Consorts of the Caliphs: Women and the Court of Baghdad

Author:   Shawkat M. Toorawa ,  Julia Bray ,  Ibn al-Sai ,  Marina Warner
Publisher:   New York University Press
ISBN:  

9781479866793


Pages:   176
Publication Date:   05 September 2017
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
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Consorts of the Caliphs: Women and the Court of Baghdad


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Overview

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 H/1258 AD. 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.

Full Product Details

Author:   Shawkat M. Toorawa ,  Julia Bray ,  Ibn al-Sai ,  Marina Warner
Publisher:   New York University Press
Imprint:   New York University Press
ISBN:  

9781479866793


ISBN 10:   1479866792
Pages:   176
Publication Date:   05 September 2017
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Postgraduate, Research & Scholarly
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In stock   Availability explained
We have confirmation that this item is in stock with the supplier. It will be ordered in for you and dispatched immediately.

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Reviews

A collection of thirty-nine short, biographical entries offering delightful glimpses of moments in women's lives at the Abbasid courts. This edition of Ibn al-Sa'i's work, and its eminently readable translation, will pave the way for much needed studies of Arabic poetry written by women in the Abbasid period. -Reading Religion (AAR) A meticulously edited translation...The rich variety of experiences related here shakes our preconceived notions and can help towards a better understanding, not just of female slaves, but also of women generally in this period and environment. -Journal of Islamic Studies A rare and unusual book providing glimpses into the lives of influential Muslim women who often pulled the strings from behind the scene... Indispensable for the study of medieval Muslim culture and society. -The Muslim News A unique text... Offers the pleasure of reading about the highs and lows of women's often hidden lives at the Abbasid court. -Times Literary Supplement


Yet another wonderful collaborative project of the Library of Arabic Literature... Clear from this volume's pages is that there was great appreciation of the original text and the entire process of editing and translating was a labor of love; the reader-specialist or non-specialist-reaps these fruits by getting to know another great text of Arabic classical literature. -Journal of the American Oriental Society


Author Information

Ibn al-Sa'i (d. 674 H/1276 AD) 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.

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