Jahiz - Encyclopedia




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JAHIZ (ABU ' Uthman ` Amr Ibn Bahr Ul-Jahiz; i.e. " the man the pupils of whose eyes are prominent") (d. 869), Arabian writer. He spent his life and devoted himself in Basra chiefly to the study of polite literature. A Mu`tazilite in his religious beliefs, he developed a system of his own and founded a sect named after him. He was favoured by Ibn uz-Zaiyat, the vizier of the caliph Wathiq.

His work, the Kitab ul-Bayan wat-Tabyin, a discursive treatise on rhetoric, has been published in two volumes at Cairo (1895). The Kitab ul-Mahasin wal-Addad was edited by G. van Vloten as Le Livre des beautes et des antitheses (Leiden, 1898); the Kitab ul -hala. Le Livre des avares, ed. by the same (Leiden, 1900); two other smaller works, the Excellences of the Turks and the Superiority in Glory of the Blacks over the Whites, also prepared by the same. The Kiteib ul-Hayawan, or "Book of Animals," a philological and literary, not a scientific, work, was published at Cairo (1906).

(G. W. T.)

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