BADĪʿ (1)

rhetorical embellishment. During the early Islamic period the word developed into a technical term through its use in discussions about Arabic poetry and ornate prose.


BADĪʿ, rhetorical embellishment. The Arabic word badīʿ refers in general to the concept of novelty. In the Koran the Creator is named badīʿ al-samawāt wa’l-arż (2:117; 6:101), which implies that the act of creation was without precedent and not dependent on any model. As an adjective with a passive meaning, the word may be rendered in English by “new, novel, unusual,” or synonyms indicating that the thing thus qualified makes a startling impression on account of its novelty. During the early Islamic period it developed into a technical term through its use in discussions about Arabic poetry and ornate prose. According to Jāḥeẓ (d. 255/868-69), the transmitters of Arabic poems (rowāt) applied it to figurative expressions like sāʿed al-dahr, “the forearm of fate” (al-Bayān wa’l-tabyīn, Cairo, 1948, IV, pp. 55-56). The term al-badīʿ became especially associated with the style of the moḥdaṯūn, the poets of the early ʿAbbasid period. One of them, Moslem b. Walīd (d. 181/803), is said to have introduced its technical use. Ebn al-Moʿtazz (d. 296/908), another prominent representative of this school of poetry, gave it a permanent place in the terminology of Arabic literary theory. He adopted it in his Ketāb al-badīʿ (ed. I. Kratchkovsky, London, 1935) as a covering term for a set of rhetorical figures, considered to be characteristic of the poetry of the moḥdaṯūn. From this time onwards, badīʿ became established as a collective noun denoting rhetorical embellishment. The figures of speech are known under several other names used plurally, such as badāyeʿ, ṣanāyeʿ or ṣenāʿāt (artifices), and maḥāsen (beauties). Since the 7th/13th century the ʿelm al-badīʿ was recognized as a branch of the science of rhetoric (ʿelm al-balāḡa). The use of rhetorical devices as an embellishment of speech was, in the words of Ḵaṭīb Demašq Qazvīnī, permissible as long as it was appropriate and not harmful to the clarity of expression (baʿd reʿāyat taṭbīqeh ʿalā moqtażāʾ al-ḥāl wa wożūḥ al-dalāla; see Īżāḥ, ed. Būlāq, 1317-19/1899-1901, IV, p. 283). Although badīʿ was, in the view of Jāḥeẓ, exclusively a characteristic of Arabic, the concept was in the course of time also applied to other Muslim literatures, in particular those of the Persians and the Turks.

Ebn al-Moʿtazz wrote his treatise on the figures of speech with the aim of demonstrating that the startling features of the style adopted by the moḥdaṯūn were not as novel as they appeared to conservative critics, but could be found already in the earliest works of Arabic literature. Most of his examples were drawn from the Koran, the ḥadīṯ nabawī (sayings of the prophets), and other early prose as well as from the ancient poetry of the Arabs. He criticized, on the other hand, the excessive use of rhetorical figures, for which the poetry of Abū Tammām (d. ca. 231/845-46) had become notorious in his days. Under the heading of badīʿ, Ebn al-Moʿtazz discussed five figures: esteʿāra (metaphor), tajnīs (paronomasia), moṭābaqa (antithesis), radd al-aʿjāz ʿalā mā taqaddamahā (the repetition of words in different places), and al-maḏhab al-kalāmī (the use of argumentation as a rhetorical device). To this he added twelve other figures which he called maḥāsen al-kalām wa’l-šeʿr. The reason of this terminological differentiation is not known. It was not taken over by later writers. The importance of the Ketāb-al-badīʿ to the history of Arabic rhetoric lies in the fact that for the first time the various terms current in discussions of style were united into a single framework. This provided a model to later textbooks, which very much increased the number of the rhetorical figures dealt with.

The method of defining figures and demonstrating their use by means of a collection of examples, which thus became predominant in Arabic literary theory, could serve various purposes. In the Ketāb naqd al-šeʿr (ed. S. A. Bonebakker, Leiden, 1956), written in the early 4th/10th century, Qodāma b. Jaʿfar tried to establish a systematic approach to the criticism of poetry. Without mentioning the term badīʿ, he based his argumentation largely on discussions about rhetorical figures and introduced several new terms. His influence on later writers about rhetorical subjects equals the impact made by Ebn al-Moʿtazz.

