His memories in a trunk

Reflections on literature, language(s), and music

A few online resources for old Arabic poetry

This is a classified list of some freely available resources for studying old Arabic poetry, both in the the original language and in translations. So far, the links are mostly to older books, but there are a few audio samples, too. In some cases, if the title itself is not clear enough, I have added a remark or two to describe the item. The aim and the quality of each resource naturally varies, but there is certainly much of use to many readers here. This list is by no means complete, and from time to time I’ll add more. Suggestions of additions are welcome.


Wikipedia article

Arabic text, with audio

Lady Anne Blunt and W. S. Blunt, The Seven Golden Odes of Pagan Arabia (1903). English translation.

F. E. Johnson, The Seven Poems Suspended in the Temple at Mecca (1893). Line-by-line Arabic text, English translation, brief annotations, and vocabulary.

P. Wolff, Muallakat. Die sieben Preisgedichte der Araber ins Deutsche übertragen (1857).

L. Abel, Die sieben Muʿallaḳât. Text, vollständiges Wörterverzeichniss, deutscher und arabischer Commentar (1891).

W. Ahlwardt, The divans of the six ancient Arabic poets, Ennābiga, ʾAntara, Tharafa, Zuhair, ʾAlqama and Imruulqais; chiefly according to the mss. of Paris, Gotha, and Leyden; and the collection of their fragments, with a list of the various readings of the text (1870).

F.A. Arnold, Septem Moʿallaḳât Carmina Antiquissima Arabum (1850).


C. Lyall, The Mufaḍḍalīyāt; an anthology of ancient Arabian odes compiled by Al-Mufaḍḍal son of Muḥammad according to the recension and with the commentary of Abū Muḥammad al-Qāsim ibn Muḥammad al-Anbārī.

  • vol. 1 (Arabic text, with Arabic comm.)
  • vol. 2 (English trans., with some notes)
  • vol. 3 (indices)

Abū Tammām, Al-Ḥamāsah


Būlāq edition.

G.W.F. Freytag, Hamasae Carmina cum Tebrisii scholiis integris edita, versione latina et commentario illustravit.

F. Rückert, Hamâsa, oder die ältesten arabischen Volkslieder (1846). German translation and some annotations.

Abū ‘l-Faraǧ al-Iṣfahānī, Kitāb al-aġānī


Wikipedia article on Arabic poetry

Wikipedia article on Arabic prosody

W. Ahlwardt, Ueber Poesie und Poetik der Araber (1856).

W. Ahlwardt, Chalef Elahmar’s Qasside: Berichtigter arabischer Text, Uebersetzung und Commentar, mit Benutzung vieler handschriftlichen Quellen. Nebst Würdigung Josef von Hammer’s als Arabisten (1859).

W. Ahlward, Diwan des Abu Nowas nach der Wiener und Berliner Handschrift mit Benutzung anderer Handschriften, I. Die Weinlieder (1861).

W. Ahlwardt, Bemerkungen über die Aechtheit der alten arabischen Gedichte mit besonderer Beziehung auf die sechs Dichter nebst Beiträgen zum richtigen Verständnisse Ennābiga’s und ʾAlqama’s (1872).

J.D. Carlyle, Specimens of Arabian poetry, from the earliest time to the extinction of the Khaliphat, with some account of the authors (1796). Arabic text (without vowels) and English translation.

L. Cheikho, Commentaires sur le Diwan d’al-ansâ, d’après les manuscrits du Caire, d’Alep, de Beyrouth et de Berlin (1896).

L. Cheikho, Maǧānī al-adab fī ḥadāʾiq al-ʿarab.

L. Cheikho, Kitāb šuʿarā al-naṣrāniyyah.

W. A. Clouston, Arabian Poetry for English Readers (1881). Includes Al-Muʿallaqāt and other poems in English translations.

J. Golius, Proverbia quaedam Alis, Imperatoris Muslimici, et Carmen Togra’ï, Poëtae doctiss., nec non Dissertatio quaedam Aben Sinae (Leiden, 1629). Published anonymously; only the Arabic text, no translation; contains the Lāmiyyat al-ʿaǧam of al-Ṭuġrāʾī, which was again published, this time with Latin translation and commentary, by E. Pococke. See also Usko (1814) below.

M. Hartmann, Das arabische Strophengedicht (1897).

M. de Lagrange, Anthologie arabe: ou, Choix de poésies arabes inédites, traduites pour la première fois en français, et accompagnées d’observations critiques et littéraires (1828)

C. Lyall, The Diwans of Abid ibn al-Abras, of Asad, and Amir ibn at-Tufail, of Amir ibn Sasaah, edited for the first time, from the ms. in the British museum, and supplied with a translation and notes (1913).

Th. Nöldeke, Delectus veterum carminum arabicorum (1890) With Arabic-Latin glossary by A. Müller.

E. Pococke, Lamiato’l Ajam, Carmen Tograi Poetae Arabis Doctissimi; Unà cum versione Latina, & notis praxin illius exhibentibus (Oxford, 1661). Arabic text with facing Latin translation, followed by commentary. Prefaced by a long essay De prosodia arabica by the printer, Samuel Clarke. An ET of the poem will be found in Carlyle’s Specimens.

Princeton Arabic Poetry (Brief selections in Arabic, with audio, and English translation).

W. Wright, A Grammar of the Arabic Language, 3d ed., rev. W. Robertson Smith and M.J. de Goeje, vol. 2 (1898). Pages 350-390 on rhyme, meter, and other features of poetry in Arabic.

J.F. Usko, A Vocabulary, Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian, by the Late Miss E. smith, to which is prefixed, A Praxis, on the Arabic Alphabet (1814). Pp. 1-16 contain (in vocalized Arabic, transliteration, and English translation) part of the Lāmiyyat al-ʿaǧam of al-Ṭuġrāʾī, with commentary.

One thought on “A few online resources for old Arabic poetry

  1. Pingback: Some online sources for classical Arabic poetry | His memories in a trunk

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