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Mukhlis, Faiq Amin (1964) Studies and comparison of the cycles of the Banu-Hilal romance. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Chapter I: The history of the Hilalis, from the time of the Jahiliya down to the present day, is traced with special emphasis on social and cultural background. The influence of the Bedouin traits in their character on their history is shown, and the social and political consequences of the Hilali entry into North Africa are briefly discussed. Their dispersal throughout the Arab world, in particular in North Africa, is described and as an additional illustration of this the genealogical tables of various Hilali tribes are attached at the end of the thesis. Chapter II: The origin of the older specimens of poetry connected with the Hilali narrative is examined. The spread of the narrative to Egypt and the changes it underwent at the hands of Egyptian composers and narrators is discussed, followed by a consideration of the identity of original anonymous composer or composers and time of composition. Some thought is given to the proper name for the cycles contained -in the sira. A brief critical review of previous research and studies on this subject concludes this chapter. Chapter III: A chronological survey of the episodes of the sira is made, with references to variants in the different printed editions and MSS and, where relevant, to oral Hilali tradition. Short resumes of the principal episodes are given. Chapter IV: The style and peculiarities of North African poetry and tales, both in the Middle Ages and the present, are discussed. The first section deals with the fragments recorded in the Muqaddima, and reference is made to the opinions of Ion Khaldun and his contemporaries, A distinction is drawn between the poetry dealing with the narrative and that of individual Hilali poets. The second section deals with modem North African tales and poems. Their literary and other values are considered and comparisons made with the Egyptian sira. The influence of the latter upon the local North African version is examined. Chapter V: A critical study of the style and characteristics of the sira poetry is made. Content and form are discussed, with particular reference to the divergence in method of scansion from that of traditional poetry. The influence of popular folk poems upon some of the poems in the sira is shown. Two new themes are considered in addition to the usual lyrical ones. Three Arabic appendices are also included: A. A revised copy of the Hilali fragments of the Muqaddima. B. A collection of Hilali tales and poetry recorded in North Africa. C. Specimens from various MSS of the sira.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:19

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