Institut für den Nahen und Mittleren Osten



The 18th Arabic Papyrology Webclass: "Formal Types and Paleographical Features of Arabic Documents" (Summer Term 2021)

Permanent link:


  • Collections worldwide hold very high number of Arabic documents, yet do now know how to catalogue them best.
  • This webclass provides a training in recognizing formal types of Arabic documents and their paleographical features to catalogue them and thus make them accessible for further research. 
  • We will mostly use the new tools of the Arabic Papyrology Database ( available from March 2021.


  • This is an on-line webclass. Scans of documents will be made accessible in advance.
  • Communication will be in English.


  • Dr. des. Eugenio Garosi, Institute of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, LMU Munich

Time (Changed!)

  • Wednesday, 6:00 - 8:00 PM (Central European Time); time might be changed, if all participants agree.
  • 14 April - 14 July 2021.


  • A certificate of participation will be given if students have attended at least twelve meetings and if they have met the expectations as defined at the beginning of the semester.
  • The Arabic Papyrology Webclass forms part of the Webinar Initiative in Islamic Material Culture (


  • MA and PhD students in Arabic and in Near Eastern Studies; scholars interested in Arabic documents; persons in charge of Arabic manuscript and document collections, etc.


  • 250 Euro or an equivalent amount of working time. Fees are expected to be paid before the semester starts.
  • No fees for students of Near and Middle Eastern Studies at LMU Munich, Universität Bonn, Universität Hamburg, and New York University.

Technical issues

  • Students need a computer for downloading, Internet access, and a headset.
  • Technical problems arising during the semester that prevent students from attending the class are the students’ own responsibility; therefore, missed classes will not be substituted. However, if a technical event prevents all students from participating, the class will be substituted.
  • New participants will have a personal preparatory meeting to set up technical requirements.

Further information and registration

  • Please send an informal message to e.garosi91 at Give name, academic affiliation, current position and interest.
  • Register until 29 March 2021. The webclass usually fills up quickly.

General Introduction

  • Grohmann, Adolf. 1952. From the World of Arabic Papyri. Cairo.
  • Khan, Geoffrey. 1992. Arabic Papyri: Selected Material from the Khalili Collection. Studies in the Khalili Collection, vol. 1. Oxford.
  • Sijpesteijn, Petra M. 2008. "Palaeography". In Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics 3: 513–524.
  • Sijpesteijn, Petra M. 2009. "Arabic Papyrology." In Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, ed. Roger Bagnall. Oxford, 452–472.

Further Readings

  • Grob, Eva M. 2010. Documentary Arabic Private and Business Letters on Papyrus: Form and Function, Content and Context. Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete, Beihefte 29. Berlin.
  • Grob, Eva M. 2013. "A Catalogue of Dating Criteria for Undated Arabic Papyri with 'Cursive' Features” In. Documents et histoire: Islam, VIIe - XVIe siècle; actes des premières journées d'étude internationales École Pratique des Hautes Études, IVe Section Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts de l'Islam, Paris 16 et 17 mai 2008, ed. Anne Regourd. École Pratique des Hautes Études, IVe Section, Sciences Historiques et Philologiques II. Hautes études orientales – Moyen et Proche-Orient, vol. 5/51. Geneva: 123–143.
  • Kaplony, Andreas. 2018. "Comparing Qurʾānic Suras with Pre-800 Documents: With an Appendix on Subtypes of Pre 800 Kitāb Documents". In Der Islam 95: 312–366.
  • Khan, Geoffrey. 1990. "The Historical Development of the Structure of Medieval Arabic Petitions". In Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 53: 8–30.
  • Khan, Geoffrey. 2013. "The Development of Early Arabic Documentary Script". In Writings and Writing from Another World and Another Era (Festschrift J.J. Witkam), ed. Robert M. Kerr and Thomas Milo. Cambridge, 229–247.

Former Webclasses

  • 1: Letters from Quṣayr, by Andreas Kaplony (Fall Term 2007).
  • 2: Early Letters [from the Yale Collection], by Andreas Kaplony (Spring Term 2008).
  • 3: Arabic Contracts of Renting and Buying Real Estate, by Andreas Kaplony(Fall Term 2008).
  • 4: Bilingual Greek and Arabic Documents, by Andreas Kaplony and Raffaele Luiselli, Florence (Spring Term 2009).
  • 5: Petitions to and Letters from Mamluk Officials, by Andreas Kaplony (Fall Term 2009).
  • 6: Authentification Procedures on Arabic Coins, Seals and Letters from Mamluk Officials, , by Andreas Kaplony and Lutz Ilisch, Tübingen (Spring Term 2010).
  • 7: Documentary Evidence on Childhood, by Andreas Kaplony (Fall Term 2010).
  • 8: Lists, Registers, Accounts, by Andreas Kaplony (Summer Term 2011).
  • 9: Documents from al-Andalus, by Andreas Kaplony (Winter Term 2011/12).
  • 10: Documents from Edfu, by Andreas Kaplony (Winter Term 2012/13).
  • 11: Documents from the Berlin Collection, by Andreas Kaplony (Winter Term 2013/14).
  • 12: Documents on Rural Egypt, by Andreas Kaplony (Summer Term).
  • 13: Petitions on Paper, by Andreas Kaplony (Winter Term 2014/15).
  • 14: Documents on Marriage and Divorce, by Andreas Kaplony (Winter Term/16).
  • 15: Papyrus Letters from Umayyad and Abbasid Egypt, by Andreas Kaplony (Summer Term 2017).
  • 16: Arabic Documents Referring to Jerusalem, by Andreas Kaplony (Summer Term 2018)
  • 17: Merchants, Mules, and Misunderstandings: Commercial Letters on Papyrus and Paper, by Ursula Bsees (Summer Term 2020)