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d’archéologie orientale - Le Caire

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Le samedi 3 décembre 2016 à 17h00, IFAO géolocalisation IFAO

Applying the law: Cadis and their witnesses seen through the prism of Mamluk documents

Christian Müller (CNRS, IRHT)

Authentic legal documents from the Mamluk period are rare specimen; for this reason, the 900 14th-century-documents from the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem are exceptional. The density of this source-material that covers various legal fields and types of notarizations written within less than two decades allows for a detailed reconstruction of court procedure and the use of writs. By enhancing textual analysis with historical data, my talk illustrates the fabric of law from additional angles: At its time, this particular corpus constituted a “living archive” arranged for being used in a future that never happened. Checking the particular role of judges and witnesses in this context against the one in registered deeds from other contemporary institutional and private archives provides in-depth insights into the specificities of chariatic law in action.

Christian Müller is Director of Research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes (IRHT). His researches focus on law and the judiciary in Medieval Islam. He published in 2013 Der Kadi und seine Zeugen: Studie der mamlukischen Haram-Dokumente aus Jerusalem, a book that studies the 14th-Century Islamic Court of Jerusalem through the documents of the Haram al-Sharîf.