Hamadhānī, al-


Hamadhānī, al-

▪ Islamic author
in full  Badīʿ az-Zamān Abū al-Faḍl Aḥmad ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Hamadhānī 
born 969, Hamadan, Iran
died 1008, Herāt, Ghaznavid Afghanistan

      Arabic-language author famed for the introduction of the maqāmah (“assembly”) form in literature.

      Al-Hamadhānī, often known as Badīʿ az-Zamān (“Wonder of the Age”), achieved an early success through a public debate with Abū Bakr al-Khwarizmī, a leading savant, in Nīshāpūr. He subsequently traveled throughout the area occupied today by Iran and Afghanistan before settling in Herāt and marrying. Al-Hamadhānī is credited with the composition of 400 maqāmahs, of which some 52 are extant (Eng. trans. by W.J. Prendergast, The Maqámát of Badíʿ al-Zamán al-Hamadhānī, 1915). These maqāmahs are written in a combination of prose, rhymed prose (sajʿ), and poetry and recount typically the encounters of the narrator ʿIsā ibn Hishām with Abū al-Fatḥ al-Iskandarī, a witty orator and talented poet who roams in search of fortune unencumbered by Islāmic conventions of honour.

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Universalium. 2010.

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