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Sīmurg̲h̲

(570 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
(p.), nom d’un oiseau mythique. Deux passages de l’ Avesta font allusion à l’«oiseau Saēna-» ( marayō saēnō; Yaišt, 14/41) ou à l’«arbre de Saēna-» ( vanam yam saēnahe; Yašt, 12:17). Ce dernier passage spécifie que cet arbre se tient au milieu du lac Vourukasa, que son nom est «Tous-remèdes» et qu’il porte les semences de toutes les plantes. Le mot saēna- est étymologiquement identique au sanskrit śyēiá-, «aigle, faucon». Mais il ne ressort pas clairement des deux passages avestiques qu’il désigne une espèce déterminée d’oiseau (encore que Saēnaapparaisse ailleurs dans l’ Avesta comme …

Ṣābiʾ

(2,506 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
(a.), ou Ṣābī, pl. Ṣābiʾūn, Ṣābiʾa, Ṣāba, les Sabéens (ne pas confondre avec le peuple portant le même nom en français, ci-dessus s.v. Sabaʾ). Nom appliqué en arabe à au moins trois communautés religieuses entièrement distinctes: (1) Les Ṣābiʾūn qui apparaissent trois fois dans le Ḳurʾān (II, 62; V, 609; XXII, 17) associés aux Chrétiens et aux Juifs. Leur identité, très controversée chez les commentateurs musulmans comme chez les orientalistes modernes, était de toute évidence déjà incertaine peu après l’époque de Muḥammad, et le re…

Sīn et S̲h̲īn

(1,181 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
, les 12e et 13e lettres de l’alphabet arabe. Les deux lettres ont la même forme ( rasm), qui dérive de celle de la lettre araméenne s̲h̲īn, et ne se distinguent que par le diacritisme : le s̲h̲īn a trois points au-dessus, tandis que le sīn est en principe non-ponctué ( muhmal). Toutefois, dans des manuscrits soignés, il peut se distinguer par un chevron au-dessus, ou encore par trois points au-dessous. Dans la forme orientale de l’ abd̲j̲ad [ q.v.], le sīn occupe la position du semkat̲h̲ araméen et, comme lui, possède la valeur numérique 60; le s̲h̲īn a pour sa part la position du s̲h̲īn araméen (…

Wāw

(817 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
, 27e lettre de l’alphabet arabe (ou 26e, si le hāʾ est placé après le wāw), ayant pour valeur numérique 6. Il a deux fonctions principales dans l’orthographe de l’arabe, représentant soit la semi-voyelle w soit la voyelle longue ū. La grammaire arabe traditionnelle réduit ces deux fonctions à une seule en analysant le ū comme un u bref ( ḍamma) plus un wāw. Le wāw sert également (comme le alif et le yāʾ) de «support» au hamza [ q.v.] médian ou final, ce qui reflète la situation, selon l’avis le plus communément admis, dans l’ancien dialecte de La Mecque, où le ʾ semble être devenu un w dans certaine…

Tāʾ et Ṭāʾ

(499 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
, troisième et seizième lettres de l’alphabet arabe, avec les valeurs numériques dans le système d’ abd̲j̲ad correspondant à 400 et 9 respectivement. Dans la prononciation standard moderne, la première représente une occlusive sourde, dentale (ou dento-alvéolaire), légèrement aspirée, la seconde une occlusive sourde, dentale (dento-alvéolaire), non-aspirée vélarisée, c’est-à-dire avec le dos de la langue tendu vers le palais mou. Sībawayh et ses successeurs qualifient le ṭāʾ de mad̲j̲hūr, ce que certains modernes interprètent par «sonore» [voir Ḥurūf al-Hid̲j̲āʾ], mais le…

Ṣābir b. Iamāʿīl al-Tirmid̲h̲ī (s̲h̲ihāb al-dīn), connu habituellement sous le nom d’adĪb Ṣābir

(394 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
, poète persan de la première moitié du VIe/XIIe siècle. Son dīwān, qui a été publié deux fois (éd. ʿAlī Ḳawira, Téhéran 1331 S̲h̲./1952-3, et éd. M. ʿA. Nāṣiḥ, Téhéran 1343, S̲h̲./1964) consiste presque entièrement en panégyriques à la louange du sultan ¶ sald̲j̲ūk Sand̲j̲ar (511-52/1118-57), du Ḵh̲wārazms̲h̲āh Atsi̊z (521-68/1127-72) et de divers personnages dans leurs cours respectives, notamment le raʾīs-i Ḵh̲urāsān pour le compte de Sand̲j̲ar, Mad̲j̲d al-dīn ʿAlī b. Ḏj̲aʿfar al-Mūsawī, principal mécène du poète. La rivalité entre ses deux maîtres pri…

