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Intensive Courses

Intensive Course on the Greco-Arabic Tradition 
Princeton, New Jersey (USA) 
August 29September 2, 2016

Thanks to a number of generous grants from the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project, the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton University has organized a series of short, intensive courses for graduate students on a variety of subjects in the broad field of Islamic studies not normally covered in the Princeton curriculum for over a decade.  In each case, an internationally recognized expert has been brought in to teach the course over a period of five weekdays.

This year, we plan to offer such a course on the Greco-Arabic tradition.

The course will take place at the end of the summer, starting on Monday August 29 and ending on Friday, September 2, 2016. The course is intended primarily for graduate students, both from Princeton and from other universities; applicants should have some knowledge of medieval Middle Eastern history.

The instructor will be Professor Dimitri Gutas of Yale University, a leading expert on Greco-Arabic studies.  Graeco-Arabic studies is a supra-disciplinary field that studies the textual transmission of Hellenic science and philosophy and its impact in the western world (west of India) from antiquity to the Renaissance through the pivotal conduit of the Graeco-Arabic translations (8th-10th centuries). The transmission went from Greek into Syriac, Middle Persian, and Arabic, and from Arabic into Latin, Hebrew, and Medieval Greek, which constitutes the philological focus of the study; the common high culture that resulted in each of these linguistic communities, though variously received, constitutes a second major focus of study. The field combines the disciplines of classical philology and the philology of the other languages, the history of science and the history of philosophy, and the social and political history of the ancient world, late antiquity, and the medieval world (west of India). 

The Intensive Seminar will present and explore the various aspects of the field in five days: textual transmission and textual criticism and editorial technique in the various languages; lexicography, translation, and the history of concepts; the history of philosophy; the history of science; social and political history of the West (of India) from antiquity to the Renaissance. 

A pilot project in the field, embracing the study of all its aspects, is currently conducted in Berlin under the direction of Professor Gutas, and can be visited at:

Application process and deadlines

Applications must be emailed to Judy Schedneck ( at the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton University by April 30, 2016. The subject line of the email should read, “Application for Greco-Arabic Workshop.” Applications should comprise the following:

Letter of application with statement of interest


Names, positions, and email addresses of two referees

All items should be included in a single attachment, which may be a pdf.

Successful applicants will be notified in mid May 2016 and students accepted for the course but coming from outside of Princeton will receive partial scholarships to help defray travel and accommodation costs.  The course itself is free. 

Previous courses:
(10) 2015 (May 11–15)
        Topic: Christian Arabic
        Instructor: Alexander Treiger (Dalhousie University)
(9) 2014 (June 9–13)
     Topic: Arabic Manuscripts and Early Qur’ans
     Instructor: François Déroche (École pratique des hautes études)
(8) 2012 (March 19–23):
Islamic numismatics  
    Instructor: Professor
Stefan Heidemann (University of Hamburg)
 (7) 2011 (June 6–24)
    Topic: Arabic dialectology
    Instructors: Professors Dr. Werner Arnold (Heidelberg) and Dr. Otto Jastrow (Tallinn) 
 (6) 2010 (March 15–19):
    Topic: Sayyids/sharifs: the kinsfolk of the Prophet in Muslim
    Instructor: Professor Kazuo Morimoto (Tokyo)
 (5) 2009 (March 16–20):
    Topic: Arabic dialectology
    Instructor: Professor Dr Otto Jastrow (Tallinn)
 (4) 2008 (March 17–21):
    Topic: Middle Iranian philology
    Instructor: Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams (SOAS, University of
 (3) 2007 (March 19–23):
    Topic: Arabic papyri
    Instructor: Professor Geoffrey Khan (Cambridge)
(2) 2006 (March 20–24):
    Topic: Islamic coins
    Instructor: Dr Lutz Ilisch (Tübingen)
 (1) 2004 (October 25–29):
    Topic: Arabic manuscripts
    Instructor: Dr Adam Gacek (McGill)