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ARAB 152 Midterm


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'Abassid Emprie
Golden age of arts and sciences encouraged by caliphate patronage, a multicultural empire, and the absorption of world knowledge.  Originally Arabic, soon challenged by Persian and Hellenic influences.  Poetry (still oral) contained elaborate me

qasidah (pl. qasa'id) (qasidah structure) 

Poetic style of pre-Islamic origin.  Consists of the atlal (a remembrance of the beloved sparked by the remains of a campsite), the rahil (journey), and the madih (a boast, praise, or insult).
Abu 'Atahiya
c. 800 AD Low-born poet always aspired upwards, greedily.  Known for the untrained simplicity of his language; wrote ascetic poetry later dealing with leveling of masses.
Abu Nuwas
Controversial Shu'ubiyah poet of the Abassid period.  Persian, but wrote many Bacchic and erotic poems and wine songs.
Abu Tammam
Abassid poet famous for recording political turmoil of his times with elaborate language.  Gained the favor of a caliph after rhapsodizing of the fall of the Byzantine city of Amorium to Muslim forces.
lit. "Behavior."  Referred to the habitual and the practical norm of conduct in pre-Islamic times, but came to refer to a high quality of the (urbanite's) sould, particularly during the Ummayad period.  Ideals thereof espoused in d
Iranian prose composer.  Most famous for organizing the Maqamah genre.  Defeated a famous scholar from the "House of Wisdom" in Baghdad through debate.
Refers to a "period of ignorance" which came before the revelations of Muhammad.  Spawned nomadic, oral poetry which provides an insight into the background which gave rise to Muhammad.
Supposed writer of the "Arabian Ode in L."  Pre-Islamic bandit who reportedly began a feud with his adopted tribe upon discovering his ancestry.
Andalusia (al-Andalus)
Iberian Peninsular territory under Muslim control c. C8 (Umayyad) - C15.  Under the control of various emirates, caliphates, and ethnic groups; Andalusian caliphate was site of many urban centers and a Golden Age which saw the development of the zaja
Arab World v. Middle East v. Muslim World

1) Can refer to areas which are ethnically Arab, but not necessarily "Middle Eastern" or Muslim.

2) Area of Iraq, Arabia, Syria - near the Arabian Peninsula.  Not entirely Arab or Muslim. 

3) Those professing faith in Is

Section of a qasidah in which the speaker, seeing an abandoned campsite, remembers his beloved.  Often (but not always) associates dryness with love, since, when the waters dried up, encampments were forced to cluster.
Bani Hilal
Confederation of Bedouin tribes known for their westward migration and arabization while proxies of the Fatimid dynasty.  Served as the inspiration for the Sirat Bani Hilal, an epic telling the story of various prominent tribal figures as th
Bashar Ibn Burd
Blind Persian who wrote clasically-influended Arabic Shu'ubiyah poetry.  Famous for love poetry and satire.
Harun al-Rashid
Fifth Abbasid caliph; son of slave woman.  Promoted the arts and scholarship.  Famous for assaults on Byzantium.
Ibn al-Muqaffa
Influential Persian born prose writer who cam under Umayyad control early on. Translated Wisdom Literature and more, including "Kalilah wah Dimnah."
Ibn Khafajah
Andalusian poet famous for his nature imagery and Qasidah poetry.  "The Gardner" published only late in life, but remained popular.
Jarir, al-Akhtal, and Farazdaq
Group of tight-knit poets of varying cultural backgrounds.  During the Umayyad period, participated in poetry duels, which displayed tribal divisions while simultaneously unifying and allowing intellectual exchange.
Jaha'aliyyah poet and wariorknown for his Mu'allaqah, nature/native imagery, and lengthy atlat sections. Converted to Islam.
Liminal period
Stage during a rite of passage in which one is outside the normal rules of society.  After a period of uncontrolled behavior, one re-aggragates with society having undergone a psychological, society-affirming transformation during the liminal period.
Maqamah (pl. maqamat)
Sole Islamic pre-modern narrative genre, represented by Al-Hamadhani and Al-Hariri; based on styles involving elaborate saj (rhymed prose).  Usually involves a rogue outwitting someone to gain a small prize, and often treats urbane subject matter.
Mu'allaqah (pl. mu'allaqat)
The seven great qasidah-form poems of the pre-Islamic writers, as compiled by Hammad al-Rawiyah.  Of questionable originality, but portray the culture which produced Muhammad.
Section of a qasidah in which the speaker embarks on a journey through a liminal state, away from society.  Typically, the prowess of the weathered mount used and the hardships of the journey are emphasized.
Rite of passage
Trial (often outside the normal boundaries of society) which one must go through in order to re-aggregate with it as a responsible adult.  Stages: before, liminal period, re-aggregation.
Arabic-language literary movement during the Abassid dynasty.  Mainly a project of Persians seeking to assert their non-Arab identity within the Arab/Muslim empire.
Sirah (pl. siyar)
Long poems in saj (rhymed meter), likely of oral origins.  Can be divided into Sirah Rasul Allah (biography of the apostle of god), al-Sirah al-Nawabiyah (prophetic biography), and Sirah-sha'biyyah (historically based, lavish epics).
Umayyad Empire
Early Islamic period immediately following what are known to the Sunni as the "four rightly-guided caliphs."  Characterized by tribal tensions.  Main poetic forms: Love Poetry, Praise of the Prophet, and politically-charged Poetry Duel

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