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The Sana'a manuscripts

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This CD ROM illustrates the evolution of Arabic calligraphy as evident in a set of rare manuscripts that belong to the Yemenite antiquities and manuscripts organization. The CD ROM includes four components:

  1. Yemenite manuscripts: Presents a general introduction to Yemen, the Yemenite manuscripts collections and the great mosque's quranic fragments.
  2. Arabic calligraphy : Presents a brief description on the evolution of Arabic calligraphy.
  3. Quranic fragments: Offers 651 images of 302 fragments, indexed by script, frames, etc.
  4. Non quranic manuscripts: displays a selection of rare manuscripts in different areas like geography, astronomy, medicine, etc.


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Highlights : The Kufi Masq script

Script        : Kufi Masq

Dimension     : 16 x 33 cm

Copying date  : 1st/2nd centuries

Surah name    : Surat al-Isra

Verses number : From 20 to 22 and part of 23

		

The script is Kufi Masq without letter pointing but contains diacritics. It is clear that the copyist put in place of the tanwin two dotes under the letter.He used a ten verses indicator formed of a simple geometrical unit surrounded by simple floral/foliar ornaments. He also wrote the number of the verses in a simple ornamented frame on the side of the page.

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Non quranic manuscript

Title       : Diwan Saffiy al-Din al Hilli 

Author name : Saffiy al-Din al Hilli, Abdel Aziz ibn

              Aziz ibn Saraga ibn abi al Qasim ibn Ali
Subject     : Literature

Folios      : 294

Script      : Naskh

The poet was one of the leading poets of his time. The displayed copy is written in a beautiful Naskh script, The frame lines and titles are drawn in red ink.

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Highlights : Vowel signs

Script        : Eastern Kufi

Dimension     : 15 x 13 cm

Copying date  : 6th century

Surah name    : Surat al Maida

Verses number : part of 60 to 61 and part of 62

		

This fragment is an example which shows the high level reached by Arabic script. There is harmony among the script, the verse divisions, the ten verses indicators and other figures in a way that the whole fragment became a single integrated masterpiece. The copyist wrote he number of verses on the right side of the fragment inside a floral ornamented figure.

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Highlights : Integrated ornaments

Script        : Kufi Masahif

Dimension     : 32 x 24 cm

Copying date  : 2nd / 3rd centuries

Surah name    : Surat al-Nas

Verses number : part of 3 to the end of the surah

		

A fragment of an end of the Quran. It illustrates the harmonious interconnection between the geometrical and floral/foliar ornamentation which was extremely well done. The green, deep blue and golden colors were used.

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Highlights : Surah division with geometric ornaments

Script        : Kufi Masahif

Dimension     : 22 x 31 cm

Copying date  : 2nd / 3rd centuries

Surat name    : Surat al-Maeda. Surat al-Anam

Verses number : part of 117 (Surat al Maeda) to part

                of 1 of surat al-Anam. 

		

The surah divisions are impressive in this fragment. The basic unit in these figures are the rectangle, the circle and the floral/foliar ornaments. There is also a figure that seems to be a ten verse indicator after verse 118.

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Wed Nov 27 10:37:13 1996