Institut français
d’archéologie orientale - Le Caire

Verre byzantin et islamiqueByzantine and Islamic Glass

Maria Mossakowska-Gaubert

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Poids en verre, fouilles de Fusṭāṭ (© IFAO)Glass weight, Fusṭāṭ excavations (© IFAO)
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AL-QĀḌĪ, Wadād
Al-Zajjāj and Glassmaking. An Expanded Range of Options in a Comparative Context
ORFALI, Bilal
In the Shadow of Arabic. The Centrality of Language to Arabic Culture
Studies in Semitic Languages and Linguistics 63
Brill, Leiden - Boston, 2011, p. 221-248

[670, 950]
• ‘Al-Zajjāj’ : “glass person” – an Arabic nickname connected with the ‘zujāj’ – “glass”.

• Grammarian Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm b. [Muḥammad b.] al-Sarī, surnamed ‘al-Zajjāj’ in the written sources (died in 331/923):
– Al-Zajjāj worked with glass before he began to study grammar. He continued to work with glass when he was studying grammar, till the period when he became eventually a teacher and then a tutor;
– According to the written sources Al-Zajjāj “clipped” [’kharṭ’] glass: probably “polished”, “smoothed”, and “trimmed” glass objets;
– Three posibilities of workshops where Al-Zajjāj could work:
- manufacture of objects and commodites for everyday use,
- manufacture of art objects (engraved etc.),
- government-run workshop, where officially authorized weights and measures made of glass were manufactured.

• Finance Director of Treasury of al-Ghūṭa (district surrounding Damascus) al-Walīd b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān called in the written sources ‘al-zajjāj’ (late Umayyad Period):
– al-Walīd came from a family of glassmakers;
– probably he rised in the hierarchy of the staff at the office in charge of weights and mesures, and he became an expert glassmaker of weights for the government.

• Addresses the issue of the emission and diffusion of glass weights and measures in Islamic world.
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Version 5, données dudata date 30 janvier 2013January 30th 2013