The last page: ‘Iraqeyn?’ – first published in ‘Findings‘ (Blogger) Wed. December 7, 2011.
These are just a few additional notes that I want to keep, about the figures on the manuscript’s last inscribed page and the lines I want to take in reseaching it further.
At the top is a very faint object which appears vaguely anthropid, but can’t say much more. Even in ‘zoom’ it is illegible. [Note: the new Beinecke scans seem to show it as having the head of a bird or dragon and three letters between it and the sheep deserve attention – 13 April 2016]
The other two figures – a [fat-tailed?] lamb having feet marked with star-like additions; with below it a female figure who may represent Arabia/Yemen, or even the region known as Dacia in classical times, modern Romania.(Connection between this region and Arabia is attested).
[Note – this was a first mention of the subject in my published work. Subsequently, further studies removed the question mark in my mind about whether a far-tailed sheep was intended; I concluded that it was. Further research also shifted my attention increasingly towards the Yemen, and away from Dacia – 23 April 2016]
Those stars upon the lamb’s legs, just above the hoof, could be meant in two completely opposed ways.
signifying either: ascendancy, in the common metaphor comparing all ascendancy to that of star(s)
a sign that the animal – as totem creature – would be hobbled and prevented from advancing. (After the idea of the hobble, or the caltrop).
Supposing – for the moment – sheep and female figure are both emblematic, or ‘totem’ creatures, as seems to the the case with the fauna in the water-section too (aka balneology section), then it could refer to Christians, or – among many other possibilities – be a reference to the Aq Qoyunlu, the ‘White Sheep’ Turcomans.
I’m inclined to think it would mean both at once, if it is a deliberate picture and not a pen-tryout etc.: that is, a pun on ‘Aq Qoyunulu’ – with the ‘Aq’ meaning both white and ascendancy, most of the east having inherited the habit of referring to ascendancy or triumph by the term which simultaneously meant the ascendancy of a star. ‘Ak-‘ is from Egyptian.
But it’s a natural habit; we do the same ourselves, speaking of people as ‘rising stars’.
(Westermarck makes some interesting observations of the prevalence of the eastern habit among the Berbers in north-west Africa, too).
Anyway, after Tamerlane took Damascus, the Aq Qoyunlu were given the land around Amid[a] in Greater Armenia, links for which are given in the previous post.
It had been an important region for the Church of the East, throughout most of the previous thirteen hundred years, Amida itself being one seat of the Patriarch of the Church of the East [the Nestorians’ highest office], while the other patriarchal seat was in the ancient Elamite capital of Susa until the coming of Islam, when the Patriarch spent much of the time, in Baghdad or in Nisibis.
At some stage* the notion of the two Iraqs dveloped, meaning Arabia and Mesopotamia to as far north as Armid. And invoking this idea of ‘Irakeyn’ [‘the two Iraqs’] it was the slogan of the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman I, as he advanced into Armenia to take Amid[a] in c.1534.
* I haven’t checked yet. [ Note: I hadn’t checked when the post was first written, but later did. April 23rd., 2016].
So,.. maybe the two ‘two Iraqs’ as Irakeyn was already an etablished reference. Need to see whether it had been an administrative description of the Sassanians and later. (Not Greek or Roman).
The idea of Arabia and Mesopotamia forming one community is new to me. Perhaps it began with Christian descriptions of the northern and southern centres of the early Church of the East.
Whatever. Point is that this combination of the sheep and the female figure might again refer to the notion of the Irakeyn – or to a journey between the newly-gained city of the ‘white sheep’ and the other, Arabian, region cupposed its complement.
Posted by Diane at 5:27 PM
With a postscript comment by me:
AMID or ARMIDA is now known as Dyarbakir.
A post originally published through Findings on May 26th., 2010, The “Zodiac” – Bulls and Month Names with updates made September 7th and September 15th 2011, again mentions folio 116v
Shaun Palmer’s site, for example, says that the identification was made by: