FN11 Acknowledgments: I would like to thank K. Münchow and Christoph Rauch of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin for all their help, both during my visit and through correspondence, and to acknowledge the permission of the Staatsbibliothek to publish the text of Berlin MS Wetzstein II 1786, f. 63b-67b. The Sub-Faculty of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford provided me with a grant to help subvent the cost of examining MSS in Berlin as well as the cost of obtaining reproductions of MSS from the Staatsbibliothek (Berlin) and the British Library (London). This research was supported by the University of Oxford Clarendon Fund Scholarship. Geert Jan van Gelder has been the source of immeasurably valuable advice, correction, and support. Profs Everett Rowson and Thomas Bauer very generously read and commented on a draft of this article. They corrected many errors and misconceptions and alerted me to several attributions I had overlooked. Harry Munt and Mathieu Tillier were, as ever, congenial sources of encouragement and advice.
FN22 Bilal Orfali, “The Works of Abū Manṣūr al-Thaʿālibī (350-429/961-1039)”, JAL, 40/3 (2009), p. 273-318.
FN33 Verzeichnis der arabischen Handschriften der Königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin, ed. W. Ahlwardt, Berlin, A. Asher, 1887-99, VII, p. 321-2, no. 8334. It is interesting to note that Ahlwardt only later came to this erroneous conclusion and there is no mention of the text’s association with al-Ṯaʿālibī in his earlier and far less detailed catalogue, Verzeichniss Arabischer Handschriften der Königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin aus den Gebieten der Poesie, Schönen Litteratur, Litteraturgeschichte und Biographik, Greifswald, L. Bamberg, 1871, p. 210, no. 1093.
FN44 Orfali, “The Works”, p. 314. N.B.: I translate ġilmān (sing. ġulām) here as ‘youths’ and ğawārī (sing. ğāriya) as ‘courtesans’ in line with a usage common in the field and while there is not room here to discuss the important subject of the asymmetrical sexual dynamic behind most literary representations of both hetero- and homosexual eroticism in pre-modern Arabic literature, I would like the reader less familiar with this literature and scholarship on the subject to note two essential features: the normative dynamic can be summarised as the relationship between an older adult male and (1.) a younger (generally post-pubescent) male or female who—as the terms ġulām and ğāriya indicate—occupies (2.) a subordinate social position including cases in which the ostensibly inferior partner is the adult male’s property.
FN55 Ibid., p. 314. N.B.: the objects in parentheses after the title refer to the text’s place in the chronology of al-Ṯaʿālibī’s composition, whether the work was “identified by al-Şafadī [in his Kitāb al-Wāfī bi-l-wafayāt]”, and whether the work was “identified by [Qāsim] al-Samarrai [in his article “Some Biographical Notes on al-Thaʿālibī”, Bibliotheca Orientalis, 32/3-4 (1975), p. 175-86]” respectively (see ibid., p. 279-80).
FN66 See al-Şafadī, al-Ḥusn al-ṣarīḥ fī miʾat malīḥ, ed. Aḥmad Fawzī l-Hayb, Damascus, Dār Saʿd al-Dīn, 2003, p. 28, and discussion below. See also id., Kitāb al-Wāfī bi-l-wafayāt, ed. Riḍwān al-Sayyid, Beirut-Stuttgart, Franz Steiner Verlag, 1993, XIX, p. 196; ʿAlī b. Muḥammad b. al-Riḍā l-Ḥusaynī l-Šarīf Daftarḫwān, Kitāb Alf ġulām wa-ġulām, Escorial MS árabe 461, f. 1b, l. 4-6, also discussed below; al-Ṯaʿālibī, Tatimmat al-Yatīma, ed. A. Radwan, p. 237 in Ahmad Shawqi A.-G. Radwan, “Thaʿālibī’s ‘Tatimmat al-Yatīmah’: A Critical Edition and a Study of the Author as Anthologist and Literary Critic”, unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Manchester, 1972; Ibn al-ʿAdīm, Buġyat al-ṭalab fī taʾrīḫ Ḥalab, ed. Māzin ʿAmawī and D.W. Morray, Frankfurt, Institut für Geschichte der Arabisch-Islamischen Wissenschaften, V, p. 331, l. 8-9; Ismāʿīl Bāšā, Hadiyyat al-ʿārifīn, Istanbul, Milli Eğitim Basimevi, 1951, I, p. 625; and passim.
