Professor Yossef Rapoport
Professor in Islamic History
Email: email@example.comTelephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8362Room Number: ArtsTwo 3.29
I am a historian of the social, cultural and legal aspects of life in the Islamic, Arabic-speaking Middle East in its Middle Ages, from about 1000 to 1500 AD.
I am currently on research leave until August 2022.
Classes in Islamic history are taught by Anna Chrysostomides.
I am currently holding a Leverhulme Major research fellowship (2019 - 2022) for a project entitled 'Tribal identity and Conversion to Islam in Rural Egypt and Syria, 1000 - 1500'.
My work mostly relates to the history of the Islamic Middle East under the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk dynasties. My main focus is the history of everyday life and the relatively unexplored history of women, slaves and peasants. I am also interested in the history of Islamic medieval maps.
My research has followed the following routes:
- Women and gender in medieval Islam
- History of Islamic law
- Medieval Islamic maps
- Peasants and nomads in the medieval Islam
Peasants and Nomads in Medieval Islam
- Rural Economy and Tribal Society in Islamic Egypt A Study of al-Nābulusī’s 'Villages of the Fayyum' (Brepols, 2018) - recipient of the Middle East Medievalists bi-annual book prize.
- The Villages of the Fayyum: A Thirteenth-Century Register of Rural, Islamic Egypt; with Ido Shahar (Brepols, 2018).
- With Ido Shahar, "Irrigation in medieval Islamic Fayyum: Local Control in a Large Scale Hydraulic System”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient (link is external), 55 (2012), 1-31.
- "Invisible Peasants, Marauding Nomads: Taxation, Tribalism and Revolt in Mamluk Egypt", Mamlūk Studies Review, 8/2 (May 2004), 1-22 (link is external)
Medieval Islamic Maps
- Islamic Maps, Oxford: The Bodleian Library (Oct. 2019)
- Lost Maps of the Caliphs: Drawing the World in Eleventh-Century Cairo (University of Chicago Press, August 2018; with Emilie Savage-Smith)
- With Emilie Savage-Smith, An Eleventh-Century Egyptian Guide to the Universe. The 'Book of Curiosities', edited with an annotated translation (link is external) (Leiden: Brill, 2014)
- “Reflections of Fatimid Power in the Maps of Island cities in the ‘Book of Curiosities”, in Martina Stercken / Ingrid Baumgärtner (Eds.), Herrschaft verorten. Politische Kartographie des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit, (Medienwandel - Medienwechsel - Medienwissen), (Zürich: Chronos, 2012), 183–210.
- “The View from the South: The Maps of the Book of Curiosities and the Commercial Revolution of the Eleventh Century”, in R. Margariti, A. Sabra and P. Sijpesteijn (eds.), Histories of the Middle East: Studies in Middle Eastern Society, Economy, and Law in Honor of A.L. Udovitch (link is external) (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 183–212 and Figs. 1–3.
- “The Book of Curiosities: A Medieval Islamic View of the East”, in The Journey of Maps and Images on the Silk Road (link is external), ed. by Philippe Forêt and Andreas Kaplony. Brill's Inner Asian Library, vol. 21 (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 151-171.
- With Emilie Savage-Smith, “The Book of Curiosities and a unique map of the world”, in Richard Talbert and Richard Unger (eds.), Cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Fresh Perspectives, New Methods (link is external) (Leiden: Brill, 2008), 121-138.
Website: With Emilie Savage-Smith, The Book of Curiosities: A critical edition. As of December 2017, this website is no longer available. Images of all the folios of the manuscript are available through the Bodleian Digital Library (https://digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/)
History of Islamic Law
- “Royal Justice and Religious Law: Siyāsah and Sharīʿah under the Mamluks”, Mamluk studies Review XVI (2012) (link is external).
- Co-editor, With Shahab Ahmad , Ibn Taymiyya and His Times, Proceedings of a conference held at Princeton University, 8-10 April 2005 (link is external) (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2010); withShahabAhmed, “Introduction”, 3-20. Translated intoArabic as:
شهاب أحمد ويوسف ربوبورط, ابن تيمية وعصره, ترجمة محمد بوعبدالله (بيروت: الشبكة العربية للأبحاث والنشر, 2018)
- “Ibn Taymiyya’s radical legal thought: Rationalism, pluralism and the primacy of intention”, in Y. Rapoport and S. Ahmad (eds.), Ibn Taymiyya and His Times, Proceedings of a conference held at Princeton University, 8-10 April 2005 (link is external) (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2010), 191-226.
- "Legal Diversity in the Age of Taqlīd: The Four Chief Qadis under the Mamluks", Islamic Law and Society (link is external), 10/2 (2003), 210-228.
Women and Gender in Medieval Islam
Marriage, Money and Divorce in Medieval Islamic Society (link is external) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005); Translated into Arabic الزواج والمال والطلاق في المجتمع الإسلامي في العصور الوسطى. القاهرة: تراث البحوث والدراسات (link is external). 2016.
- Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, His Wife, Her Slave-girl: romantic triangles and polygamy in fifteenth-century Cairo”, Annales islamologiques 47 (2013), 327-351.
- With Simon Swain, "The Islamic Family: Aspects of Bryson's Influence", in Simon Swain, Economy, Family, and Society from Rome to Islam. A Critical Edition, English Translation, and Study of Bryson's Management of the Estate (link is external), (Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 349-63.
- “Women and Gender in Mamluk Society – an Overview”, Mamlūk Studies Review (link is external), 11, 2 (November 2007), 1-45.
- “Ibn Taymiyya on Divorce Oaths”, in A. Levanoni and M. Winter (eds.), The Mamluks in Egyptian and Syrian Politics and Society (link is external) (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 191-217.
- “Divorce and the Elite Household in Late Medieval Cairo”, Continuity and Change (link is external) 16/2 (August 2001), 201-18.
- “Matrimonial Gifts in Early Islamic Egypt”, Islamic Law and Society (link is external), 7/1 (February 2000), 1-36.
Islamic History - General
“1068 in the Fayyum: A Micro-History of an Environmental Crisis”, in Bethany J. Walker and Abdelkader Al Ghouz (eds.), Living with Nature and Things. Contributions to a New Social History of the Middle Islamic Periods. Mamluk Studies, Vol. 23 (Bonn University Press by V&R unipress, 2020), 181-202.
"New Directions in the Social history of the Mamluk Era (link is external)", in Stephan Connermann (ed.), History and Society during the Mamluk Period (1250-1517). Studies of the Annemarie Schimmel Research College, volume 1 (Bonn University Press, 2014), 143-157.
"Gu Yanwu and Ibn Khaldun (1332–1406): The Risks of Returning the Gaze (link is external)", Fragments Volume 1 (2011), 88-93
Member of editorial board of Islamic Law and Society (link is external)
I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research in the following areas:
- Fatimid, Ayyubid or Mamluk history
- History of Islamic law
- Family life in medieval Islam
- History of Islamic cartography
- Ibn Taymiyyah and his legacy
Current PhD Students
Catherine Rose: Childhood in Mamluk Society
Muhammad Shaaban: Political and economic functions of endowments (awqāf) in Mamluk Cairo
Hannah Cole: Female travel in the late medieval Mediterranean
Former PhD Students
Omar Anchassi: “Fazlur Rahman (1919 – 1988) and the Reformulation of the Religious Sciences of Islam” (2016)
Amenah Abdulkarim, “Building Craftsmen in Mamluk Society 648 -923/1250-1517: The Professional Muhandis in Context” (2018)
Current PHD Students
- Sahin Baykal – Ibn Ḥazm’s literalism and his concept of Islamic Legal Theory