ʿANBARĪ, ABU’L-ʿABBĀS ESMĀʿĪL B. ʿALĪ B. AL-ṬAYYEB, 4th-5th/10th-11th century poet and prose stylist of Khorasan and statesman in the service of the Qarakhanids. He stemmed from an important family of Bayhaq of Arab origin, the ʿAnbarīān (q.v.), from whom had originated many scholars and traditionists (see the section on them in Ebn Fondoq, Tārīḵ-e Bayhaq, ed. A. Bahmanyār, Tehran, 1317 Š./1938, pp. 119-22). Ebn Fondoq’s particular biographical notice of Abu’l-ʿAbbās states that he acted as vizier to the Ilig Khan in Transoxania for several years (probably Naṣr b. ʿAlī of Bokhara, d. 403/1012-13), but then sought release from his duties and returned to his native Khorasan. Sultan Maḥmūd of Ḡazna attempted to draw him into his own service as vizier, but Abu’l- ʿAbbās refused; he was imprisoned for his recalcitrance and died in jail of poison. He was a prolific poet, leaving behind more than five volumes of verse, and also a dazzling epistolary stylist. His particular fondness for taǰnīs or paronomasia appears from an example quoted by Ebn Fondoq; the latter also mentions a Ketāb al-faraḥ baʿd al-taraḥ, perhaps a specimen of the Faraǰ baʿd al-šedda genre. But it is strange that Ṯaʿālebī has no special entry devoted to him in either his Yatīma or Tatemma. Abu’l-ʿAbbās left behind several talented sons, three of whom served the early Ghaznavids; another member of the family, Abu’l-Ḥasan Aḥmad b. Moḥammad (called Amīrak Bayhaqī) defended the fortress of Termeḏ on Sultan Mawdūd’s behalf against the Saljuqs.
See also Tārīḵ-e Bayhaq, pp. 182-83. Bosworth, Ghaznavids, p. 58.
(C. E. Bosworth)
Originally Published: December 15, 1985
Last Updated: August 3, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 1, p. 6
C. E. Bosworth, “ʿANBARĪ, ABU’L-ʿABBĀS,” Encyclopædia Iranica, II/1, p. 6, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/anbari-abul-abbas-esmail (accessed on 30 December 2012).