FN77 Ibn Bassām al-Šantarīnī, al-Ḏaḫīra fī maḥāsin ahl al-ğazīra, ed. Iḥsān ʿAbbās, Beirut, Dār al-ṯaqāfa, 1979, I/4, p. 99-100.
FN88 Metre: al-muğtaṯṯ.
FN1010 Metre: al-sarīʿ.
FN1111 Ibn Ḫallikān, Wafayāt al-aʿyān wa-anbāʾ abnāʾ al-zamān, ed. Iḥsān ʿAbbās, Beirut, Dār Şādir, 1977, I, p. 52-4. See also Yāqūt al-Rūmī, Kitāb Iršād al-arīb ilā maʿrifat al-adīb al-maʿrūf bi-Muʿğam al-udabāʾ aw Ṭabaqāt al-udabāʾ, ed. D.S. Margoliouth, n.p., n.d., I, p. 324-58, here, the slave’s name is given as Rušd; there is no mention of al-Ṯaʿālibī’s Kitāb al-Ġilmān.
FN1212 Metre: al-kāmil. Ibn Ḫallikān, Wafayāt, I, p. 52-3. This poem is also found in Yāqūt, Kitāb Iršād al-arīb, p. 348, with minor variations; in al-Şafadī, Kitāb al-Wāfī, ed. Sven Dedering, Wiesbaden, Franz Steiner Verlag, 1972, VI, p. 163, where the slave’s name is given as Yumn; id., Kašf al-ḥāl fī waṣf al-ḫāl, ed. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Muḥammad b. ʿUmar al-ʿUqayl, Beirut, al-Dār al-ʿarabiyya li-l-mawsūʿāt, 2005, p. 137-8, where the slave’s name is given as Rušd.
FN1313 I have preferred the reading given in Yāqūt, Kitāb al-Iršād, ed. Margoliouth, p. 348. Ibn Ḫallikān has ʿuluwwa l-ḫātinī.
FN1414 Orfali, “The Works”, p. 314.
FN1515 Ğurğī Zaydān, Tārīḫ ādāb al-luġa l-ʿarabiyya, ed. Šawqī Ḍayf, Cairo, Dār al-Hilāl, 19572, II, p. 287.
FN1616 See Carl Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur [hereafter: GAL], Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1943-9, I, p. 284-6, no. 17, and C. Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur. Supplementband [hereafter: GAL S], Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1937-42, I, p. 499-502, no. 18.
FN1717 GAL, I, p. 286.
FN1818 For information about the author, see GAL, I, p. 432. He is mentioned by this second version of his name by al-Şafadī in al-Ḥusn al-ṣarīḥ, p. 28.
FN1919 Hartwig Derenbourg, Les manuscrits arabes de l’Escurial, Paris, 1884 [repr. Hildesheim, Georg Olms Verlag, 1976] p. 303-4.
FN2020 Escorial MS árabe 461, f. 1b, l. 4-6.
FN2121 As a great fan of the Brockelmann Online project, I hope that the publisher will make the text annotatable as well so that scholars can amend Brockelmann’s listings and add to them thereby ensuring that it will remain one of the most relevant research tools for the study of pre-modern Arabic writings.
FN2222 This new edition is discussed below: Abū Manṣūr al-Ṯaʿālibī, al-Ẓarāʾif wa-l-laṭāʾif wa-l-yawāqīt fī baʿḍ al-mawāqīt, recension by Abū Naṣr al-Maqdisī, ed. Nāṣir Muḥammadī Muḥammad Ğād, Cairo, Dār al-kutub wa-l-waṯāʾiq al-qawmiyya, 1427/2006.
FN2323 See f. 63a for the first colophon and f. 67b for the second, which is also reproduced in the edition below.
FN2424 Ibrahim Geries, Un genre littéraire arabe : al-Maḥâsin wa-l-masâwî, Paris, G.-P. Maisonneuve et Larose, 1977. Geries obviously sees this poetry anthology as an example of the genre he is occupied with, but he remarks that “Il est important de signaler que, contrairement à ce que nous avons vu avec le livre d’al-Bayhaqî et dans al-Maḥâsin wa-l-aḍdâd, les anecdotes, les narrations n’ont pratiquement aucune place ici. Car la préoccupation première d’aṯ-Ṯaʿâlibî c’est [. . .] de présenter à son lecteur de belles phrases, de riches poésies en faveur et à l’encontre du sujet qu’il aborde”, p. 136-7.
