Dodge, p. Some scholars regard him as a Persian Gray, p. Both father and son were men of considerable distinction and social standing. Tajaddod, index. Tajaddod, p.
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Dodge, p. Some scholars regard him as a Persian Gray, p. Both father and son were men of considerable distinction and social standing. Tajaddod, index. Tajaddod, p. The Fehrest , intended to be a catalogue including all books, lecture notebooks, papers, etc. Not only is it a valuable reference source for the culture of medieval Islam and the literary men who represented it, but it also gives precious information about the heritage of antiquity available to the Muslims.
The Fehrest contains miscellaneous pieces of rare information. In many cases, our only information on certain early authors and their works comes from this book. Tajaddod, pp. Each discourse begins with a general introductory survey, as on the early stages of Arabic grammar ibid. Generally, a short biographical notice on the authors is followed by a list of their works.
Occasionally a list is dedicated to publications on a particular theme, as for example the literature on Koranic exegesis ibid.
Curiously he left out Mazdaism altogether, although his discussion of Old Iranian writings shows that he was familiar with Mazdakite sources. The last four discourses focus on the Arabic translations from Greek, Persian, Syriac and other languages, together with books composed in Arabic on the model of these translations. These sections are detailed enough to be considered a veritable history of literature.
Some information about the sources of the Fehrest may be extracted from the book itself. Editions of the Fehrest: 1 G. Roediger and A. Houtsma, ; Beirut, Tajaddod, ed. Translations: R. Tajaddod, tr. Dodge, tr. Studies and references. Baumstark, Syrisch-arabische Biographien des Aristoteles , Leipzig, ; repr. Brockelmann, GAL I, p. Browne, Lit.
Persia 1, pp. Jahrhundert n. Nariman, Bombay, Seiwert, eds. Was the author of the Fehrest in Constantinople in A. Mehmke and M. Cantor, Leipzig, Ritter and J. The same chapter contains descriptions of Manichaean p. A few pages later p. Several other books of similar nature are named.
Then pp. The account in the Fehrest is the most extensive, varied, and reliable non-Manichean description of Mani and his teachings, and it is of the highest value for research on Manicheism even after the discovery of numerous Manichean original sources.
This reduction in the number of Manicheans in the capital of Islam almost to the point of disappearance enabled his account of them to become a work of scientific-historical dimensions. It was easier for the author to report objectively, unpolemically, and to the best of his knowledge on a foreign, often persecuted, religion which had almost disappeared.
A detailed account of the contents has also been given by E. Browne Lit. Persia I, pp. An unfortunate consequence of the dwindling presence of the Manicheans in Baghdad was the decreasing knowledge of their teachings.
Dodge, pp. Sundermann, , p. This fits in with F. Could the author of the Fehrest have directly referred to these texts as sources for his presentation?
On the other hand, one can prove that he followed at least one Arabic source extensively. It is unlikely that he used additional Modern and Middle Persian and Aramaic texts.
Widengren, pp. The sources of other sections of the Fehrest cannot be identified with certainty. References to sources in Iranian languages. Hans Jacob Polotsky had reported Walter B. In other cases it is possible to compare terms of the Fehrest with their Iranian correspondents.
But the possibility cannot be excluded that they are translations from the Aramaic. Sims-Williams, oral communication. Colpe, , p. From there, he was acquainted with the Manichean script and cf. Structure of the Manichean chapter. The author seems to have used two sometimes contrary principles in the structuring of his description of Mani and his teachings: 1 the desire to present the material logically and coherently, 2 the preservation of traditional pieces.
The second principle resulted in the description of the worlds of light and darkness being given tr. Dodge on p. But, in fact, the two are to be separated thus correctly tr. The second version is the usual one. The first appears only here in the Manichean tradition. Hagiographic traditions. This is due less to the difficulty of correctly preserving personal names and historical events than to the fact that there was no canonical account of the life of the prophet. Instead its parts were constantly re-arranged, enlarged and corrupted by the following generations.
The Fehrest is the only account to mention that the revelation of his spiritual twin occurred with the completion of his 12th year cf. Sundermann, , pp. The proposal of Maricq, pp. Sundermann, Elchasaios Sundermann, , pp. Puech, pp. Presentation of the teachings. Most Muslim scholars and poets who dealt with Manicheism in their writings were more interested in the person Mani than in his teachings, especially if they were praising him as a skilled painter.
In the Fehrest it is the other way round. The high reliability of the account can be demonstrated in several ways. Zieme in Sundermann, , p.
Polotsky and Schmidt, p. Of basic value for modern research because of their detail and and singularity are still the story of Adam, Eve, and their children tr. Of unique value, at least as long as the Coptic corpus remains unpublished, is the information on the letters of Mani and his students tr.
Certain details of the cosmogony are also not to be found in such detail in any other textual source, e. This is a peculiarity shared with original Manichean sources cf. The emphasis that the devil, contrary to the chaotic world of darkness, is not eternal like the Father of the World of Light tr.
Manicheism under Islam. On the statements made about Manicheism during the Islamic period see the essay by G. Vajda in the bibliography. Text editions and translations. Henning and G. Henrichs and L. II Teil. Akademie der Wissenschaften , Phil. Polotsky and C. Skalmowski and A.
al-Fihrist (Dirasat fi al-kutub wa-al-malumat)
His famous work was al-Fihrist. He had a good familiarity with different sciences and was an expert in some fields such as Arabic literature, intellectual sciences, especially philosophy and history of philosophy. The oldest source about the life of Ibn al-Nadim is the brief account of Ibn Shahrashub d. After him, Yaqut al-Hamawi d.
Much known of al-Nadim is deduced from his epithets. Probably born in Baghdad ca. He was Arab perhaps of Persian origin. Al-Maqrizi's phrase 'but no one quoted him', would imply al-Nadim himself did not teach. His father, a bookdealer and owner of a prosperous bookstore, commissioned al-Nadim to buy manuscripts from dealers. Al-Nadim, with the other calligrapher scribes employed, would then copy these for the customers. The bookshop, customarily on an upper floor, would have been a popular hangout for intellectuals.
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