This course will explore the early Abbasid era (750 to 950) through the biographies of representative figures, including the caliphs al-Rashid, al-Amin, and al-Ma’mun; the jurists Abu Yusuf, al-Shafiʿi, and Ibn Hanbal; the ascetics Bishr al-Hafi and Maʿruf al-Karkhi; the physician Jibril ibn Bakhtishu; the translator Hunayn ibn Ishaq; the poets Abu Nuwas and Abu al-Atahiyah; the language-scholar al-Asmaʿī; and the singers Ibrahim al-Mawsili and Arib al-Ma’muniyyah. We will explore the different discourses—historiographic, religious, and literary—that emerged in this period and look at the ways in which they complemented or criticized one another. We will also look at the image of this period in modern Arabic historiography and the contemporary mass media.
- Language School
- Requirements Fulfilled: