Ibn Qutaiba - Encyclopedia

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IBN QUTAIBA, or Kotaiba [Abu Mahommed ibn Muslim ibn Qutaiba] (828-889), Arabian writer, was born at Bagdad or Kuf a, and was of Iranian descent, his father belonging to Merv. Having studied tradition and philology he became cadi in Dinawar and afterwards teacher in Bagdad, where he died. He was the first representative of the eclectic school of Bagdad philologists that succeeded the schools of Kufa and Basra (see Arabia: Literature, section "Grammar"). Although engaged also in theological polemic (cf. I. Goldziher, Muhammedanische Studien, ii. 136, Halle, 1890), his chief works were directed to the training of the ideal secretary. Of these five may be said to form a series. The Adab ul-Katib (" Training of the Secretary") contains instruction in writing and is a compendium of Arabic style. It has been edited by Max Griinert (Leiden, 1900). The Kitab ush-Sharab is still in manuscript. The Kitab ulMa`arif has been edited by F. Wiistenfeld as the Handbuch der Geschichte 1 (Gottingen, 1850); the Kitab ush-Shi`r washShu`arai ("Book of Poetry and Poets") edited by M. J. de Goeje (Leiden, 1904). 2 The fifth and most important is the Uyun ulAkhbar, which deals in ten books with lordship, war, nobility, character, science and eloquence, asceticism, friendship, requests, foods and women, with many illustrations from history, poetry and proverb (ed. C. Brockelmann, Leiden, 1900 sqq.).

For other works (which were much quoted by later Arabian writers) see C. Brockelmann, Gesch. der arabischen Literatur, vol. i. (Weimar, 1898), pp. 120-122. (G. W. T.)

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