This is borne out in the many other programmatic works of al-Ma'arri, no longer extant but described, for example, by Yaqut al-HamawI in Irshad al-arib; chief among them in the present context is his Jami' al-awzan, which presents the same tour-de-force of meters as al-Luzumiyyat does of rhyme.
This is not to say that Ibn al-Qiftl's unique version of the excavations is a fiction--he did pass it on to Yaqut al-Hamawi as historical fact--but rather that somehow in the centuries of transmission, no doubt involving both oral and written components, the Umayyad excavation account took the form that Ibn al-Qiftl has presented.
(150) In the early thirteenth century, Yaqut al-Hamawi
revisited Sulayman's construction of al-Ramla, but in his account the Christian accountant is transformed into a threatening scribe whose desire to obtain the house beside the church is thwarted, whereupon he suggests to Sulayman that he build al-Ramla in order to destroy the church.
(83.) Yaqut al-Hamawi
, Irshad al-arib ila md'rifat al-adib [Md'jam al-udaba'], ed.
has preserved the longer version, which has a list of al-Wahidi's works compiled by al-Farisi not found in the abridged printed edition.
This text is taken from Yaqut al-Hamawi
, Mu'jam al-udaba', ed.
Ahmad." Yaqut al-Hamawi
, Kitab irshad al-arib ([Mu.sup.[subset]]jam al-[udaba.sup.[contains]]), 7 vols., ed.