Premodern Agricultural Knowledge in New Persian
How, in what fields, and by whose authority do premodern New Persian agricultural texts claim to transmit knowledge? What evidence do the extant texts present of belonging to a coherent knowledge tradition, and what changes can be identified in that tradition’s values and functions between 1300 and 1600 CE?
Addressing these questions, Riaz Howey’s dissertation project begins with one focus text that seems to defy the idea of a tradition: the ās̱ār va aḥyā, a partially surviving text attributed to Rashīd al-Dīn Fażlullāh Hamadānī (1247–1318), Ilkhanid statesman and owner of vast agricultural holdings. The project involves reading instructional manuals—and sections on agriculture from other genres—within a temporally and linguistically wider corpus in order to better understand how authors differentiated or integrated their approach within the multiple traditions to which they may have had access.
Riaz is particularly interested in how knowledge from classical sources is represented in these texts, and in the social conditions under which literate agricultural knowledge was reproduced.
Riaz Howey completed an MA in Global History at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2020. At the MPIWG he is currently also a predoctoral fellow in the working group Agriculture and the Making of the Sciences.
Find Riaz's profile on the Website of the International Max Planck Research School – "Knowledge and its Resources" (IMPRS-KIR).