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Introduction. From Baghdad to Marāgha, Tabriz, and Beyond: Tabriz and the Multi-Cephalous Cultural, Religious, and Intellectual Landscape of the 13th to 15th Century Nile-to-Oxus Region

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which contributes to the efforts of constructing a more mature analytical framework by focusing on one specific city, Tabriz, and its cultural and intellectual life during the 13th-15th centuries. Tabriz became a center of learning where many of the scholars of Marāgha and elsewhere from Azerbaijan congregated especially at the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th century. Under Mongol and Timurid rule multiple urban centres emerged or re-emerged as important centers of scholarly activities and the transmission of knowledge, including Marāgha, Tabriz, Sulṭāniyya, Konya, Herat, Samarqand and indeed Baghdad, Cairo and Damascus. The book demonstrates that Tabriz also hosted a vibrant community of scholars who appear to have thrived independently of political patronage, and sometimes despite of it, though often supported by affluent patrons.

Keywords: Baghdad; Marāgha; Mongol rule; Tabriz; Timurid rule



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