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Selections From The Art of Party Crashing in Medieval Iraq

by al-Khatib al-Baghdadi

Publication Year: 2012

Selove provides a humorous selection of anecdotes from al-Baghdadi’s The Art of Party-Crashing, a book about enjoying food, flirtation and everyday life in Medieval Iraq. The passages are full of ribald jokes, roguish tricksters, and joyful outpourings of spontaneous eloquence.

Published by: Syracuse University Press


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pp. 1-2

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 3-6


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

Translator’s Note

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pp. ix-xii

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pp. xiii-xvi

I began this translation as an undergraduate at Cornell University, where it served as my senior thesis in 2006, and continued working on it off and on throughout graduate school at UCLA. This work has been so long in the making that I must have forgotten some people who helped make it possible. ...

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Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi’s Introduction

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pp. 1-5

You mentioned to me that you happened to hear about a party-crasher who came to converse with Nasr ibn ‘Ali al-Jahdhami, and that you wanted to study the story word for word and to examine it more closely.1 I told you that it had been related to me as well and by what chain of transmission, but we did not have enough time to fill in the details. ...

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The Meaning of “Party-Crashing” in the Language and the First Person Named after It

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pp. 6-10

I read under al-Hasan ibn Abu al-Qasim on the authority of Abu al-Faraj ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Isbahani, al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Zakariyya told me, Abu ‘Uthman al-Mazini told us, al-Asma‘i told us: ...

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Early Party-Crashing

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pp. 11-18

Abu al-Hasan Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rizq al- Bazzaz told us, Abu Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn ‘Umar ibn ‘Ali ibn Harb al-Ta’i told us, ‘Ali ibn Harb told us, Sufyan told us on the authority of ‘Asim ibn Abu al-Nujud, ...

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Going to a Meal Without Being Invited Is Deemed Rude

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pp. 19-29

The judge Abu ‘Umar al-Qasim ibn Ja‘far ibn ‘Abd al-Wahid al-Hashimi told us in Basra, Abu ‘Ali Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Amr al-Lu’lu’i told us, Abu Dawud Sulayman ibn al-Ash‘ath told us (or ‘Ali ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Umar al-Muqri’ told us, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Shafi ‘i told us, ...

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Those Who Cast Aspersions on Party-Crashing and Its Practitioners and Satirize and Denounce Them

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pp. 30-35

Al-Hasan ibn Abu Bakr told us, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Ibrahim al-Shafi ‘i told us, Muhammad ibn Ghalib told us, Yahya ibn Isma‘il al-Wasiti told us, Mu‘tammar ibn Sulayman told us, Qurra related to me on the authority of Muhammad, Ibn ‘Umar quotes this line: ...

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Those Who Praise, Make Excuses for, or Speak Well of Party-Crashing

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pp. 36-41

Abu al-Qasim ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Ahmad al-Sayrafi and Abu Ya‘la Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahid al-Wakil told us, and they said, Muhammad ibn Ja‘far al- Tamimi told us, Abu Bakr ibn al-Anbari told us, Tha‘lab told us on the authority of Abu Nasr, Al- Asma‘i said: ...

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Party-Crashers from among the Notables, the Noble, the Learned, and the Cultured

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pp. 42-71

Al-Hasan ibn Abu Bakr told me, Abu al-Fadl ‘Isa ibn Musa ibn Abu Muhammad ibn al-Mutawakkil ‘Ali Allah told us, Muhammad ibn Khalaf ibn al-Marzuban said, al-‘Abbas ibn Hisham told this story on the authority of his brother Unayf ibn Hisham, who heard it from his father, ...

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Those Who Engage in Very Subtle Acts of Party-Crashing

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pp. 72-78

Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al- Mu’addib told us, Isma’il ibn Ahmad al-Kashani told us, Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Firabri told us, Isma‘il ibn al-Bukhari told us, Abu al-Rahman ibn Shayba told us, Ibn Abu Fudayk told me, on the authority of Ibn Abu Dhi’b, ...

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Those Who Love People to Sponge and Facilitate It

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pp. 79-84

Abu al-Hasan Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahid ibn Muhammad ibn Ja‘far told me, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahim al-Mazini told us, Abu Ahmad al-Hariri told us, Ahmad ibn al-Harith al-Kharraz told us, Abu al-Hasan al-Madini told us: ...

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Anecdotes about Party-Crashers Who Exert Themselves in Party-Crashing and Make It a Trade and Occupation

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pp. 85-98

The party-crashing chieftains in Basra were very dashing, sporting blue wraps in the summertime. One of these chieftains, called “Abu Malik al-Halik,” was walking down Quraysh Lane on a Saturday evening, when he ran into Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Ishaq. ...

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Accounts of the Ones That the Guards Would Refuse, but Who Outwit the Guards with a Lie or a Ruse

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pp. 99-110

“I see that you don’t recognize me!” Bunan replied. “I’m the guy who was supposed to get the honey cups,” so the gatekeeper opened the gate and Bunan went in. He ate and drank with the crowd, and when he’d had enough, he took the honey cups again and called to the gatekeeper, “Open up! ...

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Mention of the Party-Crashers’ Conversations, Advice, and Poetry

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pp. 111-127

Abu al-Qasim al-Azhari related to us, Ahmad ibn Ibrahim ibn Shadhan told us, Ahmad ibn Mas‘ud ibn ‘Amr told us, Ibrahim ibn ‘Abd al-Salam told us, Bashr ibn Hayyan told us, Sulayman al-Minqari told us: ...

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Accounts of Bunan, the Party-Crasher

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pp. 128-162

Bunan is the most talked-about party-crasher, the party-crasher of the farthest-reaching fame. And in terms of party-crashing—in terms of the extreme lengths to which he goes, as well as his customary goings-on—Bunan’s got what no one else has. News of him abounds; we cited some of it already. ...

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A Document Pertaining to Party-Crashing

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pp. 163-174

Among the retinue of the Amir Bakhtiyar,1 known as ‘Izz al-Dawla, was a man named ‘Aliyyaka, who was a great party-crasher of military men (the gatekeepers, officers, and secretaries), and of the prominent members of the private class, as well as male concubines. ...


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pp. 175-176

About the Author, Back Cover

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pp. 197-199

E-ISBN-13: 9780815651796
E-ISBN-10: 0815651791
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815632986
Print-ISBN-10: 0815632983

Page Count: 168
Illustrations: 10 black and white illustrations
Publication Year: 2012