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Title: Desert Travel as a Form of Boasting: A Study of Dhu al-Rumma's Poetry
Author: Papoutsakis, Georgia-Nepheli
ISNI:       0000 0001 0798 5269
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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The present thesis focuses on desert travel as a theme of self-praise (fabr) in the work of the Umayyad poet Dhu al-Rumma (ca. 696 - ca. 735), the last great representative of the Bedouin poetic tradition. The study of his dfwan, whose major topics are love poetry and boasting about travelling, can lead to a sounder reading of the travel theme -usually described with the vague term ra~rl- in earlier poetry as well. The aim of the thesis is to study the various motifs associated with desert travelling in Dhu al-Rumma, highlighting the dimension of self-praise, and to trace their antecedents in earlier poetry. The thesis' principal argument is that in early Arabic poetry, down to the end of the umayyad times, travelling was a major theme of self-praise. Besides being a proof of physical strength and stamina, it was seen as an overall testing of a man's character and moral integrity. Requisite as it was in a variety of contexts, travelling was viewed as a means to attain noble ambitions and gain fame, to serve one's tribe and to acquire wealth and improve one's fortune, in order to be able to assist and provide for others. The first chapter gives basic information about the poet and the contents of his . drwan. The second chapter expounds the thesis' main argument, touching upon the broad spectrum of ethical issues related to travelling and the variety of contexts in which the theme occurs. The basic thematic axes ofDhu al-Rumma's boasting about his travels, studied in chapters 3, 4 and 5 respectively, are: a) the desert or, more generally, the lands traversed by the poet in his journeys; b) the poet and his companionfs; c) the poet's and the party's camels.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available