1. In the Arab world.
A. Pre-Islamic and Umayyad periods.
Among those endowed with knowledge and with power in ancient Arabia stands the figure of the s̲h̲āʿir , whose role is often confused with that of the ʿarrāf ( s̲h̲aʿara and ʿarafa having the same semantic value: cf. I. Goldziher, Abhandlungen , i, 3 ff.) and of the kāhin [q.v.]. They were credited with the same source of inspiration, the d̲j̲inns (Goldziher, Die Ǧinnen der Dichter , in ZDMG, xlv , 685 ff.). However, the s̲h̲āʿir was, originally, the repository of magical rather than divinatory knowledge; …