FN2525 Orfali, “The Works”, p. 295.
FN2626 See introduction to al-Ṯaʿālibī, al-Ẓarāʾif wa-l-laṭāʾif, ed. Ğād, p. 22-5. Ğād disagrees with the claim made by Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh al-Ğādir and repeated in the EI2 that al-Maqdisī was a “younger contemporary” of al-Ṯaʿālibī (See al-Ğādir, al-Ṯaʿālibī nāqidan wa-adīban, Beirut, Dār al-niḍāl, 1991, p. 81n; and Everett Rowson, “al-Thaʿālibī”, EI2). Al-Ğādir based his claim on al-Ṯaʿālibī’s citation of one Abū Naṣr al-Maqdisī in his Kitab Laṭāʾif al-maʿārif, ed. De Jong, Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1867, p. 121. Bosworth, in his translation, says that he is “Possibly the al-Muṭahhar b. Ṭāhir al-Maqdisī al-Bustī, who in 355/966 wrote at Bust his historical compilation, the Kitāb al-Bad ʾ waʾt-taʾrīkh ‘Book of creation and history’ [. . .]” (The Laṭāʾif al-maʿārif of Thaʿālibī, trans. Clifford E. Bosworth, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 1968, p. 136, n. 118). Ğād notes that in al-Luṭf wa-l-laṭāʾif, al-Ṯaʿālibī writes after the name of one Abū Naṣr al-Maqdisī raḥimahu Llāh (quoted in al-Ẓarāʾif wa-l-laṭāʾif, ed. Ğād, p. 22), and connects this deceased al-Maqdisī with the same al-Maqdisī whom al-Ğādir suggested was al-Ṯaʿālibī’s contemporary.
FN2727 See lists of these printings in Orfali, “The Works”, p. 295-6, and in the introduction to al-Ṯaʿālibī, al-Ẓarāʾif wa-l-laṭāʾif, ed. Ğād, p. 34.
FN2828 Or perhaps it is 1461 adab as Ğād has it on p. 38.
FN2929 P. 34. These MSS were copied in 1041/1631 and 1076/1665—pace the editor who reads AH 1074; the date in the colophon reproduced as a plate in the edition (p. 45) looks rather more like AH 1076 to me.
FN3030 P. 295-6. This may result from a misunderstanding of the entry on al-Ṯaʿālibī in EI2 where it is said: “[. . .] these two works survive in a single combined edition put together by al-Ṯẖaʿālibī’s younger contemporary Abū Naṣr al-Maḳdisī [. . .]”, Rowson, “al-Thaʿālibī”, EI2.
FN3131 It should be said, though, in defence of Ğād’s edition that it is very good indeed in terms of identifying the sources for the material quoted by Ṯaʿālibī-Maqdisī.
FN3333 N.B.: The manuscript of al-Laṭāʾif listed by Ğād as Paris 531 is actually given as Escorial 531 in Brockelmann (GAL, I, p. 340). Ğād does not note that Brockelmann also lists an additional MS of this text in his supplement: “Kairo2 III, 247”; I do not know if this MS corresponds to one of the two Ğād used to make his edition (GAL S, I, p. 501). Ğād’s list of al-Yawāqīt MSS is much worse: the Leiden MS is no. 455 not no. 857, which is actually the number of the St. Petersburg MS Also “Baghdad no. 1282” is a mistranslation of Brockelmann and should read “Baghdad [lithograph printed in] [AH] 1282.”; the editor does subsequently mention this printing in his list of printed editions on the same page. A far more significant error in this list is that Ğād unlike Brockelmann does not distinguish between copies of al-Yawāqīt that are or are not associated with al-Maqdisī. Those that are explicitly associated with al-Maqdisī can be, based on our hypothesis above, considered possible witnesses of the combined text and as such should not be listed among copies in which al-Yawāqīt is a standalone work. One might also suggest that they should have at least been consulted in the preparation of a critical edition of the text.
FN3434 MS Wetzstein II 1786, f. 1a. The title page of the Cairo manuscript reproduced as a plate on p. 40 of Ğād’s edition has the more diplomatic ğamaʿahā l-šayḫ Abū Naṣr [sic] al-Maqdisī rather than taʾlīf.
