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Makamat of Al Hariri of Basra

Abu Mohammed Al-Qasim Ali, known as Al Hariri of Basra was an eleventh-century Arab merchant, grammarian and writer, who continued and developed a literary genre initiated by the Great Hamadhani. The works of Al Hariri are considered among the classics of Arabian literature, representing a formal literary style incorporating a series of stories in rhymed prose, woven round the characters of a narrator and his amusing companion who turns up in many disguises. these stories, or...

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Abu Mohammed Al-Qasim Ali, known as Al Hariri of Basra was an eleventh-century Arab merchant, grammarian and writer, who continued and developed a literary genre initiated by the Great Hamadhani.

The works of Al Hariri are considered among the classics of Arabian literature, representing a formal literary style incorporating a series of stories in rhymed prose, woven round the characters of a narrator and his amusing companion who turns up in many disguises. these stories, or “Rhetorical Anecdotes” form the collection known as the Makamat (“Assemblies”), in this context taken to mean “discourse” or “conversation”. they embody a precise literary form in which the subject matter is subordinate to the style.

This edition contains a comprehensive study of the life and works of Al Hariri, and includes copious annotations essential for the modern reader’s appreciation of the text.