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A Reader of Classical Arabic Literature

Annotated and edited by S.A. Bonebakker and M. Fishbein


A Reader of Classical Arabic Literature is one of a very small group of resources in English for the teaching of intermediate and advanced level classical Arabic. Based on his lecture notes, the late Seeger Bonebakker designed a superb teaching text, which he then asked his UCLA colleague, Michael Fishbein, to help him annotate and augment. The result is a truly valuable reader, one used widely in the United States and Europe, featuring judicious and instructive selections from such works as Ibn al-Qifti's Inbah al-ruwat, al-Tanukhi's al-Faraj ba'd al-shidda, and al-Dhahabi's Siyar a'lam al-nubala', among others.

A Reader of Classical Arabic Literature

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    Paperback | Ebook

    PDFs of table of contents, index, and addenda et corrigenda available here

  • More info

    RAIS vol. 1

    238 pages

    10 x 7 inches

    978-1-937040-03-1 (paperback)

    978-1-948488-90-7 (PDF)

    March 2012


  • Table of Contents

    Preface to the first printing

    Preface to the reprint edition



    Chapter 1 Al-Silafi, from Mu’jam al-Safar, “Makkiyya bt. ‘Umar’“ “Ibn al-Aghlab īlā Ibn Rashīq”

    Chapter 2 Ibn al-Quīṭī, from Inbāh al-ruwāt ‘alā anbāh al-nuḥāt, “Ibn al-Birr al-Ṣiqillī”


    Arabic Biographical Dictionaries


    Chapter 3 ——— “Ṭāhir b, Bābshād”

    Chapter 4 Al-Mu’āfā al Nahrawānī, from K. al-Jalīs al-ṣāliḥ, “Shukr wa-radd ‘alayh”

    Chapter 5 ——— “Ḥilat ‘Irāqī”

    Chapter 6 Al-Dhahabī, from Siyah a’lām al-nubala’, “Al-Mu’āfā”


    Handbooks on the Spelling of Names and Nisbas


    Chapter 7 - Al-Tanūkhī, from al-Faraj ba’d al-shidda, “Rajul min ahl al-jund”

    Chapter 8 - Muḥammad b. Hilāl al-Ṣābī, from al-Hafawat al-nādira, “Yaḥyā akhū al-Saffāḥ”

    Chapter 9 ——— “Bishr b. ‘Alī”

    Chapter 10 ——— “Abu ‘Alī al-Khāqānī”

    Chapter 11 ——— Al-Bakrī, from K. al-Masākil wa-’l-mamālik, “Barshilūna”

    Chapter 12 ——— Al-Iṣfahānī, from K. al-Aghānī, “Buthayna”

    Chapter 13 Ibn Jubayr, from Riḥlat Ibn Jubayr, “Massīna”

    Chapter 14 Three Poems

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