Medieval Folk Astronomy and Agriculture in Arabia and the Yemen

1st Edition

Daniel Martin Varisco

Routledge
Published September 25, 1997
Reference - 352 Pages
ISBN 9780860786511 - CAT# Y283940
Series: Variorum Collected Studies

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Summary

The strength of Professor Varisco’s work lies in his combination of ethnographic fieldwork among highland Yemeni farmers with an extensive study of medieval Arabic manuscripts on folk astronomy and agriculture. The opening articles discuss the astronomical concept of the ’lunar stations’ in pre-Islamic Arabia and as developed in Arab astronomy and almanac lore; subsequent ones expand on the significance of this for an agricultural society, and examine a unique corpus of Yemeni agricultural almanacs, dating from the Rasulid period (13th-15th centuries) to the present. A further theme is that of traditional Yemeni agriculture, with studies on irrigation practices, plough cultivation, sorghum production, and indigenous plant protection methods, as well as the use of star calendars for seasonal markers.

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