Antarah ibn Shaddad

28 Feb, 2019 890 Other literatures

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life, works, context and legacy of Antarah (525-608AD), the great poet and warrior. According to legend, he was born a slave; his mother was an Ethiopian slave, his father an elite Arab cavalryman. Antarah won his freedom in battle and loved a woman called Abla who refused him, and they were later celebrated in the saga of Antar and Abla. One of Antarah’s poems was so esteemed in pre-Islamic Arabia that it is believed it was hung up on the wall of the Kaaba in Mecca.

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  • James Montgomery 4 episodes
    Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge
  • Marle Hammond No other episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Arabic Popular Literature and Culture at SOAS, University of London
  • Harry Munt No other episodes
    Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of York

Reading list

  • An Introduction to Arab Poetics
    Adonis (trans. Catherine Cobham) (Saqi Books, 2003) Google Books →
  • Arabic Literary Culture: 500-925
    Michael Cooperson and Shawkat M. Toorawa (eds.) (Thomson Gale, 2005) Google Books →
  • Arabs and Empires before Islam
    Greg Fisher (ed.) (Oxford University Press, 2015) Google Books →
  • Antar, A Bedoueen Romance
    Terrick Hamilton (Forgotten Books, 2018) Google Books →
  • Beyond Elegy: Classical Arabic Women's Poetry in Context
    Marle Hammond (Oxford University Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • The Thirsty Sword: Sirat 'Antar and the Arabic Popular Epic
    Peter Heath (University of Utah Press, 1996) Google Books →
  • Arabia and the Arabs from the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam
    Robert Hoyland (Routledge, 2001) Google Books →
  • Night & Horses & the Desert: An Anthology of Classical Arabic Literature
    Robert Irwin (Overlook Press, 2016) Google Books →
  • The Warrior Women of Islam: Female Empowerment in Arabic Popular Literature
    Remke Kruk (I.B.Tauris, 2013) Google Books →
  • Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange
    Malcolm Lyons (trans.) (Penguin Classics, 2016)
  • The Arabian Epic: Heroic and Oral Storytelling
    M. C. Lyons (Cambridge University Press, 1995) Google Books →
  • The Adventures of Antar
    H. T. Norris (trans.) (Aris & Phillips, 1980) Google Books →
  • The Arabs and Arabia
    F. E. Peters (ed.) (Ashgate, 1999) Google Books →
  • War Songs
    Antarah ibn Shaddad (trans. James E. Montgomery with Richard Sieburth) (New York University Press, 2018) Google Books →
  • Imagining the Arabs: Arab Identity and the Rise of Islam
    Peter Webb (Edinburgh University Press, 2016) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: m0002r5v

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Auto-category: 892.7 (Arabic poetry)