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Spring 2007 Vol. V, No. 3

Inside the Gate

Reviews

Vessel Glass from Beirut: BEY 006, 007, and 045
(Berytus Volumes 48-49; AUB Press: 2006) by Sarah Jennings
The most recent volume of BERYTUS, AUB’s 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 Qur’an, 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 and philosophy.

Ramzi Baalbaki is the chairman of the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages and the Margaret Weyerhaeuser Jewett Professor of Arabic at AUB.

More Online

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: aubpress@aub.edu.lb