Al-Thaʽālibī

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Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī, Abd al-Mālik ibn Muḥammad ibn Ismā’īl (أبو منصور الثعالبي، عبد الملك بن محمد بن إسماعيل), (961–1038), was a writer of Persian or Arab ethnicity, native of Nishapur, Persia,[1] famous for his anthologies and collections of epigrams. As a writer of prose and verse in his own right, distinction between his and the work of others is sometimes lacking, as was the practice of writers of the time.[2]

Chess game between Tha'ālibī and Bakhazari, by Ludwig Deutsch (1855–1935)

WorksEdit

Among twenty-nine known works are:

  • Kitāb Yatīmat al-dahr fī mahāsin ahl al-ʿasṛ; is his best known work and contains valuable extracts from the poetry of his own and earlier times, arranged according to the poets' nationality.[2] No satisfactory edition exists.[3]:xvii-xix That Yatīmat and its sequel the Tatimmat have been characterised as 'our main, if not the sole, source about literary activity' in al-Tha'ālibī's time.[4]
    • ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Muḥammad Thaʿālibī, Yatīmat al-dahr fī shuʿarāʼ ahl al-ʿaṣr (يتيمة الدهر في شعراء أهلالعصر), 4 vols (Damascus: [al-Maṭbaʿah al-Ḥifnīyah] دمشق : المطبعة الحفنية, 1302 AH [1885 CE]), vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4. The most widely used edition, with a Persian interlinear translation.
    • Muḥammad Muḥyī al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Ḥamīd محمد محي الدين عبدالحميد (ed.), يتيمة الدهر في في محاسن أهلالعصر, 4 vols (Cairo 1956), vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4. Bilāl Urfahʹlī concludes that this is the most accurate edition, and 'offers a preliminary basis of studying the Yātima, even if some points will have to be changed according to what a critical edition might reveal'.[3]:xix
    • ʻAbd al-Malik ibn Muḥammad Thaʻālibī, Yatīmat al-dahr fī maḥāsin ahl al-ʻaṣr maʻ al-tatimma wa-l-fahāris (يتيمة الدهر في شعراء أهل العصر مع التتمة والفهارس), ed. by Mufīd Muḥammad Qumayḥah, 6 vols (Bayrūt: Dār al-Kutub al-ʻIlmīyah (دار الكتب العلمية), 1983), vols 1-4 (index vol. 6). Machine-readable text.
    • Manuscript facsimile from the Thomas Fisher Arabic Collection.
  • Tatimmat al-Yatīmah, a sequel to the Yatāmat al-dahr.
  • Aḥsan mā samiʿtu ('the best I ever heard'), an anthology of poetry and prose, including 535 poems averaging 2.26 lines each, apparently abridged from a collection called Aḥāsin al-maḥāsin (the best of the best).[5]
    • Al-Thaʿālibī, Aḥsan mā samiʿtu, ed. by Muḥammad Ṣādiq ʿAnbar (Cairo: al-Maktabah al-Maḥmūdiyyah, n.d. [1925]).
  • Kitāb Fiqh ul-Lugha; lexicographical dictionary arranged by semantic subject. (Paris, 1861), (Cairo, 1867), (Beirut, 1885 - incomplete).[6][7]
  • Zād safar al-mulūk
    • Zād safar al-mulūk: A Handbook on Travel by Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī (d. 429/1038), ed. by Ramzi Baalbaki and Bilal Orfali, Bibliotheca Islamica, 52 (Beirut: Orient-Institut, 2011), ISBN 978-3-87997-692-8.
  • Makārim al-akhlāq wa-maḥāsin al-ādāb wa-badāʾiʿ al-awṣāf wa-gharāʾib al-tashbīhāt
  • Kitāb Lata'if al-ma'arif (tr. 'Book of curious and entertaining information' Clifford Edmund Bosworth, Edinburgh University Press, 1968).
  • Kitāb al-Kināya wa-l-taʿrīd aw al-Nihāya fī fann al-kināya (ed. F. al-Ḥawwār, Baghdad & Köln: Manshūrāt al-Jamal, 2006).

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Abu Manşūr Tha'ālibī". Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  2. ^ a b Thatcher 1911.
  3. ^ a b c Bilāl Urfahʹlī, The Anthologist's Art: Abu Mansur al-Tha'alibi and his Yatimat al-dahr, Brill Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures, 37 (Leiden: Brill, 2016), ISBN 9789004316294.
  4. ^ Ahmad Shawqi Radwan, 'Thaʿālibī's “Tatimmat al-Yatīmah”: A Critical Edition and a Study of the Author as Anthologist and Literary Critic' (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Manchester, 1972), p. 77.
  5. ^ Adam Talib, How Do You Say “Epigram” in Arabic? Literary History at the Limits of Comparison, Brill Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures, 40 (Leiden: Brill, 2018), pp. 83-85; ISBN 978-90-04-34996-4
  6. ^ Thatcher 1911, p. 716.
  7. ^ Thatcher 1911, p. 716 notes: For his other works see Brockelmann 1898, pp. 284–286

ReferencesEdit

  • Brockelmann, Carl (1898), Geschichte der Arabischen Literatur, i, Weimar, pp. 284–286
  •   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainThatcher, Griffithes Wheeler (1911). "Tha'ālibī". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 716.

External links and further readingEdit

  • Urfahʹlī, Bilāl, The Anthologist's Art: Abu Mansur al-Tha'alibi and his Yatimat al-dahr, Brill Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures, 37 (Leiden: Brill, 2016), ISBN 9789004316294.