20499131911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 15 — JāḥiẓGriffithes Wheeler Thatcher

JĀḤIẒ (Abū ʽUthmān ʽAmr ibn Bahr ul-Jāḥiẓ; i.e. “the man the pupils of whose eyes are prominent”) (d. 869), Arabian writer. He spent his life and devoted himself in Basra chiefly to the study of polite literature. A Muʽtazilite in his religious beliefs, he developed a system of his own and founded a sect named after him. He was favoured by Ibn uz-Zaiyāt, the vizier of the caliph Wāthiq.

His work, the Kitāb ul-Bayān wat-Tabyīn, a discursive treatise on rhetoric, has been published in two volumes at Cairo (1895). The Kitāb ul-Mahāsin wal-Addād was edited by G. van Vloten as Le Livre des beautés et des antithèses (Leiden, 1898); the Kitāb ul-Bu-halā. Le Livre des avares, ed. by the same (Leiden, 1900); two other smaller works, the Excellences of the Turks and the Superiority in Glory of the Blacks over the Whites, also prepared by the same. The Kitāb ul-Ḥayawān, or “Book of Animals,” a philological and literary, not a scientific, work, was published at Cairo (1906).  (G. W. T.)