Adab and governance in two letters of al-Ṣāḥib b. ʿAbbād

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This article considers the role of adab literary cultivation in the practice of Islamic statecraft in the 4th/10 century Western Iran. Analyzing two letters drawn from a surviving dīwān of letters composed during the period of Buyid rule in Iraq and Western Iran by the famed vizier al-Ṣāḥib b. ʿAbbād (d. 385/995), the article addresses how adab learning informed and inflected the conduct and practice of interactions with the state. Countering the oft-made claim that learning was functional grease for the machinery of government, it argues that adab was essential to holding state and society together.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12684
JournalHistory Compass
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History


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