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The Practical Matters of Culture in Pre-Madrasa Baghdad

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While much research has been carried out on the topic of classical Islamic education, most of this has focused on the post-madrasa period starting in the late fifth/eleventh century. Basing itself on narrative material from biographies, adab works and chronicles, this paper explores the fluid system in which scholars earned a living and acquired authoritativeness at an earlier time, also attempting to illustrate how culture and its various components (poetry, adab, grammar, etc.) were valued by different groups and what, if any, political influence the scholars themselves were afforded by their skills and their proximity to power.

Affiliations: 1: Università degli Studi di Milano


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