Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Partaii Islam Se-Malaysia - Ptolemy

Partai Islam Se-Malaysia
Partai Islam Se-Malaysia.  See Pan-Malayan Islamic Party.

Partai Komunis Indonesia
Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI) (Indonesia Communist Party).  Founded in May 1920 to succeed the Indies Social Democratic Association (ISDV).   Its leaders, Semaun and Darsono, argued that capitalist imperialism had proletarianized Indonesian society and that the national and proletarian struggles thus coincided.  They pioneered the “bloc within” strategy as members of the nationalist party the Sarekat Islam (SI).  Expelled from SI in 1921, the PKI won wide support in Java and Sumatra, attracting the attention of the Dutch police.  To maintain its elan and forestall repression, the party launched uprisings in Banten (1926) and West Sumatra (1927).  Supported by Musso and Alimin but opposed by Tan Malaka, these uprisings were abortive and led the Dutch to suppress the party and exile many cadres to West New Guinea.

In 1935, Musso established the illegal PKI, which followed an anti-fascist line and remained underground until 1948.  An above-ground party was established in 1945 and briefly led by Muhammad Jusuf, later by Alimin and Sardjono.  It was subordinate to the underground party, and party members were active in several parties within the ruling Sayap Kiri (“left wing”).  The PKI supported negotiations with the Dutch to ensure the Indonesian Republic’s survival, but after the fall of Amir Sjarifuddin’s cabinet in January 1948 it increasingly favored armed struggle by workers and peasants.  In August 1948, the PKI emerged openly as leader of the Front Demokrasi Rakyat (People’s Democratic Front) under Musso and Sjarifuddin but was suppressed militarily for its involvement in the Madiun Affair (September 1948).

After Madiun, the PKI, under Tan Ling Djie, resumed the strategy of working through front parties.  This policy, however, was discarded in 1951 by the new-generation leadership -- D. N. Aidit, M. H. Lukman, Nyoto, and Sudisman -- who rehabilitated the party politically by stressing its nationalist commitment and renouncing armed revolution.  The party survived repression by the Sukiman government and expanded its membership by broadening its base to include the peasantry, especially through one of its affiliates, the Barisan Tani Indonesia (Indonesian Peasants’ Front).  It won 16.4 percent of the vote in the 1955 elections and later claimed three million members.

Although it obtained political protection from Sukarno by backing his program of Guided Democracy and emphasized that its primary enemy was Dutch and American capital, the PKI drew the hostility of many intellectuals for its insistence on ideological correctness.  The PKI also angered civilian and military officials as a result of its attacks on corruption and privilege and alienated the rural elite (often associated with Muslim parties) because of its support of peasant interests, especially its unilateral actions (aksi sepihak) in 1964 to carry out an as yet unimplemented land reform law in Central and East Java.  

After the 1965 Gestapu Affair, army units and Muslim youth conducted a pogrom in which perhaps 400,000 PKI members and supporters died and 100,000 were jailed.  The party was banned in March 1966 but briefly conducted guerrilla operations near Blitar, East Java, and in West Kalimantan.  PKI exiles in Beijing, led by Jusuf Ajitoropo, later publicized a self-criticism (otokritik) condemning the Aidit leadership for alleged revisionism and announcing a new Maoist program advocating armed revolution.

In spite of initial sporadic resistance, PKI stood paralysed after the 1965-1966 killings. In September 1966 the remnants of the party politburo issued a statement of self-criticism, criticizing the previous cooperation with the Sukarno regime.

After the killings of Aidit and Njoto, Sudisman took over party leadership. In 1967 he was sentenced to death.

Some cadres of PKI had taken refuge in Blitar, Eastern Java, following the crackdown on the party. Amongst the leaders present were the youth leader Sukatno, the deputy chairman of SOBSI, Ruslan Widjayasastra and Professor Iskandar Subekti, assistant to Aidit. Blitar was an underdeveloped area were PKI had strong support amongst the peasantry. The military was unaware that PKI had been able to consolidate itself there. But in March 1968 violence erupted in Blitar, as local peasants attacked leaders and cadres of Nahdatul Ulama, as a revenge for the role it had played in anti-communist persecutions. Around 60 NU cadres were killed. It is, however, unlikely that the killings of NU cadres in Blitar had been conducted on the orders of PKI. The military became aware of the PKI enclave and crushed it. Sukatno, Ruslan and Iskandar Subekti were captured and sentenced to death.

Some party cadres were temporarily outside Indonesia at the time of the September 30 events. Notably a sizeable delegation had travelled to the People's Republic of China to participate in the anniversary celebrations of the Chinese Revolution. Others had left Indonesia to pursue studies in Eastern Europe. In exile, a party apparatus continued to function. It was, however, largely isolated from political developments inside Indonesia. In Java, some villages that were known to be refuges for members or suspected sympathizers were identified by authorities and were kept under careful watch for a considerable time.

As of 2004, former PKI members remain blacklisted from many occupations including government jobs. During his presidency Abdurrahman Wahid invited former PKI exiles to return to Indonesia in 1999, and proposed removing restrictions on open discussion of the communist ideology. In arguing for the removal of the ban, Wahid cited Indonesia's original 1945 constitution, which did not prohibit or even specifically mention communism. Wahid's proposal was vigorously opposed by some sectors of Indonesian society, especially conservative Islamic groups. In an April 2000 protest, a group called the Indonesian Islamic Front rallied ten thousand people in Jakarta against Wahid's proposal. The Army did not immediately reject the proposal, but promised a "comprehensive and meticulous study" of the idea

PKI see Partai Komunis Indonesia
Indonesia Communist Party see Partai Komunis Indonesia

Partai Murba
Partai Murba (Murba Party) (Proletarian Party). Indonesian left-wing nationalist party founded in October 1948 by Ibrahim Datuk Tan Malaka and led after his death by Sukarno.  It gathered together leftists who were unhappy with the Indonesian Communist Party’s (PKI’s) alleged accommodation with the West during the revolution and its emphasis on class struggle within Indonesia thereafter.  Murba was ideologically close to Sukarno, arguing for an all-encompassing national front or state party, but it was unable to deliver significant popular support for him.  Under PKI pressure, it was declared inactive in January 1965 and was formally banned in September.  Restored to legality for the 1971 elections, it polled poorly and in 1973 was incorporated into the Partai Deomkrasi Indonesia (PDI).

Murba Party (Indonesian: Partai Murba) was a 'national Communist' political party in Indonesia. The party was founded by Tan Malaka's followers in 1948. The history of the party was largely intertwined with that of the powerful Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI). Initially relations between PKI and the Murba Party were fluid, but gradually the two parties developed into each others' arch-enemies. The Murba Party continued to exist under the New Order, but was merged into the Indonesian Democratic Party in 1973.

The 1948 Madiun Affair resulted in a severe backlash for the PKI. Across Java (except in Bantam), a political vacuum emerged on the political left. The followers of Tan Malaka sought to capitalize on this, and on October 3, 1948, the three main constituents of the Tan Malaka-led Revolutionary People's Movement (GRR); the People's Party, Poor People's Party and the Independent Labour Party of Indonesia, declared that they would merge to form the unitary Murba Party. The merger was to be completed on November 7, 1948, the anniversary of the Russian Revolution. The constitution of the party was declared on November 12, 1948. At the time of its foundation, the new party had around 80,000 members. The GRR continued to exist separately though, with the Murba Party as one of its affiliates.

Whilst Tan Malaka was highly influential in the party, he wasn't formally the leader of the party. At the time of the merger a leadership was formed consisting of Sukarni (president), Sjamsu Harja Udaja (general secretary), Maruto Nitimihardjo (vice president), Sutan Dewanis (second vice president) and Pandu Karta Wiguna (secretary). The Murba Party published two official newspapers, Murba and Massa. Furthermore there were guerrilla units linked to the party, which played an important role in the struggle against Dutch rule in West and Central Java.

Although far smaller than the PKI, the Murba Party constituted an important rival to it. The leadership of the Murba Party was largely made up by leaders of mass movements. The young men who led Murba had often been leaders of guerrillas or mass struggles against the Japanese occupation. The party appealed to ex-guerrillas and workers, who were dissatisfied with post-independence developments.

The Murba Party was secular, and wary of the possibility of increased Islamic influence in government.

In March 1951 the party joined the Consultative Body of Political Parties, a broad coalition initiated by PKI that soon became non-functional. During the following year, PKI-Murba relations improved significantly. At the time, Murba guerrilla units still roamed in West Java and held some territories under their control.

In February 1952, the party supported a parliamentary motion calling for the opening of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.

The Murba Party suffered a stark set-back in the 1955 legislative election. The party obtained 199,588 votes (0.53% of the national vote), and won two seats from Java in the People's Representative Council (down from four seats prior to the elections). After the election, the Murba Party MPs joined the National Progressive Fraction, a body of ten MPs from Java. In the 1955 Constituent Assembly election, the party obtained 248,633 votes (0.66%) and four seats in the assembly.

When President Sukarno introduced Guided Democracy in 1957, the Murba Party was the first to declare its outright support of the plan. The Murba Party became one of ten parties that were legal under the Guided Democracy. The Murba Party were highly supportive of President Sukarno during this period, and repeatedly sought to gain Sukarno's confidence and convince him to turn against the PKI. The Murba Party politician and Minister of Education Priyono, became the head of the Guided Democracy Committee.

During the 1958 Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia (PRRI) rebellion, Murba Party cadres were seized by PRRI rebels and held at the Muara Labuh detention camp in West Sumatra.

Adam Malik, one of the founding leaders of the Murba Party, was named as the Indonesian ambassador to the Soviet Union and Poland. In 1960 Chaerul Saleh of the Murba Party became chairman of the National Council. He also came to serve as chairman of the National Front.

During the November 1962 Cuban missile crisis, the Murba Party voiced its support for Cuba and declared that the party was willing to send volunteers to help the Cubans.

In 1959, the Murba Party declared that China was the state in the Socialist Bloc with whom it felt closest affinity but with the PKI-Soviet alliance in 1963, the Murba Party re-oriented itself towards building relations with the Soviet Union instead. Once it was clear that PKI had sided with the Communist Party of China in the Sino-Soviet split, one sector of the Murba Party began to negotiate with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union regarding the possibility that the Murba-led mass organizations could replace PKI mass organizations in pro-Soviet international communist structures. The Murba Party, on its behalf, began calling for the inclusion of the Soviet Union into the Afro-Asian fraternity. These contacts were aided by the fact that the Murba leader Adam Malik had been stationed as ambassador in Moscow. In 1963, Adam Malik returned to Indonesia, and became Minister of Trade.

In April 1964, the Murba Party proposed that a single-party system be introduced in Indonesia, seeking support from President Sukarno for the idea. The underlying purpose of the plan was to eliminate PKI as an independent political force. Parties like the Indonesian National Party and Nahdatul Ulama protested against the proposal, and in the end the Murba Party failed to convince Sukarno to endorse the proposal. However, the proposal did gain some quiet support from sectors of the army. Later the same year, when President Sukarno expressed his willingness to include PKI in the government, the Murba Party was one of the parties which voiced its opposition.

During this period, the Murba Party was publicly targeted by the PKI. In its anti-price hike mass campaigns the PKI singled out the Murba Party ministers Adam Malik and Chaerul Saleh as responsibles. Issues that had aroused the fury of the PKI were the alliances of the Murba Party with anti-Communist sectors and anti-Sukarno army officers, the support of the Murba Party for United States film imports and the covert Soviet-Murba contacts.

On January 6, 1965, the government declared that the activities of the Murba Party had been 'frozen'. Murba Party leaders were arrested. The 'freezing' of the Murba Party followed the ban by Sukarno on the 'Body to Promote Sukarnoism' (BPS, in which prominent Murba Party figures had played leading roles). Through its activities in BPS (directed towards the breaking of the political influence of PKI), the Murba Party had moved outside the political boundaries of the Nasakom concept of Sukarno's Guided Democracy. Sukarno believed that the BPS campaign had been manipulated by the CIA.

Following the 'freezing' of the Murba Party, PKI continued ferocious attacks on the party. PKI declared that the Murba Party was a party of 'Trotskyites' and 'imperialist agents'. Demands were raised that the Murba Party ministers be expelled from the government, pro-Murba newspapers be closed and that Murba Party members be expelled from the journalists' union and other semi-official structures.

After the 1965-1966 coup d'état the Murba Party continued its activities. It was able to retain small pockets of influence. In March 1966, Adam Malik became foreign minister and deputy prime minister under Suharto.

Under Suharto's rule, the surviving political parties of the 'Old Order' were pressured to consolidate themselves into two political blocs, one Islamic and one 'secular'. The Murba Party was included in the latter category and in March 1970 the Democratic Development Group (Kelompok Persatuan Pembangunan) was formed, consisting of the Murba Party, Indonesian National Party (PNI), the League of Upholders of Indonesian Independence (IPKI), the Catholic Party and the Indonesian Christian Party (Parkindo).

The Murba Party took part in the 1971 parliamentary election. The party got 48,126 votes nationwide (0.1%), and failed to win any seats.

On January 10, 1973 the Murba Party and the other members of the Democratic Development Group merged into the Indonesian Democratic Party.
Proletarian Party see Partai Murba
Murba Party see Partai Murba

Partai Nasional Indonesia
Partai Nasional Indonesia (PNI) (Indonesian Nationalist Party).  Formed in 1927 by Sukarno and other nationalist leaders, some of them recently returned from study in the Netherlands.  It quickly became the main voice of Indonesian nationalism.  Under Sukarno’s chairmanship the party aimed at a mass membership, sought the union of all nationalist organizations in the pursuit of independence, and practiced non-cooperation with the colonial regime.  Within two years, it claimed a membership of approximately ten thousand.

After Sukarno’s arrest, trial, and conviction in 1930, the PNI dissolved itself and formed the Partindo (Indonesian Party), also to be deprived of its leaders and effectively immobilized two years later.  

The PNI was reformed after the Proclamation of Independence in 1945.  Although in theory it was a new party, its leadership and its ideas came primarily from the original PNI.  After 1950, it became one of the main elements in the domestic political balance.  It saw itself as the party of radical nationalism, seeking indonesianization of the economy and an independent foreign policy.  The PNI participated in the Masjumi-led Sukiman government (1951-1952) and was the main partner in the Wilopo government (1952-1953) and the Ali Sastroamidjojo governments (1953-1955 and 1955-1956).  The 1955 elections confirmed it as one of the big four parties (the others were Masjumi, Nahdatul Ulama, and Indonesian Communist Party, or PKI).  In 1957, the PNI supported Sukarno’s Guided Democracy plans, although their effect, in the end, was to undermine party activity.  It continued to support Sukarno after 1959.

The 1971 elections under President Suharto saw all remaining parties overwhelmed by Golkar, the government sponsored organization.  In 1973, an enforced rationalization of parties led to the amalgamation of the PNI and other non-Muslim parties into the Indonesian Democratic Party (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia).

After the fall of President Suharto in 1998, the part was revived and contested the 1999 legislative election as the Indonesian National Party Marhaenism.

PNI see Partai Nasional Indonesia
Indonesian Nationalist Party see Partai Nasional Indonesia
Indonesian National Party Marhaenism see Partai Nasional Indonesia

Partai Persatuan Pembanguan
Partai Persatuan Pembanguan (PPP) (P3) (Development Unity Party). The only Islamic political party in Indonesia today is the Partai Persatuan Pembanguan (Development Unity Party, abbreviated as Partai Persatuan, PPP, or P3), formed in 1973 through the fusion of the four pre-existing Islamic parties: the traditionalist Partai NU (Nahdatul Ulama Party), the modernist Parmusi (Indonesian Muslim Party), and tow other minor parties, the PSII and Perti.  The fusion was imposed by the New Order government under General Suharto, who placed utmost priority on economic development, political stability, and national integration.  The PPP was prohibited from pursuing an Islamic state as its goal and from using “Islam” or “Muslim” in its name.  The government, to secure loyalty, also intervened in the formation of the PPP leadership.

In spite of these constraints, the PPP became increasingly militant and confrontational vis-a-vis the government during the 1970s.  The government had to withdraw its secular version of the Marriage Law bill in the face of Muslim criticism in 1973.  Strong Islamic sentiments were mobilized in the 1977 general elections campaign for the PPP, who used the Ka‘ba as their party symbol.  A number of charismatic ‘ulama’ openly criticized the secularization, corruption, and inequality that the New Order had brought and urged Muslim voting for the PPP as religious obligation.  The PPP received 29 percent of the national vote, obtaining the leading position in the capital city of Jakarta.  The PPP staged a walkout from the parliament in 1978 in protest of the government promotion of Javanese mysticism over Islam.  They maintained almost the same level of popular support (28 percent) in the 1982 general elections.

