Animal-Books as a Genre in Arabic Literature

M. V. McDonald

Bulletin (British Society for Middle Eastern Studies), 15:1/2, 1998, 3-10

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"The Arab society of the classical and medieval periods was one which, on the whole, lived fairly close to nature, while the literate classes were heir to a Bedouin tradition in which animal love played a prominent part, and, in addition, were much given to country pursuits such as hunting and falconry. Thus it is hardly surprising that writings about animals occupy a prominent part in the literature... A part of this literature is fairly technical, consisting of works on hunting, falconry, the care of horses and veterinary medicine, but, as well as this, there is a large body of material which could best be described as `animal lore'; it is this literature which will be the subject of the present paper. ... the writings of Greek scholars have a major role, above all of course Aristotle. His major zoological works Historia Animalium, De Partibus Animalium and De Generatione Animalium were translated quite early into Arabic, by Ibn al-Bitriq, c. 815, under the unsurprising title Kitab al-hyawan." - author

Language: English


Last update December 6, 2021