Literary Essays by Classical Arab Authors


Jesuit scholar Louis Cheikho was born in Mardin, Turkey, and educated at the Jesuit school in Ghazīr, Lebanon. He remained associated with the seminary and its successor institution in Beirut, Université Saint-Joseph, throughout his life. Cheikho studied in Europe and eventually gained a world-wide reputation as a Semitist and authority on Eastern Christianity. Al-Machriq, the journal he founded in 1898, is a principal resource for scholars in these fields. It is supplemented by Melanges de l’Université Saint-Joseph and Proche-Orient Chrétien from the same publishers. The work presented here, ‘Ilm al-Adab (Literary essays by classical Arab authors), is the second of two volumes containing commentaries of leading authorities on rhetoric and public discourse, such as Averroes, Avicenna, and Ibn Khaldūn. The second half of the work is devoted to poetics. Cheikho opens the subject by discussing comments by Averroes on Aristotle. From there he covers the various goals of the poet, such as praise, persuasion, apology, and ridicule, giving examples of each. Despite his stature as a scholar, Cheikho has been criticized for some aspects of his work, which is seen by some as marred by parochialism and bias. ‘Ilm al-Adab is carefully printed with complete vowel pointing, footnotes, and indexing.

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Subject Date

Publication Information

Université Saint-Joseph, Beirut


Title in Original Language

علم الادب مقالات لمشاهير العرب

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Physical Description

1 book, volume 2 ; 20 centimeters


  1. ‘Abd al-Muhsin Al-‘Askar, “Min A’da’ al-Islam al-Haqidin: Luis Shaykhu al-Yasu’I,” (A Spiteful Foe of Islam: the Jesuit Louis Cheikho),
  2. Georg Graf. Geschichte der Christlichen Arabischen Literatur (Vatican City: Vatican Apostolic Library, 1951).

Last updated: July 21, 2014