Alarmed by rising Islamic radicalism, the government instituted a law requiring all social and political organization to stipulate the state philosophy of Pancasila (Five Pillars) as the sole foundation of their constitutions.  The NU complied with this in 1983, followed by the PPP and others.  The NU was, however, dissatisfied with the PPP leadership over the allocation of parliamentary seats and decided to withdraw its support from the PPP.  In the 1987 general elections, the NU actively engaged in a “deflation campaign” against the PPP; the results showed a drastic reduction in votes for the PPP, which received only 16 percent of the total.  The replacement of the Ka‘bah with a star as the party symbol also contributed to this demise, symbolizing the fact that its constitution and statutes had become less explicitly Islamic.  It received seventeen precent of the total votes in the 1992 general election.

The decline of the PPP’s strength has not, however, meant the departure of Islam from public life.  Since the late 1980s, islamization of the bureaucracy has been visible.  Now that all Muslim organizations have accepted the Pancasila as their sole foundation, the intensification of religious activities in government offices is no longer under scrutiny.  Suharto himself contributed to this trend by promoting the establishment of mosques all over the country and performing the hajj in 1991.  The government party Golkar has also become manifestly Islamic in its orientation.  A mainstreaming of Islam is under way.  A number of goals previously pursued by the Islamic parties have been achieved without arousing political controversies.  This new situation is blurring the distinctiveness of the PPP as an Islamic party, and its raison d’etre is in question.

PPP see Partai Persatuan Pembanguan
P3 see Partai Persatuan Pembanguan
Development Unity Party see Partai Persatuan Pembanguan

Partai Sosialis Indonesia
Partai Sosialis Indonesia (PSI) (Indonesian Socialist Party).   Formed in February of 1948 by Sutan Sjahrir’s followers.  It was the ideological descendant of the Pendidikan Nasional Indonesia, formed by Hatta and Sjahrir in 1931 to train a socialist leadership for the Indonesian nationalist movement.  After Indonesia became independent, the PSI was influential in Parliament and the civil service.  It was seen as the party of the intellectuals and was noted for a pragmatic and rational approach to political issues.  It lacked electoral support, however, and was virtually eliminated in the 1955 elections.  Some of its members were implicated in the 1958 rebellion, and in 1960 Sukarno banned the party.  

The Socialist Party of Indonesia (Indonesian: Partai Sosialis Indonesia) was a political party in Indonesia from 1948 until 1960, when it was banned by President Sukarno.

In December 1945 Amir Sjarifoeddin's Socialist Party of Indonesia (Parsi) and Sutan Sjahrir's Socialist People's Party (Parsas), both of which had only recently been established, merged to form the Socialist Party. Sjahrir became leader of the combined party. It was popular among young intellectuals and students as well as members of the underground movements led by the two men during the Japanese occupation of Indonesia. At the end of 1945 the Socialist Party gained five of the 25 seats on the working committee of the Central Indonesian National Committee, the de facto legislature. Both Sutan and Amir served terms as prime minister, while other Socialist Party members held senior cabinet posts.

From 1947, divisions appeared between Sutan and Amir as Amir and his communist allies gained more and more influence over the party. In June 1947 Amir ousted Sutan. The second party called the Socialist Party of Indonesia was founded on February 13, 1948, by Sutan Sjahrir after his departure from the Socialist Party.

Following the dissolution of the United States of Indonesia and the reestablishment of the unitary Republic of Indonesia in 1950, the PSI was awarded 17 of the 232 seats in the new legislature, the People's Representative Council (DPR), a total in proportion to the estimated strength of the party

The PSI held its first party congress in 1952.

In the 1955 legislative election the PSI won only 2% of the vote, resulting in 5 seats in the legislature. This was a far smaller share of the vote than had been expected.

The second party congress was held in June 1955.

After the 1955 elections, a clear political division between Java and the outer islands opened up. This was followed by a military crisis brought about by army chief-of-staff General Nasution's plan to implement widespread transfers of officers, many of whom had built up private business interests in the regions. On July 20, 1956, the most prominent non-Javanese politician, Vice-president Hatta, resigned effective December 1, 1956. Tired of the political infighting, on October 28, President Sukarno called for an end to political parties. This would lead to his 1957 conception of “guided democracy”, which the PSI opposed.

In December 1956, several army commanders in Sumatra announced they had taken over civil government. This crisis spread and in March 1957, the military commander of East Indonesia imposed martial law over his command area. On March 1957, the cabinet resigned and Sukarno proclaimed martial law nationwide. In May 1957, PSI economist Professor Sumitro Djojohadikusumo left Jakarta for Sumatra, followed by other political figures. In January 1958, the PSI demanded a new cabinet, and the following month dissidents in Padang, West Sumatra, issued an ultimatum demanding the dissolution of the cabinet within five days. Despite efforts by the PSI in Jakarta to forestall a rebellion, on February 15, a rebel government was proclaimed in Bukitinggi called the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia (PRRI). It was headed by Amir Sjarifoeddin as Prime Minister and included Burhanuddin Harahap from the Masyumi Party and Sumitro Djojohadikusumo. Hatta and PSI leaders in Jakarta called for a negotiated settlement, but the government decided on a military solution, which defeated the rebellion by mid-1958.

Sukarno implemented his plan for guided democracy by issuing a decree restoring the 1945 Constitution. The PSI was not represented in either the new cabinet, the Supreme Advisory Council nor the National Planning Council established under the new system. Finally, in August 1960, President Sukarno formally banned the PSI and the Masyumi Party for their opposition to Guided Democracy and their alleged support of the PRRI rebellion.

The party's philosophy was based on Fabianism with elements of Marxist social analysis. There was a distinct Indonesian character to the party's brand of socialism. It stressed the need for modernization, economic development and rational planning and organization, while opposing extreme nationalism and anti-foreign sentiment. It accepted the need for foreign capital, but party leaders criticized what they saw as the Hatta cabinet's overcautious foreign policy and the strong influence of the United States over it. They strongly opposed the party siding with either the United States or the Soviet Union.

Rather than building support among the masses, the party aimed to develop a well-trained core of members. It had considerable influence among high-level bureaucrats and the leadership of the army. Sultan Hamengkubuwana IX and Nasution did not belong to the PSI, but they had strong informal links with it.
PSI see Partai Sosialis Indonesia
Indonesian Socialist Party see Partai Sosialis Indonesia

Pasha (Pacha) (Paşa) . Turkish term for the highest official title of honor in the Ottoman Empire and in modern Turkey until 1934.  It survived even longer in some former Ottoman provinces like Egypt and Iraq.  It always followed the proper name.  Military rather than feudal in character, it was however also given to certain high civil officials, but not to religious people.  It was not hereditary, did not give any rank to wives, and was not attached to territorial possession.

Pasha is the highest title for a person or an office in the Ottoman Empire.  The title, when used for a person, was always together with his proper name.  The title was used for military officers and officials in the administration, but never for any of the religiously learned.  The title was not hereditary, except in Egypt in the 19th century.  In some rare cases, the title was even used for women.

The title first occurred among the Seljuks and was used early on by the Ottomans.  The brother and son of the first bey (later sultan) Orhan, were called pasha.

The use of the title “pasha” continued for some time even after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, but was abandoned in 1934.  In Egypt, it survived until 1952.

In everyday conversation, Turks today use the title to mark their respect for a person they consider of very high status in the society.

Pasha was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in pre-republic Egypt.

The word pasha entered English from Turkish paşa. Etymologists variously derive the word paşa from the Turkish baş or baş ağa, "head, chief", or from Persian pādshāh. Old Turkish had no fixed distinction between /b/ and /p/, and the word was spelled başa still in the 15th century. As first used in western Europe, the title appeared in writing with the initial "b". The English forms bashaw, bassaw, bucha etc., general in the 16th and 17th century, derive through the medieval Latin and Italian word bassa. Due to the Ottoman presence in the Arab World, the title became used frequently in Arabic, though pronounced as basha due to the absence of the letter "p" in Arabic. Alternatively, the word could derive from Persian "pa", meaning foot, and "shah", meaning king, making the title "the foot of the king".

The Ottoman Sultan and his nominal vassal the Khedive of Egypt had the right to bestow the title of Pasha. The title appears, originally, to have applied exclusively to military commanders, but subsequently it could distinguish any high official, and also unofficial persons whom the court desired to honor.

Pashas ranked above Beys and Aghas, but below Khedives and Viziers.

Three grades of Pasha existed, distinguished by the number of yak- or horse-tails (three, two and one respectively; a symbol of Turco-Mongol tradition) or peacock tails, which the bearers were entitled to display on their standard as a symbol of military authority when on campaign. Only the Sultan himself was entitled to four tails, as sovereign commander in chief.

The following military ranks entitled the holder to the style Pasha (lower ranks were styled Bey or merely Effendi):

    * The Vizier-i-Azam (Grand Vizier, the prime minister, but also often taking the field as Generalissimo instead of the Sultan)
    * Mushir (Field marshal)
    * Ferik (army lieutenant-general or navy vice-admiral)
    * Liva (major general or Rear-admiral)
    * The Kizlar Agha (chief black eunuch, the highest officer in the Topkapı Palace; three tails, as commander of the baltacı corps of the halberdiers in the imperial army
    * Istanbul's Shaikh ul-Islam, the highest Muslim clergyman, of cabinet rank.

If a Pasha governed a provincial territory, it could be called a pashaluk after his military title, besides the administrative term for the type of jurisdiction, e.g. eyalet, vilayet/walayah. Both Beylerbeys (governors-general) and valis/wālis (the most common type of Governor) were entitled to the style of Pasha (typically with two tails). The word pashalik designated any province or other jurisdiction of a Pasha.

Ottoman and Egyptian authorities conferred the title upon both Muslims and Christians without distinction. They also frequently gave it to foreigners in the service of the Ottoman Empire or of the Egyptian Khedivate (later Sultanate, and Kingdom in turn), e.g. Hobart Pasha.

In usage, the title followed the given name. Although the word serves as a non-hereditary title, English speakers have commonly used the word pasha as if it formed part of a personal name, as for instance in Ibrahim Pasha or Emin Pasha, similar to the practice of referring to a British Peer as Lord X, since in both cases it substitutes for a more precise rank title.

The sons of a Pasha were styled Pashazada or Pasha-zade, which means just that.

In modern Egyptian and (to a lesser extent) Levantine Arabic, it is used as an honorific closer to "Sir" than "Lord," especially by older people.

The following is a list of notable pashas:

    * Abaza Family - Egyptian Pashas and Beys
    * Abbas I of Egypt
    * Abbas II of Egypt
    * Ahmed Pasha (Claude Alexandre de Bonneval)
    * Ali Pasha — statesman
    * Barbarossa Khair ad-Din Pasha
    * Cigalazade Yusuf Sinan Pasha
    * Emin Pasha
    * Enver Pasha
    * Essad Pasha
    * Fakhri Pasha
    * Fuad Pasha
    * Glubb Pasha (John Bagot Glubb)
    * Gordon Pasha
    * Hagop Kazazian Pasha
    * Hobart Pasha
    * Hussein Refki Pasha
    * Ibrahim Pasha
    * İsmet Pasha (İsmet İnönü)
    * Jafar al-Askari
    * Jamal Pasha
    * Judar Pasha - Moroccan general
    * Kara Mustafa Pasha
    * Kazazian Pasha
    * Kilic Ali Pasha
    * Multiple members of the Köprülü family, especially Kara Mustafa Pasha
    * Lala Kara Mustafa Pasha
    * Liman von Sanders Pasha
    * Mahmud Dramali Pasha — Ottoman general
    * Mehmed Pasha Sokolović
    * Melling Pasha
    * Midhat Pasha
    * Müezzinzade Ali Pasha — Ottoman admiral
    * Muhammad Ali Pasha — viceroy of Egypt
    * Mustafa Kemal Pasha, subsequently known as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the post-Ottoman Turkish republic
    * Mustafa Reshid Pasha
    * Nubar Pasha
    * Osman Pasha
    * Piyale Pasha
    * Riyad Pasha — Egyptian statesman
    * Said Pasha
    * Sinan Pasha
    * Stone Pasha
    * Sulejman Pasha
    * Sultan al-Atrash
    * Talat Pasha
    * Tewfik Pasha
    * Turhan Pasha Përmeti
    * Tusun Pasha
    * Urabi Pasha
    * Valentine Baker
    * Wehib Pasha
    * Woods Pasha
    * Youssef Wahba Pasha — Egyptian Prime Minister
    * Yusuf Karamanli Pasha of Tripoli

Pacha see Pasha
Pasa see Pasha

Pashai.  Although Afghanistan is no longer quite the “ethnic mystery” some have called it, there are still segments of its population for which there is little reliable information.  Of these, the people who speak what linguists call Pashai particularly stand out.  No mention is made of the Pashai speakers in many general works on Afghanistan, and one will look in vain for some indication they exist on most maps which purport to show the distribution of ethnic groups.

There are conflicting positions among specialists regarding the history of the Pashai.  Scholars argue that the progenitors of the present day Pashai were expelled from their original homes in the lowlands of classic Gandhara culture by the invasion of Pashto-speaking Afghans from the Suleiman Mountains.  They found refuge in the high mountain valleys of the Hindu Kush, where their descendants live today.  These descendants, the contemporary Pashai mountain people, ware thus seen as relics of a once higher civilization.  

Although historical records indicate that the population of the Pashai area converted to Islam fairly recently, some scholars believe that this is no way means that the Pashai religion of the immediate pre-Islamic period was similar to that found among the pagans of what is now Nuristan.  This latter religious system was comprised of symbols, rituals and beliefs strikingly similar to those found in ancient Indo-Iranian religions.  According to some scholars, the paganism of the Pashai was rather a debased form of Hindu-Buddhism.

In contrast, there are those who argue that the Pashai are probably not the descendants of lowland refugees but are more likely a popuation that has inhabited their high mountain valleys from a time before the rise of Gandharan civilization.  This argument is based mainly on evidence gathered in the course of field research among the Pashai speakers of the Darra-i Nur Valley.

The Pashai are Sunni Muslims who in terms of formal religion are no different from their Nuristani and Pushtun neighbors.  There are shrines of famous saints in the area, and it is not unknown for Pashai men to leave their home communities and become followers of well-known Pakistani or Afghan holy men.  However, in the remote villages, saints do not play a particularly important role in local politics.

Patani United Liberation Organization
Patani United Liberation Organization (PULO).  Muslim separatist organization in Thailand.  The Patani United Liberation Organization (PULO) was established in 1968 by Tenku Bira Kotanila, who claimed to speak of Malay Muslims liing in the four southern Thai provinces of Pattani (spelled Patani in Malay), Narathiwat, Yala, and Satun.  Its goal is to detach these provinces from Thailand and combine them into an independent state based on Islamic principles.  The creation of such a state is considered essential in order to preserve the “Malayness” and Islamic way of life of the local Malay Muslims, which are preceived to be threatened by the assimilationist policies of successive Thai governments.  PULO also considers Thailand to be an occupying power from whom independence can be wrested only through the use of armed force.  

PULO’s emphasis on protecting the Malay and Islamic character of these Malay Muslims through achieving independence for the area serves as the basis for its political mobilization efforts, since the wide appeal of the agenda cuts across social classes and secular and religious boundaries.  It has proved particularly attractive to younger, more militant Malay Muslims.  It has also attracted moral, financial, and other support from Malaysian individuals and organizations associated either directly or indirectly with the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS), which draws most of its political support from Muslims in Malaysian states bordering Thailand.  Another source of external support is the Middle East, where financial contributions are made to PULO, usually in the name of charity, by some governments, by organizations such as the Islamic Call Society in Libya, and by a few wealthy individuals.  Furthermore, one faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization has provided training in Syria for small groups of PULO guerrillas.

PULO has a fairly sophisticated organizational structure with a central committee, headed by a chairman, at the top.  Under the central committee is a secretariat with political, economic, military, and foreign sections.  Policy making headquarters are in Mecca, and operational headquarters are in Kelantan, Malaysia.  Within Thailand, PULO guerrillas conduct both military and political activities.

