chapter  10
14 Pages

Al-Jå˙iΩ and the Construction of Homosexuality at the Abbasid Court

Al-Jå˙iΩ (d. 246 or 247/868 or 869) was a writer and literary critic who flourished at the Abbasid court in Samarra2 and in literary circles in Baghdad in the midninth century. Although he came from a very modest background himself, his wit and erudition brought him into close contact with the richest and most educated people of his day. He wrote at a time when Abbasid literary culture was dominated by debates about the relative merits of classical pre-Islamic poetry and contemporary verse and the importance of Greek science and philosophy. His own talents were not those of a philosopher or historian but more of a critic and social commentator.3