Download PDF by A. F. L. Beeston, T. M. Johnstone, R. B. Serjeant, G. R.: Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad Period (The

By A. F. L. Beeston, T. M. Johnstone, R. B. Serjeant, G. R. Smith

ISBN-10: 0521126215

ISBN-13: 9780521126212

Initially released in 1983, The Cambridge background of Arabic Literature was once the 1st normal survey of the sphere to were released in English for over fifty years and the 1st tried in such aspect in a multi-volume shape. The volumes of the heritage offer a useful resource of reference and realizing of the highbrow, literary and non secular historical past of the Arabic-speaking and Islamic international. This quantity starts off its insurance with the oral verse of the 6th century advert, and ends with the autumn of the Umayyad dynasty centuries later. inside of this era fall significant occasions: the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad, the founding of the Islamic faith, the good Arab Islamic conquests of territories open air the Arabian Peninsula, and their assembly, as overlords, with the Byzantine and Sasanian global. individuals to this quantity talk about an array of themes together with the affects of Greeks, Persians and Syrians on early Arabic literature.

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Extra resources for Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad Period (The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature)

Example text

They would listen in expectation of how he would proceed in unfolding the well-known pattern of the qasfdah,10 what variations he would invent and what difficulties he would overcome. How, for example, if his amatory prelude (nasib) was charged with emotion, would he then proceed to a theme of war and valour? How would he achieve the rhyming word in each line and what sort of internal rhyming words and rhythmic devices would he use? The Arab poet was not a narrator. He was a master of brevity, a magician of rhythm and words.

Even today, in spite of many new experiments by the avant-garde, there is still a very considerable output of verse conforming to the metrical canons of that system. There are two features of "classical" and standard Arabic phonology (as opposed to that of the vernaculars) which are fundamental to the system. Firstly, clusters of more than two consonants with no intervening vowel are not tolerated. Secondly - a feature which Arabic shares with the strict " Biihnendeutsch " pronunciation of German - no word begins with a vowel in such a way as to permit running on the final consonant of the previous word and a vowel beginning the next word as English speakers do; one must separate the two by a perceptible "vowel-onset", and this phonological feature ranks in Arabic as a consonant.

All these forms of writing have one thing in common: they are short autonomous documents, and not "books" in the modern sense. Of the latter, nevertheless, many Arabs must at least have heard, even if they may never have seen a specimen. For Jews and Christians were accustomed to chant their scriptures from a written text, either Torah scroll or Bible codex. One intriguing passage in the introduction to Origen's Hexapla states that in compiling it he had consulted Bible versions in a number of languages including "Chaldaean and Arabian"; the former term means what we now call Syriac, but the significance of the latter is hard to guess.

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Arabic Literature to the End of the Umayyad Period (The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature) by A. F. L. Beeston, T. M. Johnstone, R. B. Serjeant, G. R. Smith


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