A Political Biography of al-Ṣāḥib Ismāʿīl b. ʿAbbād (d. 385/995)

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Maurice A Pomerantz



In the medieval Islamic world, eloquent expression was an important skill for statesmen to acquire, such that many of the leading viziers were often prominent belletrists. Among the most well known of these literary figures was the Būyid vizier Ibn ʿAbbād (d. 385/995). Drawing from a wide range of historical and literary sources, this article compiles and corroborates the many accounts relating to Ibn ʿAbbād’s political career, beginning with his family background and early education as a scribe, to his experiences in the Būyid courts of Baghdad, Iṣfahān, and Rayy and his two decades as vizier to the Būyids Muʾayyid al-Dawla (d. 373/983) and Fakhr al-Dawla (d. 387/997) in western Iran.

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