Nov 13, 2021
Dr. Kevin Blankinship, BYU Utah, speaks about the life, works
and legacy of Abū Firās al-Ḥamdānī, prince, prisoner, poet.
Al-Ḥārith b. Abū al-ʿAlā Saʿīd ibn Ḥamdān al-Taghlibī, better known by his nom de plume of Abū Firās al-Ḥamdānī, was an Arab prince and poet. He was a cousin of Sayf al-Dawla, the ruler of northern Syria, whom we mentioned in episode 33. He best known for the collection of poems titled al-Rūmiyyāt during his time as a prisoner of war with the Byzantines.
01:52 Abū Firās al-Ḥamdānī was born at a time when the Abbasid caliphate was beholden to de facto autonomous dynasties and facing a Byzantine foe. What do we know about his socio-political context?
06:26 Abū Firās al-Ḥamdānī was born a prince, lived a while as a prisoner, and was killed as a provocateur against a rival ruler, his own nephew in fact. What do we do know about his life?
10:14 Abū Firās al-Ḥamdānī is best known for the collection of poems titled al-Rūmiyyāt during his time as a prisoner of war with the Byzantines. Tell us about his works.
16:50 Sir Hamilton Alexander Rosskeen Gibb, the orientalist, praises Abū Firās al-Ḥamdānī’s work for its “sincerity, directness, and natural vigour". How would you characterise Abū Firās al-Ḥamdānī’s legacy?
19:45 Finally, let's end with a sample and translation.
This is the eighth part of a twelve part series exploring
classical Arabic poetry which can be utilised in college-level
For more on our guest, see kblankinship.com.
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