BASSĀM-e KORD, the Kharijite (fl. mid-3rd/9th century), one of the first poets in the New Persian language, active at the court of the Saffarids. The epithet “Kord” (spelled Kūrd in the Tārīḵ-e Sīstān)apparently meant “shepherd” and does not seem to have any connection with the western Iranian tribes who came to be known as the Kurds. Bassām had belonged to the Kharijite faction in Sīstān, against whom the Saffarid Yaʿqūb b. Layṯ (d. 265/878) fought at the start of his career, finally defeating them and killing their leader ʿAmmār in 251/865. Some time after this battle, Bassām and several other Kharijites approached Yaʿqūb for peace. After joining Yaʿqūb’s retinue, Bassām, who was a cultured man (adīb),followed the example set by Moḥammad b. Waṣīf Sīstānī, Yaʿqūb’s secretary, in writing poetry in Persian. Five verses of his poem congratulating Yaʿqūb on his defeat of the Kharijites and ʿAmmār’s death are preserved in the Tārīḵ-e Sīstān.
Tārīḵ-e Sīstān, pp.209-12.
Ṣafā, Adabīyāt I,2nd ed., 1335 Š./1956, pp. 166-67, 169.
Lazard, Premiers poètes I, p. 18; II, p. 16.
Rypka, Hist. Iran. Lit., p. 136.
Ch. Rempis, “Die ältesten Dichtungen in Neupersisch,” ZDMG 101, 1951, pp. 220-40.
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: December 15, 1988
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