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The Maqámát of Badí‘ al-Zamán al-Hamadhání, tr. W.J. Prendergast [1915] at

p. vii


THIS Translation of the Maqámát of Badí ‘al-Zamán al-Hamadhání from the original Arabic with an Introduction and Notes was prepared as my thesis for the Research Degree of Bachelor of Letters, Oxford University, during the years 1913-14, and I now publish it as it was then written.

The original being largely in rhymed prose to which sense is sometimes subordinated to sound, there will necessarily be much in the rendering that will appear insipid and uninteresting to the English reader unacquainted with Arabic; but, as the Maqámát gave the first impulse to a species of composition which has for centuries been regarded as an important branch of belles lettres, it is hoped that this first translation of the work into English will be favourably received by Arabic scholars and that students will find it an aid to the understanding of this famous classic.

In the Notes I refer to the following by the names of their respective authors:--

Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary (London, 1841).

Ibn Khaldún's Prolegomena (Paris, 1878). Translated by M. G. de Slane.

Nicholson's Literary History of the Arabs (London, 1907). For typographical reasons 'q' instead of 'ḳ' has been used throughout to represent the Arabic ﻕ in transliteration.

p. viii

My respectful thanks are due to His Highness the Nizam, G.C.S.I., for graciously permitting me to dedicate the book to him. My acknowledgements are also due to His Highness’ Government and the Madras School Book and Literary Society for generous grants towards the cost of publication. I also desire to acknowledge my indebtedness to the Rev. Canon E. Sell, D.D., for much valuable advice and help in regard to the arrangement of the Notes and to the Rev. J. Passmore for kindly assisting me in seeing the work through the press.

W. J. P.

September, 1915

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