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ʿUnṣurī

(1,275 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, Abu ’l-Ḳāsim Ḥasan Aḥmad, Persian poet at the G̲h̲aznawid court during the early 5th/11th century. The external information about his life is mosdy anecdotal. It is said that he was born at Balk̲h̲, became an orphan at an early age and in his youth earned a living as a merchant. A story, told in some sources, about a robbery during one of his travels was mistakingly associated with him (cf. Storey-de Blois, v/1, 234-5). His career as a poet began under the patronage of the Amīr Abu ’l-Muẓaffar Naṣr (d. 412/1021-2), the military governor ( sipahsālār ) of his brother ¶ Sultan Maḥmūd [ q.v.] in K̲h…

Mad̲j̲nūn Laylā

(5,623 words)

Author(s): Pellat, Ch. | Bruijn, J.T.P. de | Flemming, B. | Haywood, J.A.
, “the Madman of Laylā”, or Mad̲j̲nūn Banī ʿĀmir, the name given to the hero of a romantic love story, the original form of which could date back as far as the second half of the 1st/7th Century. 1. In Arabic literature This imaginary character (acknowledged as such even by some Arab critics; see Ag̲h̲ānī , ed. Beirut, ii, 6, 11) has been furnished by the ruwāt with an ism and with a complete genealogy; Ḳays b. al-Mulawwaḥ b. Muzāḥim b. Ḳays b. ʿUdas b. Rabīʿa b. D̲j̲aʿda b. Kaʿb b. Rābīʿa b. ʿĀmir b. Ṣaʿṣaʿa, but according to the evidence, …

S̲h̲ifāʾī Iṣfahānī

(526 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, Ḥakīm S̲h̲araf al-Dīn Ḥasan, Persian physician and poet of the Ṣafawid period. He was born in 956/1549 (Gulčīn-i Maʿānī) or 966/1558-9 (Ṣafā) at Iṣfahān. His nom-de-plume refers to the medical profession, which was a tradition of his family. He was also a student of speculative mysticism, but he achieved his greatest fame as a poet. His literary work consists of g̲h̲azals and ḳaṣīdas , written respectively in the style of Bābā Fig̲h̲ānī and K̲h̲āḳānī (cf. Rypka, 300), as well as poems in several other forms, including a series of mat̲h̲nawīs . His best known poem is the didactic mat̲h̲nawī …

Luṭf ʿAlī Beg

(1,060 words)

Author(s): Kramers, J.H. | Bruijn, J.T.P. de
b. Āḳā K̲h̲ān , Persian anthologist and poet, who is also known by his penname Ād̲h̲ar which he adopted after having used the names Wālih and Nak̲h̲at previously. He was descended from a prominent Turcoman family belonging to the Begdīlī tribe of Syria (Begdīlī-i S̲h̲āmlū) which had joined the Ḳi̊zi̊lbās̲h̲ movement [ q.v.] in the 9th/15th century. Afterwards, the family settled down in Iṣfahān. Many of his relatives served the later Ṣafawids and Nādir S̲h̲āh as administrators and diplomats. Luṭf ʿAlī Beg was born on Saturday 20 Rabīʿ II 1134/7 F…

K̲h̲amsa

(1,175 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
is in the technical language of Persian and Turkish literature a set of five mat̲h̲nawī poems. The term is used, first of all, to designate the five epic poems of Niẓāmī [ q.v.] of Gand̲j̲a which were composed between ca. 570/1174-5 and 600/1203-4. The set contains one didactic poem Mak̲h̲zan al-asrār , in the metre sarīʿ-i maṭwiyy-i mawḳūf ; three romantic poems: Laylā u Mad̲j̲nūn in the metre hazad̲j̲-i musaddas-i maḳbūḍ-i maḥd̲h̲ūf , K̲h̲usraw u S̲h̲īrīn in the metre hazad̲j̲-i musaddas-i maḥd̲h̲ūf , and Haft Paykar in the metre k̲h̲afīf-i mak̲h̲būn-i maḳsūr ; and the Iskandarnāma

Kisāʾī

(944 words)

Author(s): Kramers, J.H. | Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, Mad̲j̲d al-Dīn Abu ’l-Ḥasan , a Persian poet of the second half of the 4th/10th century. In some later sources his kunya is given as Abū Isḥāḳ, but the form given above can be found already in an early source like the Čahār makāla . The Dumyat al-ḳaṣr by al-Bāk̲h̲arzī contains a reference to the “solitary ascetic” ( al-mud̲j̲tahid al-muḳīm bi-nafsihi ) Abu ’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. Muḥammad al-Kisāʾī of Marw who might very well be identical with this poet (cf. A. Ates, giriş to his edition of Kitāb Tarcumān al-balāġa , 97 f.). The pen name Kisāʾī would, according to ʿAw…

