Hishām ibn al-Kalbi’s Kitāb al-Khayl Cover Image
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Hishām ibn al-Kalbi’s Kitāb al-Khayl
Hishām ibn al-Kalbi’s Kitāb al-Khayl

A Premodern Arabic Pedigree for the Horse?

Author(s): Hylke Hettema
Subject(s): History, Language and Literature Studies, Cultural history, Social history, Middle Ages, 6th to 12th Centuries
Published by: Trivent Publishing
Keywords: Arabic; Ibn al-Kalbi; genealogy; Arab Identity; pedigree; horse
Summary/Abstract: This chapter explores the content of the premodern Arabic document Kitāb al-Khayl and the modes of transmission which resulted in it being frequently referenced in popular narratives of the history of the Arab horse. Contextualising the work shows that it is part of early Islamic reimagining of the past in order to create a history for emerging Arab identity during the early Islamic period. Contrary to the modern idea that this work represents the first Arab horse stud-book, the “Book of Horses” by Hisham ibn al-Kalbi (d.ca. 819 CE) cannot be viewed as evi-dence of an ancient breeding tradition among the Arabs.

  • Page Range: 203-220
  • Page Count: 18
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Language: English