Prominent Murder Victims of the Pre- and Early Islamic Periods Including the Names of Murdered Poets

Introduced, Edited, Translated from the Arabic, and Annotated


Muḥammad ibn Ḥabīb (d. 860), a specialist in Arab history, tribal genealogy, and poetry, who lived in Baghdad, collected in his Prominent Murder Victims many stories of murderers and murder victims from the legendary pre-Islamic past, such as how Bilqīs, the Arabic name for the Queen of Sheba, came to power, to the assassinations ordered by viziers or caliphs in the early Islamic centuries. A lengthy appendix deals with poets from pre- and early Islamic times who were killed. The stories are entertaining as well as informative. Strikingly, the author refrains from explicit moralising. The present book offers a richly annotated English translation together with an improved Arabic text and indexes of persons, places, and rhymes.

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Geert Jan van Gelder (b. Amsterdam, 1947, PhD Leiden, 1982) was Laudian Professor of Arabic at the University of Oxford from 1998 until 2012. He published several monographs, editions, translations, and many articles on Classical Arabic Literature.

 1 The Author
 2 Sources on Ibn Ḥabīb
 3 Works
 4 The Book on Prominent Murder Victims and Poets Who Were Killed
 5 Editions
 6 The Translation
 7 Transliteration
 8 Abbreviations in the English
 9 Abbreviations in the Notes to the Arabic Text

Text and Translation

List of Sections
Index of Persons, Tribes, Nations, Groups
Geographical Index
Index of Rhymes فهرست القوافي
Those interested in the political, cultural, and literary history of the Arabs and early Islam; in comparative literature; and all those who like to read murder stories.
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