The Historical Index of the Medieval Middle East (HIMME) is a new research tool for exploring the people, places, and practices of the most diverse part of the premodern world, through primary sources chosen from a wide range of literary languages and cultures. A series of webinars will introduce HIMME to scholars by exploring some of the resources now available to scholars through this tool.
Project Description: The Historical Index of the Medieval Middle East will provide a synthetic reference work identifying sources referring to particular people, places, and practices (such as jizya, the poll-tax paid by non-Muslims under Islamic rule). Its temporal scope is from 600 to 1550, and its geographical scope from al-Andalus in the west to Samarqand in the east, from Yemen in the south to the Caucasus in the north. Each entry will correspond to an individual person, place, or social practice, and will list the references to that entity which have been gathered so far. Rather than restricting its attention to sources in Arabic or any other single language, it will deliberately incorporate sources from as many languages as possible. This will help the scholarly community quickly locate primary sources relevant for medieval Middle Eastern topics, and scholars may consider HIMME’s citations when deciding which languages to learn. The broader public will find brief identifications of the people, places, and practices, and references to translations of primary sources where available. The digital humanities community will find the canonical data records encoded in TEI, published on GitHub as they become available. The project is a work in progress, publishing its citations as they are collected, rather than waiting to publish an authoritative “final” reference work. Instead, HIMME will grow over time, becoming steadily more useful as it incorporates the references from additional sources.
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