Wīs u Rāmīn

(511 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
, long poème narratif en persan de Fak̲h̲r al-dīn Asʿad Gurgānī [ q.v.], écrit peu après 441 /1050 et dédié à Abū Naṣr b. Manṣūr, gouverneur d’Iṣfahān au nom des Sald̲j̲ūḳides. Le conte, qui se passe dans un passé lointain non précisé, traite de l’histoire d’amour entre Wīs, femme du Roi Mōbad de Merv, et Rāmīn, le jeune frère de son mari. Il raconte comment les deux amants se rencontrent, comment ils sont découverts par la suite, et comment Rāmīn se rebelle contre son frère, s’emparant finalement du trône …

Rūdakī

(1,257 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(properly Rōd̲h̲akī, arabicised as al-Rūd̲h̲akī) the leading Persian poet during the first half of the 4th/10th century and author of the earliest substantial surviving fragments of Persian verse. Al-Samʿānī gives his name as Abū ʿAbd Allāh D̲j̲aʿfar b. Muḥammad b. Ḥakīm b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Ādam al-Rūd̲h̲akī al-S̲h̲āʿir al-Samarḳandī, says that he was born in Rōd̲h̲ak, a suburb of Samarḳand, and that he also died there in 329/940-1; there are, however, reasons to think that this date might be a…

Ras̲h̲īd al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. ʿAbd D̲j̲alīl al-ʿUmarī, known as Waṭwāṭ

(901 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, secretary and prolific author in Arabic and Persian. A reputed descendant of the caliph ʿUmar, he was born either in Balk̲h̲ or Buk̲h̲ārā, but spent most of his life in Gurgānd̲j̲, the capital of K̲h̲ w ārazm. He died, according to Dawlats̲h̲āh, in 578/1182-3, in his 97th year, which would put his birth in 481/1088-9; Yāḳūt (at least in the published text) has him die 5 years earlier. Ras̲h̲īd al-Dīn was chief secretary ( ṣāḥib dīwān al-ins̲h̲āʾ ) under the K̲h̲wārazms̲h̲āh Atsi̊z (521-51/1127-56) and his successor Īl-Arslān (d. 568/1172). His loyalty to Atsi̊z earned him …

S̲h̲arīf

(439 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, the pen-name of several Persian poets of various periods, among them the author of the Saʿādat-nāma , a collection of moral precepts in some 300 verses, wrongly ascribed, in mss. and in the printed editions, to the famous 5th/11th-century Ismāʿīlī poet Nāṣir-i K̲h̲usraw [ q.v.]. This poem was first published by E. Fagnan, together with a (rather inadequate) French translation, from a Paris manuscript in ZDMG, xxxiv (1880), 643-74, reprinted (from Fagnan, with some emendations) in the appendix to the edition of Nāṣir’s Safar-nāma published in Berlin, Kavi…

S̲h̲ahristan

(501 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(p.) “province”, “provincial capital”, “[large] town”. The word continues Middle Persian s̲h̲ahrestān , which has the same meanings, though it is certainly possible that it goes back even further to an unattested Old Persian * xšaça-stāna- . In any case, it is derived from s̲h̲ahr [ q.v.]—or its ancestor—and -stāna “place” (in compounds); a s̲h̲ahristān is thus literally a “place of kingship”, i.e. the seat of the local representative of royal power (the provincial capital) and then also the region over which that representati…

Tansar

(425 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, Kitāb , “the Letter of Tansar”, a political treatise from Sāsānid Persia, known in the Islamic world through an Arabic translation, probably by Ibn al-Muḳaffaʿ [ q.v.], from a lost original in Pahlavi. It was ostensibly written by “Tansar” (a misreading, in Pahlavi script, for Tusar, perhaps an abbreviation of * Tus-artēs̲h̲tār , Avestan Tusa-raθaēštar- “T. the warrior”), the chief priest of the first Sāsānid king, Ardas̲h̲īr I ( ca. 224-40), to Gus̲h̲tāsp, the king of Ṭabaristān, encouraging him to submit to Ardas̲h̲īr and, more generally, justifying the Sāsāni…

Ṣābir b. Ismāʿīl al-Tirmid̲h̲ī, S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn, usually known as Adīb Ṣābir

(392 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
a Persian poet of the first half of the 6th/12th century. His dīwān , which has been published twice (ed. ʿAlī Ḳawīm, Tehran 1331 S̲h̲ ./1952-3, and ed. M.ʿA. Nāṣiḥ, Tehran 1343 S̲h̲./1964), consists almost entirely of panegyrics praising the Sald̲j̲ūḳ sultan Sand̲j̲ar (511-52/1118-57), the Ḵh̲wārazms̲h̲āh Atsi̊z (521-68/1127-72) and various persons at their respective courts, in particular Sand̲j̲ar’s raʾīs-i Ḵh̲urāsān , Mad̲j̲d al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Ḏj̲aʿfar al-Musawī, the poet’s principal patron. The rivalry between his two royal master…

