Alchemical Poetry in Almohad Morocco: the Shudhūr al-dhahab of Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs

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Alchemical Poetry in Almohad Morocco : the Shudhūr al-dhahab of Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs. / Todd, Richard.

In: Oriens, Vol. 44, No. 1-2, 20.06.2016, p. 116-144.

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@article{78d9cc9569614d84880ba03a9c7c88c8,
title = "Alchemical Poetry in Almohad Morocco: the Shudhūr al-dhahab of Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs",
abstract = "Although historically recognised as one of the major landmarks in post-Jābirian Arabic alchemy, the Shudhūr al-dhahab (Shards of Gold)—a dīwān of alchemical verse by the sixth/twelfth-century Moroccan poet and preacher, Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs—has hitherto received little scholarly attention. The present article aims firstly to place the Shudhūr within its literary context, identifying those features which—unusually for Arabic didactic verse—earned it praise for its style as well as its content. Then some of the key alchemical theories set forth in the Shudhūr are both analysed and contextualised. In particular, Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs{\textquoteright}s thought is placed in relation to Jābirian theory, and possible links with Andalusī alchemy are also explored. Finally, his work and public career are examined against the backdrop of the philosophical climate fostered by the Almohads. Also included, for the first time, are a critical edition and annotated translation of one of the Shudhūr{\textquoteright}s constituent odes.",
keywords = "didactic (poetry), Jabir, Ibn Khaldun, Ibn Bishrun, Arabic alchemy",
author = "Richard Todd",
year = "2016",
month = jun,
day = "20",
doi = "10.1163/18778372-04401006",
language = "English",
volume = "44",
pages = "116--144",
journal = "Oriens",
issn = "0078-6527",
publisher = "Brill",
number = "1-2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Alchemical Poetry in Almohad Morocco

T2 - the Shudhūr al-dhahab of Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs

AU - Todd, Richard

PY - 2016/6/20

Y1 - 2016/6/20

N2 - Although historically recognised as one of the major landmarks in post-Jābirian Arabic alchemy, the Shudhūr al-dhahab (Shards of Gold)—a dīwān of alchemical verse by the sixth/twelfth-century Moroccan poet and preacher, Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs—has hitherto received little scholarly attention. The present article aims firstly to place the Shudhūr within its literary context, identifying those features which—unusually for Arabic didactic verse—earned it praise for its style as well as its content. Then some of the key alchemical theories set forth in the Shudhūr are both analysed and contextualised. In particular, Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs’s thought is placed in relation to Jābirian theory, and possible links with Andalusī alchemy are also explored. Finally, his work and public career are examined against the backdrop of the philosophical climate fostered by the Almohads. Also included, for the first time, are a critical edition and annotated translation of one of the Shudhūr’s constituent odes.

AB - Although historically recognised as one of the major landmarks in post-Jābirian Arabic alchemy, the Shudhūr al-dhahab (Shards of Gold)—a dīwān of alchemical verse by the sixth/twelfth-century Moroccan poet and preacher, Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs—has hitherto received little scholarly attention. The present article aims firstly to place the Shudhūr within its literary context, identifying those features which—unusually for Arabic didactic verse—earned it praise for its style as well as its content. Then some of the key alchemical theories set forth in the Shudhūr are both analysed and contextualised. In particular, Ibn Arfaʿ Raʾs’s thought is placed in relation to Jābirian theory, and possible links with Andalusī alchemy are also explored. Finally, his work and public career are examined against the backdrop of the philosophical climate fostered by the Almohads. Also included, for the first time, are a critical edition and annotated translation of one of the Shudhūr’s constituent odes.

KW - didactic (poetry)

KW - Jabir

KW - Ibn Khaldun

KW - Ibn Bishrun

KW - Arabic alchemy

U2 - 10.1163/18778372-04401006

DO - 10.1163/18778372-04401006

M3 - Article

VL - 44

SP - 116

EP - 144

JO - Oriens

JF - Oriens

SN - 0078-6527

IS - 1-2

ER -