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From Drops of Blood: Charisma and Political Legitimacy in the translatio of the 'Uthmānic Codex of al-Andalus

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The account of the 'Uthmānic mushaf of Córdoba, which passed from generation to generation across the western shores of Islam, has played a prominent role in the history of al-Andalus and the Maghrib. The prized codex appears throughout historiographical and literary discourses, stretching from the Hispano-Umayyad caliphate to the dynasty of the Banū Marīn in North Africa. Brought into battle against Christians and fellow Muslims, decorated with ornate coverings, and made into the object of countless panegyrics, the 'Uthmānic codex of al-Andalus offers a glimpse into a sustained network of meaning and power. The codex came symbolically to align successive Muslim dynasties to the early history of Islam. Drawing attention to the parallel phenomena of the furta sacra and the translatio of relics in medieval Christian tradition, this article explores the broader political, religious, and literary dimensions which silhouette the veneration toward the 'Uthmānic codex.

Affiliations: 1: Haverford College


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