FN3535 I compared the following chapters: bāb madḥ al-ğawārī, bāb ḏamm al-ğawārī, bāb madḥ al-ġilmān, bāb ḏamm al-ġilmān, bāb madḥ al-ḫaṭṭ wa-l-ʿiḏār, bāb ḏamm al-ḫaṭṭ wa-l-ʿiḏār, bāb madḥ al-mamālīk, and bāb ḏamm al-mamālīk.
FN3636 The sources used exclusively for the edition are detailed in the critical apparatus.
FN3737 This topic is not new; it is also found in al-Ṯaʿālibī’s dīwān:wa-qāla fī ġulām ḥayyā bi-l-banafsağ wa-ʿalayhi qabāʾ banafsağī:[quoted in Hilāl Nāğī, “al-Mustadrak ʿalā ṣunnāʿ al-dawāwīn”, al-Mawrid, 15 (1986), p. 199-210, p. 209] N.B.: the text I am presenting here also has a poem (no. 47) on a youth dressed in violet, but it is not the same.
FN3838 These first four topics are among the themes of the first chapters in the important erotic verse collections on ġilmān by al-Nawāğī (Marātiʿ al-ġizlān fī waṣf al-ḥisān min al-ġilmān) and al-Badrī (Ġurrat al-ṣabāḥ fī waṣf al-wuğūh al-ṣibāḥ). For more information on these, see the preface to the edition below.
FN3939 For the purposes of this statistical summary, I have assumed that poem no. 63 is the work of Ibn Luʾluʾ al-Ḏahabī and not Ibn al-Wardī. See the note on this poem in the edition for details of its attribution.
FN4040 Thomas Bauer has already remarked on the notable preference for contemporary verse in anthologies of this period; see his article “Literarische Anthologien der Mamlūkenzeit”, in Die Mamlūken: Studien zu ihrer Geschichte und Kultur: zum Gedenken an Ulrich Haarmann, 1942-1999, ed. S. Conermann and A. Pistor-Hatam, Hamburg, EB-Verlag, 2003, p. 91, and id., “Mamluk Literature: Misunderstandings and New Approaches”, Mamlūk Studies Review, 9/2 (2005), p. 122.
FN4141 For background on the dūbayt form in Arabic, see Willem Stoetzer, “Rubāʿī (pl. Rubāʿiyyāt). 3. in Arabic”, EI2, and id., “Sur les quatrains arabes nommés ‘dūbayt’”, Quaderni di studi arabi, 5-6 (1987-88), p. 718-25.
FN4242 This attribution is given in al-Šaybī, “Ḏayl dīwān al-dubayt—al-qism al-ṯānī”, al-Mawrid, 6/2 (1977), p. 82. Al-Šaybī who gives the text of the poem almost exactly as it occurs in our anthology found the poem in an MS of Nağm al-Dīn al-Ġazzī l-Dimašqī, Luṭf al-samar wa-qaṭf al-ṯamar min tarāğim aʿyān al-ṭabaqa l-ūlā min al-qarn al-ḥādī ʿašar (Damascus, Ẓāhiriyya MS tārīḫ 41, f. 18; from a copy belonging to al-Sayyid Aḥmad Širkis [?] al-Aʿāritī to which he had access; this MS was copied in 1162/1749). (For more information, see the introduction to the printed edition, ed. Maḥmūd al-Šayḫ, Damascus, Wizārat al-ṯaqāfa wa-l-iršād al-qawmī, 1981, I, p. 153-9 [Western Arabic]). N.B.: in the printed edition, al-Šayḫ gives the original reading of this manuscript as al-ğuṯmānī as we have it in our text (I, p. 283 [Eastern Arabic] and note), though both he and al-Šaybī emend this to read al-ğuṯmān. Al-Šaybī’s other writings on the dūbayt include: Dīwān al-dūbayt fī l-šiʿr al-ʿarabī fī ʿašarat qurūn, Beirut, Dār al-ṯaqāfa, 1972, and the following supplemental articles: “Ḏayl dīwān al-dūbayt”, al-Mawrid, 4/1 (1975), p. 153-72; and “Ḏayl dīwān al-dūbayt—al-qism al-ṯānī”.
FN4343 See Reinhart Dozy, Supplément aux dictionnaires arabes, Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1881, “ ʿ-ṯ-m” where we find the following definition: “ʿuthmānī et ʿuthmāniyyah, pl. ʿathāminah, aspre, monnaie turque équivalent à 1/3 de para, 1/5 de shāhiyyah, 1/120 de piastre, Bc.” See also in glossary to Halil İnalcık and Donald Quataert (eds), An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire, 1300-1914, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994, p. 1001.
