The long perplexing mimiyya of umayd b.Thawr al-hilali: Which version is more convincing

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This article analyses the structure of four different versions of the long love poem by umayd b. Thawr al-Hilali. The shortest of the four runs to 119 verses, and the longest is 185, each line ending with m as a rhyming letter. This structural analysis addresses two main questions: First, what is the story told in each version Second, in light of this, which version is the most convincing Answering these questions enabled a restructuring of the poem, which appears in Arabic below, followed by a full English translation, with footnotes to clarify lexicon and content. The study's main conclusion is that the most convincing version of the poem comprises the verses of al-Bayar (editor of its longest and most recent variant), structured to fit the narrative of al-Maymani's edition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-603
Number of pages55
JournalJournal of Semitic Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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