In 1981, PULO claimed twenty thousand members, a figure that probably was exaggerated.  Independent estimates of PULO guerrillas operating in three of the provinces (no separatist guerrilla activity has been noted in Satun) have previously ranged from aroung two hundred to six hundred.  In the early 1990s, however, PULO’s membership was smaller than before, and the number of guerrillas was thought to be fewer than a hundred.  This is largely owing to the fact that in the mid-1980s Saudi authorities became disturbed by PULO activities such as openly issuing citizen identification

cards, in the name of the Patani Republic, to Malay Muslim workers from Thailand in Saudi Arabia.  PULO headquarters in Mecca were raided, some of the staff were arrested, about seven hundred PULO members were deported, and Tenku Bira Kotanila was replaced as chairman by Dr. Ar-rong Moorang.  Therse developments left the organization in disarray, and it is still trying to regroup.

The Patani United Liberation Organization (also spelled Pattani United Liberation Organisation) or PULO is one of the active separatist movements calling for a free and independent Patani. This group, along with others, is currently fighting for the independence of Thailand's predominantly Malay Muslim south.

PULO was founded in 1968 reportedly around the leadership of Kabir Abdul Rahman (Bira Kotanila), a Patani Malay scholar, who has been serving as its chairman until his death in 2008. By late 1992, the organization had split into three factions. The first faction was headed by Dr. Arong Muleng while the second one was lead by Haji Hadi Bin Ghazali. The first faction set up the PULO Leadership Council with a symbol of a dagger crossing with a sword as its logo. The name of its armed unit is called "Kasdan Army." The second faction, also headed by Haji Sama-ae Thanam, set up the PULO Army Command Council to give support to Kabir Abdul Rahman, the founder of PULO. The third faction headed by Abu Yasir Fikri has the largest ground support and leading the only group with diplomatic credibility, political influence and popular support to be able to officially negotiate and represent PULO at OIC.

In 1995, rifts emerged among the core leaders of the new PULO movement. As a result, Dr. Arong Muleng decided to split his group from the movement to set up a new organization called "PULO 88", while the other group led by Haji Abdul Rahman named its armed unit as "Pulo Keris" (Dagger Pulo).

Currently, PULO has a policy of targeting those whom it views as collaborators and associates of the Thai government, such as civil servants, soldiers and policemen.

The organization carries out car bombs, road side bombs and drive-by shootings targeting Thai military and police which they see as legitimate targets.

PULO considers itself to be continuing the independence struggle of the Malay Sultanates after the area declared its independence following the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767. The Islamic state proposed by PULO would cover the areas they say were historically ruled by the Sultanate of Pattani - consisting of Pattani, Narathiwat, Yala, Songkhla and Satun provinces in present-day Thailand. However, Songkla Province is only about 30% Muslim and mainly Thai speaking, while Satun actually was part of Kedah and has shown virtually no support for separation from Thailand.

Four star PULO is considered to be the most respected and popular separatist group in Patani with the most political clout and a large presence in the area although little is known about the group as they prefer to stay out of media and is working under a silence policy. During recent years, this group has become increasingly visible and been able to show their influence by gathering active separatists and organizing them under their political wing and being recognized internationally as representatives of the Patani People.

They are currently the political representatives by popular consent of GMIP and active military fractions of BRN, RKK and other groups. The four star became increasingly powerful steadily gaining support and loyalty from separatist groups forcing different fractions to join their ranks.

On July 26, 2009, Abu Yasir Fikri, the President of PULO and the Emir of the Movement of Mujahidin Islam Patani (GMIP), Cikgume Kuteh, made an official agreement to join forces. The agreement includes giving Abu Yasir Fikri mandate to speak on behalf of the GMIP on all political issues. Further on, the agreement included a section in which the movements agreed to build one military force, the Patani Liberation Army, the PLA, to be led by the First Deputy Military Commander of the Patani United Liberation Organization (PULO).

PULO see Patani United Liberation Organization

Pecewi, Ibrahim
Pecewi, Ibrahim (Ibrahim Pecewi) (Ibrahim Pecevi)  (Pecuyli Ibrahim Efendi) (1572/1574-1650).  Ottoman historian.  Born in Pecs, Hungary, he wrote a history which covers the period from the accession of Suleyman II in 1520 to the death of Murad IV in 1640.  It is one of the principal sources for Ottoman history, particularly for the period c.1590-1632.

İbrahim Peçevi was a historian (chronicler) of the Ottoman Empire. He was born in Pécs, Hungary, hence his name, Peçevi ("from Pécs"). His mother was of a Sokollu (Sokolović) Bosnian Serb family. The name of his father is unknown.

He was a provincial official in many places and became a historian after his retirement in 1641.

Peçevi Efendi is famous for his two-volume book Tarih-i Peçevi ("Pecevi's History"), a history of the Ottoman Empire and the main reference for the period 1520–1640. The information about older events Peçevi took from previous works and narrations of veterans. His times are described firsthand and from tales of witnesses. In best traditions of Muslim scholars, Peçevi carefully references all quotations. Peçevi also was one of the first Ottoman historians who used European written sources. He makes references to Hungarian historians.
Ibrahim Pecewi see Pecewi, Ibrahim
Ibrahim Pecevi see Pecewi, Ibrahim
Pecevi, Ibrahim see Pecewi, Ibrahim
Pecuyli Ibrahim Efendi see Pecewi, Ibrahim

Penghulu. Term which means “headman.”  The term penghulu is used in Indonesia as the title of a village administrator.

penglipor lara
penglipor lara (“soother of cares”).  Traditional Malay village bard who recites popular tales based on the adventures of a romantic hero.  The same phrase is also applied to the stories themselves.  The description “folk-romance” is specially apt since these prose tales (often containing short passages of fine poetry) hve for centuries formed the staple literary diet of the Malay villagers, and provide, in some measure, a rural and oral counterpart to the written and more sophisticated hikayat of the Court.  Among the best known folk romances are Cheritera Sri Rama, Hikayat Malim Deman, Hikayat Malim Dewa and Hikayat Anggun Che Tunggal.  Their plots are often loosely based on Indian themes and there are superficial Muslim touches through a sub-stratum of animistic and Hindu-Buddhist beliefs suggests an older source for them.  The form of these stories (which are usually sung), the frequent verse interpolations, the relatively undeveloped characters and stock situations -- often described in formulaic stereotyped phrases ( are reminiscent of much other oral literature in many parts of the world, though here the local background from Malaya and Sumatra (whence some of the stories derive) is particularly vivid and characteristic.
soother of cares see penglipor lara

People of the Book
People of the Book. See ahl al-kitab.


Percham (literally, “banner”).  Second major faction that split from the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) in 1967.  Babrak Karmal, the Afghan president following the Soviet invasion in December 1979, belonged to this faction.  The Perchamis favored more moderate domestic economic reforms and were closer to the Soviets than was the PDPA.  They also had more support among the Tajiks, a Persian speaking ethnic group, and among the urban Pakhtuns.  The faction published a weekly newspaper called Percham.

In 1977, Percham united with the other major communist faction, Khalq, to overthrow the government of Daud Beureu’eh.  After the coup, the Perchamis were quickly eliminated from positions of power.  Some were arrested, while others remained abroad, mostly in Eastern Europe.  Khalqis accused Perchamis of plotting a coup against them.  With the Soviet invasion, the balance of power was shifted in favor of Percham.  The Perchamis came to dominate the government.  The sought to expand the base of power of the regime and win the war against the partisans known as the Mujahedin.  They established a communist dominated National Fatherland Front, expanding the Communist Party, moderating some of the Khalqi reforms, and establishing several security organizations.

Banner see Percham

PERKIM (Pertubuhan Kebajikan Islam SeMalaysia). Acronym for Pertubuhan Kebajikan Islam SeMalaysia, or All Malaysia Muslim Welfare Association, PERKIM was founded in 1960 by the first prime minister of the newly independent nation, Tunku Abdul Rahman, as a religious and social welfare organization.  Much of the original funding was provided by the Tunku’s contacts with elites in the Muslim world, notably Saudi royalty, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and a $12 million gift from Libya.

PERKIM’s principal goal is the promotion of Islam as the national religion, with particular emphasis on the conversion of the non-Malay population, although without pressure or coercion.  PERKIM’s character as a non-communal, or ethnic-bridging, religious organization is unique in multi-ethnic Malaysia.  It was symbolically affirmed in the beginning by the ethnic identities of ists cofounders, Haji Ibrahim Ma, Tan Sri O. K. Ubaidullah, and Tan Sri Mubin Sheppard, who are Chinese, Indian, and European Muslims, respectively.

Relatively inactive before 1970, PERKIM sprang to public attention during the 1970s following the ethnic and political conflicts of the late 1960s, which resulted in growing ethnic and religious polarization between the Muslim Malays and other groups.  The New Economic Policy, enshrining strong affirmative action in favor of Malays, initiated two decades of Malay economic and constitutional assertiveness and tied economic and educational opportunity to Malay ethnic status, of which Islam is an essential cultural attribute.  This was also the era of the Islamic resurgence in Malaysia, locally known as dakwah (in Arabic, da‘wah), whose activities were directed exclusively toward the Malay community.

In this social climate, PERKIM’s distinctiveness lay in its continued attempts to create a multi-ethnic Islamic community and to reduce the perceived threat of a resurgent Islam among non-Malays.  To these ends, PERKIM provides a wide range of support and services, including hostel accommodation and religious instruction for new converts and advice on personal problems arising from their conversion.  Among its many educational services are preparation for government examinations, vocational courses, a variety of training schemes, and its own non-denominational kindergartens.  PERKIM also sponsors clinics and drug rehabilitation schemes, which are important sources of new converts.

The total number of converts to Islam via PERKIM is hard to estimate precisely, partly because of an enthusiastic tendency toward overestimation during the early 1970s, and partly because of a subsequent high rate of recidivism.  However, the total number of converts has probably never exceeded 120,000.  During the early 1970s, the largest single constituency of converts to Islam via PERKIM consisted of working class urban Chinese, who sought through Islam an assimilatory route to Malay ethnic and legal status, together with jobs and other privileges.  For several years, Tunku Abdul Rahman defended the Chinese converts’ rights of access to occupational and other Malay quotas, both in parliament and in the Malay community at large, but he was ultimately unsuccessful.  At this point, many Chinese Muslims were designated only as Saudara Bahru (“new brothers in the faith”), but not as Malays, and were relegated to a separate Chinese Muslims’ Association.  As a result, the rate of Chinese conversions has declined significantly to a level of less than one hundred annually, and many earlier converts have disappeared from view.  More recent converts have tended to be young, male, and single, and to come from assorted Chinese, Indian, Eurasian, and European backgrounds.  Many of them are contemplating marriage with a Muslim, although a few still anticipate advantages in doing business with Malays.  Finally, in 1979, PERKIM opened a settlement Pusan Pelarian Indochina (Indochina Refugee Center) in coastal Kelantan state specifically for Muslim (Cham) refugees from Cambodia.

The founding chapter and headquarters of PERKIM is the Balai Islam in the capital of Kuala Lumpur, with a further fifty or so branches throughout Malaysia, several of them supported by commercial and shopping complexes.  In the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, PERKIM’s branches (USIA and BINA, respectively) have been particularly active among the non-Malay indigenous population, which accounts for another substantial category of recent converts.

PERKIM’s publications include instructional books on Islam and social problems, as well as regular newsletters in three languages -- Suara PERKIM (Malay), Nur Islam (Chinese), and the Islamic Herald (English).

Pertubuhan Kebajikan Islam SeMalaysia see PERKIM

Persians (in Arabic, ‘ajam). In Arabic, a term used by the Arabs to denote the Persians. It is parallel to the Greek word barbaroi (i.e., those who have an incomprehensible and obscure way of speaking).  To the Arabs, the barbarians were primarily their neighbors -- the Persians.  During the whole Umayyad period, the superiority of the Arabs over the conquered ‘ajam was uncontested.  The coming to power of the ‘Abbasids brought the victory of the ‘ajam over the ‘arab.  The Persians, having obtained political and social supremacy, soon laid claim to the supremacy of their cultural and spiritual values in the so-called Shu‘ubiyya movement.  Another term used by the Arabs to denote the Persians is al-Furs.

Because of its unique position as a land bridge of rugged mountains and barren plains between Europe and Asia, the Iranian Plateau exhibits among its inhabitants a degree of ethnic and linguistic diversity unsurpassed by any other area in Southwest Asia.  In this heterogeneous culture area encompassing Iran and Afghanistan, the Persian speaking inhabitants known as Farsiwan or Parsiwan comprise nearly fifty percent of the population.    

The Islamization of the Persians was even more consequential.  Their religion before the advent of Islam was Zoroastrianism, a belief system based on an eternal conflict between the forces of good and evil.  As a universal doctrine, it recognized Ahura Mazda as the God of Good and the Divine Light. An estimated 50,000 Zoroastrians known in Iran as Gabres are concentrated in the area of Yazd and Kerman.  A much larger number known as Parsees form small, tightly knit economic and political elites in South Asia and East Africa.  Today, nearly all Persians are Shi‘a Muslims of the Ithna Ashari denomination.  

The Persians were not the earliest inhabitants of Iran.  Archaeological investigations near Behshar on the Caspian coast indicate that as early as 10,000 B.C.T. the Iranian Plateau was already settled by a hunting and gathering people who in many ways resembled those of the Upper Paleolithic Europe.

At the beginning of the third millennium B.C.T., a new ethnic element of Indo-European origin appeared.  The newcomers probably left their Eurasian plains in southern Russia as a result of population pressure.  Archaeological evidence supports the theory that they were pastoralists affected by drought and in search of pasturage.  They came in successive waves but split into two sections.  The western branch rounded the Black Sea and spearheaded into Asia Minor; the eastern branch consisted mainly of warrior horsemen who went around the Caspian Sea into the plateau, supplanting the indigenous populations.

The beginning of the first millennium B.C.T. marked the arrival of the Iranians (Aryans).  Like others of Indo-European origin who came before them, they penetrated the Iranian Plateau in waves lasting several centuries, apparently using the same Caucasus and Transoxiana routes as the earlier invaders.  They were pastoralists and, to a lesser extent, agriculturalists.  

The Iranians consisted of several tribal groups: Medes, Persians (Parsa), Parthians, Bactrians, Soghdians, Sacians and Scythians.  Over the next four centuries, Iranians formed nuclei of power within certain areas and absorbed the cultural influences of existing civilizations.  By the first half of the first millennium B.C.T., they were strong enough to overcome all political obstacles and pave the way for the formation of the first world empire.

Between 625 and 585 B.C.T., the Medes developed an impressive civilization centered at Echbatana, the modern Hamadan.  They completely destroyed the powere of Assyria and extended their hegemony far into Asia Minor.  Persians, who had initially settled to the northwest of Lake Urmia about the eighth century B.C.T., moved farther south and occupied Parsa, the modern province of Fars, from which they receive their ethnic title.  This loosely federated tribal group became a more cohesive political unit under the Achaemenian clan.  In 553 B.C.T., Cyrus, the ruler of Parsa, overthrew the Median dynasty and consolidated the Medes and Persians into the great Achaemenid Empire.

From the fifth century B.C.T. to the seventh century of the Christian calendar, the social structure of Persian contained rulers, priests, warriors, artisans, scribes and producers, a structure which became progressively more complex and rigid.  Towards the end of this period, a small privileged class dominated a growing mass of disfranchised people with few avenues for mobility.  This condition, exacerbated by long and costly campaigns against the Eastern Roman Empire, led to an internal decay which prepared the way for the Arab invasion.

The 13 centuries from the Arab invasion of Persia until today have seen a fluctuation in monarchical powers and also a steady Persianization of the heterogeneous society.  Politically, Persians were able to maintain their independence from invaders and their dominance over non-Persian minorities within the country.  Since 1925 and the beginning of an intense nationalistic period, including the official adoption of the name “Iran,” governments have sought to spread the use of Farsi and to encourage the best in Persian culture.

Persians are a sedentary people found in every part of Iran and western Afghanistan.  Their concentration is in and around a number of cities in the interior of the plateau -- Kerman, Shiraz, Yazd, Isfahan, Kashan, Tehran and Herat in Afghanistan.  Each city is the economic and political hub of a dozen or more towns.  Each town in turn integrates hundreds of villages into a regional economic network.

Ever since the introduction of Shiism as the national religion of Iran in the Safavid period (1501-1722), the ulama as the interpreters and practitioners of Islam have played an increasingly important role in the social and political life of the nation.  They have been, at least for the past 100 years, the vanguard of significant protest movements against despotic rulers or policies which compromised the cultural and political integrity of Iran.  The success of the Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911), for example, owed much to the ulama supported by the Bazaaris and secular liberals.  The subsequent process of secularization of education and judicial system by the Pahlavis gradually undermined the social and moral leadership of the ulama.  Nevertheless, they still enjoy the respect and devotion of a sizable segment of the Iranian population.  