Another application was concerned with the study of the Koran. Already Ebn Qotayba (d. 276/889) had shown the importance of rhetoric to the understanding of the Koranic text in his Ketāb taʾwīl moškel al-Qorʾān (ed. A. Ṣaqr, Cairo, 1954). The doctrine of the inimitability of the Holy Book (eʿjāz) was not only founded on its contents but also on the qualities of its style. The study of the latter was pursued by many writers. One of them was Bāqellānī (d. 403/1013) whose work has been examined by G. E. von Grunebaum (A Tenth-Century Document of Arab Literary Theory and Criticism, Chicago, 1950).

The possibility that the rhetorical theory of the Arabs was derived from, or at least influenced by, the corresponding tradition of the antique world has often been discussed. The two works by Aristotle which deal with the subject, the Rhetoric and the Poetics, were known to medieval Muslim civilization, but they appear not to have been widely read outside the limited circle of the philosophers. They remained beyond the sphere of interest of the people who wrote on badīʿ. The Hispano-Arab Qarṭājannī (d. 684/1285) made an attempt to harmonize the rhetoric of the Arabs with Greek theory, but this was an isolated instance (cf. W. Heinrichs, Arabische Dichtung und griechische Poetik, Beirut, 1969).

It cannot be denied, however, that there are many similarities between the Arabic figures of speech and those which have been current in the West as part of the classical legacy. A common background might be found in the educational system of late antiquity. Rhetoric belonged to the artes liberales taught in the Hellenistic schools which existed in the Middle East before the Islamic period. It is possible therefore that the development of Arabic rhetoric was influenced along this way, but it is difficult to find confirmation of this in the written sources (see W. Heinrichs, “Literary Theory,” pp. 32f., with further references).

The study of literary art, pursued assiduously by the Arab philologists, was extended to several other subjects besides the figures of speech. The full range of its interests about the 5th/11th century is shown in encyclopedic works such as Ketāb al-ṣenāʿatayn by Abū Helāl ʿAskarī (d. after 400/1009-10) and Ketāb al-ʿomda by Ebn Rašīq (d. 456/1063-64 or 463/1070-71); see also the anthology Arabic Poetics in the Golden Age by V. Cantarino (Leiden, 1975). The most original contributions were made by ʿAbd-al-Qāher Jorjānī (d. 471/1078). He wrote two works which changed the course of literary theory, although they did not themselves circulate very widely. In Dalāʾel al-eʿjāz, Jorjānī enlarged the discussion concerning the unique style of the Koran to an analysis of the rhetorical values inherent in the syntax of Arabic (cf. the digest of its contents by M. Weisweiler, “ʿAbdalqāhir al-Curcānī’s Werk über die Unnachahmlichkeit des Korans und seine syntaktisch-stylistischen Lehren,” Oriens 11, 1958, pp. 77-121). His Asrār al-balāḡa (ed. H. Ritter, Istanbul, 1954; tr. idem, Die Geheimnisse der Wortkunst, Wiesbaden, 1959) contains an extremely subtle, though not very systematic, study of the use of imagery. Jorjānī treats separately simile (tašbīh), metaphor (esteʿāra), analogy (tamṯīl), and other kinds of tropes which until that time had been included in the lists of badīʿ figures. The new ideas put forward by Jorjānī were cast into a more scholastic form by later writers and so provided the substance of the rhetorical doctrine which gained authority in Muslim education. The most important chain of transmission ran through the compendium Meftāḥ al-ʿolūm by Sakkākī (d. 626/1229) and the various digests, commentaries and marginal notes based on the Meftāḥ. To these texts belong the Talḵīṣ al-Meftāḥ, and the more extensive Īżāḥ fi’l-maʿānī wa’l-bayān by Ḵaṭīb Demašq Qazvīnī (d. 739/1338), and the Moṭawwal and Moḵtaṣar by Saʿd-al-Dīn Taftazānī (d. ca. 791/1389).

The science of rhetoric consisted in this tradition of three disciplines. The ʿelm al-maʿānī continued the line of research which Jorjānī had begun in his book on eʿjāz, and studied the semantic aspects of syntax. The second discipline, the ʿelm al-bayān, was concerned with the study of trope (majāz) and its subdivisions. The remaining figures of speech were left to the ʿelm al-badīʿ, where the figures based on phonetic features (badīʿ lafẓī) were further distinguished from those based on meaning (badīʿ maʿnawī). For educational purposes the exposition of rhetorical figures often was given the form of a qaṣīdabadīʿīya. A well-known poem of this kind was composed by Ṣafī-al-Dīn Ḥellī (d. 749/1349). To Western readers, the contents of classical Arabic badīʿ became accessible through A. F. Mehren’s Die Rhetorik der Araber, Copenhagen and Vienna, 1853.

