1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hamadhānī

HAMADHĀNĪ, in full Abū-l Fal Amad ibn ul-Ḥusain ul-Hamadhānī (967–1007), Arabian writer, known as Badiʽ uz-Zamān (the wonder of the age), was born and educated at Hamadhān. In 990 be went to Jorjān, where he remained two years; then passing to Nīshapūr, where he rivalled and surpassed the learned Khwārizmī. After journeying through Khorasan and Sijistān, he finally settled in Herāt under the protection of the vizir of Mahmūd, the Ghaznevid sultan. There he died at the age of forty. He was renowned for a remarkable memory and for fluency of speech, as well as for the purity of his language. He was one of the first to renew the use of rhymed prose both in letters and maqāmas (see Arabia: Literature, section “Belles Lettres”).

His letters were published at Constantinople (1881), and with commentary at Beirut (1890); his maqāmas at Constantinople (1881), and with commentary at Beirut (1889). A good idea of the latter may be obtained from S. de Sacy’s edition of six of the maqāmas with French translation and notes in his Chrestomathie arabe, vol. iii. (2nd ed., Paris, 1827). A specimen of the letters is translated into German in A. von Kremer’s Culturgeschichte des Orients, ii. 470 sqq. (Vienna, 1877).  (G. W. T.)