EBN DOROSTAWAYH (Dorostūya), ABŪ MOḤAMMAD ʿABD-ALLĀH b. Jaʿfar b. Dorostawayh b. Marzbān (b. Fasā, 258/871; d. Baghdad, Ṣafar 347/May 958), grammarian and lexicographer of Persian origin. Though he shared his father’s interest in Hadith (Taʾrīḵ Baḡdād IX, p. 429), his main pursuits were philological. No books by him have survived except a Ketāb al-kottāb (ed. L. Cheikho, Beirut, 1927); perhaps the Adab al-kāteb listed by Ebn al-Nadīm (Fehrest, ed. Flügel, p. 63) and, possibly, aḴabar Qoss b. Sāʿeda (Sezgin, GAS II, p. 182) are also his. Although the biographers portrayed him as an advocate of the Basran school of grammar against the Kufans, surviving quotations from him do not always show this bias; he transmitted, for instance, from the Kufan scholar Ṯaʿlab. He may also have sought a compromise between the two schools in Koran exegesis (Vadet). Among his grammar teachers were Ebn Qotayba (d. 276/889; q.v.) and Abu’l-ʿAbbās Mobarrad (d. 285/898), but only the latter is regularly cited by Ebn Dorostawayh. Among his pupils were Abū ʿObayd-Allāh Marzbānī (d. 384/994), the author of the Ketāb al-mowaššaḥ (Cairo, 1343/1924, 1385/1965) and Abū ʿAlī Qālī (d. 356/967 or 366/976), who introduced Ebn Dorostawayh’s Ketāb al-ʿarūżand the Dīvān of Abū Tammām in Spain (Ebn Ḵayr, pp. 399, 402-03; on other works of Ebn Dorostawayh known in Spain, see idem, pp. 313, 342). Information on the history of the Ketāb al-ʿayn of Ḵalīl b. Aḥmad (d. ca. 175/791) is often quoted on the authority of Ebn Dorostawayh, who seems to have devoted a treatise to defending its authenticity (Ebn al-Qefṭī, II, p. 114, l. 14; cf. I, p. 343).


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(Seeger A. Bonebakker)

Originally Published: December 15, 1997

Last Updated: December 6, 2011

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