K̲h̲argird

(860 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, or K̲h̲ard̲j̲ird, has been the name of at least two different places in northeastern Persia but is at present only current for one of them. 1. K̲h̲argird in the s̲h̲ahristān of Turbat-i Ḥaydariyya, or, more precisely, the dihistān of Rūd-i miyān K̲h̲wāf, is situated at about 6 km. to the southwest of the latter place. It is now a small settlement, the inhabitants of which live on the growing of cereals and cotton as well as on weaving. Archaeological remains point, however, to a much more prosperous past when K̲h̲argird was one of the main urban centres of the district of K̲h̲wāf [ q.v.]. Many m…

S̲h̲ams-i Ḳays

(970 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, the familiar form of the name of S̲h̲ams al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Ḳays Rāzī, author of the oldest Persian work on poetics, al-Muʿd̲j̲am fī maʿāyīr as̲h̲ʿār al-ʿad̲j̲am , which covers the full range of traditional literary scholarship. Facts about his life are only to be found in his own statements, mostly in the introduction to his sole surviving work ( Muʿd̲j̲am , 2-24). His native town was Rayy, where he must have been born around the beginning of the last quarter of the 12th century. For many years he lived in Transoxania, K̲h̲wārazm and Ḵh̲urāsān. He relates an incident situated in Buk…

Nizārī Ḳuhistānī

(747 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, Ḥakīm Saʿd al-Dīn b. S̲h̲ams al-Dīn b. Muḥammad, Persian poet, born 645/1247-8 in Bīrd̲j̲and [ q.v.], where he died in 720/1320-1. The name Nizārī was not only his nomde-guerre as a poet, but also seems to indicate the loyalty of his family to Nizār [ q.v.], the pretender to the Fāṭimid imāmate in the late 5th/11th century whose claim was supported by most Persian Ismāʿilīs. Reliable facts concerning his life can only be deduced from his own works. According to Borodin, followed by Rypka, he would have been attached to the court of the Kart [ q.v.] Maliks of Herāt, but Bayburdi identified…

Marzbān-Nāma

(1,081 words)

Author(s): Kramers, J.H. | Bruijn, J.T.P. de
(also known in the Arabicised form Marzubān-nāma ), a work in Persian prose containing a variety of short stories used as moral examples and bound together by one major and several minor framework stories. It is essentially extant in two versions written in elegant Persian with many verses and phrases in Arabic. They were made from a lost original in the Ṭabarī dialect independently of each other in the early 13th century. The oldest version, entitled Rawḍat al-ʿuḳūl , was completed in 598/1202 by Muḥammad b. G̲h̲āzī al-Malaṭyawī (or Malaṭī) and was …

S̲h̲emʿī

(777 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, the tak̲h̲alluṣ or pen-name of a Turkish translator and commentator of Persian literary works who flourished in the second half of the 10th/16th century. In his own works and in most of the biographical sources only this name is mentioned. B. Dorn, referring to “two manuscripts” of Ḥād̲j̲d̲j̲ī K̲h̲alīfa, asserted that he was properly called Muṣṭafā Darwīs̲h̲. Even more uncertain is the name S̲h̲emʿ-Allāh Perzennī which Bursali̊ Meḥmed Ṭāhir attributed to him; this was based perhaps on the confusion with another S̲h̲emʿī, a Ṣūfī poet from the town of Prizren [ q.v.], or Perzerīn, who …

Ḳahramān-Nāma

(858 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. De
, or Dāstān-i Ḳahramān , a popular romance in prose, several versions of which are known in both Persian and Turkish. It belongs to a series of prose works which develop themes from the Iranian epic tradition, embellishing them with fabulous touches borrowed from folk literature. Like the Hūs̲h̲ang-nāma , the Ṭahmūrat̲h̲-nāma and the Ḳiṣṣa-i Ḏj̲ams̲h̲īd . the story takes place in the earliest period of the legendary history of Iran, the times of the pis̲h̲dādīyān . The central hero is Kahramān, nicknamed Ḳātil, “the slayer”. His name is in fact a c…