The first attempts to develop a literary theory applicable to Persian texts date from the beginning of the 5th/11th century. During the early Ghaznavid period a few treatises on the prosody of Persian poems are known to have been written, though none of them have survived. An adaptation of the Arabic theory of badīʿ is not on record until the later part of that century. If earlier poets make mention of rhetorical terms occasionally, they probably derived them from Arabic textbooks. No other were available yet to Kayqāvūs b. Eskandar who in his Andarz-nāma (written in 475/1082-83, q.v.) gave a list of “artifices as they are employed by the poets” and especially recommended the use of metaphor in panegyrics (ed. Ḡ.-Ḥ. Yūsofī, Tehran, 1345 Š./1967, pp. 189f.).

Moḥammad b. ʿOmar Rādūyānī, writing between 481/1088 and 507/1114, claimed to be the first who took up the subject of Persian rhetoric. He did not, however, create an entirely new branch of literary scholarship. His book, the Tarjomān al-balāḡa (ed. with a facsimile of the unique manuscript by A. Ateş, Istanbul, 1949) was modeled on an Arabic work of the early 5th/11th century: Ketāb al-maḥāsen fi’l-naẓm wa’l-naṯr by Abu’l-Ḥasan Naṣr Marḡīnānī. Both writers, about whose lives very little is known, must have lived in Transoxania. Their books are simple textbooks on badīʿ, but Rādūyānī made considerable additions to the work of his predecessor. He not only supplied more complete definitions; the number of terms dealt with is also more than doubled (cf. Ateş, op. cit., s.v. giriş, pp. 39ff.). The examples are all drawn from Persian poetry, although he addresses himself in his commentary both to the writer of official prose (dabīr) and to the poet. His favorite model of good style is the poetry of ʿOnṣorī (d. 431/1039-40), the poet laureate of the Ghaznavid court. The technical terms retained their Arabic forms, as they did throughout the history of Persian rhetorical theory. Rādūyānī made, however, an effort to provide Persian equivalents in his definitions.

The Tarjomān al-balāḡa was regarded as lost until the discovery of a manuscript in a Turkish library in 1948. It had in the course of time been falsely attributed to the poet Farroḵī. In spite of the fact that the work must have fallen into oblivion already quite soon, it remained accessible to later generations in a completely recast form made by Amīr Rašīd-al-Dīn Moḥammad ʿOmarī, better known as Rašīd(-e) Vaṭvāṭ (d. 578/1182-83), the Ḥadāʾeq al-seḥr fī daqāʾeq al-šeʿr (ed. ʿA. Eqbāl, Tehran, 1308 Š./1929-30). This work became the standard textbook on badīʿ as far as the Persian tradition was concerned. The most striking difference with the Tarjomān al-balāḡa is the introduction by Rašīd Vaṭvāṭ of examples from Arabic prose and poetry, which always precede the Persian quotations. The Ḥadāʾeq al-seḥr participates on account of this also in the Arabic study of rhetoric. Many of the Persian lines quoted by Rādūyānī, which were taken from Samanid and early Ghaznavid poetry, were replaced by specimens of the work of more recent poets. The list of figures treated by Rašīd Vaṭvāṭ does not differ very much from that of his predecessor, but the definitions of the terms are often more adequate in the revised text.

The success of the Ḥadāʾeq al-seḥr inspired many writers to produce books of the same kind. They usually restricted themselves to a discussion of Persian materials. The most prominent among them are: Šaraf al-Dīn Ḥasan Rāmī (fl. second half of the 8th/14th century), Ḥadāʾeq al-ḥaqāʾeq; ʿAlī b. Moḥammad Tāj Ḥalāwī (fl. 8th/14th century), Daqāʾeq al-šeʿr (ed. Sayyed Moḥammad-Kāẓem Emām, Tehran, 1341 Š./1962); Mīr Sayyed Borhān-al-Dīn ʿAṭāʾ-Allāh (d. 919/1513-14), Badāʾeʿ al-ṣanāʾeʿ and Takmīl al-ṣenāʿa. A commentary on the Ḥadāʾeq al-seḥr was compiled in 1297/1879-80 by Mīrzā Abu’l-Qāsem Farhang Šīrāzī (see further Eqbāl’s introd. to Ḥadāʾeq al-seḥr, pp. sh ff.).

