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Ṣābiʾ

(2,506 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
(a.), ou Ṣābī, pl. Ṣābiʾūn, Ṣābiʾa, Ṣāba, les Sabéens (ne pas confondre avec le peuple portant le même nom en français, ci-dessus s.v. Sabaʾ). Nom appliqué en arabe à au moins trois communautés religieuses entièrement distinctes: (1) Les Ṣābiʾūn qui apparaissent trois fois dans le Ḳurʾān (II, 62; V, 609; XXII, 17) associés aux Chrétiens et aux Juifs. Leur identité, très controversée chez les commentateurs musulmans comme chez les orientalistes modernes, était de toute évidence déjà incertaine peu après l’époque de Muḥammad, et le re…

Sīn et S̲h̲īn

(1,181 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
, les 12e et 13e lettres de l’alphabet arabe. Les deux lettres ont la même forme ( rasm), qui dérive de celle de la lettre araméenne s̲h̲īn, et ne se distinguent que par le diacritisme : le s̲h̲īn a trois points au-dessus, tandis que le sīn est en principe non-ponctué ( muhmal). Toutefois, dans des manuscrits soignés, il peut se distinguer par un chevron au-dessus, ou encore par trois points au-dessous. Dans la forme orientale de l’ abd̲j̲ad [ q.v.], le sīn occupe la position du semkat̲h̲ araméen et, comme lui, possède la valeur numérique 60; le s̲h̲īn a pour sa part la position du s̲h̲īn araméen (…

Tāʾ et Ṭāʾ

(499 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
, troisième et seizième lettres de l’alphabet arabe, avec les valeurs numériques dans le système d’ abd̲j̲ad correspondant à 400 et 9 respectivement. Dans la prononciation standard moderne, la première représente une occlusive sourde, dentale (ou dento-alvéolaire), légèrement aspirée, la seconde une occlusive sourde, dentale (dento-alvéolaire), non-aspirée vélarisée, c’est-à-dire avec le dos de la langue tendu vers le palais mou. Sībawayh et ses successeurs qualifient le ṭāʾ de mad̲j̲hūr, ce que certains modernes interprètent par «sonore» [voir Ḥurūf al-Hid̲j̲āʾ], mais le…

Wīs u Rāmīn

(511 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
, long poème narratif en persan de Fak̲h̲r al-dīn Asʿad Gurgānī [ q.v.], écrit peu après 441 /1050 et dédié à Abū Naṣr b. Manṣūr, gouverneur d’Iṣfahān au nom des Sald̲j̲ūḳides. Le conte, qui se passe dans un passé lointain non précisé, traite de l’histoire d’amour entre Wīs, femme du Roi Mōbad de Merv, et Rāmīn, le jeune frère de son mari. Il raconte comment les deux amants se rencontrent, comment ils sont découverts par la suite, et comment Rāmīn se rebelle contre son frère, s’emparant finalement du trône …

Wāw

(817 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
, 27e lettre de l’alphabet arabe (ou 26e, si le hāʾ est placé après le wāw), ayant pour valeur numérique 6. Il a deux fonctions principales dans l’orthographe de l’arabe, représentant soit la semi-voyelle w soit la voyelle longue ū. La grammaire arabe traditionnelle réduit ces deux fonctions à une seule en analysant le ū comme un u bref ( ḍamma) plus un wāw. Le wāw sert également (comme le alif et le yāʾ) de «support» au hamza [ q.v.] médian ou final, ce qui reflète la situation, selon l’avis le plus communément admis, dans l’ancien dialecte de La Mecque, où le ʾ semble être devenu un w dans certaine…

Sīmurg̲h̲

(570 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
(p.), nom d’un oiseau mythique. Deux passages de l’ Avesta font allusion à l’«oiseau Saēna-» ( marayō saēnō; Yaišt, 14/41) ou à l’«arbre de Saēna-» ( vanam yam saēnahe; Yašt, 12:17). Ce dernier passage spécifie que cet arbre se tient au milieu du lac Vourukasa, que son nom est «Tous-remèdes» et qu’il porte les semences de toutes les plantes. Le mot saēna- est étymologiquement identique au sanskrit śyēiá-, «aigle, faucon». Mais il ne ressort pas clairement des deux passages avestiques qu’il désigne une espèce déterminée d’oiseau (encore que Saēnaapparaisse ailleurs dans l’ Avesta comme …

Ṣābir b. Iamāʿīl al-Tirmid̲h̲ī (s̲h̲ihāb al-dīn), connu habituellement sous le nom d’adĪb Ṣābir

(394 words)

