Abū al-‘Ibar al-Hāšimī. Unknown poet, writer and nadīm at caliphs’ court
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The purpose of this paper is to shed some new light on the community of Abbasid court companions, their character and their writings. It seems that the study of that problem has been slightly neglected1, though their literary activity was indeed plentiful. It mirrored literary trends and tendencies of the epoch. Men of letters and of science had gathered at the Abbasid court either through cultural or material affinity or because they had been summoned to it for their work or competence. Among them there had been a group created of three men, one of them was Abū al-‘Ibar al-Hāšimī. There are three chapters in Ibn an-Nadīm’s Fihrist which, in particular, deal with those phenomena which are now recognized as literature and components of culture. Chapter four is completely devoted to the poetry, in chapter eight the attention is mainly given to fables, evening stories (asmār) and other miraculous narratives. Chapter three, the longest of them, deals with historians, genealogists, biographers, secretaries, administrators, and, of course, their writings. The most important for this study is the third part of chapter three where the accounts about men of letters (udabā’), court companions (nudamā’), singers (muġanniyūn), buffoons and clowns (muraṭazāt) can be found. Among them there are three who seem to form a special circle of Al-Mutawakkil’s court companions and jesters.