Consorts of the Caliphs: Women and the Court of Baghdad (Library of Arabic Literature #13) (Paperback)

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This is book number 13 in the Library of Arabic Literature series.


Accounts of remarkable women at the world's most powerful court

Consorts of the Caliphs is a seventh/thirteenth-century compilation of anecdotes about thirty-eight women who were consorts to those in power, most of them concubines of the early Abbasid caliphs and wives of latter-day caliphs and sultans. This slim but illuminating volume is one of the few surviving texts by the prolific Baghdadi scholar Ibn al-Sa'i, who chronicled the academic and political elites of his city in the final years of the Abbasid dynasty and the period following the cataclysmic Mongol invasion of 656/1258.

In this work, Ibn al-Sa'i is keen to forge a connection between the munificent wives of his time and the storied
lovers of the so-called golden age of Baghdad. Thus, from the earlier period, we find Harun al-Rashid pining for his brother's beautiful slave, Ghadir, and the artistry of such musical and literary celebrities as Arib and Fadl, who
bested the male poets and singers of their day. From times closer to Ibn al-Sa?i's own, we meet women such as Banafsha, who endowed law colleges, had bridges built, and provisioned pilgrims bound for Mecca; slave women whose funeral services were led by caliphs; and noble Saljuq princesses from Afghanistan.

Informed by the author's own sources, his insider knowledge, and well-known literary materials, these singular
biographical sketches bring the belletristic culture of the Baghdad court to life, particularly in the personal narratives and poetry of culture heroines otherwise lost to history.

An English-only edition.

About the Author

Ibn al-Sāʿī (Author) Ibn al-Sāʿī (d. 674/1276) was a historian, law librarian, and prolific author from Baghdad. His considerable scholarly output included treatises on hadith, literary commentaries, histories of the caliphs, and biographical collections, though little has survived. Marina Warner (Foreword by) Marina Warner is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy. Her most recent book, Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights, won the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, as well as the 2013 Sheikh Zayed Book Award. Shawkat M. Toorawa (Translator) Shawkat M. Toorawa is Professor of Arabic literature in the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations at Yale University, where he teaches classical Arabic, the Arabic humanities, and literatures of the world.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781479866793
ISBN-10: 1479866792
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017
Pages: 176
Language: English
Series: Library of Arabic Literature