Author(s): Blois, F. C. de
, poète persan de la première moitié du VIe/XIIe siècle. Son dīwān, qui a été publié deux fois (éd. ʿAlī Ḳawira, Téhéran 1331 S̲h̲./1952-3, et éd. M. ʿA. Nāṣiḥ, Téhéran 1343, S̲h̲./1964) consiste presque entièrement en panégyriques à la louange du sultan ¶ sald̲j̲ūk Sand̲j̲ar (511-52/1118-57), du Ḵh̲wārazms̲h̲āh Atsi̊z (521-68/1127-72) et de divers personnages dans leurs cours respectives, notamment le raʾīs-i Ḵh̲urāsān pour le compte de Sand̲j̲ar, Mad̲j̲d al-dīn ʿAlī b. Ḏj̲aʿfar al-Mūsawī, principal mécène du poète. La rivalité entre ses deux maîtres pri…

S̲h̲āh “king”, and S̲h̲āhans̲h̲āh

(1,050 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
“king of kings”, two royal titles in Persian. They can be traced back to the Achaemenid kings of ancient Persia, who, from Darius I (521-486 B.C.) onwards, refer to themselves in their inscriptions both as xšāyaθiya “king” (from the root xšay- “to rule”, cognate to Sanskrit kṣáyati “possess” and Greek κτάομαι “acquire”) and as xšāyaθiya xšāyaθiyānām “king of kings”. Even earlier the title “king of kings” had been used by the rulers of Assyria and of Urartu (in the Caucasus) and it is not unlikely that the Persians adopted it from the latter (see O.G. von Wesendonk, The title “King of Kings” , in O…

Zindīḳ

(3,842 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. De
1. The word. Zindīḳ , pl. zanādiḳa , abstract/collective noun zandaḳa , is an Arabic word borrowed (at least in the first instance) from Persian, and used in the narrow and precise meaning “Manichaean” (synonym: Mānawī , or the quasi-Aramaic Manānī ), but also loosely for “heretic, renegade, unbeliever”, in effect as a synonym for mulḥid , murtadd or kāfir . The earliest attestation of the word, in any language, is in the Middle Persian inscription of the Zoroastrian high priest ¶ Kirdīr on the so-called Kaʿba-yi Zardus̲h̲t, from the end of the 3rd cent…

Sūzanī

(295 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(better Sōzanī), Muḥammad b. ʿAlī (or Masʿūd?) al-Samarḳandī, Persian satirical poet of the 6th/12th century. A native of Nasaf (Nak̲h̲s̲h̲ab), he eulogised several of the Ḳarak̲h̲ānid rulers of Samarḳand, from Arslān S̲h̲āh Muḥammad II (495- ca. 523/1102- ca. 1129) up to Ḳi̊li̊č Ṭamg̲h̲āč K̲h̲ān Masʿūd II ( ca. 556-74/ ca. 1161-78), but also several of the Burhānid ṣadr s of Buk̲h̲ārā [see ṣadr . 1], the Sald̲j̲ūḳid Sand̲j̲ar [ q.v.] and others. Dawlats̲h̲āh, who appears to have seen Sūzanī’s grave in Samarḳand, says that he died in 569/1173-4, and adds that bef…

Tansar

(425 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, Kitāb , “the Letter of Tansar”, a political treatise from Sāsānid Persia, known in the Islamic world through an Arabic translation, probably by Ibn al-Muḳaffaʿ [ q.v.], from a lost original in Pahlavi. It was ostensibly written by “Tansar” (a misreading, in Pahlavi script, for Tusar, perhaps an abbreviation of * Tus-artēs̲h̲tār , Avestan Tusa-raθaēštar- “T. the warrior”), the chief priest of the first Sāsānid king, Ardas̲h̲īr I ( ca. 224-40), to Gus̲h̲tāsp, the king of Ṭabaristān, encouraging him to submit to Ardas̲h̲īr and, more generally, justifying the Sāsāni…

Ṣābir b. Ismāʿīl al-Tirmid̲h̲ī, S̲h̲ihāb al-Dīn, usually known as Adīb Ṣābir

(392 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
a Persian poet of the first half of the 6th/12th century. His dīwān , which has been published twice (ed. ʿAlī Ḳawīm, Tehran 1331 S̲h̲ ./1952-3, and ed. M.ʿA. Nāṣiḥ, Tehran 1343 S̲h̲./1964), consists almost entirely of panegyrics praising the Sald̲j̲ūḳ sultan Sand̲j̲ar (511-52/1118-57), the Ḵh̲wārazms̲h̲āh Atsi̊z (521-68/1127-72) and various persons at their respective courts, in particular Sand̲j̲ar’s raʾīs-i Ḵh̲urāsān , Mad̲j̲d al-Dīn ʿAlī b. Ḏj̲aʿfar al-Musawī, the poet’s principal patron. The rivalry between his two royal master…

S̲h̲ufurwa

(414 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
or S̲h̲awarwa , banū , conventional readings for the name of a family of Ḥanafī clerics and men of letters in Iṣfahān during the 6th/12th century. The name has not been explained and should perhaps be read rather as (Persian) S̲h̲aβ-rō “black-face”. Although several members of the family are listed in biographical works, the only one about whom we have precise knowledge is S̲h̲araf al-Dīn ʿAbd al-Muʾmin b. Hibat Allāh b. Muḥammad b. Hibat Allāh b. Ḥamza al-maʿrūf bi -S̲h̲awarwa. a religious scholar who spent time in Damascus and…

