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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Adam Talib

Talib, Adam (2013). Topoi and Topography in the Histories of al-Ḥīra. In History and Identity in the Late Antique Near East. Wood, Philip Oxford: Oxford University Press. 123–147.

Author(s) from Durham


This chapter examines the Arabic poetry dealing with the city of Ḥīra in south-west Iraq. Much of this poetry is filled with longing for a fleeting era of glory, when Ḥīra was ruled by its Christian kings. The chapter suggests that much of this material had its origins in the Ḥīra court itself. When this poetic tradition was inherited by Muslim Arabs, it caused them to view the Islamic conquests as a time of loss, as well as victory, and it acted as a reminder of the temporary nature of all political authority.