ABU’L-ʿABBĀS B. ḤANŪD MARVAZĪ, Sufi, jurist, and traditionist, one of the first poets to write in New Persian. Soyūṭī (d. 911/1505) and, following him, ʿAlāʾ-al-dīn Dede (d. 1007/1598) date his death to 300/912 (Ṣafā, Adabīyāt I, p. 178); while according to ʿAwfī (Lobāb, pp. 21f.) and Maǰmaʿ al-foṣaḥāʾ (I, pp. vii, 131-32), he flourished towards the end of the 2nd/8th-9th century. ʿAwfī, who calls him simply ʿAbbās, quotes a fragment of a poem and comments that it was composed in praise of Caliph Maʾmūn on the occasion of the latter’s arrival at Marv, allegedly in 193/809. In fact, Maʾmūn’s caliphate started in 198/813. The fragment’s style is very similar to that of 5th-6th century poetry; the verses could not have been written by a third century poet. Perhaps ʿAbbās did write poetry in Marv and panegyrize Maʾmūn in a Persian or Arabic poem. His poetry eventually may have been lost, and later a fifth or sixth century poem was attributed to him. Analogous cases are not infrequent in the history of Persian literature.
W. Barthold (BSOAS 2, 1923, p. 837), without elaboration, identified Abu’l-ʿAbbās with “Abu’l-Taqī ʿAbbās b. Tarḵān.” Read, rather, “Abu’l-Yanbaḡī” (for the little data on his life and his surviving couplet). Abu’l-ʿAbbās and Abu’l-Yanbaḡī do show some similarities. They were contemporaries, were called ʿAbbās, belonged to the nobility, and wrote poetry in Arabic and Persian. But one was from Marv, the other from Samarqand; and their other names differ. Identification of the two is thus unlikely, but not impossible. One may argue that the biographers confused them. Thus the panegyric attributed to “ʿAbbās” may have replaced a lost poem actually composed by Abu’l-Yanbaḡī, with the later product being erroneously attributed to Abu’l-ʿAbbās.
Ebn al-Moʿtazz, Ṭabaqāt al-šoʿarāʾ al-moḥdaṯīn, ed. ʿA. Eqbāl, London, 1939, pp. 55-56.
Jalāl-al-dīn Soyūṭī, al-Wasāʾel elā mosāmarat al-awāʾel, ed. Asʿad Ṭals, Baghdad, 1369/1950, p. 125.
M. Qazvīnī, Bīst maqāla, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1332 Š./1953, I, pp. 34-43.
ʿA. Eqbāl, Maǰmūʿa-ye maqālāt-e ʿAbbās Eqbāl Āštīānī, ed. M. Dabīrsīāqī, Tehran, 1350 Š./1971, pp. 15-17, 404-11.
M. T. Bahār, Bahār va adab-e fārsī, ed. M. Golbon, I, Tehran, 1351 Š./1972, pp. 105f.
C. Rempis, “Die ältesten Dichtungen in Neupersisch,” ZDMG 101, 1951, p. 221.
Originally Published: December 15, 1983
Last Updated: July 21, 2011
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Vol. I, Fasc. 3, pp. 248-249