FN4444 Amnon Cohen tells us that the term ʿuṯmānī was used to refer to the Ottoman dirham “from the very early years of Ottoman rule” so we can safely date this poem to the mid to late Xth/XVIth century in accordance with the poet’s lifetime (See Amnon Cohen, Economic Life in Ottoman Jerusalem, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1989, p. 49).
FN4545 See Thomas Bauer, “„Was kann aus dem Jungen noch werden!“ Das poetische Erstlingswerk des Historikers Ibn Ḥabīb im Spiegel seiner Zeitgenossen”, in Studien zur Semistik und Arabistik. Festschrift für Hartmut Bobzin zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. Otto Jastrow, Shabo Talay, and Herta Hafenrichter, Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz, 2008, p. 19: Trotzdem scheint vor Ibn Nubāta niemand auf den Gedanken gekommen zu sein, Epigramme aus eigener Feder in einem thematisch geordneten Dīwān zusammenzufassen. Das erste Werk, das in diesem Sinne als „Epigrammdīwān“ gelten kann, ist somit al-Qaṭr an-Nubātī, doch fanden sich bald Nachahmer. Ibn Ḥabīb war einer der ersten. Şafīyaddīn al-Ḥillī folgte auf dem Fuß mit seinem Dīwān al-Maṯāliṯ wa-l-maṯānī fī l-maʿālī wa-l-maʿānī.”
FN4646 Al-Şafadī, al-Ḥusn al-ṣarīḥ, p. 28-9.
FN4747 The idea of poems wandering between collections is borrowed from the important article by V. Zhukovsky “Omar Khayyām and the ‘Wandering’ Quatrains”; originally published in Russian in al-Muzaffariyé, “a Festschrift to Baron Victor Rosen” and translated in E[dward] D. Ross, “Al-Muzaffariyé: containing a Recent Contribution to the Study of ʿOmar Khayyâm”, JRAS, 30/2 (1898), p. 349-66. On epigram 14: In al-Şafadī’s al-Ḥusn al-ṣarīḥ, the poem is on a youth named ʿĪsā—and this name and the poem’s attribution survives in Ġurrat al-ṣabāḥ—but by the time it appears in our collection, the author is not given credit and more significantly, the subject of the poem has morphed into a youth called Mūsā (cf. epigram 16 infra on ʿĪsā). By any reasonable measure, al-Şafadī’s version is the original, but as the poem in our collection stands comfortably on its own, modified either by the copyist or another intermediary, describing it as corrupted in some way not only perversely privileges the original but fails to read the epigram in the context of the epigram collection itself.
FN4848 For an overview of the history of anthological texts in Arabic, see Andras Hamori, “Anthologies. A. Arabic Literature. 1. Pre-Mongol Period”, EI3 and Thomas Bauer “Anthologies. A. Arabic Literature. 2. Post-Mongol Period”, EI3.
FN4949 On which, see Ulrich Marzolph, “Medieval Knowledge in Modern Reading: a fifteenth-century Arabic encyclopaedia of Omni re scibli”, in Pre-Modern Encyclopaedic Texts. Proceedings of the Second COMERS Congress, Groningen, 1-4 July 1996, ed. Peter Binkley, Leiden, Brill, 1997, p. 407-19.
FN5050 See Clifford E. Bosworth, Bahāʾ al-Dīn al-ʿĀmilī and his literary anthologies, Manchester, University of Manchester Press (« Journal of Semitic Studies, Monograph », X), 1989.
FN5151 In the introduction to his anthology of epigrams on cheek-down and incipient beards Ḫal ʿ al-ʿiḏār fī waṣf al-ʿiḏār, al-Nawāğī writes that he wants his text to serve as a guide to this common poetic motif for poets and writers of his day; a literary-historical survey as it were: fa-qad ğamaʿtu hāḏihi l-nubḏa fī waṣf al-ʿiḏār wa-l-šārib * li-takūna in šāʾa Llāh taʿālā ʿumda li-kull wāqif ʿalayhā min šāʿir wa-kātib * mutatabbiʿan mā qīla fī ḏālika min al-aš ʿār al-badīʿa l-ġarība (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS arabe 3401, f. 1b).
