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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

----- Original Message -----
From: Rochelle Altman

<<Strings of beads as mnemonic aids are ancient.
Finding the origins of stress-relief beads or a
possible connection with  Islamic prayer beads
may be a chicken and egg problem.>>

The popular explanation given by the muslims of Syria, Lebanon, Bosnia, etc.
is that the muslim beads were adopted from the prayer ropes, komboskinia, of
the Christian monks and nuns of the East.  Such beads began to be used in
the 4th century in the deserts and monasteries  of Egypt, Syria, Africa and
by the 8th century had spread across all the Eastern Christian world.  It
was these territories which the "religion of peace" conquered and reduced to
dhimmitude and the most likely explanation (Ockam's razor)  of the muslim
use of prayer beads is that they adapted them from what they saw in use
among the conquered Christians.

Pater asceticus
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