This book gives an insight into panegyrics, a genre central to understanding medieval Near Eastern Society. Poets in this multi-ethnic society would address the majority of their verse to rulers, generals, officials, and the urban upper classes, its tone ranging from celebration to reprimand and even to threat.
Part 1: Setting the Stage 1. Background 2. The Form: The Abbasid Praise Qasida 3. The Approach: Mad'ih and Pragmatics 4. The Protagonists: Ibn al-Rum'i and His Patron, Ubaydall'ah b. Abdall'ah 5. The Mah'ih Exchanged between Ibn al-Rum'i and Ubaydall Part 2: Speech and Characterization 6. Speech as Action 7. The Dramatis Personae Part 3: The Dramaturgy 8. The Scene 9. The Episode and its Witnesses 10. 'The Passion of Him Whose Parting Has Grayed its Affection' Translation of £191 11. 'They Aimed at My Heart From the Gaps of Veils' Translation of £1042 x Preliminaries Part 4: Verbal Ornament 12. Supporting Figures of Speech 13. Phantasmagoria Part 5: Ibn al-Rum'i's Ethics of Patronage 14. On the Mirror of Mad'ih 15. Mutual Duties and Rights of Benefactor and Protégé 16. Acts and Words between Panegyrist and Model Conclusion: Dramaturgy as a Rhetoric of Ethics