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Scent from the Garden of Paradise: Musk and the Medieval Islamic World

Series: Islamic History and Civilization Volume: 140

By: Anya H King(Author)

442 pages, 5 b/w illustrations

E J Brill

Hardback | Jan 2017 | #237956 | ISBN-13: 9789004336247
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £169.00 $217 / €193 approx

About this book

Since antiquity, musk has been a valued perfume and medicine. Because the musk deer only lives in Central Eurasia, people in other locations had to trade for its musk. For medieval Islamic civilization, musk became the most important of all aromatics. The musk trade thus illuminates the nature of medieval Asian trade and musk's cultural effects on the Islamic world. Scent from the Garden of Paradise: Musk and the Medieval Islamic World examines the history of musk from its origins in Asia to its uses in the medieval Middle East, surveys the Islamic literature on musk, and discusses the roles of musk in perfumery and medicine, as well as the symbolic importance of musk in Islam.



Chapter 1: About Musk and Its Terminology
      Musk and Its Origin
      Exploitation of Musk
      Terminology for Musk
Chapter 2: Commodities of Further Asia in the Islamic World
      Central Eurasia
      Southeast Asia
      Place of Origin, “Brand”, and Rank
      The Impact of Commodity Knowledge in Adab
Chapter 3: History of Musk and the Musk Trade: From Asia to the Near East
      Musk in China
      Musk in India
      Musk in Tibet
      Musk in Central Asia
      Aromatics in the Persian World
      Musk and Aromatics in Sasanian Persia
      The Westward Spread of Musk in Antiquity
Chapter 4: Islamicate Knowledge of Musk and Musk-Producing Lands
      Arabic Terminology relating to Musk
      Persian Terminology for Musk
      Sources of Musk: Middle Eastern Knowledge of the Geography of the Musk Producing Lands and the Origins of Musk
      Toponyms and Sources
      The Islamicate Understanding of the Production of Musk
Chapter 5: The Merchant World and the Musk Trade
      Musk Producers and the Trade
      Tribute and Royal Gift-Giving
      Routes and Emporiums
      Data on the Commerce in Musk
      Perfumers and Pharmacists
      Adulteration and Imitation of Musk
Chapter 6: Musk in Daily Life in the Early Medieval Islamic World
      Arabic and Persian Perfumes
      Scented Powders
      Oils and Waters
      Musk and Men
      Musk and Women
      Musk and Medicine: Pharmaceutical Specifications of Musk
      Pharmaceutical Applications of Musk
      Musk in Food and Drink
Chapter 7: The Symbolic Importance of Musk in Islamic Culture
      The Primacy of Musk among Aromatics in Islamic Culture
      Symbolic Meanings of Musk in Medieval Islamic Culture
      Musk and Kingship
      Musk and Islam
      Musk and the Garden


List of Illustrations
      Illustration 1. Musk deer
      Illustration 2. The musk apparatus
      Illustration 3. Musk pods

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Anya H. King, Ph.D. (2007), Indiana University, is Associate Professor of History at the University of Southern Indiana. She publishes on medieval Islamic trade with Asia.

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