Geoffrey Khan: Arabic Documents of Early Islamic Khorasan

/ University of Toronto Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies


Geoffrey Khan


June 15, 2023

Join host, Yasamin Jameh, in learning about the Arabic documents from early Islamic Khurasan. These documents demonstrate that Khorasan, located in the east of the Abbasid Empire, was the center of innovation in documentary practice and administration.  
The 51st episode of Parse is an excerpt of a lecture given by Professor Geoffrey Khan where he describes the Arabic documents from early Islamic Khurasan or around the 8th century AD. Khan published this research in 2007 and in this lecture, he will discuss the importance of these documents for the understanding of the development of Arabic documentary culture. These documents exhibit innovations in formulae that appear in the Arabic papyri from Egypt several years later. This reflects the fact that the eastern sector of the Abbasid empire was the hub of innovation in documentary practice and administration. 
Geoffrey Khan is Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge. His research interests include philological and linguistic studies of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic. He has edited various corpora of documents, including Arabic papyri from early Islamic Egypt, documents from early Islamic Khurasan, and documents from Fatimid and Ayyubid Egypt that have been preserved in the Cairo Genizah. He is currently working on documents from the Fatimid period that were discovered in Qaṣr Ibrīm in Nubia by the Egypt Exploration Society. He also works on aspects of the history of the Arabic language, in particular the development of Judaeo-Arabic at various historical periods, including the modern spoken varieties, on which he has carried out fieldwork. 
To watch the full talk, click here: ⁠⁠