Muṣannifak

(313 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, ʿAlāʾ al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Mad̲j̲d al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Bisṭāmī (or al-Harawī), Persian scholar and theologian, was born in 803/1400-1 at S̲h̲āhrūd near Bisṭām as a descendant of the famous theologian Fak̲h̲r al-Dīn al-Rāzī [ q.v.]. The nickname muṣannifak (“the little writer”) was probably given to him “in allusion to his youthful productivity as a writer” (Storey). He studied at Harāt and continued to live in Eastern Persia until 848/1444 when he travelled to Anatolia. While he was teaching at Ḳonya, his hearing d…

al-Kirmānī

(1,781 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, Ḥamīd al-Dīn Aḥmad b. ʿAbd Allāh , was a prominent dāʿī of the Fāṭimids during the reign of al-Ḥākim bi-amr Allāh (386-411/996-1021) as well as the author of many works on the theory of the Imāmate and on Ismāʿīlī philosophy. The life of al-Kirmānī is known only in its main outlines, which can be traced on the basis of statements contained in his own works. Some other details can be derived from unpublished Ismāʿīlī sources, as has been done notably by Muṣṭafā G̲h̲ālib ( op. cit., 41 f.) who, however, does not specify these sources. His nisba points to his origin fro…

Sanāʾī

(2,348 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, Mad̲j̲dūd b. Ādam al-G̲h̲aznawī, Persian poet. In early sources already the kunya Abu ’l-Mad̲j̲d is sometimes added to his name. As a pen name he used Sanāʾī, only rarely Mad̲j̲dūd or Mad̲j̲dūd Sanaʾī. The former name could have been derived from Sanāʾ al-Milla, one of the laḳabs of the G̲h̲aznawid sultan Masʿūd III, but the poet’s actual relationship to this ruler is unclear, because no panegyrics directly addressed to him by Sanāʾī have been preserved. As a matter of fact, no reliable biographical data outside the p…

S̲h̲iʿr

(25,803 words)

Author(s): al-Muʿtazz, Ibn | Arazi, A. | Moreh, S. | Bruijn, J.T.P. de | Balim, Çiğdem | Et al.
(a.), poetry. 1. In Arabic. (a) The pre-modern period. It is the supreme ornament of Arab culture and its most authentically representative form of discourse. The ideas articulated by poetry and the emotional resonances which it conveys earn it, even in the present day, where numerous new literary forms are in competition with it, the approval of scholars and the populace alike. Despite the phonetic resemblance, s̲h̲iʿr is totally unconnected with the Hebrew s̲h̲īr , the ʿayn is a “hard” consonant which persists in the roots common to the two languages. The term is attested in ancient Arabic (G. Lankester Harding, An index and concordance of pre-Islamic Arabian names and inscriptions, Toronto 1971, 350-1) and very often used in pre-Islamic poetry. I. S̲h̲iʿr and its synonyms. The equivalents here are not simple synonyms; they stress one aspect or another of the poetics of s̲h̲iʿr. (i) It is appropriate to cite in the first instance the terms, the content of which suggests the notion of quality and of major artistic merit; thus

Labībī

(454 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, the pen-name of a Persian poet who lived at the end of the 4th/11th and the beginning of the 5th/12th century. His personal name as well as almost any other particulars of his life are unknown. The Tard̲j̲umān al-balāg̲h̲a has preserved an elegy by Labībī on the death of Farruk̲h̲ī [ q.v.], which means that the former was probably still alive in 429/1037-8. A ḳaṣīda attributed to him by ʿAwfī is addressed to a mamdūḥ by the name of Abu ’l-Muẓaffar, who in that source is identified with a yo…

K̲h̲wāndamīr

(1,622 words)

Author(s): Beveridge, H. | Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, surname of the Persian historian G̲h̲iyāt̲h̲ al-Dīn who was born ca. 880/1475 into a family of high officials and scholars. His father, K̲h̲…

Rind

(809 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
(p.), a word applied in Persian with a contemptuous connotation to “a knave, a rogue, a drunkard” or “a debauchee”; in the terminology of poets and mystics it acquired the positive meaning of “…

Sām

(1,147 words)

Author(s): Bruijn, J.T.P. de
, legendary ruler of Sīstān [ q.v.] and vassal of the Kayānids, the epic kings of Īrān, was, according to al-T̲h̲aʿālibī and Firdawsī, the son of Narīmān, the father of Zāl-Dastān and the grandfather of Rustam [ q.v.]. This pedigree is the outcome of a long development spanning the entire history of the Iranian epic. In the Avesta, Sāma is the name of a clan to which T̲h̲rīta, “the third man who pressed the Haoma”, belonged as well as his sons Urvāk̲h̲s̲h̲aya and Kərəsāspa (Yasna 9. 10). Kərəsāspa (Persian Kars̲h̲āsp or Gars̲h̲āsp)…
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