Book of Poetry and Poets


Abdullah ibn Muslim ibn Qutaibah (828–85 AD, 213–76) was an Arab literary historian and critic and an Islamic jurist and scholar. He was born in Kufa, in present-day Iraq, and spent much of his life in Baghdad, where he died. His Al-shiir wal shuaraa (Book of poetry and poets) is considered a major classic of Arabic literature and a pioneering work of literary criticism. It is a biographical encyclopedia of more than 200 leading Arab poets, spanning the pre-Islamic period to the early Abbasid era (the sixth century through the ninth century AD). The book covers the poets of these times, their tribal origins, their life histories, their tabaqat (artistic class and prowess), and what their critics said about them. It also includes sections that classify poetry by quality and genre.

Last updated: August 12, 2016