In the early 1960s the relationship between the bureaucratic state and the ulama entered a new phase when Ayatollah Khomeini began challenging the legitimacy of the Pahlavi regime on grounds that monarchy is incompatible with Islam.  The Qur’an and hadith, he stressed, contain all the laws needed for human guidance.  It is incumbent upon the ulama to purify Islam and apply its laws.  Furthermore, in the absence of the last infallible Imam, who is in occultation, the Islamic jurists must accept the responsibility to govern.  Ayatollah Khomeini was imprisoned and then exiled to Iraq.  He returned in 1979 to topple the monarchy.

'ajam see Persians

PETA (Pembela Tanah Air) (“Defenders of the Homeland”). Volunteer army units formed in October 1943 by Japanese authorities on Java and Sumatra.  While ostensibly formed to defend the islands against expected Allied invasions, the PETA was also a concession to Indonesian nationalist demands for military training and aided the inculcation of Japanese values in Indonesian youth.  Its officers, up to battalion level, were Indonesians, but there was no hierarchial link between battalions independent of the Japanese army.  In February 1945, PETA troops at Blitar (East Java) revolted unsuccessfully against the Japanese.  PETA officers formed much of the officer corps of the Indonesian army.  

PETA was an Indonesian volunteer army established on October 3, 1943 in Indonesia by the occupying Japanese. The Japanese intended PETA to assist their forces oppose a possible invasion by the Allies. By the end of the war, there were a total of 69 battalions (daidan) in Java (around 37,000 men) and Sumatra (approximately 20,000 men). On August 17, 1945, the day after the Indonesian Declaration of Independence, the Japanese ordered the PETA daidan to surrender and hand over their weapons, which most of them did. The Indonesian Republic's newly-declared President, Sukarno, supported the dissolution rather than turn the organization into a national army as he feared allegations of collaboration had he allowed a Japanese-created militia to continue in existence.
Pembela Tanah Air see PETA
Defenders of the Homeland see PETA

Peuhl. See Fula.

Phalangists. Lebanese Christian political party and militia.  The name Phalangists (Phalange and Phalange party are variations of the same term) is both a translation from Arabic and a small distortion, coming from phalanx.  The correct name would have been Lebanese Kateeb Social Democratic Party.

In November of 1936, the Phalange party was founded by Pierre Gemayel who was inspired by the Nazi Youth Movement that he had seen in Hitler’s Germany.

In 1949, the discovery of a Syrian plot to merge Lebanon with Syria stirred up anxiety and nationalism in Lebanon, giving the Phalange party many new members.  In the 1958 Civil War, the Phalangists supported President Camille Chamoun.

In 1968, the Phalange Party cooperated with the parties of Chamoun and Raymond Edde, and garnered 9 out of the 99 seats in the parliament. In 1975, the Lebanese Civil War began.  The Phalangists had 20,000 members and their own little army.  They were part of the umbrella organization Lebanese Front.

In 1976, the Phalangists supported Syrian intervention in the conflict, as they were losing ground to the Muslim troops. In 1980, the Phalange destroyed the militia of the National Liberal Party of Chamoun, which was another member of the Lebanese Front.

In 1982, the Phalangists cooperated with Israel, in planning an attack on Lebanon.  On June 6, 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon from its southern border, and its forces started advancing north, reaching Beirut in short time.  In September, the Phalangists became the strongest party in Lebanon, thanks to the aid of Israel.  On September 13, 1982, Bashir Gemayel was killed a few days before he was to be sworn in as president of Lebanon.  On September 16, as a way of retaliating for the killing of Gemayel, the Phalange militia received help from the Israeli army to close off the Palestinian quarters of Sabra and Chatila.  Then a campaign of killing 2,000 Palestinian civilians over the next three days.  This stands as one of the most dramatic moments from the sixteen year long civil war.  On September 21, 1982, Bashir’s brother, Amin, also a Phalange member, was elected president.

In 1985, there was a break between the Phalange party and the Lebanese Front, and thereby reducing the Phalange importance.  In September 1988, Gemayel stepped down as president, left the country and a weakened party.

In 1992, the Phalange party decided to boycott the general elections, as a protest against the continued presence of Syrian troops in Lebanaon.  In December of 1992, the headquarters of the Phalange party were blown up.

The Phalange attracted Christian youths from the mountains northeast of Beirut as well Christian students in Beirut.  The politics of the Phalange party was pro-Western, and they opposed any pan-Arabism.  The Phalangists have shown an unusual amount of pragmatism in dealing with allies.

In the beginning of the Lebanese Civil War, the Phalangists cooperated with Syria, but from 1982 onward Israel became their most important ally.  1982 was also the year that the Phalangists performed the act for which they always will be remembered: the massacre of Sabra and Chatila.  This was a retaliation for the murder of their leader Bashir Gemayel, and from this year the Phalange gradually lost its momentum and importance.

During the Lebanese Civil war, many Christian militias were formed who gained support from the north of Lebanon. These militias were staunchly right-wing, nationalist and anti-Palestinian with a majority of their members being Maronite. The Kataeb party was the most powerful of these militias at the time of the Lebanese Civil war. The party later went on to help found the right-wing Lebanese Forces militia in 1977 which played a large role within the Lebanese Civil war.

In September 1982, Bachir Gemayel was elected President of Lebanon by the National Assembly. He was assassinated less than a month later in an operation thought to have been arranged by Syrian intelligence and was in turn succeeded by his brother, Amine Gemayel. Bachir was thought to have been radical in his approach, and hinted at possible peace agreements with Israel while trying to expel all Palestinian refugees from Lebanon. In contrast, Amine was thought to have been much more moderate.

On September 16, 1982, Elie Hobeika led the massacre of between 328 and 3,500 Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, while the periphery of the camps were under the control of the Israeli Defense Forces.

After the death of Pierre Gemayel, in 1984, his successors Elie Karame and Amine Gemayel struggled to maintain influence over the actions of the Lebanese Army, which became virtually independent as Muslim recruits deserted and rebelled against the mostly Christian officer ranks. The Kataeb party began to decline, not playing a major role for the remainder of the war.

The party, lacking direction, broke down into several rival factions. Georges Saadeh took control of the Party from 1986 until his death in 1998. He took a moderate position toward the Syrian presence. Mounir Hajj became the president of the party in 1999, followed by a Karim Pakradouni in 2002. Amine Gemayel left Lebanon in 1988 after his mandate had ended, mainly to avoid a clash with Samir Geagea's Lebanese Forces and to avoid more Intra-Christian bloodshed. He returned in 2000 to oppose the Syrian role in Lebanon and to back his son's (Pierre's) parliamentary election campaign (which he won). His sons Pierre and Samy, had returned in 1997 and had been working on reorganizing the popular base of the party. However, his return was not welcomed by the established leadership of the party. To distinguish themselves from the official leadership, Gemayel's supporters started referring to themselves as "The Kataeb Base" or "The Kataeb Reform Movement". General consensus amongst Lebanese recognized Gemayel as the legitimate Leader of the party, not because of lineage but because of popular support.

In March 2005, after the Rafik Hariri assassination, the Kataeb took part in an anti-Syrian presence demonstration, commonly known as the Cedar Revolution. It also became a member of the March 14 Alliance, along with the Future Movement, Progressive Socialist Party, Lebanese Forces and other minor parties. The Kataeb won four seats in the June 2005 elections, three representing the Gemayel Leadership (Pierre Gemayel, Solange Gemayel and Antoine Ghanem) and one representing the official leadership of the Party. However, they formed one parliamentary bloc after a reconciliation that took place in 2005. This reconciliation was marketed as a gesture of good will from Pierre Amine Gemayel who deemed it was time to turn the page and give those who were unfaithful to the party principles a second chance. Practically, it was a way for Pakradouni and his men to leave the Party with as little humiliation as possible since the reconciliation deal stipulated the resignation of the entire political bureau after two years. This reconciliation saw Amine come back to the Party as Supreme President of the Party while Pakradouni stayed on as President. Samy Gemayel (Amine's second son) who had formed his own political ideas and identity at the time (much closer in principle and in manner to those of his uncle Bachir) was a very strong opposer of Pakradouni and his Syrian ties and thus was not a fan of this reconciliation. This drew Samy away from the party and prompted him to create a Think-Tank/Research-Center on Federalism named Loubnanouna (Our Lebanon).

In July 2005, the party participated in the Fouad Siniora Government, with Pierre Amine Gemayel as the minister of industry. Pierre played an important role in the reorganization and development of the party. His assassination in November 2006 was a major blow to the party. Syrian intelligence and "Fateh Al Islam" were accused of the assassination. With 14 March Alliance forces, the party supported the Lebanese government against Hezbollah.

In September 2007 another Kataeb member of parliament, Antoine Ghanem was assassinated in a car bombing. Solange Gemayel remained the party's only member of parliament, since Pierre Gemayel's seat was lost to the Free Patriotic Movement of Michel Aoun in a special election in August 2007.

Also, in 2007, Samy Gemayel and (most of) his Loubnanouna companions rejoined the Kataeb, prompting a renaissance in the party. Pierre's martyrdom played a major role in public appeal, coupled with Samy's political ideas and persona.

In the 2009 Global Parliamentary Elections, the Kataeb Party managed to win five seats: One in the Metn Caza, one in the Beirut-Caza, one in Zahle, one in the Aley Caza and another in the Tripoli Caza. The victories in Beirut-1 and Zahle as well as not allowing the opposition's list to win fully in Metn were major upsets to the General Aoun's FPM who is an ally of Iranian-backed Hezbollah. These victories enabled Samy Gemayel, Nadim Gemayel (son of slain President Bachir Gemayel), Elie Marouni, Fady el-Haber and Samer Saade to join Parliament. In the first Government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Kataeb were assigned the Social Affairs portfolio.

Lebanese Kateeb Social Democratic Party see Phalangists.

Pharaoh (Fir‘awn) (Fir'aun).  Pharaoh is mentioned in the Qur’an and is seen in relation with the Prophet’s own mission, i.e., with the determined rejection of the divine message by the unbelievers who in the end are severely punished, while the believers are saved.

Fir'awn is Arabic for "pharaoh". The Qur'an tells the story of Musa and the Pharaoh also known as Fir'awn.

Fir'awn see Pharaoh
Fir'aun see Pharaoh

Pir. Term which is a title for a Sufi shaykh.  A word of Persian origin meaning “old man,” the term piri (in Arabic, pir) has been taken up into Sufi discourse as a common title for a Sufi teacher, particularly in South Asia and neighboring areas.  The pir is the revered elder who initiates disciples (murids) into a Sufi order.  In popular practice, however, the term pir encompasses a complex and controversial array of social practices, relationships, and institutions that, though having their historical roots in Sufism, are regarded by some Muslims as distinct from it.

At certain periods in the history of Islam overt antagonism has existed between the modes of teaching and scholarship espoused by ‘ulama’ and by Sufis.  Major religious scholars have worked actively to reconcile and synthesize the two approaches, which are often distinguished as the external (zahir) teachings of the Qur’an, and the inner (batin) teachings known throught the spiritual experiences of the Sufi master and spiritually transmitted from pir to disciple.  In the modern period, reformist ‘ulama’ such as those at the highly influential Deobandi school, have also been pirs but have sought to eliminate from Sufi practice what they regard as popular superstitions.  In reformist discourse, which is common among urban middle class Muslims today, the term piri-muridi is often used in a derogatory sense to characterize forms of popular practice that are deemed to violate the Qur’an and sunnah (practices of the Prophet) and to be typical of the uneducated.  Reformists are highly critical of the pir who has no knowledge of Sufism as it is articulated in the literary Sufi tradition but rather derives his status and his ability to confer the blessing (barakah) of God on disciples merely through descent from a pious Sufi ancestor.  The devotee of a pir may attribute supernatural powers to him and typically asks him to write amulets, cure diseases, and solve problems, often in return for a financial contribution to the pir or to the shrine to which he is attached.  Reformist pirs, though retaining practices such as writing amulets for followers, place a heavy emphasis on shari‘a in their teachings and stress that, when selecting a pir, the potential disciple should focus exclusively on the piety of the pir and his knowledge of and adherence to shari‘a.  

Pirs, their practices, and their links with shrines of past Sufis continue to be a focus of controversy, particularly in Pakistan, where the effort to articulate a relationship between Islam and the state is an ongoing struggle.  Some of these hereditary pirs are major landholders and retain a considerable following, especially in rural areas, although direct control over the major shrines has been appropriated by the government.  Pirs have played an influential role in contemporary Pakistani politics, frequently taking a stance in opposition to efforts at social and religious reform by political parties such as the Jama‘at-i Islami, who argue that the whole idea of a pir is against Islam and that all practices associated with pirs and shrines should be eliminated.  Many concerned with modernization and development have also denounced popular belief in pirs, but even among the educated elite the search for a pir to be one’s spiritual guide and the publication of Sufi works appear to be widespread and even growing phenomena.

Pir is a title for a Sufi master equally used in the nath tradition. They are also referred to as a Hazrat or Shaikh, which is Arabic for Old Man. The title is often translated into English as "saint". In Sufism a Pir's role is to guide and instruct his disciples on the Sufi path. This is often done by general lessons (called Suhbas) and individual guidance. Other words that refer to a Pir include, Murshid (Arabic: meaning "guide" or "teacher"), Sheikh and Sarkar (Persian/Hindi/Urdu word meaning Master, Lord).

The path of Sufism starts when a student takes an oath of allegiance with a teacher called Bai'ath or Bay'ah (Arabic word meaning Transaction). After that, the student is called a Murid (Arabic word meaning committed one).

A Pir usually has authorizations to be a teacher for one (or more) Tariqahs (paths). A Tariqah may have more than one Pir at a time. A Pir is accorded that status by his Shaikh by way of Khilafat or Khilafah (Arabic word meaning succession). Khilafat is the process in which a Shaikh identifies one of his disciples as his successor (khalifah). A Pir can have more than one khalifah.
Old Man see Pir.
Shaykh see Pir.
Sheikh see Pir.
Hazrat see Pir.
Saint see Pir.
Sarkar see Pir.

Piri Re’is ibn Hajji Mehmed
Piri Re’is ibn Hajji Mehmed (Piri Re'is) (d. 1553).  Turkish mariner, cartographer and author.  He learned the trade of seaman with his uncle, Kemal Re’is.  After the latter’s death in 1510, he devoted himself to marine cartography and science of navigation.  His fame rests on a world map of which only a part has survived.  No less an achievement was his Book on Seafaring, which surpassed his Italian and Catalan models.  Of another map of the world only a fragment has survived.  Aside from writing and cartographical work between 1523 and 1529, Piri Re’is may have on occasion accompanied Khayr al-Din Barbarossa to North Africa.  In 1547, he re-emerges as commander of the Ottoman fleet based at Suez.  He carried out the re-conquest of Aden in 1549, but raised the siege of Portuguese-held Hormuz, withdrew to Basra and from there to Suez.  This led to a death sentence which was carried out at Cairo.
Ibn Hajji Mehmed, Piri Re'is see Piri Re’is ibn Hajji Mehmed
Piri Re'is see Piri Re’is ibn Hajji Mehmed

Pir Sultan Abdal
Pir Sultan Abdal (ca. 1480 – 1550) was a legendary Alevi poet, whose direct and clear language as well as the richness of his imagination and the beauty of his verses led him to become loved among the Turks. Pir Sultan Abdal reflected the social, cultural and religious life of the people.  He was a humanist, and wrote about love, peace, death and God. He was also rebellious against authoritarian rule which led him into problems with the Ottoman establishment.

Pir Sultan Abdal's ethnic origin is unknown, however, it is widely accepted that he was of Turkish origin as his poetry was in the Turkish language and he originated from Sivas, which is mostly populated by ethnic Turks. Some researchers believe "Pir Sultan" was not just the one in Sivas, who rebelled against the state and was hanged for his religious convictions by Hizir Pasa's orders. Most of the information about him and his era we find in his verses, which reveal him as cultivated, well educated and intellectual.

Pir Sultan Abdal, was an Alevi, his early work is dedicated to lyrical and pastoral themes and to the gnostic approach he had adopted. He criticized some Ottoman governors, particularly, Hizir Pasha, who ruled the region.

