Spring 2007 Vol. V, No. 3
Inside the Gate
Vessel Glass from Beirut: BEY 006, 007,
(Berytus Volumes 48-49; AUB Press: 2006) by Sarah Jennings
The most recent volume of BERYTUS, AUBs archaeology journal, includes
information on the results of the AUB Beirut souk excavations, undertaken
between 1994 and 1997.
Vessel Glass from Beirut presents detailed descriptions, drawings,
and photographs of all types of glass vessels recovered from the souk
excavations and the neighboring Imperial Roman Bath House. Both sites
were occupied from the early fourth century BC to AD 600, showing that
life in Beirut continued after the catastrophic earthquake of the year
551. The bath house, or parts of it, was still in use until the end of
the Mamluk Period (AD 1517).
The glass vessels include Hellenistic and Roman bowls, and early, mid-
and late Roman blown vessels. Late Roman and early Byzantine vessels include
impressive quantities of fragmented goblets, fragile vessels decorated
with colored glass trails, large carboys, and glass lamps. Early Islamic
period vessels comprise mosaic glass and engraved containers, small bottles
and phials, and mid-Islamic period decorated vessels.
Whereas the glass is presented by type and in chronological succession,
the last chapter discusses significant groups of different types of glass
containers that were discovered together. These groups span a time period
from the first to the thirteenth century. A discussion of the sources
of the glass from the souk excavations, changes in technology, styles,
and uses over the centuries completes the book.
The Early Islamic Grammatical Tradition Series: The
Formation of the Classical Islamic World
(Ashgate Publishing: 2007) by Ramzi Baalbaki.
In recent years, there has been a major resurgence of interest in the
Arabic grammatical tradition. Many of the issues that were the focus of
previous scholarship such as foreign influences on early grammatical activity
and the existence of grammatical schools have been revisited.
In addition, new areas of research have been explored, particularly in
relation to terminology, the analytical methods of the grammarians, and
the interrelatedness between grammar and other fields such as the study
of the Quran, exegesis, and logic. As a result, there has been a
growing appreciation of the centrality of the Arabic grammatical tradition
in Arab culture. The fields of general and historical linguistics have
finally come to realize the importance of Arabic grammar as one of the
major linguistic traditions of the world. The sixteen studies included
in this volume have been chosen to highlight the themes which are the
focus of modern scholarship and the problems that exist. In the introductory
essay, Baalbaki analyzes these themes within the wider context of early
Islamic activity in philology as well as related areas of religious studies
Ramzi Baalbaki is the chairman of the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern
Languages and the Margaret Weyerhaeuser Jewett Professor of Arabic at
Small Change in Ancient Beirut,
the first volume in the Archaeology of the Beirut Souks series (Berytus
Volumes 45-46: AUB Press) by Kevin Butcher.
For inquiries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org