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The Historical Arjūza of ibn ʿAbd Rabbihi, a Tenth-Century Hispano-Arabic Epic Poem

James T. Monroe
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 91, No. 1 (Jan. - Mar., 1971), pp. 67-95
DOI: 10.2307/600444
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/600444
Page Count: 29
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The Historical Arjūza of ibn ʿAbd Rabbihi, a Tenth-Century Hispano-Arabic Epic Poem
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Abstract

The adverse opinion of nineteenth-century Orientalists concerning the possibility of literary contacts between Arabic and Romance literatures in the Middle Ages... The hypothesis of J. Ribera concerning the possibility of a Mozarabic epic and its influence on Spanish and French epic poetry. Critique of Ribera's hypothesis: difficulty of proving the survival of Visigothic epic among the Mozarabs. No effect of this on Arjūza poetry. The Arjūza of Ibn ʿAbd Rabbihi; its historical accuracy and literary enhancement of theme. Structural analysis. Though it is a written epic, it exhibits certain features of theme, style and presentation, that coincide with features found in oral Spanish and French epic poetry. Complete translation of the Arjūza into English, accompanied by annotations for scholarly use. From this data, Ribera's theory would have to be modified. Andalusian Arjūza poetry, far from being a descendant of Visigothic epic poetry, is modelled directly on Eastern Arjūza poetry, and is therefore an Arabic importation into Al-Andalus, and not native. The probability of its effect on Romance Epic having been established in recent studies, a theory of transmission needs to be elaborated from the available material.

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