Pir Sultan Abdal's verses and calls for the rights and freedoms of the peasant folk soon attracted a lot of support among the masses who supported these ideals. As a result, he was hung by Hizir Pasha.

Nevertheless, the tradition of Pir Sultan Abdal's poetry and his struggle have remained alive. His poetry was sung accompanied by the baglama, or saz, throughout the ages by folk singers. Today in modern Turkey the Baglama is one of the most loved instruments of the people and is extremely popular and widely used.

Many poets acquired his name to keep 'Pir Sultan's voice' alive. According to literary historians, there were at least six other poets bearing the same name.

Pir Sultan followed the traditional style of folk literature. The outstanding characteristic of his poems, the use of vernacular language, keen and clear style still prevail in folkloric poetry. He also had a great influence on the poets of modern Turkey in the republican era and is today a beloved figure.

Piyale Pasha
Piyale Pasha (Piale Pasha) (Piali Baja) (Piyale Pasa) (c.1515-1578).  Ottoman Grand Admiral.  His greatest exploit at sea was the capture of the island of Jerba in 1560.  His siege of Malta in 1565 failed.

Piyale Pasha was born in Viganj on the Pelješac peninsula.  He was a Dalmatian/Croatian Ottoman admiral (Kaptan Pasha = fleet commander) between 1553 and 1567 and an Ottoman Vizier after 1568.

Piyale Pasha received his formal education at the Enderun (Imperial Academy) in modern-day Istanbul, Turkey. He graduated from the Enderun with the title of Kapıcıbaşı and was appointed Sanjak Bey (Province Governor) of Gallipoli.

Piyale Pasha was promoted to Bahriye Beylerbeyi (i.e. First Lord of Admiralty) and became Admiral-in-Chief of the Ottoman Fleet at the age of 39.

In 1554, he captured the islands of Elba and Corsica with a large fleet which included famous Ottoman admirals like Turgut Reis and Salih Reis. The following year Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent assigned him with the task of helping France against the Spaniards upon request by the mother of King Francois II.  Piyale Pasha set sail on June 26, 1555. The Turkish fleet met the French fleet at Piombino and successfully repulsed a Spanish attack on France while conquering several Spanish fortresses on the Mediterranean Sea.

In June 1558, joined by Turgut Reis, Piyale Pasha sailed to the Strait of Messina and the two admirals captured Reggio Calabria. From there, they went to the Aeolian Islands and captured several of them, before landing at Amalfi, the Gulf of Salerno, and capturing Massa Lubrense, Cantone and Sorrento. They later landed at Torre del Greco, the coasts of Tuscany, and Piombino. In September 1558 they assaulted the coasts of Spain before capturing Minorca and inflicting particular damage on the island's ports.

This caused fear throughout the Mediterranean coasts of Spain, and King Philip II appealed to Pope Paul IV and his allies in Europe to bring an end to the rising Turkish threat. In 1560 King Philip II succeeded in organizing a Holy League between Spain, the Republic of Venice, the Republic of Genoa, the Papal States, the Duchy of Savoy and the Knights of Malta. The joint fleet was assembled at Messina and consisted of 54 galleys and 66 other types of vessels under the command of Giovanni Andrea Doria, nephew of the famous Genoese admiral Andrea Doria.

On March 12, 1560, the Holy League captured the island of Djerba which had a strategic location and could control the sea routes between Algiers and Tripoli. As a response, Suleiman the Magnificent sent an Ottoman fleet of 86 galleys and galliots under the command of Piyale Pasha, which arrived at Djerba on May 11, 1560 and destroyed the Christian fleet in a matter of hours at the Battle of Djerba. Giovanni Andrea Doria managed to escape with a small vessel, but the surviving Christians, now under the command of D. Alvaro de Sande, took refuge in the fort on the island of Djerba which they had constructed during the expedition. Piyale Pasha and Turgut Reis eventually forced the garrison to surrender and Piyale Pasha took 5,000 prisoners, including de Sande, to Istanbul, where he was met by joyous crowds. He married Sultana Gevher Han, daughter of Suleiman's son Selim II.

In 1563 Piyale Pasha captured Naples and the fortresses around the city on behalf of France, but after the Ottoman forces left the city the French could not hold on to these and the Spaniards eventually took them back.

In 1565 Piyale Pasha, together with the general Lala Mustafa Pasha and Turgut Reis, was charged by Suleiman to capture Malta, but the effort failed in the face of determined resistance by the Maltese Knights and cost the Ottoman fleet not only large numbers of casualties, but also the life of Turgut Reis.

In 1566, Piyale captured the island of Chios and brought an end to the Genoese presence in the Aegean Sea. He later landed on Puglia in Italy and captured several strategic fortresses.

In 1568, Piyale was promoted to Vizier, becoming the first admiral in Ottoman history to reach this rank.

In 1570, Piyale set sail for Cyprus, then a Venetian possession, with a large invasion force on board his ships. Having left Istanbul on May 15, 1570, the fleet arrived at Cyprus on July 1, 1570. On July 22 the Turks, under the command of Lala Mustafa (the Fifth Vizier, who had five years previously failed to capture Malta), commenced the siege of Nicosia, capturing the city on September 9. After capturing Pafos, Limassol and Larnaca in rapid succession, they surrounded Magosa (Famagusta), the final Venetian stronghold on the island, on September 18, 1570 and finally took it on August 1, 1571, completing the conquest of Cyprus.

After the defeat of the Turkish fleet under the command of Müezzinzade Ali Pasha at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, Piyale Pasha was called to take back the command of the Ottoman navy. The Ottomans managed to rebuild a fleet as large as that lost at Lepanto in less than a year, and Uluç Ali Reis reconquered Tunisia from Spain and their Hafsid vassals in 1574.

In 1573, Piyale Pasha once again landed on Puglia in Italy. This was his final naval expedition.

Piyale Pasha died on January 21, 1578 and is buried at the Piyale Pasha Mosque in Istanbul which he had built, under the direction of the architect Sinan, in his final years.

Several warships of the Turkish Navy have been named after him.
Piale Pasha see Piyale Pasha
Piali Baja see Piyale Pasha
Piyale Pasa see Piyale Pasha
Pasa, Piyale see Piyale Pasha
Baja, Piali see Piyale Pasha
Pasha, Piale see Piyale Pasha

Plato (Aflatun) (428/427 B.C.T., Athens, Greece – 348/347 B.C.T., Athens).  Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates (470 B.C.T. - 399 B.C.T.), and his student, Aristotle (384 B.C.T. - 322 B.C.T.), Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western philosophy and science. Plato was originally a student of Socrates, and was as much influenced by his thinking as by his apparently unjust execution.

Plato's sophistication as a writer is evident in his Socratic dialogues; thirty-six dialogues and thirteen letters have been ascribed to him. Plato's writings have been published in several fashions; this has led to several conventions regarding the naming and referencing of Plato's texts.

Plato's dialogues have been used to teach a range of subjects, including philosophy, logic, rhetoric and mathematics.

Most Arab thinkers subordinated Plato to Aristotle, but they were aware of a basic agreement between the two philosophers.  Interpretations of Plato, untinged by Neoplatonism, found their way to the Arabic philosophers and were studied by them, but, in general, they looked at him through the eyes of his Neoplatonic interpreters: Plotinus, Porphyry, Procius and others.  The mystical aspects of Platonism, or rather Neoplatonism, were emphasized by al-Suhrawardi al-Maqtul and the Sufis now became followers of Plato.  He was also made the author of alchemical works.  

Building on the demonstration by Socrates that those regarded as experts in ethical matters did not have the understanding necessary for a good human life, Plato introduced the idea that their mistakes were due to their not engaging properly with a class of entities he called forms, chief examples of which were Justice, Beauty, and Equality. Whereas other thinkers—and Plato himself in certain passages—used the term without any precise technical force, Plato in the course of his career came to devote specialized attention to these entities. As he conceived them, they were accessible not to the senses but to the mind alone, and they were the most important constituents of reality, underlying the existence of the sensible world and giving it what intelligibility it has. In metaphysics, Plato envisioned a systematic, rational treatment of the forms and their interrelations, starting with the most fundamental among them (the Good, or the One); in ethics and moral psychology he developed the view that the good life requires not just a certain kind of knowledge (as Socrates had suggested) but also habituation to healthy emotional responses and therefore harmony between the three parts of the soul (according to Plato, reason, spirit, and appetite). His works also contain discussions on aesthetics, political philosophy, theology, cosmology, epistemology, and the philosophy of language. His school fostered research not just in philosophy narrowly conceived but in a wide range of endeavors that today would be called mathematical or scientific.

The son of Ariston (his father) and Perictione (his mother), Plato was born in the year after the death of the great Athenian statesman Pericles. His brothers Glaucon and Adeimantus are portrayed as interlocutors in Plato’s masterpiece the Republic, and his half brother Antiphon figures in the Parmenides. Plato’s family was aristocratic and distinguished. His father’s side claimed descent from the god Poseidon, and his mother’s side was related to the lawgiver Solon (c. 630 B.C.T. – 560 B.C.T.). Less creditably, his mother’s close relatives Critias and Charmides were among the Thirty Tyrants who seized power in Athens and ruled briefly until the restoration of democracy in 403 B.C.T.

Plato as a young man was a member of the circle around Socrates. Since the latter wrote nothing, what is known of his characteristic activity of engaging his fellow citizens (and the occasional itinerant celebrity) in conversation derives wholly from the writings of others, most notably Plato himself. The works of Plato commonly referred to as “Socratic” represent the sort of thing the historical Socrates was doing. He would challenge men who supposedly had expertise about some facet of human excellence to give accounts of these matters—variously of courage, piety, and so on, or at times of the whole of “virtue”—and they typically failed to maintain their position. Resentment against Socrates grew, leading ultimately to his trial and execution on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth in 399 B.C.T.  Plato was profoundly affected by both the life and the death of Socrates. The activity of the older man provided the starting point of Plato’s philosophizing. Moreover, if Plato’s Seventh Letter is to be believed (its authorship is disputed), the treatment of Socrates by both the oligarchy and the democracy made Plato wary of entering public life, as someone of his background would normally have done.

After the death of Socrates, Plato may have traveled extensively in Greece, Italy, and Egypt, though on such particulars the evidence is uncertain. The followers of Pythagoras (c. 580 B.C.T. – c. 500 B.C.T.) seem to have influenced his philosophical program (they are criticized in the Phaedo and the Republic but receive respectful mention in the Philebus). It is thought that his three trips to Syracuse in Sicily led to a deep personal attachment to Dion (408 B.C.T. – 354 B.C.T.), brother-in-law of Dionysius the Elder (430 B.C.T. – 367 B.C.T.), the tyrant of Syracuse. Plato, at Dion’s urging, apparently undertook to put into practice the ideal of the “philosopher-king” (described in the Republic) by educating Dionysius the Younger. The project was not a success, and in the ensuing instability Dion was murdered.

Plato’s Academy, founded in the 380s B.C.T., was the ultimate ancestor of the modern university (hence the English term academic); an influential center of research and learning, it attracted many men of outstanding ability. The great mathematicians Theaetetus (417 B.C.T. – 369 B.C.T.) and Eudoxus of Cnidus (c. 395 B.C.T. – c. 342 B.C.T.) were associated with it. Although Plato was not a research mathematician, he was aware of the results of those who were, and he made use of them in his own work. For 20 years, Aristotle was also a member of the Academy. He started his own school, the Lyceum, only after Plato’s death, when he was passed over as Plato’s successor at the Academy, probably because of his connections to the court of Macedonia.

In his earliest literary efforts, Plato tried to convey the spirit of Socrates's teaching by presenting accurate reports of the master's conversational interactions, for which these dialogues are our primary source of information. Early dialogues are typically devoted to investigation of a single issue, about which a conclusive result is rarely achieved. Thus, the Euqufrwn (Euthyphro) raises a significant doubt about whether morally right action can be defined in terms of divine approval by pointing out a significant dilemma about any appeal to authority in defence of moral judgments. The Apologhma (Apology) offers a description of the philosophical life as Socrates presented it in his own defense before the Athenian jury. The Kritwn (Crito) uses the circumstances of Socrates's imprisonment to ask whether an individual citizen is ever justified in refusing to obey the state.

Although they continue to use the talkative Socrates as a fictional character, Plato, in the middle dialogues of Plato, develops, expresses, and defends his own, more firmly established, conclusions about central philosophical issues. Beginning with the Menwn (Meno), for example, Plato not only reports the Socratic notion that no one knowingly does wrong, but also introduces the doctrine of recollection in an attempt to discover whether or not virtue can be taught. The Faidwn (Phaedo) continues development of Platonic notions by presenting the doctrine of the Forms in support of a series of arguments that claim to demonstrate the immortality of the human soul.

The masterpiece among the middle dialogues is Plato's Politeia (Republic). It begins with a Socratic conversation about the nature of justice but proceeds directly to an extended discussion of the virtues (Gk. areth [aretê]) of justice (Gk. dikaiwsunh [dikaiôsunê]), wisdom (Gk. sofia [sophía]), courage (Gk. andreia [andreia]), and moderation (Gk. swfrosunh [sophrosúnê]) as they appear both in individual human beings and in society as a whole. This plan for the ideal society or person requires detailed accounts of human knowledge and of the kind of educational program by which it may be achieved by men and women alike, captured in a powerful image of the possibilities for human life in the allegory of the cave. The dialogue concludes with a review of various forms of government, an explicit description of the ideal state, in which only philosophers are fit to rule, and an attempt to show that justice is better than injustice. Among the other dialogues of this period are Plato's treatments of human emotion in general and of love in particular in the FaidroV (Phaedrus) and Sumposion (Symposium).

Plato's later writings often modify or completely abandon the formal structure of dialogue. They include a critical examination of the theory of forms in ParmenidhV (Parmenides), an extended discussion of the problem of knowledge in QeaithtoV (Theaetetus), cosmological speculations in TimaioV (Timaeus), and an interminable treatment of government in the unfinished LegeiV (Laws).

Because Aristotle often discusses issues by contrasting his views with those of his teacher, it is easy to be impressed by the ways in which they diverge. Thus, whereas for Plato the crown of ethics is the good in general, or Goodness itself (the Good), for Aristotle it is the good for human beings; and whereas for Plato the genus to which a thing belongs possesses a greater reality than the thing itself, for Aristotle the opposite is true. Plato’s emphasis on the ideal, and Aristotle’s on the worldly, informs Raphael’s depiction of the two philosophers in the School of Athens (1508–11). But if one considers the two philosophers not just in relation to each other but in the context of the whole of Western philosophy, it is clear how much Aristotle’s program is continuous with that of his teacher. (Indeed, the painting may be said to represent this continuity by showing the two men conversing amicably.) In any case, the Academy did not impose a dogmatic orthodoxy and in fact seems to have fostered a spirit of independent inquiry. Only at a later time did the Academy take on a skeptical orientation.

Plato once delivered a public lecture, On the Good, in which he mystified his audience by announcing, “the Good is one.” He better gauged his readers in his dialogues, many of which are accessible, entertaining, and inviting. Although Plato is well known for his negative remarks about much great literature, in the Symposium he depicts literature and philosophy as the offspring of lovers, who gain a more lasting posterity than do parents of mortal children. His own literary and philosophical gifts ensure that a part of Plato will live on for as long as readers engage with his works.

Plato seems to have been more an icon and an inspiration than an authentic source for Islamic philosophers. So far as is known, the only works available to them in Arabic translation were the Laws, the Sophist, the Timaeus and the Republic. His name was often invoked as a sage and an exemplar of that wisdom available to humankind among the Greeks before the revelation of the Qur'an. This in itself could represent a kind of affront to orthodox Islam, which tended to view the human situation before the Qur'an's 'coming down' as one of pervasive ignorance (jahaliyya). However, the rise of humanist culture in Baghdad during the ninth and tenth centuries ad, which involved Syriac Christian translators, presupposed a gradual acceptance of Greek wisdom in which Plato figured paradigmatically, even though far fewer of his works were made available in translation than those of Aristotle.