The use of the qaṣīda for presentations of figures of speech was also popular in the Persian tradition from an early date onwards. Among the first specimens known to us is the poem entitled Badāʾeʿ al-asḥār fī ṣanāʾeʿ al-ašʿār by Faḵr-al-Dīn Qewāmī Moṭarrezī of Ganja (fl. end of the 6th/12th century). It demonstrates most of the currently used figures. E. G. Browne provided a rhetorical commentary to this qaṣīda-ye maṣnūʿa, including a comparison with an English textbook of the sixteenth century, in Lit. Hist. Persia II, pp. 46-76. Similar poems were made by Badr Jājarmī (d. 687/1288), Salmān Sāvajī (d. 778/1376-77), Ahlī Šīrāzī (d. 942/1535-36), and many others (cf. Eqbāl, op. cit.).

The most distinguished work in the history of Persian literary theory is undoubtedly al-Moʿjam fī maʿāyīr ašʿār al-ʿajam (ed. M. Qazvīnī, London, 1909, M.-T. Modarres Rażawī, Tehran, 1314 Š./1935-36, 2nd ed., 1338 Š./1959), which was completed about 630/1232-33 by Šams-al-Dīn Moḥammad b. Qays Rāzī, or Šams-e Qays. Although it certainly was not as widely read as the Ḥadāʾeq al-seḥr, the Moʿjam surpassed it both in scope and richness of contents. It was in fact the first complete poetics dealing with Persian poetry. The two sections of the book treat respectively metrics (ʿarūż) and the theory of rhyme and the criticism of poetry (qāfīat wa naqd-e šeʿr). An epilogue contains observations on the practice of poetry (šāʿerī) and plagiarism (sareqāt-e šeʿr). Šams-e Qays assigned the rhetorical figures a place in the second section. This indicates that he considered them to be tools of the literary critic in the first place. The influence of Rašīd Vaṭvāṭ on this part of his work is obvious, but the list of figures examined in the Moʿjam contains several terms which cannot be found earlier in the Persian tradition. Some of these terms can be retraced to the Naqd al-šeʿr of Qodāma b. Jaʿfar, though they may have been borrowed through later sources (cf. Bonebakker, op. cit., introduction, p. 59). Šams-e Qays, who originally wrote his poetics in Arabic, was also in many other ways dependent on Arabic literary theory, but the distinction between the ʿelm al-bayān and the ʿelm al-badīʿ, which was introduced by his contemporary Sakkākī, was not yet known to him. His examples are almost exclusively Persian, the most frequently quoted poet being Anwarī. In his description of the types of poetry (ajnās-e šeʿr wa anwāʿ-e naẓm) he pays some attention to the forms which are specifically Persian, but his approach remains inadequate because of its subservience to the categories of Arabic poetics. Yet, Šams-e Qays went further into the direction of an unbiased examination of the phenomena of Persian poetry than any other rhetorician of the traditional school.

The extent to which the catalogues of rhetorical figures increased in volume can be measured from some of the later textbooks which have been digested by Western scholars. The ancient type of badīʿ collections, which continued to treat the tropes amongst the other figures of speech, is found in the Majmaʿ al-ṣanāʾeʿ by Neẓām-al-Dīn Aḥmad b. Moḥammad Ṣāleḥ, written in 1060/1650; this was the source of Francis Gladwin’s Dissertations of the Rhetoric, Prosody and Rhyme of the Persians (Calcutta, 1801). To the same category belongs the list of about one hundred terms, divided into lafẓī figures (based on phonetic characteristics and maʿnawī figures (based on semantic aspects), included in the dictionary Haft qolzom, compiled by Qabūl Moḥammad (ed. Lucknow, 1822), which was translated by Fr. Rückert and W. Pertsch, Grammatik, Poetik und Rhetorik der Perser, Gotha, 1874 (originally published in Wiener Jahrbücher 40-44, 1827-28).

The scholastic approach to rhetoric which developed under the influence of Jorjānī and Sakkākī did not, however, fail to penetrate Persian literary theory as well. This tendency is represented by the Ḥadāʾeq al-balāḡa, a work dealing with tropes apart from the badīʿ figures, written by Šams-al-Dīn Faqīr Dehlavī (d. 1183/1769-70). It provided the materials for Joseph Garcin de Tassy, Rhétorique et prosodie des langues de l’orient musulman (Paris, 1873; repr. Amsterdam, 1970).

