Brockelmann in English: The History of the Arabic Written Tradition Online

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Subject: Middle East and Islamic Studies

This online publication is the English translation of Brockelmann's famous Geschichte der Arabischen Litteratur (GAL). Brockelmann's work offers bio-bibliographic information about works written in Arabic and their authors, with an emphasis on the classical period. It is divided in chronologically organized sections, which are subdivided by literary genre. Individual entries typically consist of a biographical section and a list of the author’s works in manuscript and print, with references to secondary literature. Unlike the German original, the English translation spells out all the authors' names, which makes the translation much easier to consult. Minor errors in converted dates have also been corrected.

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First Book - The National Literature of the Arabs

First Section: From the Beginnings until the Appearance of Muḥammad.

Second Section: Muḥammad and His Time.

Third Section: The Period of the Uma"ads.

Second Book: Islamic Literature in the Arabic Language

First Section: The Classical Period from ca. 750 until ca. 1000

Second Section: The Post-Classical Period of Islamic Literature from ca. 400/1000 until ca. 656/1258.

Third Book: The Decline of Islamic Literature.

First Section: From Mongol Rule Until the Conquest of Egypt by Sultan Selīm I in the Year 1517

Second Section: From the Conquest of Egypt by Sultan Selīm I in 1517 to the Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt in 1798.

Third Section: From the Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt in 1798 until the Present Day.


This online edition of the History of the Arabic Written Tradition by Carl Brockelmann, translated by Joep Lameer, is based on the two printed volumes (ISBN's: 9789004323308 and 9789004326316). References to the first and second edition of the Geschichte der Arabischen Litteratur (GAL) are given in the margin of the printed volumes. In this online edition these references are placed within the text:

  • |123 : Page numbers in blue refer to first edition. As in the second edition of GAL, the placement of these numbers is often approximate, but sufficient to find one’s way.
  • |123 : Page numbers in red refer to the second, enlarged and supplemented edition.

Each chapter in this online edition starts with a reference to Volume, Book and Section. The volume information refers to the two printed volumes of this English translation. Book and Section information refer to Brockelmann's Geschichte der Arabischen Litteratur. Next to this information links to the previous chapter and the German version are given. The link to the German version links to the same chapter in the second edition of GAL. At the end of a chapter a link to the next chapter is given.

Besides reading this online edition as a book (using the table of contents and the previous and next chapter links), this online edition allows full text searching using the search box at the top of the screen.