Plato's influence on Islamic philosophy can be observed most clearly in ethics and political philosophy, given the works available to Islamic thinkers. However, his role lay more in creating an environment hospitable to philosophical reflection than in contributing to the formation of specific philosophical doctrines (where the influence of Aristotle was stronger). He was referred to as 'the sublime and divine Plato', no doubt because his writings seemed to lead one more directly than any other Greek philosopher to reflect on human actions in the light of transcendent goals. At this level of inspiration, collections of sayings attributed to Plato, notably on the adverse relation of knowledge to wealth and power, helped to set a stage on which philosophy could play a transformative role for Muslims seeking truth as they followed the 'straight path' laid out in the Qur'an. At the same time 'philosophy' so practiced could present itself as an encompassing way of life, so competing with observant Islam. Here a discussion inspired by Plato regarding the relative weight of logic and grammar is relevant, since Arabic had tended to legislate semantic conflicts by recourse to grammar, while Greek philosophical texts (themselves originating in another language) extolled logic as a norm for rational discourse, transcending the peculiarities of a single tongue and the grammar proper to it. This potential conflict came to the fore in considering the qualities required for a just ruler of a Muslim polity, specifically regarding the relative merits of 'prophecy' (the generic Islamic term for the deliverances of revelation) and philosophical reason.

The locus classicus for such considerations is Plato's Republic, which offered an ideal paradigm for a just ruler that was adopted in lieu of Aristotle's more legislative treatment in the Politics - the only text of Aristotle's not translated into Arabic. Al-Farabi's treatise on the 'perfect state' (al-Madina al-fadila (The Virtuous City)) presents a Neoplatonic version of Plato's Republic, one in which 'the Good' is transmuted into 'the First' in such manner that the ordering proper to cosmos and the microcosmic ideal polity emanates from the ever-fruitful One. Al-Farabi states unequivocally that philosophical reason outstrips prophecy as a requisite for the wise and just ruler, but the pattern established in his treatise was able to be adapted by those who weighed their relative merits otherwise. What was severely contested, however, was the relevance of Plato's ideal scenario (or its adaptation by al-Farabi) to the actual ruling of an Islamic polity. Rulers themselves took issue with it, speaking from experience, as did intellectuals (such as al-'Amiri) who assimilated Plato's lofty philosophical ideals to Sufi ascetic practices. For such as these, Plato's dictum that philosophers are prevented from attaining wisdom by the mores of the city in which they live spoke more directly to their experience.

Plato's teaching on the human soul as 'an incorporeal substance that moves the body' seemed to offer a philosophical teaching conducive to Islam, even though Ibn Sina's way of adopting this teaching would put 'philosophy' in conflict with Qur'anic faith in resurrection of the body. Ethical thinkers like Ibn Miskawayh adopted Plato's tripartite division of the soul, however, in elaborating an ethical teaching relating Islam to a wider humanist culture, relying on extant sayings which quoted Plato: "whoever rules his reason is called wise; whoever rules his anger is called courageous; and whoever rules his passion is called temperate." The influence of sayings of this sort would permit a wise ruler like Ibn al-'Amid to say that he considered himself a "member of the following [shi'a] of Plato, Socrates and Aristotle". In this manner, Plato contributed an anthropology to Islamic thought which could be used to elaborate the 'straight path' of the Qur'an as well as bring it into contact with a wider humanist civilization.
Aflatun see Plato

Plotinus (al-Shaykh al-Yunami) (b. 205, Lyco - d. 270, Campania).  Father of Neoplatonism, who deeply influenced the thought of the Islamic world, and who was known to the Arabs as “the Greek Shaykh.”

The only important source for the life of Plotinus is the biography that his disciple and editor Porphyry wrote as a preface to his edition of the writings of his master, the Enneads. Other ancient sources add almost no reliable information to what Porphyry relates. This must be mentioned because, though Porphyry’s Life of Plotinus is the best source available for the life of any ancient philosopher, it has some important deficiencies that must necessarily be reflected in any modern account of the life of Plotinus that does not use a great deal of creative imagination to fill in the gaps. The Life is the work of an honest, accurate, hero-worshipping, and serious-minded friend and admirer. Apart from a few fascinating scraps of information about the earlier parts of the life of Plotinus, Porphyry concentrates on the last six years, when he was with his master in Rome. Thus, a fairly complete picture is available only of the last six years of a man who died at the age of 65. It is the elderly Plotinus, as it is the elderly Socrates, who alone is known. Plotinus’s own writings contain no autobiographical information, and they can give no unintentional glimpses of his mind or character when he was young; they were all written in the last 15 years of his life. Nothing is known about his intellectual and spiritual development.

According to Porphyry, Plotinus never spoke about his parents, his race, or his country. Eunapius, a late 4th-century writer, and later authors wrote that his birthplace was Lyco, or Lycopolis, in Egypt, either the modern Asyūt in Upper Egypt or a small town in the Nile delta. Though this may be true, there is no real evidence in the Life or in his own writings to suggest that Plotinus had any special knowledge of or affinity with Egypt. The fact that he later studied philosophy in the great cosmopolitan city of Alexandria is not necessarily evidence that he was an Egyptian. His name is Latin in form, but, in the 3rd century of the Christian calendar, this gives no clue to his ethnic origins. All that can be said with reasonable certainty is that Greek was his normal language and that he had a Greek education. For all his originality, he remains Hellenic in his way of thinking and in his intellectual and religious loyalties.

In his 28th year—he seems to have been rather a late developer—Plotinus felt an impulse to study philosophy and thus went to Alexandria. He attended the lectures of the most eminent professors in Alexandria at the time, which reduced him to a state of complete depression. In the end, a friend who understood what he wanted took him to hear the self-taught philosopher Ammonius “Saccas.” When he had heard Ammonius speak, Plotinus said, “This is the man I was looking for,” and stayed with him for 11 years.

Ammonius is the most mysterious figure in ancient Western philosophy. He was, it seems, a lapsed Christian (yet even this is not quite certain), and the one or two extant remarks about his thought suggest a fairly commonplace sort of traditional Platonism. A philosopher who could attract such devotion from Plotinus and who may also have been the philosophical master of the great Christian theologian Origen must have had something more to offer his pupils, but what it was is not known. That Plotinus stayed with him for 11 years is in no way surprising. One did not enter an ancient philosophical school to take courses and obtain a degree but rather to join in what might well be a lifelong cooperative following of the way to truth, goodness, and the ultimate liberation of the spirit.

At the end of his time with Ammonius, Plotinus joined the expedition of the Roman emperor Gordian III against Persia (242–243), with the intention of trying to learn something at first hand about the philosophies of the Persians and Indians. The expedition came to a disastrous end in Mesopotamia, however, when Gordian was murdered by the soldiers and Philip the Arabian was proclaimed emperor. Plotinus escaped with difficulty and made his way back to Antioch. From there he went to Rome, where he settled at the age of 40. That a Greek philosopher, especially at this period, should be interested in Eastern thought is not extraordinary. Plotinus’s own thought shows some striking similarities to Indian philosophy, but he never actually made contact with Eastern sages because of the failure of the expedition. Though direct or indirect contact with Indians educated in their own religious-philosophical traditions may not have been impossible in 3rd-century Alexandria, the resemblances of the philosophy of Plotinus to Indian thought were more likely a natural development of the Greek tradition that he inherited. That Plotinus was able to join the expedition of the senatorial emperor Gordian, that he went to Rome (an unusual place for a philosopher to settle), and that Porphyry found him, 19 years later, at the center of a circle of friends and disciples—many of whom were members of the senatorial aristocracy—has been interpreted (probably erroneously) as meaning that he or his family had strong personal connections with Roman senators.

Whatever may have been the circumstances of Plotinus when he first came to Rome, by the time Porphyry made his acquaintance in 263 he was living in dignified and comfortable conditions, though maintaining a considerable degree of personal austerity. His reputation in society was excellent and earned by practical activity as well as by teaching. He acted as an arbitrator in disputes without ever being known to make an enemy, and many of his aristocratic friends, when they were approaching death, appointed him guardian of their children. “His house,” Porphyry says, “was full of young lads and maidens,” and he most conscientiously fulfilled his obligations under Roman law as their guardian, taking care of their education and their property. Like other great contemplatives, he had plenty of time for other people and could attend to their worries (sometimes quite trivial) without losing his inward concentration. He heard a boy’s lessons, found who had stolen a lady friend’s necklace, or noticed that Porphyry was in a state of depression and contemplating suicide and so sent him away for a change of scenery and companionship. “Present at once to himself and others” and “gentle and at the disposal of all who had any sort of acquaintance with him” are ways in which Porphyry described him. He was, it seems, a man who gave the impression of being in touch with the eternal without losing awareness of the earthly needs of his many friends.

His circle of friends was cosmopolitan, including men from the eastern half of the empire as well as Roman senators, their wives, and widows. Among those who venerated Plotinus, according to Porphyry, were the emperor Gallienus (r. 253–268) and his wife, Salonina, and this led Plotinus on one occasion to attempt practical activity on a larger scale. He asked the emperor to restore a ruined city in Campania and endow it with the surrounding land. The restored city was to be called Platonopolis, and its citizens were to live according to the laws and customs of Plato’s ideal states. Plotinus promised that he would go and live there himself with his friends. That a philosopher who shows in his writings such a total lack of interest in the political side of Plato’s thought and who preached withdrawal from public life should have made such a proposal is interesting. He may well have thought it his duty as a Platonic philosopher to attempt the foundation of a Platonic city, if opportunity offered—however personally disinclined he might have been to such activity. The emperor refused his request, and, in the political circumstances of the time, there was no chance of its being granted. Gallienus and the Senate were not on good terms. He had excluded members of the senatorial order from all military commands, and they took their revenge by successfully blackening his memory after his death. However much he might have respected Plotinus personally, the emperor would inevitably have regarded Platonopolis as a most undesirable senatorial stronghold and a center of intrigue against his authority.

The main activity of Plotinus, to which he devoted most of his time and energy, was his teaching and, after his first 10 years in Rome, his writing. There was nothing academic or highly organized about his “school,” though his method of teaching was rather scholastic. He would have passages read from commentaries on Plato or Aristotle by earlier philosophers and then expound his own views. The meetings, however, were friendly and informal, and Plotinus encouraged unlimited discussion. Difficulties, once raised, had to be discussed until they were solved. The school was a loose circle of friends and admirers with no corporate organization. It was for these friends that he wrote the treatises that Porphyry collected and arranged as the Enneads. Some, it seems from their complexity, were destined for an inner circle of his closest friends and philosophical collaborators, such as Porphyry, Amelius Gentilianus from Tuscany (the senior member of the school), and Eustochius, who was Plotinus’s physician and who may have produced another edition of his works, now lost.

Some stories in the Life, and some passages in the Enneads, give an idea of Plotinus’s attitude to the religions and superstitions of his intensely religious and superstitious age, an attitude that seems to have been unusually detached. Like all people of his time, he believed in magic and in the possibility of foretelling the future by the stars, though he attacked the more bizarre and immoral beliefs of the astrologers. His interest in the occult was philosophical rather than practical, and there is no definite evidence that he practiced magic. A person called Olympius was reported to have once tried to use magic against Plotinus, but he supposedly found that the malignant forces he had evoked were bouncing back from Plotinus to himself. Plotinus was once taken to the Temple of Isis for a conjuration of his guardian spirit; a god, Porphyry stated, appeared instead of an ordinary guardian angel but could not be questioned because of a mishandling of the conjuring process which broke the spell. What Plotinus himself thought of the proceedings is not known, but apparently he was not deeply interested.

His attitude toward the traditional pagan cults was one of respectful indifference. Amelius, his closest friend and coworker in philosophy, was a pious man, addicted to attendance at sacrifices. Plotinus refused to join him in his devotions but seems to have thought none the worse of him. Despite his rather aggressive piety, Amelius remained Plotinus’s friend and collaborator. Some members of Plotinus’s circle of friends were gnostics (heretical Christian dualists who emphasized esoteric salvatory knowledge), and they provoked him not only to write a vigorous attack on their beliefs but to organize a polemical campaign against them through the activities of Porphyry and Amelius. Plotinus’s reasons for detesting gnosticism also would have applied, to some extent, to orthodox Christianity—though there is no evidence that he knew anything about it or that he had any contact with the church in Rome. Gnosticism appeared to him to be a barbarous, melodramatic, irrational, immoral, un-Greek, and insanely arrogant superstition. Plotinus’s own religion, which he practiced and taught with calm intensity, was the quest for mystical union with the Good through the exercise of pure intelligence.

In his last years Plotinus, whose health had never been very good, suffered from a painful and repulsive sickness that Porphyry describes so imprecisely that one modern scholar has identified it as tuberculosis and another as a form of leprosy. This made his friends, as he noticed, avoid his company, and he retired to a country estate belonging to one of them in Campania and within a year died there (270). The circle of friends had already broken up. Plotinus himself had sent Porphyry away to Sicily to recover from his depression. Amelius was in Syria. Only his physician, Eustochius, arrived in time to be with Plotinus at the end. His last words were either “Try to bring back the god in you to the divine in the All” or “I am trying to bring back the divine in us to the divine in the All.” In either case, they express very simply the faith that he shared with all religious philosophers of late antiquity.

Neo-Platonism and the ideas of Plotinus influenced medieval Islam. The Sunni Abbasids fused Greek concepts into sponsored state texts, and Neo-Platonism found great influence amongst the Ismaili Shia and Persian philosophers as well, such as Muhammad al-Nasafi and Abu Yaqub Sijistani. By the 11th century, Neo-Platonism was adopted by the Fatimid state of Egypt, and taught by their da'i. Neo-Platonism was brought to the Fatimid court by Iraqi Hamid al-Din al-Kirmani, although his teachings differed from Nasafi and Sijistani, who were more aligned with the original teachings of Plotinus. The teachings of Kirmani in turn influenced philosophers such as Nasir Khusraw of Persia.

Shaykh al-Yunami, al- see Plotinus
The Greek Shaykh see Plotinus
Yunami, al-Shaykh al- see Plotinus

Poet (in Arabic, sha‘ir).  In ancient Arabia, the poet was considered to be possessed by some special knowledge, communicated to him by a kind of familiar spirit which inspired him.  He had in his company one or more real persons (in Arabic, rawi) whose business it was to remember his verses and to recite them in other camps.  In many cases, the rawi himself became a poet of note.  The poet stood for the honor of his tribe; he had to mourn his relations or the valiant men of his clan or sing the defiant diatribe (in Arabic, hija’) against the enemy.  In the eighth century, the poets began to beg for favors from the mighty and the rich, to add lampoons against rivals and to use new themes such as poems on boys and obscene ditties.  The Prophet condemned the poets “whom follow the beguiled” (Qur’an 26:224), although Hassan ibn Thabit is considered as his poet laureate.
Sha'ir see Poet

police (in Arabic, shurta; in Turkish, karakol [“police station”]).  In the ‘Abbasid period, the title “commander of the bodyguard” was reserved for a special official who was responsible for order and public security.  Under the ‘Abbasids, the Spanish Umayyads and the Fatimids, the commander of the bodyguard was empowered to take action on mere suspicion.  Only the lower classes, however, were under his power.  In the Ottoman Empire, the maintenance of security and order was entrusted mainly to the Janissaries.  After the suppression of the latter in 1826, public security became the responsibility of an official called ser-‘asker.

shurta see police
karakol see police

Polisario (Frente Popular para la Liberacion de Saguia El-Hamra y Rio de Oro). Army of the Western Sahara that was, for years fighting the Moroccan and Mauritanian occupation of Western Sahara, an occupation that began in 1975 (for Mauritania until 1979).

Polisario was formed in 1973 as a reaction towards several broken promises on Saharan independence from the Spanish colonialist regime.  The name “Polisario” was a short form of Frente Popular para la Liberacion de Saguia El-Hamra y Rio de Oro.

Polisario has since 1975 been stationed in Tindouf, the westernmost town in Algeria.  While the exact numbers of the troops was not known, most estimates set it at around 10,000.  Polisario was led by a former member of the Communist Party in Morocco, Mustapha Ouali, at the time of the occupation.  His battle was with the Polisario started well into the period of Spanish colonization.

Polisario had so much success fighting Mauritania, which for the first years was the main enemy, that the occupation ended on this side.  However, despite the peace treaty between the two parties, signed August 5, 1979, the southern third of Western Sahara was passed on to the far stronger Morocco.  Morocco then managed to fight off Polisario, apparently now for good, as a 1600 kilometers long sand wall has been built along the border, making it very difficult for Polisario’s army to pass.  The result was the United Nations peace plan of 1988, that in reality gave Morocco a carte blanche in the region, and the proposed referendum on the future of Western Sahara, was put off time after time.

