Histories of the Middle East

Histories of the Middle East

Islamic History

Histories of the Middle East
Middle Eastern Society, Economy and Law in Honour of A.L. Udovitch

Author(s): Roxani Eleni Margariti & Adam Sabra & Petra M. Sijpesteijn

Reviewed by: Muhammad Abdul Jabbar Beg, Cambridge



This volume, comprising eleven papers, is a festschrift presented to Abraham (Avrom) Leib Udovitch of Princeton University by his former students. The papers were presented at a Conference hosted by the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University in 2008.

Abraham L. Udovitch, who was born in Winnipeg, Canada in 1933 to Russian immigrant parents, had his undergraduate education at Columbia University.

He stayed on to take an M.A. in Near Eastern Languages, and later obtained a Ph.D. at Yale University. Here Udovitch researched aspects of commercial partnership in Islamic law as perceived in the documents of Cairo Geniza. The outcome was his most celebrated book Partnership and Profit in Medieval Islam (1970), which set a new trend in the study of social and economic history of the medieval Middle East. Udovitch claimed that the merchants of the Cairo Geniza records followed practices similar to the ones described in early Islamic law books, with special reference to Hanafi Law (p.2). During his years at Yale, he was influenced by Franz Rosenthal, the famous Orientalist, and Roberto Sebastino Lopez, an economic historian. He was also interested in Islamic Law and worked for a time with Joseph Schacht when the latter was in Columbia.

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