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  1. The King’s Oryx: Ibn Saud’s Diplomatic Gift to George V

    ... Daniel A. Lowe Gulf History and Arabic Language Specialist, British Library In 1920, a gift from Ibn Saud in the form of a female oryx was the first ever to have survived the difficult journey from Arabia to London. In correspondence between HM the King a ...

  2. ‘Islamic Style’ Binding: A Misleading Term Ripe for Further Research

    ... Flavio Marzo ACR Conservation Studio Manager, British Library ‘Islamic’ and ‘Western’ are terms used to describe different styles of binding but experts agree that much further research is required to create more meaningful categories. ‘Islamic’ and ‘West ...

  3. A Thorn in England’s Side: The Piracy of Mīr Muhannā

    ... John Hayhurst Gulf History Specialist, British Library The name Mīr Muhannā is much celebrated in Iran today because he stood up to imperialism and won. The name Mīr Muhannā (d. 1769) is much celebrated in Iran today as a heroic underdog who stood up to i ...

  4. Ibn al-Nafīs and Pulmonary Transit

    ... Dr Nahyan Fancy Associate Professor of History, DePauw University In the thirteenth century, Ibn al-Nafīs wrote a substantial commentary on Avicenna’s entire Canon of Medicine thereby revising existing understandings of human physiology and anatomy. His t ...

  5. The Indigo Trade in the Gulf in the Nineteenth Century

    ... Dr Mark Hobbs Gulf History Specialist, British Library The shipwreck in 1852 of a merchant vessel off the Oman coast, led to the plunder and loss of enough indigo to supply the entire Gulf region for a year. Human civilisation has manufactured and traded ...

  6. Galenic Humoral Pathology

    ... Dr Nahyan Fancy Associate Professor of History, DePauw University Common household practices such as consuming hot soups and drinks when one has caught a cold are rooted in humoral medicine, which was the dominant medical paradigm from the time of Galen t ...

  7. Scientific Translators and Powerful Patrons

    ... Bink Hallum Arabic Scientific Manuscripts Curator, British Library During the first four centuries of Islam, almost all the Greek scientific literature available in manuscripts was translated into Arabic in an effort, centred on Baghdad, known as the ‘tra ...

  8. Robots, Musicians and Monsters: The World’s Most Fantastic Clocks

    ... Bink Hallum Arabic Scientific Manuscripts Curator, British Library The peoples of the Islamic world excelled at designing and building water-clocks as these manuscripts show. Today’s technology is shrinking. Less than fifty years ago computers were so big ...

  9. Divers are a Pearl’s Best Friend: Pearl Diving in the Gulf 1840s–1930s

    ... Dr Mark Hobbs Gulf History Specialist, British Library Before oil, the inhabitants of the Gulf’s Arab coast depended on diving for natural pearls for their economic livelihoods. And, like oil, it was chiefly European and North American demand that dictate ...

  10. How the American Civil War Caused a Boom in Cotton in Persia

    ... Karen Stapley Archival Specialist, British Library During the American Civil War (1861–65) cotton supplies to Britain’s textile mills dwindled, causing a boom in production elsewhere in the Empire. In the 1860s, cotton was a key import, supplying Britain’ ...

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