Wāw

(792 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, the 27th letter of the Arabic alphabet (or the 26th, if hāʾ is placed after wāw ), with the numerical value 6. It has two principal functions in Arabic orthography, standing either for the semivowel w or for the long vowel ū . Traditional Arabic grammar reduces these two functions to one by analysing ū as short u ( ḍamma ) plus wāw. Wāw also serves (like alif and yāʾ ) as a “support” for medial or final hamza [ q.v.], reflecting, according to the most commonly held view, the situation in the ancient dialect of Mecca, where ʾ appears to have shifted to w in certain positions. In the words ulāʾika and ulū , w…

Taḳī al-Dīn

(413 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
Muḥammad b. S̲h̲araf al-Dīn ʿAlī al-Ḥusaynī al-Kās̲h̲ānī, commonly called Taḳī Kās̲h̲ī , Persian scholar of the 10th-11th/16th-17th centuries. He was a pupil of the poet Muḥtas̲h̲am Kās̲h̲ī, whose dīwān he edited. His fame rests on his monumental compendium of Persian poetry K̲h̲ulāṣat al-as̲h̲ʿār wa-zubdat al-afkār , of which the first version was completed in 993/1585 and the enlarged second version in 1016/1607-8. It contains notices of well over 600 poets from the 5th/11th century up to the author’s own contempora…

Sayfī ʿArūḍī Buk̲h̲ārī

(207 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
, a Persian prosodist and minor poet at the Tīmūrid court in Harāt during the second half of the 9th/15th century. He is remembered for his text-book of Persian prosody ʿArūḍ-i Sayfī , which he completed in 896/1491; this has been published several times in India, notably with an English translation and extensive commentary in H. Blochmann’s The prosody of the Persians according to Saifi , Jami , and other writers, Calcutta 1872, a work which played an important role in making Persian poetical theory accessible to European students. But now that older and more det…

S̲h̲ahristan

(501 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(p.) “province”, “provincial capital”, “[large] town”. The word continues Middle Persian s̲h̲ahrestān , which has the same meanings, though it is certainly possible that it goes back even further to an unattested Old Persian * xšaça-stāna- . In any case, it is derived from s̲h̲ahr [ q.v.]—or its ancestor—and -stāna “place” (in compounds); a s̲h̲ahristān is thus literally a “place of kingship”, i.e. the seat of the local representative of royal power (the provincial capital) and then also the region over which that representati…

S̲h̲ahīd

(596 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(or perhaps better, S̲h̲uhayd) b. al-Ḥusayn al-Balk̲h̲ī al-Warrāḳ al-Mutakallim, Abu ’l-Ḥasan, a philosopher and a poet in Persian and Arabic, died (according to Yāḳūt, followed by al-Ṣafadī) in 315/927. He was a contemporary and close friend of the polymath Abū Zayd al-Balk̲h̲ī and of the Muʿtazilī theologian Abu ’l-Ḳāsim al-Balk̲h̲ī (see al-balk̲h̲ī ; the three Balk̲h̲īs were the subject of a joint biography, used by Yāḳūt) and a bitter rival of the famous philosopher Abū Bakr al-Rāzī [ q.v.]; the latter wrote a polemic against S̲h̲ahīd on the subject of pleasure ( al-lad̲h̲d̲h̲a

Sīmurg̲h̲

(597 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(p.), the name of a mythical bird. There are two passages in the Avesta referring to the “bird Saēna-” ( mərə γ ō saēnō ; Yašt 14: 41) or the “tree of Saēna-” ( vanam yam saēnahe ; Yašt 12: 17); the latter specifies that this tree stands in the middle of Lake Vourukaša, that its name is “all-remedies” and that it bears the seeds of all plants. The word saēna is etymologically identical with Sanskrit śyēná- , “eagle, falcon”, but it is not clear from the two Avestan passages whether it designates a species of bird (though the fact that Saēna- is used…

S̲h̲ahr

(177 words)

Author(s): Blois, F.C. de
(p.) “town”. The word goes back to Old Persian xšaça- (cf. Avestan xšaθra- , Sanskrit kṣatrá- ; all from the same root as New Persian s̲h̲āh [ q.v.]), “kingship, royal power”, thence “kingdom”. The latter meaning is still the usual one for Middle Persian s̲h̲ahr and it survives in the S̲h̲āh-nāma , especially in set phrases such as s̲h̲ahr-i Ērān (used metri causa instead of Ērān-s̲h̲ahr “kingdom of the Aryans”, the official name of the Sāsānid empire), s̲h̲ahr-i Tūrān , s̲h̲ahr-i Yaman , etc. But already in the earliest New Persian texts, the usual mean…
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