Dr. des. Eugenio Garosi
October 2021 - March 2022
Research Project: Socio-Historical Aspects of Umayyad and Early Abbasid Religious Discourse: A Documentary Approach in a Trans-regional Perspective
The Arab expansion of the 7th century turned the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean world upside down over a period of less than 30 years. Original papyri, inscriptions, coinage and sphragistics constitute virtually the only coeval and unmediated evidence for the social,
cultural, and political impact of the Islamic conquests.
The present project endeavors to determine the social reach of the Umayyad and early Abbasid imperial administration as an agent of diffusion and standardization of religious discourse. With the help of state of the art digital tools, the study will analyze the official Vulgata of religious formulae and terminology underscored by Arabic papyrological, epigraphical and numismatic sources of the 7th to early 9th century. On one hand, the project will lay out patterns of difference between official promulgations of the imperial chanceries and patronage as opposed to private expression of Islamic piety. On the other, the study will delve into the influences of Islamic religious speech in scribal traditions of the non-Islamic non-Arabicized population of the Empire.
By charting the geographical, typological and chronological distribution of distinctive figures of religious discourse across the entire spectrum of the original sources, the broader scope of the project is to evaluate the target and efficacy of early Islamic imperial religious ideology while examining the parallel existence of internal, socially minoritarian, Islamic currents within the early Muslim community
Dr. des. Eugenio Garosi holds a Ph.D. in Arabic Studies and Ancient History at the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich and the University of Basel. The main interest of his research lies in the social behavior of the Arab-Muslim imperial elite vis-à-vis the regional
elites of the former Eastern-Roman and Sasanian territories through the lens of language and scribal policies. His dissertation Projecting a New Empire: Formats, Social Meaning, and Mediality of Imperial Arabic in the Umayyad and Early Abbasid Periods particularly engages with the “mediality” of practices of public Arabic writing in the form of extra-textual features which operated beyond semantic comprehension and was awarded an Excellent Junior Researcher grant by the University of Basel as well as the Dissertation Award of the Faculty of Cultural Studies of the LMU. Being part of the multidisciplinary SNSF-project Change and Continuities from a Christian to a Muslim Society (Basel 2016–2018) and of the research group on Arabic Papyrology at the LMU Munich, interactions between the Arabic scribal practices and the scribal cultures of Graeco-Roman-Iranian Late Antiquity are central to his work. His subsequent project on multilingual bureaucrats in the Umayyad and early Abbasid chanceries was awarded a fellowship at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies within the framework of the research group Cultural Brokerage in pre-Modern Islam (2020–2021).
Garosi, Eugenio , Projecting a New Empire: Formats, Social Meaning, and Mediality of Imperial Arabic in the Umayyad and Early Abbasid Periods, to appear in the series Studies in the History and Culture of the Middle East, De Gruyter (in print).
Garosi, Eugenio (2020b), “Cross-Cultural Parameters of Scribal Politesse in the Correspondence of Arab-Muslim Officials from Early Islamic Egypt”, in Sabine Huebner et al., eds., Living the End of Antiquity —Individual Histories from Byzantine to Islamic Egypt 18.–20. May 2017 (Millennium-Studien/ Millennium Studies 84), Berlin: De Gruyter, 71–91.
Garosi, Eugenio / Huebner, Sabine / Marthot-Santaniello, Isabelle / Müller, Matthias / Schmidt, Stefanie / Stern, Matthias, eds. (2020a), Living the End of Antiquity Individual Histories from Byzantine to Islamic Egypt. 18. 20. May 2017 (Millennium Studien / Millennium Studies 84), Berlin: De Gruyter.
Garosi, Eugenio / Huebner, Sabine / Marthot-Santaniello / Müller, Matthias / Schmidt, Stefanie / Stern, Matthias (2020c), “Individual Histories from Byzantine to Islamic Egypt”, in Sabine Huebner et al., eds., Living the End of Antiquity —Individual Histories from Byzantine to Islamic Egypt 18.–20. May 2017 (Millennium-Studien / Millennium Studies 84), Berlin: De Gruyter, 1–29.
Garosi, Eugenio (2015), “The Incarnated Icon of Ṣaydnāyā: Light and Shade”, Islam and Christian Muslim Relations 26, 339–358.