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v. 3. “The wild kine,” the anti!ope defassà, a species of bovine antelope. “The deer,” (orám (for ar’ām), plural of ri’m. Ri'm is the white antelope (antilope leucorya); though identical in form with the Hebrew roëm (réym), it is very doubtful whether the latter word means the same : the LXX translate it by uovákepos (A. W. “unicorn”). The Assyrian is, like the Arabic, ri’mu, and there is a good discussion of the meaning of this word in an article on the Animals of the Assyrian Sculptures in the Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology for 1877; it appears certain that it is not the
antilope leucorya, but some larger and robuster animal, perhaps the wild buffalo (see Job xxxix, 9-12).
v. 5. “Trench”: round the tent a trench is dug to receive the rain from the roof and prevent the water from flooding the interior.
v. 6. “In the morn” : the morning was the time when raids were made, and the word Sabás, thus itself is used in the sense of a sudden attack. Yá Sabáháh was the battle-cry (shī‘ār) of Temim in the Day of el-Kuláb. To wish peace in the morning to a place is therefore an appropriate greeting.
vv. 7–15. The journey here described would take the wanderers along the Southern skirt of the tract called by Palgrave (Cent, and East. Arabia, Vol. I, chap. vi) “the Upper Raseem ;” er-Rass is still a place of some importance, and will be found marked on Palgrave's map some distance to the North of ‘Oneyzeh. In the days of Zuheyr the country was in the possession of the Benū Asad, who were not always on the friendliest terms with the Benū Bubyān, among whom the poet lived.
v. 12. Tassels of scarlet wool decorated the haudaj in which ladies rode. “‘Ishrig seeds”: Jabbit-l-fend ; the exact nature of this plant with a scarlet seed or fruit is very doubtful : See Lane, s. v.v. &,” and co
v. 16. “The Holy House” is the Ka'beh. The mention of its building by the Qureysh and the men of Jurhum must not be understood of the same time. Jurhum was the name of two Arab stocks: the first the ancient race who peopled the lower Hijāz and Tihāmeh at the time of the legendary settlement of Ishmael among them, with whom he is said to have intermarried; the socond (whom M. de Perceval regards as alone having had a historical existence) a tribe who ruled in Mekkeh from about 70 B. C. to 200 A. D. They were expelled from Mekkch and dispersed so that no memorial of them remained by an Azdite stock from el-Yemen called the Khuzā‘ah (C. de Perceval, Essai, i, 218. Aghāmi, xiii, 108-111.). The Socond Jurhum are said (Agh. id., p. 109) to have rebuilt the Ka ‘beh on the foundations laid by Abraham after it had been overthrown by a flood : the architect was one “Omar ol-Jārūd, whoso descendants were known as the Jedarah, or masons. The Quroysh settled in Mekkch during its occupation by the Rhuzā‘ah, and gained possession of the IKa‘bch in the time of Qusayy, whose mother was of the raco of the Jedarah, about 440 A. D. (C. de Percoval). Qusayy, in the year 450 A. D. or thereabout, caused the building erected by the Jurhum to be demolished, and rebuilt the Ra‘bch on a grander Scalo. It was rebuilt a third time in the year 605 A.D., very shortly before the Mo‘allaqah was composed. Mohammed, then 35 years old, assisted in the work, TheSo throo occasions aro probably those to which Zuhoyr rofers.
“Circle round,” #4fa haulahu ; the tawdf, or going round seven times, was one of the most ancient rites of the religion of the Arabs; it was the mode of worship used not only for the Ka'beh, but also for the other objects of reverence among the pagan Arabs : see Lane, s. v. Duwór.
V. 18. In this verse má beyna-l-‘ash;ret; must be understood as meaning the friendship of the two houses of the family. Beyn (“that which is between”) has two Contrary significations : disunion, that which parts or separates, and concord, that which joins; so #34tu-l-beyn means both enmity and friendship.
