3 • al-Ṣafadī: The Scholar as a Reader
Ḫalīl b. Aybak al-Ṣafadī (d. 764/1363) was a famous author of the Mamlūk period. He was a renowned scholar, especially for his great literary culture and for his encyclopedic knowledge, chiefly of biographies. This article approaches him as a reader and focuses on the link between his readings and his scholarly production. The sources of information tackled here are three-fold. First, the ownership statements found on manuscripts title pages are tracked and analysed, put in relation to his contemporaneous writings and life events. Second, his reading journal (taḏkira) is investigated and its various roles are specified; its extent, original number of volumes, contents and uses are all discussed and the preserved manuscripts are also cited. Third, the manuscripts preserved in his hand, whether holographs or copies of other authors’ works, are investigated. Indeed, these are part of his inner library, even if some of them were offered to others.