Hamasah of Abu Tammam

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 227 ms6(O)
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      1 volume, 145ff . Bound volume: 8.5' x 5.75'. Red leather binding, floral stamps and border.

Scope and Content

Hamasah of Abu Tammam, an anthology of early Arabic poems, containing 10 books of poems, with 884 poems in total. Many are part of longer poems, and include satires, love poems, dirges, epic poems, classified by subject.

Copied in 1886, for presentation to William Tweedie. Red and black lettering. In naskhi, Arabic.

Administrative / Biographical History

General William Tweedie (1836-1908) was the son of Rev William King Tweedie, an alumnus of St Andrews University. He served in the Bengal Staff Corps, was Political Resident in Turkish Arabia and H.M.'s Consul-General at Baghdad. He wrote The Arabian Horse, his Country and People, with Portraits of Typical or Famous Arabians and Other Illustrations (1894), a study of the Arabian horse and the Arab people, written while in Baghdad between 1885-1891.

Abu Tammam (804-845) was born near Damascus into a Christian family, and was apprenticed to a weaver. He later travelled to Egypt where he became an accomplished writer of panegyrics at the the court of Al Mutasim, younger son of Harun al-Rashid of the Abbassid dynasty. He continued to travel, in Armenia and Iran, where tradition has it that while snowbound in Hamadan, he used the fine library to compile the important anthology of early Arabic poetry known as the Hamasah. He produced his own diwan on the theme of historical events. He died in Mosul in Northern Iraq.

Access Information

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Part of the Tweedie Collection, catalogued by DM Dunlop.


Call number used to be ms msPJ7641.A1

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.