‘Ashāreh here means the stock of Baghīd son of Reyth son of Ghatafān, the common father of ‘Abs and Dubyān; according to the dictionaries ‘ashireh is the smallest Sub-division of the tribe, but its use here is clearly opposed to that view. The various Words meaning tribe and family are very loosely applied in the old poetry, and the distinctions drawn between them by lexicographers (see Lane s. v. Sha‘b) do not seem to be borne out by usage. In v. 24 ‘Abs and Bubyān are each called gaum, and in v. 34 “Abs is a hayy.
v. 19. The literal translation of this verse is— “Ye two repaired the condition of ‘Abs and Bubyān (by peace), after that they had shared one with another in destruction, and had brayed between them the perfume of Memshim.” The second hemistich is said to refer to a custom which existed among the Arabs of plunging their hands into a bowl of perfume as they took an oath together to fight for a cause until the last of them was slain. Menshim, the commentators say, was a woman in Mekkeh who sold perfume. Such an oath was followed by war to the bitter end, and so “ he brayed the perfume of Menshim” became a proverb for entering on deadly strife. That oaths so taken were counted of special force may be seen from the tale of “the Oath of the Perfumed ones,” hisf el-Mutayyabin, taken by the sons of ‘Abd-Menáf and their partisans in or about 490 A. D. (see C. de Perceval, Essai, i. 254. Ibn-el-Athir, Kāmil, i. pp. 329-30.)
v. 22. Ma'add was the forefather of all those Arabs (generally called musta‘ribes, or insititious) who traced their descent from ‘Admän, whose son he was. The name is thus used to denote the Central stocks, settled for the most part in Nejd and el-Hijāz, as opposed to the Arabs of el-Yemen or of Yemenic origin by whom they were bordered on the North and South. The name of Ma'add’s son Nizār is also used in the same way. Nizār was the father of Mudar, Rabi'ah, and Ammār; the last-named and his descendants joined themselves to tho people of el-Yemen; and “Rabi'ah and Mudar” is again a comprehensive term used to designate the tribes of Nejd and the Hijāz.
v. 25. “Slit-eared, of goodly breed”: min 'ifdlin muzonnemi. There are two ways of taking this phrase: the first is that here adopted, whereby muzennem is rendered as an adjective attached to 'ifál, meaning “slit-eared.” Camels of good breed had a slit made in the ear, and the piece of skin thus detached (called zonemeh) left to hang down. The ordinary grammatical construction would require the feminine, matzennemes, to agree with 'föl, but the masculine is used by a poetic license. The other, resting on the authority of Abū ‘Obeydeh, reads 'sal; Illuzennemi, “young camels (the offspring) of Muzennem” (or el-Muzennem) : Muzennem, he says, being the name of a famous stallion-camel whose breed was much renowned among the Arabs.
It is worth remarking that this line seems to contradict the assertion of et-Tebrizi, in his commentary on the Hamāseh, p. 107, that the young camels (seven or eight months old) called 'ifál (plural of 'afil) were not given in payment of bloodwits. Perhaps there was an exception in the case of the better breeds. The passage, however, on which et-Tebrizi makes this remark does not necessarily bear him out.
v. 26. “Tribesmen together leagued,” el-Ahláf, plural of hilf. The commentary says that these confederates were Ghatafān, Asad and Tayyi'; other authorities quoted by Lane (s. v. hilf) restrict the appellation to Asad and Ghatafān, Asad and Tayyi', or Fezārah (a branch of Đubyān) and Asad. Since Dubyān, a division of Ghatafān, is named separately from the Ahláf, it would seem probable that the word here means only Asad and Tayyi'. I do not, however, find that these confederates took any part in the War of Dáhis, except at the battle of Shi‘b Jebeleh, when Asad joined £ubyān and Temim against ‘Āmir and ‘Abs; their presence at the oath-taking between the various branches of Ghatafán would, however, render the engagement more formal and solemn : they were a sort of “Guaranteeing Power.”
vv. 27-28. Herr von Kremer (Culturgeschichte des Orients unter den Chalifen, Vol. ii., p. 358, note*) regards these verses as interpolated, and alien from the spirit of the poetry of the Ignorance. He says, moreover, that they are inconsistent with v. 48, which expresses the true feeling of that age, that of the Future no man knows amything. Certainly their spirit is more religious than is usual in the old poetry, and the mention of the Book and the Reckoning Day points to a body of doctrine which we are accustomed to think was first planted among the Arabs by Mohammed. But it is to be remarked that the passage where the verses come (vv. 26-33) seems thoroughly consecutive and complete in sense : that the same number of verses is given, in the Same order, in all the recensions of the poem ; and that v. 28 exhibits a very curious construction, easily intelligible indeed, but unlikely to be used in an interpolation: this is the carrying on of the majzüm imperfect from the apodosis of the conditional sentence in v. 27 b into the unconditional proposition of v. 28.