From the mid-1980s Morocco largely managed to keep Polisario troops off by building a huge berm or sand wall (the Moroccan Wall), staffed by an army roughly the same size as the entire Sahrawi population, enclosing within it the economically useful parts of Western Sahara (Bou Craa, El-Aaiun, Smara, etc.) This stalemated the war, with no side able to achieve decisive gains, but artillery strikes and sniping attacks by the guerrillas continued, and Morocco was economically and politically strained by the war. Today Polisario controls the part of the Western Sahara on the east of the Moroccan Wall, comprising about a third of the territory, but this area is economically useless, heavily mined, and almost uninhabited.

A cease-fire between the Polisario Front and Morocco, monitored by MINURSO (UN), has been in effect since September 6, 1991, on the promise of a referendum on independence the following year. However, the referendum stalled over disagreements on voter rights. Numerous attempts to restart the process (most significantly the launching of the 2003 Baker plan) seem to have failed. The Polisario has repeatedly threatened to resume hostilities if a referendum cannot be held, and claims that the current situation of "neither peace, nor war" is unsustainable. Pressures on the leadership from the refugee population to resume fighting are apparent, but to date the cease fire has been respected.

In April 2007, the government of Morocco suggested that a self-governing entity, through the Royal Advisory Council for Saharan Affairs (CORCAS), should govern the territory with some degree of autonomy for Western Sahara. The project was presented to the United Nations Security Council in mid-April 2007, and quickly gained French and US support. Polisario had handed in its own proposal the day before, which insisted on the previously agreed referendum, but allowed for negotiating the status of Moroccans now living in the territory should the outcome of a referendum be in favor of independence. The stalemate led the UN Security Council to ask the parties to enter into direct and unconditional negotiations to reach "a mutually accepted political solution". This led to the negotiations process known as the Manhasset negotiations. Four rounds were held in 2007 and 2008. No progress was made, however, as both parties refused to compromise about what they considered core sovereignty issues. Polisario agreed to add autonomy as per the Moroccan proposal to a referendum ballot, but refused to relinquish the concept of an independence referendum itself, as agreed in 1991 and 1997. Morocco, in its turn, insisted on only negotiating the terms of autonomy offered, but refused to consider an option of independence on the ballot.

In May 2010, Polisario Front suspended contacts with the MINURSO, because of the failure on implementing the self-determination referendum.

Frente Popular para la Liberacion de Saguia El-Hamra y Rio de Oro see Polisario

Pomaks. Name given to a Bulgarian speaking group of Muslims in Bulgaria and Thrace, now divided amongst Bulgaria, Greece, and western Macedonia.  Adoption of Islam in these regions was gradual and at different periods.  The process of conversion began at the end of the fourteenth century and lasted until the nineteenth century.

In Bulgaria, the designation “Pomak” is now taken to be derogatory and is no longer found in print or in public use.  Yet the Pomaks exist, Bulgarians who converted to Islam during the early centuries of the Ottoman occupation.  They live chiefly in the Rhodope Mountains and on the southeast slopes of the Pirin Mountains.  Many thousands also live in Greece and Turkey, where they settled during migrations over the past century.

There is no consensus as to the nature of Pomak conversion to Islam.  It is certain that the Ottomans reached the Rhodope area in 1371 and that by the 1700s a majority there were Muslims.  Bulgarian scholars claim the Pomaks were forced to convert en masse through unprecedented terror and torture.  Although historical evidence is scant, the “forced” conversion of Pomaks has become part of the national consciousness of the Bulgarian people and is detailed in many songs and legends.  

Non-Bulgarians concur that conversion was almost everywhere voluntary in response to various economic, legal and religious pressures.  No doubt many Christians converted to avoid the jizya (cizye) tax demanded of non-Muslims by the Ottomans, or to gain preferred legal status.  The Bektashi order of Islam may have been particularly attractive to villagers since it embraced many pre-Christian and Christian customs.  The Turkic nomadic Yoruk and the Bogomils (a persecuted heretical Christian sect) probably accepted Islam to the degree to which it coincided with their own folk practices.  Actually folk Christianity and folk Islam were quite similar, both based on agricultural rites and shrines.  Conversion may well have been a mere pragmatic decision requiring at first only minor concessions to Islamic practice, such as the use of a Muslim first name.  Only later did Pomaks adopt other Muslim customs such as the wearing of veils by women in front of strangers.

During the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), Pomaks in the Vacha valley rebelled against Bulgaria and established an autonomous state, called Republic of Tamrash. In 1886, the Ottoman government accepted the Bulgarian rule over Eastern Rumelia and that was the end of the free Pomak state. During the Greek Struggle for Macedonia, many Pomaks participated on the Greek and Turkish side, against Bulgaria. Ali Zeir Chavouz from Drama, was one of the main Pomak fighters and took part in many battles against Bulgarians and the Ottoman army. After the Second Balkan War, Pomaks rebelled against Bulgaria (which occupied Western Thrace). On August 16, 1913, the revolution began in Kosukavak (Krumovgrad nowadays), Mastanli (Momchilgrad nowadays) and Kardzhali. The rebels also occupied Komotini, Xanthi and Dedeagats (Alexandroupoli nowadays). On September 1, 1913, the "Provisional Government of Western Thrace" (Garbi Trakya Hukumet i Muvakkatesi) was established in Komotini. The Ottoman administration did not support the rebels and finally under the neutrality of the Greek and Ottoman governments, Bulgaria took over the lands on October 30, 1913. The rebels (even though, they were Muslim) requested support from the Greek state.

In 1918, eight Pomak, Bulgarian parliament deputies appealed to the leaders of Greece and France to protect their ethnic and religious minority from the Bulgarian policies.

After World War II, with their representatives at the Paris Peace Treaties talks of 1947, certain Pomaks of Bulgaria brought back the request for union with Greece. The efforts of the Pomaks did not have the result because the Yalta Conference, where the three great powers of that era met, had already decided on the fate of the nations in Europe.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).  The PFLP, one of the original members of the PLO, is a Marxist-Leninist group founded in 1967 by George Habash.  The group was against the 1993 Declaration of Principles-- the accord reached by Yasir Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.  Subsequently, its participation in the PLO was suspended.  The PFLP participation in meetings with Arafat’s Fatah party and PLO representatives in 1999 to discuss national unity but continues to oppose negotiations with Israel.  Committed numerous international terrorist attacks, including airplane hijackings, during the 1970s, has allegedly been involved in attacks against Israel since the beginning of the second intifada in September 2000.  Syria has been a key source of save haven and limited logistical support.

The PFLP was established in 1967 in an amalgamation of three different guerrilla groups by the militant Palestinian leader George Ḥabash. Conflicts within the organization over ideology led to several splits and generated independent factions, most notably the PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC) established in 1968 by Aḥmad Jibrīl. Each of these factions engaged in guerrilla activity against Israel and often undertook acts of terrorism against the Jewish state and Western interests. The PFLP itself carried out or organized many notorious attacks against Israeli and Western targets, most notably the hijacking and destruction of several commercial airliners in the late 1960s and early ’70s. The PFLP rejected political compromise with Israel—it opposed the peace process begun with Israel in the 1990s—and pledged to replace that state with a secular, democratic state in Palestine. It took a vigorously anti-Western and anti-capitalist stance on other Middle Eastern questions. Ḥabash retired as head of the organization in 2000. His successor, Abū ʿAlī Muṣṭafā, was killed by Israeli forces in the PFLP’s West Bank offices in 2001

PFLP see Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command (PFLP-GC).  This group, led by Ahmed Jibril, split from the PFLP in 1968, wanting to focus more on terrorist than political action.  The PFLP-GC is violently opposed to the PLO and is closely tied to Syria and Iran.  The PFLP-GC conducted multiple attacks in Europe and Southwest Asia during the 1970s and 1980s.  Unique in that it conducted cross-border operations against Israel using unusual means, including hot-air balloons and motorized hang gliders.  Currently, the group has focused on small-scale attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip.

The PFLP-GC was founded in 1968 as a Syrian-backed splinter group from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). It was headed by Secretary-General Ahmed Jibril, a former military officer in the Syrian Army who had been one of the PFLP's early leaders. The PFLP-GC declared that its primary focus would be military, not political, complaining that the PFLP had been devoting too much time and resources to Marxist philosophizing.

Although the group was initially a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), it always opposed Yassir Arafat and opposes any political settlement with Israel. For this reason, it has never participated in the peace process. The PFLP-GC left the PLO in 1974 to join the Rejectionist Front, protesting what it saw as the PLO's move towards an accommodation with Israel in the Arafat-backed Ten Point Program of the Palestinian National Council (PNC). Unlike most of the organizations involved in the Rejectionist Front, the PFLP-GC never resumed its role within the PLO.

PFLP-GC is considered very close to Syria, and has in effect acted as a Syrian proxy force in Lebanon both during the Lebanese Civil War (1975–90), and after the Syrian occupation of Lebanon after the war. In 1976, after the PFLP-GC supported Syrian attacks on the PLO, an anti-Jibril faction defected from the organization, and created the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF).

By 2000, the group had limited influence in Palestinian politics, but was still influential in the Palestinian refugee camps of Syria, where it was based, and Lebanon, where Syrian support added to its importance. Its role in Lebanon after Syria left the country in 2005 was uncertain, but it was involved in a number of clashes with Lebanese security forces. In late October 2005, the Lebanese Army surrounded camps of the PFLP-GC in a tense standoff, after Lebanese authorities claimed that the PFLP-GC was receiving Syrian arms across the border. The group came under fierce criticism within Lebanon, accused of acting on Syria's behalf to stir up unrest.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the group carried out a number of attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians, and gained notoriety for using spectacular means. In one such attack, a guerrilla landed a motorized hang glider (apparently supplied by Libya) near an army camp near Kiryat Shemona in Northern Israel on November 25, 1987. He killed six soldiers and wounded several others, before being shot dead himself. The action has been seen by some as providing the catalyst for the eruption of the First Intifada. The PFLP-GC has not been involved in major attacks on Israeli targets since the early 1990s, but it has reportedly cooperated with the Hezbollah guerrillas in South Lebanon.

PFLP-GC see Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- General Command

Potiphar (in Arabic, Qitfir) (Potifar).  Biblical personage who in the Qur’an is merely referred to by his title al-‘Aziz.  Little is related about him in Islamic tradition.

Potiphar is a person in the Book of Genesis's account of Joseph.

Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, is taken to Egypt where he is sold to Potiphar as a household slave. Potiphar makes Joseph the head of his household, but Potiphar's wife, furious at Joseph for resisting her attempts to seduce him into sleeping with her, accuses him falsely of attempting to rape her. Potiphar casts Joseph into prison, where he comes to the notice of Pharaoh through his ability to interpret the dreams of other prisoners.

Potiphar's wife is not named in either the Yahwist or Elohist stories. The mediaeval Sefer HaYashar, a commentary on the Torah, gives it as Zuleikha, as does the Persian poem called Yusuf and Zulaikha (from Jami's Haft Awrang ("Seven thrones")).

Qitfir see Potiphar
'Aziz, al- see Potiphar
Potifar see Potiphar

Prester John
Prester John (Presbyter Johannes).  Mythic Christian ruler in East Africa or Ethiopia.  Prester John was thought by some medieval Western Christians to be a potential ally against the Muslims.

The legends of Prester John (also Presbyter Johannes), popular in Europe from the 12th through the 17th centuries, told of a Christian patriarch and king said to rule over a Christian nation lost amidst the Muslims and pagans in the Orient. Written accounts of this kingdom are variegated collections of medieval popular fantasy. Reportedly a descendant of one of the Three Magi, Prester John was said to be a generous ruler and a virtuous man, presiding over a realm full of riches and strange creatures, in which the Patriarch of the Saint Thomas Christians resided. His kingdom contained such marvels as the Gates of Alexander and the Fountain of Youth, and even bordered the Earthly Paradise. Among his treasures was a mirror through which every province could be seen, the fabled original from which derived the "speculum literature" of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, in which the prince's realms were surveyed and his duties laid out.

At first, Prester John was imagined to reside in India. Tales of the Nestorian Christians' evangelistic success there and of Thomas the Apostle's subcontinental travels as documented in works like the Acts of Thomas probably provided the first seeds of the legend. After the coming of the Mongols to the Western world, accounts placed the king in Central Asia, and eventually Portuguese explorers convinced themselves they had found him in Ethiopia. Prester John's kingdom was thus the object of a quest, firing the imaginations of generations of adventurers, but remaining out of reach. He was a symbol to European Christians of the Church's universality, transcending culture and geography to encompass all humanity, in a time when ethnic and inter-religious tension made such a vision seem distant.

John, Prester see Prester John
Presbyter Johannes see Prester John
Johannes Presbyter see Prester John

Prince Buster see Campbell, Cecil

Priyayi (Prijaji). Term which refers to the governing and scribal class of Indonesia.  The priyayi comprise the elite of pre-modern Indonesian society.

Priyayi (formerly Prijaji) is the Dutch era class of the nobles of the Robe, as opposed to royal nobility or bangsawan (Indonesian) or ningrat/di ningrat (Javanese) in Java, Indonesia's most populous island. Priyayi was a Javanese word coined for the descendants of the adipati or governors, the first of whom were appointed in the 17th century by Sultan Agung of Mataram to administer the principalities he had conquered. During Dutch colonization, bureaucratic posts were generally attributed to members of these families, who formed the upper classes of traditional Javanese society, in contrast to the other classes, especially the peasantry or wong cilik ('little people' in Javanese). Their culture is marked by affected elaborate customs and etiquettes.

There are three main cultural streams (aliran in Indonesian) in Javanese society. Namely, the santri, abangan, and priyayi. The priyayi stream are the traditional bureaucratic elite and were strongly driven by hierarchical Hindu-Javanese tradition. Initially court officials in pre-colonial kingdoms, the stream moved into the colonial civil service, and then on to administrators of the modern Indonesian republic.

Members of the santri stream are more likely to be urban dwellers, and tend to be oriented to the mosque, the Qur'an, and perhaps to Islamic canon law (Sharia). In contrast, the abangan tend to be from village backgrounds and absorb both Hindu and Muslim elements, forming a culture of animist and folk traditions. The santri are sometimes referred to as Puthihan (the white ones) as distinct from the 'red' abangan.

Until the 18th century the priyayi, under the royal families, were the rulers of the Javanese states.  Like the knights in medieval Europe and the samurai of Japan, the priyayi were loyal to their lord and had a sense of honor and a readiness to die in battle. Their culture was marked by an elaborate code of etiquette. After the Dutch gained control of the Javanese kingdom of Mataram (18th century) and introduced indirect rule, the priyayi were used as administrators. Gradually they became professional civil servants. For this reason, the priyayi as a class were often regarded as Javanese civil servants. The priyayi were the first Indonesians to be exposed to Western (Dutch) education. Not surprisingly, the leaders of the Indonesian nationalist movements before World War II were predominantly from the priyayi. The Budi Utomo, the first proto-nationalist organization in Java, was also founded by the members of this class.

Prijaji see Priyayi

Proclus (in Arabic, Buruqlus) (Proclus Lycaeus) (February 8, 412 – April 17, 485).  Head of the pagan philosophical school at Athens.  The outstanding scholastic systematizer of Neoplatonic thought was mainly familiar to Arabic thinkers as proclaiming the eternity of the world.

Proclus Lycaeus, called "The Successor" or "Diadochos", was a Greek Neoplatonist philosopher, one of the last major Classical philosophers. He set forth one of the most elaborate and fully developed systems of Neoplatonism. He stands near the end of the classical development of philosophy, and was very influential on Western medieval philosophy (Greek and Latin) as well as Islamic thought.

Proclus was born February 8, 412  (his birth date is deduced from a horoscope cast by a disciple, Marinus) in Constantinople to a family of high social status in Lycia (his father Patricius was a high legal official, very important in the Byzantine Empire's court system) and raised in Xanthus. He studied rhetoric, philosophy and mathematics in Alexandria, with the intent of pursuing a judicial position like his father. Before completing his studies, he returned to Constantinopole when his rector, his principal instructor (one Leonas), had business there.

Proclus became a successful practicing lawyer. However, the experience of the practice of law made Proclus realize that he truly preferred philosophy. He returned to Alexandria, and began determinedly studying the works of Aristotle under Olympiodorus the Elder (he also began studying mathematics during this period as well with a teacher named Heron- no relation to Hero of Alexandria who was also known as Heron). Eventually, in 431, this gifted student became dissatisfied with the level of philosophical instruction available in Alexandria, and went to Athens, the preeminent philosophical center of the day, to study at the Neoplatonic successor of the famous Academy founded 800 years before (in 387 B.C.T.) by Plato.  There he was taught by Plutarch of Athens, Syrianus, and Asclepigenia. He succeeded Syrianus as head of the Academy, and would in turn be succeeded on his death by Marinus of Neapolis.

