Key Figures of Islamic Tradition, According to Marshall Hodsgon (3)

Earlier Translators, Philosophers, Scientists

(I exclude pure scientists here)


c. 873, al-Kindi, often called "the first Faylasuf"

c. 873, death of Hunayn ibn Ishaq, important translator of Hellenistic works into Arabic

925, al-Razi, Faylasuf, alchemist, physician

950, al-Farabi, Faylasuf-metaphysician

c. 970, collection of "Epistles" of Ikhwan al-Safa, a comprehensive compilation of estoric (Pythagorean-type) "scientific" and metaphysical knowledge


Earlier Classical Arabic Belles-Lettrists

5-6th c., pre-Islamic Arabic poetry - "classical" qasidah ("ode") style; Arabian poets Imrul-Qais, Tarafah, Zuhair, and others

Early 8th c., Umayyad poets Jarir, al-Farazdaq, and al-Akhtal; rise of ghazal (love song, and generally lyric) style -- Umar b. Abi Rabiah (d. 719)

c.760, Ibn-al-Muqaffa, translator of PErsian works, caliphal adviser, and prose writer

c. 815, Abu-Nuwas, court poet of new styles, detractor of the old poetry

c.828, al-Asmai, Arabic grammarian and lexicographer, collector of old Arabic poetry

c. 845, Abu-Tammam, collector of old Arabic poetry, poet in his own right who imitated the old style

869, al-Jahiz, Mutazili theologian, master of the Arabic prose essay 

889, Ibn-Qutaybah, grammarian, theological and literary critic, prose writer in the spirit of adab, moderate exponent of new forms

892, al-Baladhuri, collector of hadiths; wrote history of Arab conquests

923, al-Tabari, master exeget and hadith-based historian of pre-Islamic and Islamic periods

951, al-Istakhri, geographer, who wrote a description of the world using work of al-Balkhi (d.934)

956, al-Masudi, well-travelled and erudite writer, "philosophical" historian

965, al-Mutanabbi, last great poet in older Arabic style, paragon of subtlety in poetic allusion

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