Ghazna (Ghazni), Afghanistan, “land of 100,000 Sufis” (according to the text) in the late 17th century. The text forms a pilgrimage guide to the area, a circuit of the tombs of the Ghazna region deemed efficacious for their sacred character. Dr. Szuppe has examined the qaṣīde in her usual meticulous fashion establishing the date of the work as 17th century (its terminus ante quem 1685). She begins with a contextualization of the geographical information in the qaṣīde, providing a detailed review of all the literature on the Ghazni area, both nearcontemporary and more modern and in so doing indicating how scarce information is about the city for this period. The topography mentioned in the qaṣīde is real, as she underscores, though some locales remain unidentified. Although she notes that it is difficult to establish the exact pilgrimage itinerary route intended by the work, Dr. Szuppe has nonetheless discovered general groupings for the sacred sites allowing an approximate placement for otherwise unidentifiable locations and order in which they might have been visited. Following an enumeration of the 27 sites mentioned in the qaṣīde (pp. 1177-1180), Dr. Szuppe contextualizes the work (pp. 1180-1189) in terms of genre comparing it to numerous other examples of pilgrimage guides as well as the šahrāšūb, a genre promoting the beautiful features of individual cities or of individual urban elements (quarters, streets, monuments). This is a very comprehensive and useful study not just for the unique information the qaṣīde provides about the Ghazna region but also for Dr. Szuppe’s placing the qaṣīde in a larger Central Asian socio-historical context in which saintly families and the local status and influence they achieved through the homage paid to their ancestors is an increasingly common aspect of urban life in the post-Timurid period.

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Robert McChesney. Maria Szuppe, « « Une description des lieux de pèlerinage (ziyāratgāh) autour de Ghazna, Afghanistan (fin du XVIIe s.?) », in : M. Bernardini, N. T. Tornesello, eds., Scritti in onore di Giovanni M. D’Erme. Vol. II, Napoli, Universita Degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Series Minor LXVIII, 2005, pp. 1167-1200. », Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 28 | 2007, document 210, mis en ligne le 18 septembre 2007, consulté le 25 avril 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/18331

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