Legal Documents as Sources for the History of Muslim Societies: Studies in Honour of Rudolph Peters

Publication Year



Edited by  Petra Sijpesteijn, Ph.D. 2004.

This volume is a tribute to the work of legal and social historian and Arabist Rudolph Peters (University of Amsterdam). Presenting case studies from different periods and areas of the Muslim world, the book examines the use of legal documents for the study of the history of Muslim societies. From examinations of the conceptual status of legal documents to comparative studies of the development of legal formulae and the socio-economic or political historical information documents contain, the aim is to approach legal documents as specialised texts belonging to a specific social domain, while simultaneously connecting them to other historical sources. It discusses the daily functioning of legal institutions, the reflections of regime changes on legal documentation, daily life, and the materiality of legal documents.


Preliminary Material

“Introduction.” Maaike van Berkel, Léon Buskens and Petra M. Sijpesteijn

“Rudolph Peters and the History of Modern Egyptian Law.” Khaled Fahmy

“The Qadis’ Justice according to Papyrological Sources (Seventh–Tenth Centuries ce).” Mathieu Tillier

“Delegation of Judicial Power in Abbasid Egypt.” Petra M. Sijpesteijn

“The Mahdi’s Legal Opinion as an Instrument of Reform: Issues in Divorce, Inheritance, False Accusation of Unlawful Intercourse and Homicide.” Aharon Layish

“Identifying the ʿudūl in Fifteenth-Century Granada.” Sergio Carro Martín and Amalia Zomeño

“Crimes without Criminals?” Legal Documents on Fourteenth-Century Injury and Homicide Cases from the Haram Collection in Jerusalem.” Christian Müller

“From Trash to Treasure: Ethnographic Notes on Collecting Legal Documents in Morocco.” Léon Buskens

“Notes for a Local History of Falsehood.” Brinkley Messick

“Waqf Documents on the Provision of Water in Mamluk Egypt.” Maaike van Berkel

“Ottoman Amān: Western Ownership of Real Estate and the Politics of Law prior to the Land Code of 1876.” Maurits H. van den Boogert

“A Comparative Study of Contract Documents: Ottoman Syria, Qajar Iran, Central Asia, Qing China and Tokugawa Japan.” Toru Miura



Series Title
Studies in Islamic Law and Society
Series Volume
Leiden and Boston