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Living Islamic HistoryStudies in Honour of Professor Carole Hillenbrand$
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Yasir Suleiman and Adel Al-Abdul Jader

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637386

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637386.001.0001

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A Barmecide Feast: the Downfall of the Barmakids in Popular Imagination

A Barmecide Feast: the Downfall of the Barmakids in Popular Imagination

Chapter:
(p.92) 7. A Barmecide Feast: the Downfall of the Barmakids in Popular Imagination
Source:
Living Islamic History
Author(s):

Remke Kruk

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637386.003.0007

This chapter discusses the fall of the Barmakids as a recurring narrative in the popular imagination. It examines, from a comparative perspective, the sira sha،biyya from other parts of the literary tradition. The chapter also looks at a set of narratives of the Barmakids’ fall, with the purpose of isolating the similarities and differences they exhibit. Among the narratives it examines are: Sirat al-amira Dhat al-Himma (or Sirat al-Mujahidin); al-Ihtiraz min maka،id al-niswan; and Thousand and One Nights. All of these narratives highlight the interplay of power relations between the caliph Harun al-Rashid, and the Barmakids. The chapter also places emphasis on the fickle nature of power and the elaborate intrigue that so often accompanies politics.

Keywords:   Barmakids, fall, sira sha،biyya, Sirat al-Mujahidin, power relations, Harun al-Rashid, politics

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