Arabic Literary Biography. Contacts between Maghreb and Sudanese 'ulama' in 16th-17th Century Biographical Dictionaries.

Risultato della ricerca: Conference contribution


This paper aims at analysing the network of contacts (ṣilāt, rawābiṭ) between maghribi and sudanese ‘ulamā’ in 16th-17th century, starting from the analysis of a peculiar typology of Arabic literary sources: the "kutub al-tarāğim" or biographical dictionaries. The maghribian conquest of the Bilād al-Sūdān, pursued in 1591 by the far-seeing expansionistic policy of the Sa‘dian sultan Aḥmad al-Manṣūr al-Ḏahabī (1578-1603) - probably the most important and best known Sa‘dian sovereign - enhanced the ancient uninterrupted network of contacts and interactions among ‘ulamā’ throughout the Arab World, which is testified even by the Medieval Arabic historical, geographical and literary sources. Aḥmad al-Manṣūr al-Ḏahabī, whom the sources describe as an ‘ālim and poet, improved his court by surrounding himself with ‘ulamā’ coming not only from the Arab East (Mašriq) but also from the Bilād al-Sūdān. In such a context the Maġrib aqṣā’ assumed new important connotations as a joining link between Sub-Saharan Africa and the Arab East. In the first part of the paper, literary biography will be taken into account with regard to its formal and content features. Then, by analysing some biographical dictionaries of Sa‘dian period, this study will stress the most relevant aspects of the system of contacts between maghribi and sudanese ‘ulamā’, with a special attention to their role in the process of knowledge transmission and their relationship with the power.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteContacts and Interaction. Proceedings of the 27th International Congress of the Union Européenne des Arabists et Islamisants.
Numero di pagine12
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017

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