|All Middle East;|
|This paper investigates the question of legitimacy in al-Andalus by looking at the moment in which the encyclopedic adab anthology of al-‘Iqd, and the Umayyad caliphate of ‘Abd al-Rahman III simultaneously emerged. The politics through which both projects, separately and in relation to one another, inhabit genealogies of eastern traditions constitutes the main area of inquiry. |
The analysis traces the trajectories of cultural elements as they travelled to al-Andalus from eastern centers, to complicate notions of reuse, borrowing and restoration that plot and confirm claims of Arabo-Islamic cultural continuity. Recognizing forms of borrowing as dynamic processes, I show how in the coincidence of the two ventures, a uniquely Andalusi conception of legitimacy can be located and identified.
In assuming an encyclopedic character, I argue, al-'Iqd as an adab anthology ushered new forms of readership that became central in negotiating aspects of Umayyad political power. I further show how through innovating a progressive theory of knowledge that seemingly adheres to broader cultural consensus, al-‘Iqd succeeded in shaping the Umayyad caliphate of al-Andalus.
Through engaging with debates of origins, genealogies and reproduction, the paper hopes to present new opportunities for apprehending legitimacy as a realm of contestation and negotiation.