Proclus lived in Athens as a vegetarian bachelor, prosperous and generous to his friends, until the end of his life, except for a voluntary one year exile, which was designed to lessen the pressure put on him by his political-philosophical activity, little appreciated by the Christian rulers. He spent the exile traveling and being initiated into various mystery cults as befitted his universalist approach to religion, trying to become "a priest of the entire universe". His house has been discovered recently in Athens, under the pavement, south of Acropolis, opposite the theater of Dionysus. He had a great devotion to the Goddess Athena, whom he believed guided him at key moments in his life. Marinus reports that when Christians removed the statue of the Goddess from the Parthenon, a beautiful woman appeared to Proclus in a dream and announced that the "Athenian Lady" wished to stay at his home.

Proclus died on April 17, 485, and was buried near Mount Lycabettus in a tomb.

The majority of Proclus' works are commentaries on dialogues of Plato (Alcibiades, Cratylus, Parmenides, Republic, Timaeus). In these commentaries he presents his own philosophical system as a faithful interpretation of Plato, and in this he did not differ from other Neoplatonists, as he considered the Platonic texts to be divinely inspired (ho theios Platon -- The divine Plato, inspired by God) and therefore that they spoke often of things under a veil, hiding the truth from the philosophically uninitiated. Proclus was, however, a close reader of Plato, and quite often makes very astute points about his Platonic sources. Unfortunately, a number of his Platonic commentaries are lost.

Proclus also wrote an influential commentary on the first book of Euclid's Elements of Geometry. This commentary is one of the most valuable sources we have for the history of ancient mathematics, and its Platonic account of the status of mathematical objects was influential. In this work, Proclus also listed the first mathematicians associated with Plato: a mature set of mathematicians (Leodamas of Thasos, Archytas of Taras, and Theaetetus), a second set of younger mathematicians (Neoclides, Eudoxus of Cnidus), and a third yet younger set (Amyntas, Menaechmus and his brother Dinostratus, Theudius of Magnesia, Hermotimus of Colophon and Philip of Opus). Some of these mathematicians were influential in arranging the Elements, that Euclid later published.

In addition to his commentaries, Proclus wrote two major systematic works. The Elements of Theology, which consists of 211 propositions, each followed by a proof, beginning from the existence of the One (the first principle of all things) and ending with the descent of individual souls into the material world. The Platonic Theology is a systematization of material from Platonic dialogues, showing from them the characteristics of the divine orders, the part of the universe which is closest to the One.

We also have three essays, extant only in Latin translation: Ten doubts concerning providence; On providence and fate; On the existence of evils.

Proclus was reared at Xanthus in Lycia, and he studied philosophy under Olympiodorus the Elder at Alexandria. At Athens he studied under the Greek philosophers Plutarch and Syrianus, whom he followed as diadochos (Greek: “successor”), or head of the Academy founded by Plato. Remaining there until his death, he helped refine and systematize the Neoplatonic views of the 3rd-century Greek philosopher Iamblichus, whose school stressed elaborate metaphysical speculation.

Like Iamblichus, Proclus opposed Christianity and passionately defended paganism. As a Neoplatonic Idealist, he emphasized that thoughts comprise reality, while concrete “things” are mere appearances. Ultimate reality, the “One,” is both God and the Good and unifies his ethical and theological systems. His attitudes significantly influenced subsequent Christian theology, in both East and West, through their adaptation by Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, a 5th-century writer whose forgeries were long thought to be works by a 1st-century convert of the Apostle Paul, Dionysius the Areopagite.

The most important Arabic philosophical work to transmit Proclus’ ideas was the Liber de causis (“Book of Causes”), which passed as a work of Aristotle in medieval times despite its dependence upon Proclus’ own Institutio theologica (Elements of Theology). Latin translations of this, his most important work, and many of his other writings in Greek were made in the 13th century by the scholar William of Moerbeke and became the principal sources for medieval knowledge of Platonic philosophy. The Elements is a concise exposition of Neoplatonic metaphysics in 211 propositions. His Elements of Physics distilled the essence of Aristotle’s views, and his In Platonis theologiam (Platonic Theology) explicated Plato’s metaphysics. His commentaries on Plato, extant in their entirety, include those on The Republic, Parmenides, Timaeus, and Alcibiades I.

Although more highly regarded as a systematizer and commentator than as an original thinker, Proclus was also the author of numerous non-philosophical writings, including astronomical, mathematical, and grammatical works. He wrote seven hymns and two epigrams, one of which he composed for the common tomb of himself and his master, Syrianus.

Proclus' works had a great influence on the history of western philosophy. The extent of this influence, however, is obscured by the channels through which it was exercised. An important source of Procline ideas was through the Pseudo-Dionysius.[3] This late 5th or early 6th century Christian Greek author wrote under the pseudonym Dionysius the Areopagite, the figure converted by St. Paul in Athens. Because of this fiction, his writings were taken to have almost apostolic authority. He is an original Christian writer, and in his works can be found a great number of Proclus' metaphysical principles.

Another important source for the influence of Proclus on the Middle Ages is Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, which has a number of Proclus principles and motifs. The central poem of Book III is a summary of Proclus' Commentary on the Timaeus, and Book V contains the important principle of Proclus that things are known not according to their own nature, but according to the character of the knowing subject.

A summary of Proclus' Elements of Theology circulated under the name Liber de Causis (the Book of Causes). This book is of uncertain origin, but circulated in the Arabic world as a work of Aristotle, and was translated into Latin as such. It had great authority because of its supposed Aristotelian origin, and it was only when Proclus' Elements were translated into Latin that Thomas Aquinas realized its true origin.

Proclus' works also exercised an influence during the Renaissance through figures such as George Gemistios Plethon and Marsilio Ficino. Before the contemporary period, the most significant scholar of Proclus in the English speaking world was Thomas Taylor, who produced English translations of most of his works, with commentaries.

His work inspired the New England Transcendentalists, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, who declared in 1843 that, in reading Proclus, "I am filled with hilarity & spring, my heart dances, my sight is quickened, I behold shining relations between all beings, and am impelled to write and almost to sing."

Modern scholarship on Proclus essentially begins with E.R. Dodd's edition of the Elements of Theology in 1933. Since then he has attracted considerable attention, especially in the French-speaking world. Procline scholarship, however, still (as of 2006) falls far short of the attention paid to Plotinus.

The following epigram is engraved on the tomb which houses Proclus and his master Syrianus:

    "I am Proclus,
    Lycian whom Syrianus brought up to teach his doctrine after him.
    This tomb reunites both our bodies.
    May an identical sojourn be reserved to our both souls!"

The crater Proclus on the Moon is named after him.

Buruqlus see Proclus
Proclus Lycaeus see Proclus
Lycaeus, Proclus see Proclus
The Successor see Proclus
Diadochos see Proclus

Prophet of Islam
Prophet of Islam.  See Muhammad.

Protestant Christians
Protestant Christians. Members of European and American Christian churches that have been established in several Southwest Asian and North African countries.  The churches are not indigenous to the region and, therefore, have few (if any) local traditions and characteristics.  Most Protestant Christians belong to expatriate communities, especially in Bahrain, Oman and Qatar where they make up between five percent and fifteen percent of the local population.  They also make up a considerable community in Saudi Arabia where they must accept considerable limitations on their practice.  A few hundred thousands adherents are the result of missionary activities.  This is particularly the case for Sudan.  

Protestantism is one of the four major divisions within Christianity (or five, if Anglicanism is considered separately) together with the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Roman Catholic Church. The term is most closely tied to those groups that separated from the Roman Catholic Church in the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation.

The doctrines of the various Protestant denominations vary, but nearly unanimous doctrines include justification by grace through faith and not through works, the priesthood of all believers, and the Bible as the ultimate authority in matters of faith and order.

In the sixteenth century the followers of Martin Luther established the evangelical churches of Germany and Scandinavia. Reformed churches in Switzerland were established by John Calvin and more radical reformers such as Huldrych Zwingli. Thomas Cranmer reformed the Church of England and later John Knox established a more radical Calvinist communion in the Church of Scotland.

Ptolemy (in Arabic, Batlamiyus) (Claudius Ptolemaeus) (c. 90-c. 168).  More than any other Greek scientist, Ptolemy dominated medieval Islamic astronomy, astrology, geography, harmonics, and optics.

Claudius Ptolemaeus, known in English as Ptolemy, was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek.  He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer and a poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the Thebaid. He died in Alexandria around 168.

Ptolemy was the author of several scientific treatises, at least three of which were of continuing importance to later Islamic and European science. The first is the astronomical treatise now known as the Almagest ("The Great Treatise", originally "Mathematical Treatise"). The second is the Geography, which is a thorough discussion of the geographic knowledge of the Greco-Roman world. The third is the astrological treatise known sometimes in Greek as the Apotelesmatika, more commonly in Greek as the Tetrabiblos ("Four books"), and in Latin as the Quadripartitum (or four books) in which he attempted to adapt horoscopic astrology to the Aristotelian natural philosophy of his day.

Virtually nothing is known about Ptolemy’s life except what can be inferred from his writings. His first major astronomical work, the Almagest, was completed about 150 and contains reports of astronomical observations that Ptolemy had made over the preceding quarter of a century. The size and content of his subsequent literary production suggests that he lived until about 170.

The book that is now generally known as the Almagest (from a hybrid of Arabic and Greek, “the greatest”) was called by Ptolemy Hē mathēmatikē syntaxis (“The Mathematical Collection”) because he believed that its subject, the motions of the heavenly bodies, could be explained in mathematical terms. The opening chapters present empirical arguments for the basic cosmological framework within which Ptolemy worked. The Earth, he argued, is a stationary sphere at the center of a vastly larger celestial sphere that revolves at a perfectly uniform rate around the Earth, carrying with it the stars, planets, Sun, and Moon — thereby causing their daily risings and settings. Through the course of a year the Sun slowly traces out a great circle, known as the ecliptic, against the rotation of the celestial sphere. (The Moon and planets similarly travel backward — hence, the planets were also known as “wandering stars”— against the “fixed stars” found in the ecliptic.) The fundamental assumption of the Almagest is that the apparently irregular movements of the heavenly bodies are in reality combinations of regular, uniform, circular motions.

How much of the Almagest is original is difficult to determine because almost all of the preceding technical astronomical literature is now lost. Ptolemy credited Hipparchus (mid-2nd century B.C.T.) with essential elements of his solar theory, as well as parts of his lunar theory, while denying that Hipparchus constructed planetary models. Ptolemy made only a few vague and disparaging remarks regarding theoretical work over the intervening three centuries; even though the study of the planets undoubtedly made great strides during that interval. Moreover, Ptolemy’s veracity, especially as an observer, has been controversial since the time of the astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546–1601). Brahe pointed out that solar observations Ptolemy claimed to have made in 141 are definitely not genuine, and there are strong arguments for doubting that Ptolemy independently observed the more than 1,000 stars listed in his star catalog. What is not disputed, however, is the mastery of mathematical analysis that Ptolemy exhibited.

Ptolemy was preeminently responsible for the geocentric cosmology that prevailed in the Islamic world and in medieval Europe. This was not due to the Almagest so much as a later treatise, Hypotheseis tōn planōmenōn (Planetary Hypotheses). In this work he proposed what is now called the Ptolemaic system—a unified system in which each heavenly body is attached to its own sphere and the set of spheres nested so that it extends without gaps from the Earth to the celestial sphere. The numerical tables in the Almagest (which enabled planetary positions and other celestial phenomena to be calculated for arbitrary dates) had a profound influence on medieval astronomy, in part through a separate, revised version of the tables that Ptolemy published as Procheiroi kanones (“Handy Tables”). Ptolemy taught later astronomers how to use dated, quantitative observations to revise cosmological models.

Ptolemy also attempted to place astrology on a sound basis in Apotelesmatika (“Astrological Influences”), later known as the Tetrabiblos for its four volumes. He believed that astrology is a legitimate, though inexact, science that describes the physical effects of the heavens on terrestrial life. Ptolemy accepted the basic validity of the traditional astrological doctrines, but he revised the details to reconcile the practice with an Aristotelian conception of nature, matter, and change. Of Ptolemy’s writings, the Tetrabiblos is the most foreign to modern readers, who do not accept astral prognostication and a cosmology driven by the interplay of basic qualities such as hot, cold, wet, and dry.

Ptolemy has a prominent place in the history of mathematics primarily because of the mathematical methods he applied to astronomical problems. His contributions to trigonometry are especially important. For instance, Ptolemy’s table of the lengths of chords in a circle is the earliest surviving table of a trigonometric function. He also applied fundamental theorems in spherical trigonometry (apparently discovered half a century earlier by Menelaus of Alexandria) to the solution of many basic astronomical problems.

Among Ptolemy’s earliest treatises, the Harmonics investigated musical theory while steering a middle course between an extreme empiricism and the mystical arithmetical speculations associated with Pythagoreanism. Ptolemy’s discussion of the roles of reason and the senses in acquiring scientific knowledge have bearing beyond music theory.

Probably near the end of his life, Ptolemy turned to the study of visual perception in Optica (“Optics”), a work that only survives in a mutilated medieval Latin translation of an Arabic translation. The extent to which Ptolemy subjected visual perception to empirical analysis is remarkable when contrasted with other Greek writers on optics. For example, Hero of Alexandria (mid-1st century) asserted, purely for philosophical reasons, that an object and its mirror image must make equal angles to a mirror. In contrast, Ptolemy established this principle by measuring angles of incidence and reflection for planar and curved mirrors set upon a disk graduated in degrees. Ptolemy also measured how lines of sight are refracted at the boundary between materials of different density, such as air, water, and glass, although he failed to discover the exact law relating the angles of incidence and refraction.

Ptolemy’s fame as a geographer is hardly less than his fame as an astronomer. Geōgraphikē hyphēgēsis (Guide to Geography) provided all the information and techniques required to draw maps of the portion of the world known by Ptolemy’s contemporaries. By his own admission, Ptolemy did not attempt to collect and sift all the geographical data on which his maps were based. Instead, he based them on the maps and writings of Marinus of Tyre (c. ad 100), only selectively introducing more current information, chiefly concerning the Asian and African coasts of the Indian Ocean. Nothing would be known about Marinus if Ptolemy had not preserved the substance of his cartographical work.

Ptolemy’s most important geographical innovation was to record longitudes and latitudes in degrees for roughly 8,000 locations on his world map (see the photographWorld map after Ptolemy, Geographia (Ulm, 1496), Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. [Credit: Giraudon/Art Resource, New York]), making it possible to make an exact duplicate of his map. Hence, we possess a clear and detailed image of the inhabited world as it was known to a resident of the Roman Empire at its height—a world that extended from the Shetland Islands in the north to the sources of the Nile in the south, from the Canary Islands in the west to China and Southeast Asia in the east. Ptolemy’s map is seriously distorted in size and orientation compared to modern maps, a reflection of the incomplete and inaccurate descriptions of road systems and trade routes at his disposal.

Ptolemy also devised two ways of drawing a grid of lines on a flat map to represent the circles of latitude and longitude on the globe. His grid gives a visual impression of the Earth’s spherical surface and also, to a limited extent, preserves the proportionality of distances. The more sophisticated of these map projections, using circular arcs to represent both parallels and meridians, anticipated later area-preserving projections. Ptolemy’s geographical work was almost unknown in Europe until about 1300, when Byzantine scholars began producing many manuscript copies, several of them illustrated with expert reconstructions of Ptolemy’s maps. The Italian Jacopo d’Angelo translated the work into Latin in 1406. The numerous Latin manuscripts and early print editions of Ptolemy’s Guide to Geography, most of them accompanied by maps, attest to the profound impression this work made upon its rediscovery by Renaissance humanists.

There are several characters or items named after Ptolemy, including:

    * The crater Ptolemaeus on the Moon;
    * The crater Ptolemaeus on Mars;
    * the asteroid 4001 Ptolemaeus;
    * a character in the fantasy series The Bartimaeus Trilogy: this fictional Ptolemy is a young magician (from Alexandria) whom Bartimaeus loved; he made the journey into "the Other Place" being hunted by his cousin, because he was a magician;
    * the name of Celestial Being's carrier ship in the anime Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
    * track number 10 on Selected Ambient Works 85–92 by Aphex Twin.

Batlamiyus see Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemaeus see Ptolemy
Ptolemaeus, Claudius see Ptolemy

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