Al-Ṣafadī, His Critics, and the Drag of Philological Time

In: Philological Encounters
Adam Talib Durham University

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Philology was more than a scholarly tool in the system of classical Arabo-Islamic writing; it was a cognitive model. This cognitive model was embodied by scholars and repeatedly performed by them in oral and written expression. It can be understood as a habitus. This article takes seriously pre-modern critiques of a revisionist darling al-Ṣafadī’s masterful commentary al-Ghayth al-musajjam fī sharḥ «Lāmiyyat al-ʿAjam» to consider the cognitive logic of this philological habitus and the ways in which modern scholarly agendas manipulate the chronological plane of Arabic literary history.

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