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The Moor’s First Sight: An Arab Poet in a Ninth-Century Viking Court

  • Nizar F. Hermes
Part of the Postcolonialism and Religions book series (PCR)

Abstract

Lauded by Andalusian historian Ibn Hayyan (d. 1076) as ḥakīm al-andalus (the sage of Muslim Spain), Muslim poet and diplomat Abu Zakariyya Yahya Ibn al-Hakam al-Bakri al-Jayyani (d. 864), known as al-Ghazal (the gazelle) for his physical beauty and intellectual nimbleness, traced his noble lineage to the powerful Arab tribe of Bakr ibn Wail.1 “Al-Ghazal,” Abdurahmane el-Hajji writes, “was a distinguished and shrewd personality famous for his sociable nature, gaiety, smartness, adroitness, and quickness of wit.”2 Given these qualities, al-Ghazal was, in the words of Judith Jesch, “a confidant” of five consecutive Umayyad emirs of Cordoba, two of whom dispatched him on important diplomatic missions outside dār al-Islām.3 The first of these missions was to Byzantium (Constantinople) in 840, and the second to the land of al-Majūs (very loosely, unbelievers; here, the Vikings) in 845.

Keywords

Love Affair Grey Hair Physical Beauty Arabic Literature Courtly Love 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Anne R. Richards and Iraj Omidvar 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nizar F. Hermes

There are no affiliations available

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