History of the Arabic Written Tradition Volume 1


The present English translation reproduces the original German of Carl Brockelmann’s Geschichte der Arabischen Litteratur (GAL) as accurately as possible. In the interest of user-friendliness the following emendations have been made in the translation: Personal names are written out in full, except b. for ibn; Brockelmann’s transliteration of Arabic has been adapted to comply with modern standards for English-language publications; modern English equivalents are given for place names, e.g. Damascus, Cairo, Jerusalem, etc.; several erroneous dates have been corrected, and the page references to the two German editions have been retained in the margin, except in the Supplement volumes, where new references to the first two English volumes have been inserted.

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Carl Brockelmann (1868-1956, PhD, Strasburg, 1890), a renowned German orientalist, was professor at the universities of Breslau, Berlin, Königsberg, Halle and Breslau again. His best-known publication is Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (GAL), a systematically organized bio-bibliographical reference on all Arabic literature.
I. The task of literary history
II. Sources and earlier accounts of the literary history of the Arabs
III. Division of the history of Arabic literature

First Book. The national literature of the Arabs
First Section. From the beginnings until the appearance of Muḥammad
Chapter 1. The Arabic language
Chapter 2. The beginnings of poetry
Chapter 3. Forms of Arabic poetry
Chapter 4. General characteristics of ancient Arabic poetry
Chapter 5. The transmission of Arabic poetry
Chapter 6. The sources for our knowledge of ancient Arabic poetry
Chapter 7. The six poets
Chapter 8. Other poets of pre-Islamic times
Chapter 9. Jewish and Christian poets before Islam
Chapter 10. The beginnings of Arabic prose

Second Section. Muḥammad and his time
Chapter 1. Muḥammad the Prophet
Chapter 2. The Qurʾān
Chapter 3. Labīd and al-Aʿshā
Chapter 4. Ḥassān b. Thābit
Chapter 5. Kaʿb b. Zuhayr
Chapter 6. Mutammin b. Nuwayra
Chapter 7. Al-Khansāʾ
Chapter 8. Abū Miḥjan and al-Ḥuṭayʾa
Chapter 9. Minor poets
Chapter 10. Two forgeries

Third Section. The period of the Umayyads
Chapter 1. General characteristics
Chapter 2. ʿUmar b. Abī Rabīʿa
Chapter 3. Other poets in Arabia
Chapter 4. Al-Akhṭal
Chapter 5. Al-Farazdaq
Chapter 6. Jarīr
Chapter 7. Dhu ̓l-Rumma
Chapter 8. The rajaz poets
Chapter 9. Minor poets
Chapter 10. Prose writing at the time of the Umayyads

Second Book. Islamic literature in the Arabic language
First section. The Classical period from ca. 750 until ca. 1000
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Poetry
A. The poets of Baghdad
B. Poets of Iraq and the Jazīra
C. Poets from Arabia and Syria
D. The circle of Sayf al-Dawla
E. Egyptian and North African poets
Chapter 3. Rhymed prose
Chapter 4. Philology
I. The School of Basra
II. The School of Kufa
III. The School of Baghdad
IV. Linguistics in Persia and the East
V. Linguistics in Egypt and Spain
Chapter 4. Historiography
1. The life of Muḥammad
2. Urban history
3. The history of the pre-Islamic Arabs
4. Imperial and world history
5. Cultural and literary history
6. The history of Egypt and North Africa
7. The history of Spain
Chapter 5. Belles lettres in prose
Chapter 6. Ḥadīth
Chapter 7. Fiqh
1. The Ḥanafīs
2. The Mālikīs
3. The Shāfiʿīs
4. The lesser schools
5. The Shīʿa
1. The Zaydīs
2. The Imāmīs
Chapter 8. Sciences of the Qurʾān
1. The reading of the Qurʾān
2. Qurʾānic exegesis
Chapter 9. Dogmatics
Chapter 10. Mysticism
Chapter 11. The translators
Chapter 12. Philosophy
Chapter 13. Mathematics
Chapter 14. Astronomy and astrology
Chapter 15. Geography
Chapter 16. Medicine
Chapter 17. Natural and occult sciences
Chapter 18. Encyclopaedias

Second Section. The post-Classical period of Islamic literature from ca. 400/1000 until ca. 656/1258
Chapter 1. Poetry
A. Poets of Baghdad, Iraq, and the Jazīra
B. Persian poets
C. Syrian poets
D. Arabian poets
E. Egyptian poets
F. North African and Sicilian poets
G. Spanish poets
Chapter 2. Rhymed prose and stylistics
Chapter 3. Philology
1. Philology in Iraq
2. Philology in Persia and neighbouring countries
3. Philology in Syria
4. Philology in South Arabia
5. Philology in Egypt
6. Philology in North Africa and Sicily
7. Philology in Spain
Chapter 4. Historiography
1. Individual biographies
2. Histories of dynasties
3. Histories of individuals and genealogies
4. Local history
A. Baghdad
B. Damascus
C. Jerusalem
D. Aleppo
E. Dunaysir
F. South Arabia
G. Jurjān
H. Egypt
I. The Maghrib
J. Spain
5. Histories of the caliphs and world history
6. Histories of prophets
Chapter 5. Belles lettres in prose
Chapter 6. Ḥadīth
1. Iraq, the Jazīra, Syria, and Arabia
2. Persia
3. Egypt and North Africa
4. Spain
Chapter 7. Fiqh
1. The Ḥanafīs
2. The Mālikīs
3. The Shāfiʿīs
4. The Ḥanbalīs
5. The Ẓāhirīs and Almohads
6. The Shīʿa
A. The Zaydīs
B. The Imāmīs
Chapter 8. The sciences of the Qurʾān
1. The art of reading the Qurʾān
2. Qurʾānic exegesis
Chapter 9. Dogmatics
Chapter 10. Mysticism
Chapter 11. Philosophy and politics
Chapter 12. Mathematics
Chapter 13. Astronomy
Chapter 14. Geography and travelogues
Chapter 15. Medicine
Chapter 16.
A. Natural sciences and technology
B. Games, sports, and war
C. Music
Chapter 17. Occult sciences
Chapter 18. Encyclopaedias and polyhistors
All interested in Middle Eastern history.