Author: ʿĀṣim b. Aiyūb al-Baṭalyausī
Editors: Lotfi Toumi and Nasif Sulaiman Auwad
Beirut 2018, 2 vols.
Vol. 1: 19, 415 pp
Vol. 2: 17, 716 pp.
Sharḥ al-Ash῾ār al-Sitta al-Jāhiliyya is an extensive philological commentary on the poetry anthologies of six of the most famous ancient Arabian poets in pre- and early Islamic times.
The philological commentary was composed by the Andalusian scholar ῾Āṣim b. Ayyūb al-Baṭalyawsī (d. 494/1100) and became a wide spread book on the prestigious ancient Arabic poetry. Al-Baṭalyawsī witnessed the fall of the Umayyad Caliphate in al-Andalus and the emergence of the mulūk al-ṭawā᾽if who governed al-Andalus temporarily from al-Baṭalyaws as their political and cultural centre. At the end of the 5th/11th century they were succeeded by the Almoravids (al-murābiṭūn).
The attempt to understand the language of the pre- and early Islamic poets was a major concern for Arab philologists and commentators on Arabic philology and the Qur᾽ān already since the early ῾Abbāsid period. The philological commentary by al-Baṭalyawsī became well known in al-Andalus and in the Islamic West and can still today be considered as one of the most important commentary works on ancient Arabic poetry.
Al-Baṭalyawsī composed his work in two volumes: In the first one he commented on the poetry of Imruʼ al-Qais, al-Nābigha al-Dhubyānī and ‘Alqama b. ῾Abada whereas in the second volume the poetry of Zuhayr b. Abī Sulmā, Ṭarafa b. al-῾Abd und ῾Antara b. Shaddād has been annotated.
The book is a reprint of the first edition by Nasif Sulaiman Auwad and Lotfi Toumi who has continued and completed the second volume. Nasif Sulaiman Auwad is Professor for Arabic Literature in Jordan. Lotfi Toumi is researcher in Islamic Studies at the University of Kiel/Germany.