Approaches to the Study of Pre-Modern Arabic Anthologies


Literary anthology is a general category of adab that encompasses a range of compilations which has enjoyed tremendous popularity in Arabic literature, probably like no other literature of the world. The aim of this volume is to raise and discuss questions about the different approaches to the study of pre-modern Arabic anthologies from the perspectives of philology, religion, history, geography, and literature.

Contributors: Lyall Armstrong, Carl Davila, Matthew L. Keegan, Boutheina Khaldi, Enass Khansa, Jeremy Kurzyniec, David Larsen, Nathaniel A. Miller, Suleiman A. Mourad, Hans-Peter Pökel, Isabel Toral

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Bilal Orfali is Sheikh Zayed Chair for Arabic and Islamic Studies and Chairperson of the Department of Arabic and Near Eastern Languages at the American University of Beirut. He previously held the M.S. Sofia Chair in Arabic Studies at Ohio State University. He specializes in Arabic literature, Sufism, and quranic Studies.

Nadia Maria El Cheikh is Professor of History and Dean of Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the American University of Beirut. She is a scholar of the Abbasid Caliphate and Byzantium, with women and gender as a focal point of her research.
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

Part 1 Compilation, Authorship, and Readership

1 The ʿIqd al-farīd by Ibn ʿAbd Rabbih: The Birth of a Classic
Isabel Toral

2 “I Begin with the Kings:” Contextualizing Knowledge in Ibn Bassām’s al-Dhakhīra
Enass Khansa

3 Towards a Reconstruction of Abū Naṣr al-Bāhilī’s K. Abyāt al-maʿānī
David Larsen

4 A House in Words: Al-Ghuzūlī as Author’s Alternate
Boutheina Khaldi

Part 2 Pleasure

5 Diagramming the Bedroom Sciences in ʿAlī ibn Naṣr al-Kātib’s Jawāmiʿ al-ladhdha
Jeremy Kurzyniec

6 Reflections on Song, Manuscript #144 and the Social Life of Kunnāsh al-Ḥāʾik: A Study in Social Codicology
Carl Davila

Part 3 Religion and Education

7 Ibn Abī al-Dunyā (d. 281/894) on Death and Dying
Lyall Armstrong

8 Educating for the Sake of Equilibrium: Ibn Qutayba’s (d. 276/889) ʿUyūn al-akhbār as an Intellectual Tool for Moderating “Religion” and Piety
Hans-Peter Pökel

9 Quranic Exegesis as Poetry Anthology: Heavenly Wine in the Exegesis and Fictive Maqāmas of Ibn Nāqiyā (d. 485/1092)
Matthew L. Keegan

Part 4 Geography

10 The Faḍāʾil of Jerusalem Books as Anthologies
Suleiman A. Mourad

11 Ideological Dimensions of Geographical Anthologies: The Case of ʿUmāra al-Yamanī (d. 569/1174) in the Kharīdat al-qaṣr*
Nathaniel A. Miller

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