S̲h̲ufurwa

(414 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
or S̲h̲awarwa , banū , conventional readings for the name of a family of Ḥanafī clerics and men of letters in Iṣfahān during the 6th/12th century. The name has not been explained and should perhaps be read rather as (Persian) S̲h̲aβ-rō “black-face”. Although several members of the family are listed in biographical works, the only one about whom we have precise knowledge is S̲h̲araf al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Muʾmin b. Hibat Allāh b. Muḥammad b. Hibat Allāh b. Ḥamza al-maʿrūf bi -S̲h̲awarwa. a religious scholar who spent time in Damascus and…

Wāw

(792 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, the 27th letter of the Arabic alphabet (or the 26th, if hāʾ is placed after wāw ), with the numerical value 6. It has two principal functions in Arabic orthography, standing either for the semivowel w or for the long vowel ū . Traditional Arabic grammar reduces these two functions to one by analysing ū as short u ( ḍamma ) plus wāw. Wāw also serves (like alif and yāʾ ) as a “support” for medial or final hamza [ q.v.], reflecting, according to the most commonly held view, the situation in the ancient dialect of Mecca, where ʾ appears to have shifted to w in certain positions. In the words ulāʾika and ulū , w…

Taḳī al-Dīn

(413 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
Muḥammad b. S̲h̲araf al-Dīn ʿAlī al-Ḥusaynī al-Kās̲h̲ānī, commonly called Taḳī Kās̲h̲ī , Persian scholar of the 10th-11th/16th-17th centuries. He was a pupil of the poet Muḥtas̲h̲am Kās̲h̲ī, whose dīwān he edited. His fame rests on his monumental compendium of Persian poetry K̲h̲ulāṣat al-as̲h̲ʿār wa-zubdat al-afkār , of which the first version was completed in 993/1585 and the enlarged second version in 1016/1607-8. It contains notices of well over 600 poets from the 5th/11th century up to the author’s own contempora…

Sīmurg̲h̲

(597 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(p.), the name of a mythical bird. There are two passages in the Avesta referring to the “bird Saēna-” ( mərə γ ō saēnō ; Yašt 14: 41) or the “tree of Saēna-” ( vanam yam saēnahe ; Yašt 12: 17); the latter specifies that this tree stands in the middle of Lake Vourukaša, that its name is “all-remedies” and that it bears the seeds of all plants. The word saēna is etymologically identical with Sanskrit śyēná- , “eagle, falcon”, but it is not clear from the two Avestan passages whether it designates a species of bird (though the fact that Saēna- is used…

S̲h̲ahr

(177 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(p.) “town”. The word goes back to Old Persian xšaça- (cf. Avestan xšaθra- , Sanskrit kṣatrá- ; all from the same root as New Persian s̲h̲āh [ q.v.]), “kingship, royal power”, thence “kingdom”. The latter meaning is still the usual one for Middle Persian s̲h̲ahr and it survives in the S̲h̲āh-nāma , especially in set phrases such as s̲h̲ahr-i Ērān (used metri causa instead of Ērān-s̲h̲ahr “kingdom of the Aryans”, the official name of the Sāsānid empire), s̲h̲ahr-i Tūrān , s̲h̲ahr-i Yaman , etc. But already in the earliest New Persian texts, the usual mean…

S̲h̲ahīd

(596 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(or perhaps better, S̲h̲uhayd) b. al-Ḥusayn al-Balk̲h̲ī al-Warrāḳ al-Mutakallim, Abu ’l-Ḥasan, a philosopher and a poet in Persian and Arabic, died (according to Yāḳūt, followed by al-Ṣafadī) in 315/927. He was a contemporary and close friend of the polymath Abū Zayd al-Balk̲h̲ī and of the Muʿtazilī theologian Abu ’l-Ḳāsim al-Balk̲h̲ī (see al-balk̲h̲ī ; the three Balk̲h̲īs were the subject of a joint biography, used by Yāḳūt) and a bitter rival of the famous philosopher Abū Bakr al-Rāzī [ q.v.]; the latter wrote a polemic against S̲h̲ahīd on the subject of pleasure ( al-lad̲h̲d̲h̲a

Sayfī ʿArūḍī Buk̲h̲ārī

(207 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, a Persian prosodist and minor poet at the Tīmūrid court in Harāt during the second half of the 9th/15th century. He is remembered for his text-book of Persian prosody ʿArūḍ-i Sayfī , which he completed in 896/1491; this has been published several times in India, notably with an English translation and extensive commentary in H. Blochmann’s The prosody of the Persians according to Saifi , Jami , and other writers, Calcutta 1872, a work which played an important role in making Persian poetical theory accessible to European students. But now that older and more det…
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