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Abbasid History Podcast

Nov 27, 2021

Abū al-Walīd Aḥmad Ibn Zaydūn al-Makhzūmī,  or simply known as Ibn Zaydūn, was considered the greatest neoclassical poet of al-Andalus. His love affair with the princess and poet Wallada and his exile inspired many of his poems.


01:37 Ibn Zaydūn grew up during the decline of the Caliphate of Córdoba. What do we know about his socio-political context and also tell us about Arabic literature in al-Andalus more generally?

07:10 Ibn Zaydūn was born in 1003 in Cordoba to an aristocratic Andalusian Arab family and was involved in the political life of his age. What do we know about his life?

13:07 The themes of love, lost youth and nostalgia for his city are present in many of Ibn Zaydūn’s poems. How would you characterise his work?

16:49 According to Salma Jayyusi in her book, The Legacy of Muslim Spain, "Ibn Zaydun brought into Andalusi poetry something of balance, the rhetorical command, the passionate power and grandeur of style that marked contemporary poetry in the east...he rescued Andalusi poetry from the self-indulgence of the poets of externalized description." How would you characterise his legacy?

20:00 Finally, let's end with a sample and translation.

This is the ninth part of a twelve part series exploring classical Arabic poetry which can be utilised in college-level teaching programmes.

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