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Title: An edition of Abu 'Ali al-Farisi's "Kitab al-Idah" with critical introduction
Author: Farhoud, Hassan Shazly
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1966
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The present thesis consists of two parts, the first, biographical part, prefacing the second which is a critical edition of the actual text of the Idah. Chapter One of the first part presents the results of the research on Abu 'Ali's life and personality. Due to the extraordinary scarcity of data, the meagre information gleaned from biographical dictionaries which concerns the philologist rather than the man had to be eked out by reference to contemporary annals. His development was traced from his youth in his native Pars over the formative years in Baghdad and his stay at the Hamdanid and Buwayhid Courts to his death as a revered grammarian in Baghdad in 377 A.H. The composite image of his character, reconstructed from historical sources on the basis of relationships with famous contemporary rulers and scholars, shows him as truthful, generous, of controversial morals, but honest and serious to excess in science. He was certainly a Shi'ite, and the suspicion that he was a Mu'taziilite is well founded. On the premiss that an Arabic philologist who attaches more importance to authority than originality cannot be considered in isolation. Chapters Two and Three examine his relationships with other scholars, (a) teachers (b) students and (c) rivals such as al-Sirafi, ibn Khalawaih and al-Rummani, as well as his role and position in the development of Arabic grammar, showing him to have been not a "Baghdadian" or "mixer", but a broad-minded and tolerant Basrite. Chapter Four treats of his works other than the Idah. Chapter Five is devoted to the Idah. It begins with a comparative assessment of its value and the importance attached to it by the contemporaries, including 'Adud al-Dawlah to whom it was dedicated, and proceeds to a detailed discussion of his grammatical method which is based on transmission from his predecessors, especially Sibawaihi, whose role as spiritual father of the work is given prominence. Also discussed are the use of corroborative quotations, their provenance and incidental anonymity, and the long series of commentaries on the Idah until the late seventh century A.H. The thesis ends in an expose of the editorial method applied in collating the "basic copy" with four subsidiary manuscripts.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral