Abu Al-Faraj Al-Isfahani

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Abu Al-Faraj Al-Isfahani


(real name Ali ibn Husein ibn-Muhammad ibn-Ahmed al-Kurashi). Born 897 in Isfahan; died Nov. 21, 967. Arab poet and scholar; descendant of the Marwanid branch of the Umayyads.

Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani had a wide range of scholarly interests and devoted considerable time to the study of ancient history, genealogy, philology, and poetry. He spent almost 50 years on his major work, The Book of Songs (Kitab al-agani, 21 volumes in the 1904 Cairo edition). An enormous anthology of poetry from the seventh through the tenth century in both Arabic and Arabic dialects, it contains biographical information on the poets and a variety of historical and cultural material. He compiled divans by the poets Abu Tammam, al-Buthturi, and Abu Nuwas. His historical works have not survived.


Brockelmann, C. Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur, vol. 1. Weimar, 1898.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In this book, author Brian McNair presents readers with a translation of The Book of Songs by Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani, a tenth century author who collected anecdotes from Baghdad, Damascus, Medina, and Mecca.

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