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Gog And Magog And The Barrier In Arab Poetry, Adab Literature, Popular Epics And Anecdotes

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Chapter Summary

In Islam, the motif of Gog and Magog and the barrier is not only treated as a religious subject, with a heavy eschatological undertone. It is also a theme in more profane genres. Koran and Tradition had made Muslims familiar with it, and Muslim-Arabic poetry had quickly embraced it. Arabic, Persian and Turkish belles letters and popular epics did not neglect it either. The land behind the barrier, i.e. the realm of Gog and Magog, is used in Adab literature as a metaphor. The paired names of Gog and Magog are subject of several anecdotes. Like the prose-writers, Arab poets and writers of Adab literature use Gog and Magog as metaphors for great numbers, smallness of stature and destructive power. The barrier against them serves as a metaphor for impenetrability, and their lands are the farthermost imaginable places on earth.

Keywords: Adab literature; anecdotes; Arab poets; Gog and Magog; metaphors; popular epics



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