As regards the possibility of such an exhortation being addressed to the tribes settled in the country East of Yethrib and South of the mountains of Tayyi' in 610 A. D., I do not think that it should be hastily rejected. I'ew subjects are more obscure than the real nature of the religion of the pagan Arabs. It would seem that at the time when the Prophet arose there was extremely little religious faith in the people of any sort : that their old divinities were held by them in much the same estimation as that in which our own forefathers in Norway and Iceland held Odin and Thor when Christianity first overspread the North. But beyond the reverence, such as it was, paid to
* His words are—“Das Gedicht, Zohair XVI, wird man wegen v. 27 (28), der von der Abrechnung am jüngsten Tage Spricht, für unecht Oder interpolirt erklären müssen. Ich entscheide mich für das Letztere, demn v. 49 (48) spricht die echte, alte Idee aus, dass man von dem Zukünftigen nichts Wisse.” In the same note, H. von Kremer sees traces of Mohammedan recension in the name ‘Abd-alláh in a poem of ‘Antarah's. I presume that he considers the occurrence of that name as belonging to the father of Mohammed, the son of Jud'án, and the brother of Dureyd Son of es-Simmeh, as well as to the tribe-fathers ‘Abd-allāh ibn el-Azd (Ma‘ārif, p. 54), ‘Abd-allāh ibn Ghatafān (id. p. 39), and ‘Abd-allāh ibn Ka'b and ‘Abd-allāh ibn Kilāb, sub-divisions of ‘Āmir ibn Sa‘şa'ah (d. pp. 42 and 43), to be insufficiently vouched for.
el-Lāt, el-‘Ozzè, Memät, Fuls, Wedd, and the rest, there was certainly a back-ground of faith in The God, Allah, whose name was, as it still is, in the mouth of every Bedawi as his most frequent ejaculation. Without assuming Such a faith as already well known to the people, a great portion of the Qur'ân would be impossible : that revelation is addressed to men who join other gods with God, not those who deny Him. Some tribes may have had more of this belief in the One God, and been accustomed to look more immediately to Him, others (especially those who, like the Qureysh, possessed famous shrines of idolatrous worship which brought them in much profit,) less: probably contact with Judaism and Christianity determined in some measure the greater or less degree of it. Now among the neighbours of the tribes of Ghatafān were the Jews settled from Yethrib to Kheybar and Teymā; to the North was Kelb in the Daumat (or Dümat) el-Jemdel, almost entirely Christian ; Christianity had made some progress in Tayyi', nearer still ; and we have seen how, according to a fairly vouched for story, Qeys son of Zuheyr, the chief of ‘Abs, spent the last years of his life as a Christian anchorite in ‘Omân. To the West was Yethrib, in constant relations with the Kings of Ghassān, who were Christian, together with their people; and to the North-east was el-Hireh, whose King, en-Noomán Abū Qābūs, bad long been a Christian, and where Christianity had spread among the people long before his day. En-Nābighah of Đubyān, Zuheyr's famous contemporary, had dwelt long at the Courts both of el-Hireh and Ghassān; and in a well-known passage” (much contested, it is true, but in favour of the genuineness of which much may be said,) he refers to a Rabbinical legend of Solomon's power over the Jinn, and how they built for him Tedmur. At the fair of ‘Okáč Quss son of Sā'ideh had preached Christianity long before Zuheyr made this poem. And to ‘Abs itself belonged one of the Hanifs, Khālid son of Sinan son of Gheyth (see Ibn Quteybeh, Ma‘ārif, p. 30). These things seem to me to make it not impossible that the lines may be genuine. The objection that they are inconsistent with v. 48 appears wholly groundless; the latter refers to the vicissitudes of this world and the chances of life: the former to the reckoning of God in the world after death. (See note on v. 32 for a further argument in favour of the authenticity of these verses.)