An adaptation of traditional rhetorical theory to the requirements of modern education in Iran was made by Jalāl-al-Dīn Homāʾī in Fonūn-e balāḡat wa ṣenāʿāt-e adabī (Tehran, 1354 Š./1975-76). It is based on the Moʿjam of Šams-e Qays as well as on more recent works.

The Persian textbooks of badīʿ were primarily practical tools, both for writers and poets. Embellishment of style was as important to the historiographer, the government official, and the writer of mystical treatises as it was to the poet of the court. They all had to consider the prevailing literary taste, which demanded a high degree of ornamentation. The contents of the textbooks were never quite similar. In the course of time the number of figures increased considerably. Yet, a corpus of basic figures, arranged in roughly the same order, can be found in most instances. Only some of the most important of these figures can be mentioned here. The term tajnīs, paronomasia, denotes several types of assonance and of similarities based on the Arabic script. The complete form is called tajnīs-e tāmm, homonymy or wordplay. Other figures referring to the phonetic aspect (lafẓ) of words are takrār (also takrīr, mokarrar), repetition; qalb or maqlūb, anagram; radd al-ʿajoz ʿala’l-ṣadr, repeating the last word of a hemistich at the beginning of the next. More comprehensive terms are tarṣīʿ, parallelism of cadence and rhyme between two hemistichs; sajʿ, the use of prosodic elements in ornate prose; and eʿnāt or lozūm mā lā yalzam, the imposition of certain extra obligations on the composition of a poem, such as the use of the same word in a number of lines or even in an entire poem (e.g., in the case of the Persian radīf rhyme).

The figures based on meaning (maʿnī) are primarily those which can be categorized as tropes. The most general term is majāz, figurative speech, the opposite to ḥaqīqat, direct speech. The tropes are further distinguished into tašbīh, simile, with a great number of subdivisions; esteʿāra, metaphor; tamṯīl, analogy; and kenāya, allusion. The semantic relationship between more than one theme or image can be constructed as a motażādd, antithesis. To the arrangement of themes within a line of verse or a sentence pertain jamʿ, combination; tafrīq, separation; and taqsīm, division. Other aspects of meaning are involved in figures like īhām, amphibology, and madḥ šabīh ba ḍamm, praise which seems to be blame, resp. its reverse ḏamm šabīh ba madḥ.

Besides the lafẓī and maʿnawī figures the categories of badīʿ also include terms referring to modes of presentation, for instance, soʾāl o jawāb, question and answer, or to the articulation of a discourse, such as eltefāt, apostrophe. The best way (ḥosn) to deal with the main parts of a panegyrical poem is demonstrated in sections on the maṭlaʿ, the opening line, maqṭaʿ the closing line, taḵalloṣ, turning from the introductory section to praise, and ṭalab, asking for reward. Genres like loḡaz, enigma, and moʿammā, riddle, are usually included as well, but they became the subject of separate monographs in the 9th/15th century. In the Moʿjam of Šams-e Qays a number of general stylistic prescriptions are given which are not normally found in other Persian textbooks: e.g., tafwīf, elegance, correctness, and simplicity in the use of meter and rhyme and in the choice of words and expressions, as well as the avoidance of rare and archaic vocabulary (p. 329); talmīḥ and ījāz, both prescribing conciseness of style; mosāwāt, “equalizing” words and meanings.

Many of the terms defined in the ʿelm al-badīʿ have parallels in Greek and Latin terminology (cf. Browne, Lit. Hist. Persia II, pp. 46-76; Asrār al-balāḡa, ed. Ritter, 1954, p. 4). There are nonetheless dissimilarities on essential points between the classical and the Islamic traditions of rhetorical theory. The former was throughout its history mainly concerned with oratory, the latter with literature. Some divergences are related to this difference in outlook: The Greek figure homoioteleuton corresponds to an entire branch of Muslim literary scholarship, the study of rhyme; others reveal a dissimilarity as far as the terminological framework is concerned: The terms alliteratio and anaphora do not have precise parallels in badīʿ, but the figures which they denote were frequently used in the literatures of the Muslims.

The dependence of Persian rhetoric upon its Arabic predecessor reflects the complicated cultural situation in Iran since the coming of Islam. Even after the rise of a national literature, the Iranians continued to write in Arabic, both in scholarly works and in creative writings. The ʿelm al-badīʿ was by origin a critical counterpart to the revolt of the moḥdaṯūn poets against the conventions of classical Arabic poetry. The early Persian poets borrowed a great deal from this new school of Arabic poetry. In literary criticism the awareness of the interrelation of the two literatures became an obstacle to the development of an adequate theory of Persian poetry. As a consequence, references to Persian features are few and usually marginal in Persian rhetoric. Paradoxically, the most profound analyses relevant to Persian poetry must be sought in Jorjānī’s Asrār al-balāḡa, a book written in Arabic by an Iranian, who only discusses Arabic poems (ed. Ritter, pp. 19ff.; Die Geheimnisse, pp. 1*f.).

