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’Umar ibn ’Abd al-’Azīz, al-Walīd ibn Yazīd and their Kin: Images of the Umayyads in the Kitāb al-Aghānī

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Chapter Summary

Umayyad composers are easily outnumbered by ’Abbāsid ones, but still far exceed those in other periods. Articles on historical events are almost as numerous for the Umayyad as for the pre-Islamic period and twice as many as for the time of the Prophet; such subjects disappear in the ’Abbāsid period. This chapter examines the image of the Umayyads in four stages. First, it indicates where the Umayyads are treated in the book. Then, it looks in detail at the articles on Umayyad caliphs. Next, the chapter outlines the articles on other members of the Umayyad clan. Finally, it asks the question: can one discern common features in the Umayyads portrayed in the Aghānī.

Keywords: ’Abbāsid period; Aghānī; pre-Islamic period; Umayyad composers



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