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Ottoman Eschatological Enthusiasm: Ps.-Ibn al-ʿArabī and Predicting the End of the World

Sasson Chahanovich, Harvard University, William R. Tyler Fellow 2018–2020

During my time as a Tyler fellow I had the opportunity to perform extensive on-site research in Turkey, Italy, the Vatican, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Israel. This archival-based research project constituted the first year of my Tyler Fellowship. During this period I managed to compose the first two chapters of my thesis. In the fall semester of my second year, I came to Dumbarton Oaks to work on the Garden and Landscape Studies project Middle East Garden Traditions. Given my linguistic skills in several classical and modern Near Eastern languages, I was charged with evaluating their extant online catalogue of terms and definitions. I was encouraged to provide suggestions on how to streamline the multiple sources and technical terms cited in Arabic, Hebrew, Ottoman Turkish, Modern Turkish, and Persian, as well as provide a uniform system of transliteration for future project participants. In addition, I was given the stimulating task of culling a long list of new and heretofore uncited terms from classical Arabic primary sources. One such text that occupied the bulk of my time was the Nabataean Agriculture attributed to Ibn Wahshiyyah (d. ca. 930). For the final semester of my Tyler Fellowship, I returned to Istanbul to perform further archival research and finish writing core chapters of my dissertation.