The idiosyncrasies of Persian rhetoric appear most clearly in the realm of tropes, which has been investigated by Ritter (Bildersprache) and, in much greater detail, by B. Reinert (Ḫāqānī; see also his article “Probleme der vormongolischen arabisch-persischen Poesiegemeinschaft und ihr Reflex in der Poetik,” in G. E. von Grunebaum, ed., Arabic Poetry: Theory and Development, Wiesbaden, 1973, pp. 71-105). Both writers have pointed to the growing importance of metaphor as against the predominance of explicit similes in ancient Arabic poetry. The poetic language became saturated with imagery, and complex forms of metaphorical expression came into use. The figure tanāsob, also called morāʿāt al-naẓīr, denotes the use of a “harmonious imagery,” which may encompass more than one line. Amphibology is often also involved (īhām-e tanāsob). As the functions of themes and images were frequently inversed, such extended metaphors could easily become independent poetical elements: The poets conjured imaginative scenes in which the individual images were brought into a causal relationship to each other by means of “fantastic etiologies” (ḥosn-e taʿlīl). This procedure was applied especially to the descriptions of nature which were inserted into romantic maṯnawī poems, notably into the works of Neẓāmī. In panegyric poetry the hyperbole (mobālaḡa) was used in extreme forms, for instance, through the projection of macrocosmic qualities into the personality of an earthly patron of the poet. In many metaphorical expressions, exemplified by Jorjānī in the metaphor “the hand of the northern wind” (cf. Asrār, p. 43; Geheimnisse, p. 64), a personification of non-human themes is implied. All these features have found their fullest development in Persian poetry, although they can be met with also in non-classical Arabic poems.



Studies on the history of Arabic literary theory are contained in the works of G. E. von Grunebaum, H. Ritter, and S. A. Bonebakker mentioned in the article as well as in: Amjad Trabulsi, La critique poétique des Arabes jusqu’au Ve siècle de l’Hégire, Damascus, 1956; S. A. Bonebakker, “Reflections on the Kitāb al-badīʿ of Ibn al-Muʿtazz,” in Atti del Terzo Congresso di Studi Arabi i Islami, Ravello, 1966, Naples, 1967, pp. 191-209; idem, “Poets and Critics in the Third Century A.H.,” in Logic in Classical Islamic Culture, ed. G. E. von Grunebaum, Wiesbaden, 1970, pp. 85-111; idem, “Aspects of the History of Literary Rhetoric and Poetics in Arabic Literature,” Viator. Medieval and Renaissance Studies 1, 1970, pp. 75-95; W. Heinrichs, “Literary Theory: The Problem of its Efficiency,” in Arabic Poetry. Theory and Development, ed. G. E. von Grunebaum, Wiesbaden, 1973, pp. 19-69; G. J. H. van Gelder, Beyond the Line, Leiden, 1982, esp. pp. 1-22.

See also EI2, s.vv. “Badīʿ,” “Balāgha,” “Iʿdjāz,” “Madjāz,” and “al-Maʿānī wa’l-bayān.” Many works on Persian rhetoric are still unpublished. Surveys of the extant texts are given in Monzawī, III, pp. 2124-52, and Storey, Persian Literature III/1 C, Leiden, 1984, pp. 176-206.

The catalogues of Persian manuscripts should also be consulted. Modern studies on aspects of the Persian theory of literature are rare. The most important are Hellmut Ritter, Über die Bildersprache Nizāmīs, Berlin and Leipzig, 1927 (a study of metaphor and simile in epic poetry, largely independent of the traditional approach); Jan Rypka, “Ḫāqānīs Madā’in-Qaṣīde rhetorisch beleuchtet,” Archív orientální 27, 1959, pp. 199-205 (an analysis of the use of badīʿ figures); Benedikt Reinert, Ḫāqānī als Dichter. Poetische Logik und Phantasie, Berlin and New York, 1972 (an investigation of the functioning of several figures of speech from the point of view of formal logic).

(J. T. P. de Bruijn)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: August 19, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 4, pp. 372-376