. 2014. “
This book brings to life an impressively broad array of performances in the Eastern Mediterranean. It covers many traditional types of performance, including singers, dancers, storytellers, street performers, clowns, preachers, shadow-puppeteers, fireworks displays, and semi-theatrical performances in folk and other celebrations. It explores performance of the secular as well as of the sacred in its many forms, including Sunni, Shiite, Sufi, and Alevi Muslims; Sephardic Jews and those in the Holy Land; and Armenian, Greek, and European Catholic Christians. The book focuses on the Medieval and Early Modern periods, including the Early Ottoman. Some papers reach backward into Late Antiquity, while others demonstrate continuity with the modern Eastern Mediterranean world.The articles discuss evidence for performers and performance coming from archival sources, architectural and manuscript images, musical notation, historical and ethnographic accounts, literary works, and oral tradition. Across the broad range of issues, chronology, and geography, certain fundamental topics are central: concepts of drama and theatricality; varied definitions of ‘performance’ and related terms; the sacred and the profane, and their frequent intersection; and complex relations between oral and written traditions.