Baiburt - Encyclopedia

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BAIBURT, a town of Asiatic Turkey, on the direct carriage road from Trebizond to Erzerum, situated on both banks of the Churuk river, which here traverses an open cultivated plateau (altitude, 510o ft.), before turning east. It is the chief place of a kaza under Erzerum; the bazaar is poor, and there is no special industry in the town. The houses run up the hillsides. on both banks of the river to a considerable height. On an isolated mass of rock, on the left bank, is the old castle, with extensive walls partly ruined, built originally by the Armenians. and restored by the Seljuks. The principal gate with some Arabic inscriptions stands at the S. W. corner. There are remains. of a vaulted chamber, a Christian church, a mosque and two covered staircases to the river. A fine view is seen from the summit over the plain and the Pontic ranges to the north. The population numbers io,000, mostly Turkish with some Armenians. The place was occupied by the Russians under General Paskevich during their invasion of 1829, and was the farthest point westward then reached by them. (F. R. M.) Baidawi (`Abdallah ibn `Umar al-Baidawi), Mahommedan critic, was born in Fars, where his father was chief judge, in the time of the Atabek ruler Abu Bakr ibn Sa'd (1226-1260). He himself became judge in Shiraz, and died in Tabriz about 1286. His chief work is the commentary on the Koran entitled The Secrets of Revelation and the Secrets of Interpretation (Asrar uttanzil wa Asrar ut-ta' wil). This work is in the main a digest of the great Mu`tazalite commentary (al-Kashshaf) of Zamakhshari with omissions and additional notes. By the orthodox Moslems it is considered the standard commentary and almost holy, though it is not complete in its treatment of any branch of theological or linguistic knowledge of which it treats, and is not always accurate (cf. Th. NOldeke's Geschichte des Qorans, Göttingen, 1860, p. 29). It has been edited by H. O. Fleischer (2 vols., Leipzig, 1846-1848; indices ed. W. Fell, Leipzig, 1878). There are many editions published in the East. A selection with numerous notes was edited by D. S. Margoliouth as Chrestomathia Beidawiana (London, 1894). Many supercommentaries have been written on Baidawi's work. He was also the author of several theological treatises.

See C. Brockelmann's Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (Weimar, 1898), vol. i. pp. 416-418. (G. W. T.)

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