FN5252 This premise is based on the work of Seeger Bonebakker, who discussed the epistemological dimension of this literary category in his articles “Early Arabic Literature and the Term Adab”, JSAI, 5 (1984), p. 389-421, and “Adab and the concept of belles-lettres”, in ʿAbbāsid Belles-Lettres, ed. Julia Ashtiany et al., Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (« Cambridge History of Arabic Literature »), 1990, p. 16-30.
FN5353 There are, of course, monothematic anthologies pre-dating the Mamluk period: two Bacchic examples are Ibn al-Muʿtazz’s (d. 296/908), Fuṣūl al-tamāṯīl fī tabāšīr al-surūr, ed. Ğūrğ Qanāziʿ and Fahd Abū Ḫaḍra, Damascus, Mağmaʿ al-luġa l-ʿarabiyya, 1989, and Ibn al-Raqīq al-Qayrawānī’s (d. after 418/1027-8), Quṭb al-surūr fī awṣāf al-ḫumūr, ed. Aḥmad al-Ğundī, Damascus, Mağmaʿ al-luġa l-ʿarabiyya, 1969; see also the new edition by Sarra Barbouchi-Ben Yahia, Beirut, Dār al-ğamal, 2010.
FN5454 Rather uncommon though it is viz. Mamluk literary texts, both these anthologies are available in high quality critical editions: al-Şafadī, Kašf al-ḥāl fī waṣf al-ḫāl, ed. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Muḥammad b. ʿUmar al-ʿUqayl, Beirut, al-Dār al-ʿarabiyya li-l-mawsūʿāt, 1426/2005; and al-Nawāğī, Şaḥāʾif al-ḥasanāt fī waṣf al-ḫāl, ed. Ḥasan Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Hādī, Amman, Dār al-yanābīʿ li-l-našr wa-l-tawzīʿ, 2000.
FN5555 Al-Ẓarāʾif wa-l-laṭāʾif, ed. Ğād, p. 261-2.
FN5656 Ibid., p. 263-4.
FN5757 Al-Nawāğī’s Ḫal ʿ al-ʿiḏār fī waṣf al-ʿiḏār. On this theme, see Thomas Bauer, Liebe und Liebesdichtung in der arabischen Welt des 9. und 10. Jahrhunderts. Eine literatur- und mentalitätsgeschichtliche Studie der arabischen Ġazal, Wiesbaden, Harassowitz Verlag (« Diskurse der Arabistik », 2), 1998, p. 255-80.
FN5858 Al-Ẓarāʾif wa-l-laṭāʾif, ed. Ğād, p. 265-6.
FN5959 Ibid., p. 267-8.
FN6060 Al-Ṯaʿālibī, Aḥsan mā samiʿtu, ed. Muḥammad Şādiq ʿAnbar, Cairo, al-Maktaba l-maḥmūdiyya, n.d. .
FN6161 A poem on a young slave-boy (ġulām ṣaġīr) leads in to a poem about a young slave-girl (ğāriya ṣaġīra). Note the interesting difference between these paired poems on a boy and girl on the cusp of puberty. In the first poem on the boy, the poet speaks of taking advantage of a garden at first bloom, whereas in the second poem on the girl, another poet is exclusively focussed on the girl’s virginity. He refers to women as ‘mounts’ and a young girl as ‘[not having been ridden yet]’ and, in another imagistic sequence, to pearls pierced in order to be threaded on a necklace. This last poem is followed by another, given in the voice of a courtesan, who refutes the previous argument by adopting and reversing its metaphors for virginity and explaining the benefit—to the man—of having an experienced lover (p. 101).
FN6262 Berlin MS Wetzstein II 1786, f. 67a. The last of these, epigram 61: on a youth making the pilgrimage, is also found in three other texts by or associated with al-Ṯaʿālibī: Yatīmat al-dahr fī maḥāsin ahl al-ʿaṣr, Man ġāba ʿanhu l-muṭrib, and al-Bāḫarzī’s (d. 467/1075) Dumyat al-qaṣr wa-ʿaṣrat ahl al-ʿaṣr; cf. notes on this poem in edition below.
FN6363 In al-Ṯaʿālibī, Aḥsan mā samiʿtu, epigrams 60 and 61 are on p. 103-4 and epigram 59 is on p. 108.
FN6464 One example of this similarity is the following epigram by al-Ṯaʿālibī on a youth from the countryside:(quoted in Nāğī, “al-Mustadrak”, p. 204).