Browse Items (100 total)

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Alexander the Great (356 – 323 BCE) is known under many names, including the Persian ‘Eskandar’ of these manuscripts from Iran and Uzbekistan. His Macedonian origins and association with Greek culture — above all through his teacher,…

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This book, on making the Islamic pilgrimage (hajj) from China to Mecca, is printed on lightweight but strong Asian paper and bound using a style traditional to China and East Asia which creates intricate geometric designs.

This version, a simple…

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According to Islam, the Qur'an offers divine protection, and the holy book has often been kept in a lavishly decorated case when not in use for recitation. Silver, the main material of this case, was thought
to possess healing properties in the…

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Printing developed in East Asia long before it did in Europe, including both large-scale woodblocks and moveable type, and was used for imprinting patterns on textiles as well as on paper. Clay and wood type were made in China during the eleventh…

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Printing developed in East Asia long before it did in Europe, including both large-scale woodblocks and moveable type, and was used for imprinting patterns on textiles as well as on paper. Clay and wood type were made in China during the eleventh…

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Verses from the Book of Genesis appear on this page written by a member of the Jewish community of Kaifeng, China, most likely in the seventeenth or eighteenth century. Little is known about these people, who may have been the descendants of traders…

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These two pages come from the Jain Kalpa Sutra, an important religious text that details the lives of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras (literally, 'ford-crossers'). In Jainism, it is believed that 24 religious teachers entered the world, at separate times,…

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This exquisite page comes from the autobiographical Baburnameh, in which Zahir al-Din Muhammad Babur, descendant of Genghis Khan and founder of the Mughal Empire, describes his many travels, victories, and losses. In this scene, the 19-year-old Babur…

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Inner Asia is famous for the jewelry of its more than 30 Turkmen tribes, produced in silver, decorated with talismanic inscriptions, and adorned with carnelian or turquoise. Each element--metal, writing, and precious stones--is carefully chosen to…

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Inner Asia is famous for the jewelry of its more than 30 Turkmen tribes, produced in silver, decorated with talismanic inscriptions, and adorned with carnelian or turquoise. Each element--metal, writing, and precious stones--is carefully chosen to…

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Alexander the Great (356 – 323 BCE) is known under many names, including the Persian ‘Eskandar’ depicted in manuscripts from Iran and Uzbekistan. His Macedonian origins and association with Greek culture — above all through his teacher,…

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The entire cycle of creation and destruction is captured in this image of the Hindu deity Vishnu in his role as preserver and renewer. As one age ends, Vishnu swallows up the universe and turns it into a formless ocean; reclining on the mighty…

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HIDDEN STORIES: GLOBAL HISTORY, LOCAL NETWORKS Virtual Symposium: February 24-25, 2022 Join the Aga Khan Museum for a virtual symposium celebrating the exhibitionHidden Stories: Books Along the Silk Roads, featuring books, scrolls, manuscript…

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From the Royal Ontario Museum collection: This Torah case from the synagogue at Kaifeng was collected by William C. White, Anglican Bishop in Henan Province in the early 20th century. This object is part of the virtual exhibit only.

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From the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto: In eastern Islamic lands, many Jewish communities mounted the parchment Torah scrolls in a rigid cylindrical case, which was often pained or covered with embossed silver. The case stood erect on the reader's…

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This version of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana uses images instead of words to tell how Rama, a manifestation of the Hindu god Vishnu, struggled to defeat the demon king Ravana. On this page, Rama is exiled to the forest, but the austere sage at left…

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This signed and dated copy of the Qur'an produced in northern India near the end of the fourteenth century is a rare survivor: even though Muslims had long been settled in the region, very few manuscripts from that time and place have come down to…

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Eskandar, in the Persian tradition, was depicted as not just a Macedonian prince but also a descendent of Iranian kings. This page from the Kitab-i Nigaristan, a collection of historical anecdotes, shows Alexander kneeling beside his dying opponent,…
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