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Ziva Vesel

« Textes scientifiques persans : tradition et originalité », in : Jean-Louis Bacqué-Grammont ; Angel Pino et Samaha Khoury, éds., D’un Orient l’autre : actes des troisièmes journées de l’Orient, Bordeaux, 2-4 octobre 2002. Paris-Louvain, Éditions Peeters, 2005, pp. 339-350. (Cahiers de la Société asiatique, IV)

Book review by Sonja Brentjes

Full text

1Vesel discusses in four sections the emergence of scientific texts in Persian and their characteristic features on various socio-cultural levels. She interprets Persian as a vernacular language in relationship to Arabic and situates most Persian scientific texts in the sphere of the court. In her view it is this sphere that configures the framework for originality and tradition for scientific debates and learning in Persian. Parallel to her understanding of Persian as a vernacular language she evaluates the objective of scientific texts in this language as vulgarisation of high science to an amateur audience at court. One specific aspect of the practice of science in such an environment is orality. But she does not discuss this aspect in greater depth pointing out that too many texts have not yet been studied. The issue of vernacular vulgarisation is, however, as Vesel clarifies, potentially a too simple concept to do justice to the complexity of scientific practice at court under different dynasties and in different periods. She highlights that the opposite way from the vernacular into the scientific language, i.e. Arabic, was followed too repeatedly. In the last section, she discusses a feature that is particularly prominent, in Vesel’s view even unique, within the sphere of courts in the Persian-speaking world in comparison to courts in other corners of the Islamic world – the illustrated scientific book.

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References

Electronic reference

Sonja Brentjes. Ziva Vesel, « « Textes scientifiques persans : tradition et originalité », in : Jean-Louis Bacqué-Grammont ; Angel Pino et Samaha Khoury, éds., D’un Orient l’autre : actes des troisièmes journées de l’Orient, Bordeaux, 2-4 octobre 2002. Paris-Louvain, Éditions Peeters, 2005, pp. 339-350. (Cahiers de la Société asiatique, IV) », Abstracta Iranica [Online], Volume 30 | 2010, document 245, Online since 08 April 2010, connection on 22 September 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/37984

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