v. 29. War, el-Harb, is feminine in Arabic ; as in wV. 31 and 32 it is personified as a woman, it seemed best to use in the translation the feminine pronoun in viv. 29 and 30. t
v. 31. “Skin,” thifál, is the mat of skin that is placed beneath the mill to receive the flour. The comparison of War to a mill and the slain to ground grain is common in the old poetry; so says ‘Amr son of Kulthūm (Mo‘all, vv. 30, 31)—
* En-Nābighah, v. 22 sqq. For a discussion of this passage, see Noeldeke, Beiträge z. Kenntn. dor Poes, d. alt. Araber, p. XI, and Ahlwardt, Bemerkungen über die Aechtheit d. alt. Arab. Gedichte, pp. 17-18 and 41. Noeldeke appears to overlook the tradition (unless he rejects it) that en-No"măm Was a Christian,
“When our War-mill is set against a people
Eastward in Nejd is set the skin beneath it,
“Year by year shall her womb conceive”: telqas kishāfan ; kisháf is said of a she-camel that conceives in two following years. Another word used in a like sense of War is awán, which is applied to an animal with a hard hoof (as a cow or mare), that after bringing forth her first-born (bisor) conceives again forthwith and bears another young one ; so harbon ‘awdon is said of a war the fury of which is perpetually renewed (see Hamāseh, p. 180). Again, hä'il, plural hiyāl, is used of a war which lies long dormant; its meaning is a she-camel that does not conceive for two years, or some years, and it is therefore the opposite of kisháf. Bl-Härith son of ‘Obâd said of the War of Basūs after the slaying of his son Bujeyr by Muhelhil—
“The War of Wä'il has conceived at last, having long been barren.”
v. 32. “Almar of ‘Ād.” According to the received story of the Muslims, it was to Thamūd, not to ‘Ād, that the prophet Sălih was sent to warn them of their wickedness. The sign that he gave them was a gigantic sho-camol that issued forth at his bidding from a rock (Qur’ān vii. 71): “Then said those among them that were filled with pride—‘Verily we reject that in which ye believed.’ And they slew the she-camel and rebelled against their Lord, and Said–“O Sălih bring upon us that where with thou didst threaten us, if thou art indeed of the Sent of God s” Then the earthquake seized them, and they lay on their faces in their dwellings, dead.” (Qur. i. e. ww. 74–76. The story is also told in Sârah xi, vv. 64–71.) The leader in the slaying of the Camel was Qudār el-Ahmar, “Qudár the Red”; and thus “More unlucky than Ahmar of Thamūd,” and “More unlucky than the Slayor of the She-camel,” became proverbs. The people of Thamūd (–who are mentioned” by Diodorus Siculus and Ptolemy, and as late as 450 A. D. in the Notitia dignitatum utriusque imperii : see C. de Perceval, Essai i., p. 27—) dwelt in Hijr, a valley on the road Northwards from the Hijāz into Syria. The race of ‘Ād, on the contrary, were settled in the South of Arabia, in the AAqāf, now a vast desert of sand; Ibn Quteybeh (Ma‘ālif. p. 15) places them “in ed-Daww, and ed-Dahnà, and ‘Ālij, and Yebrín, and Webbār, from ‘Omân to Hadramaut and el-Yemen.” To them was sent Håd (Qur. vii. 63 and xi). They were thus separated by the whole distance of Arabia from Thamūd, and, it is probable, also by a vast space of time, if the Thamudent of the Notilia dignitatum are the samo as the latter people. The commentators give two reasons to explain why Zuheyr said, “Ahmar of ‘Ād” instead of “Almar of Thamūd”: the first is the nocessity of the rhythm, which would not permit him to Say Thamūd; the Socond is that some of the genealogists say that Thamūd was a cousin of ‘Ād, and after the destruction of the
* In Mr. Goorge Smith’s “Assyria” (“Ancient History from the Monuments” Series), p. 100, Sargon, in 715 B. C., is related to have led an expedition into Arabia, “where he conquerod the Thamudites and several other tribes, carrying them captive and placing them in the cities of Samaria.”