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Book/Printed Material The One of a Kind.

About this Item


  • The One of a Kind.


  • Abdulmalik ibn Muhammad al-Thaalibi (961--1038 AD, 350--429 AH) was a leading linguist, literary figure, and poet. He was born in the trading and cultural center of Nishapur in Persia (present-day Iran). Yateemet al-dahr (The one of a kind) is the most famous of his more than 80 works. The book is a compilation of biographies of the poets of the time, divided into four main sections, each of which covers a region: the poets of al-Sham (Levant) and its environs; the Buwayhid poets (Western Persia and Iraq); the poets of the mountainous lands of Gorgan and Tabaristan (Persia); and the poets of the Central Asian kingdoms of Khorasan and Transoxiana. Each section is further divided into ten chapters. Typically, Al-Thaalibi traveled to talk to the poets themselves. If this was not possible, he talked to those who knew them or, as a last resort, consulted books about them. He finished the book circa 994 AD, and rewrote it nine years later after it had become widely known. Some 20 years later, he added an appendix updating the biographies and adding new poets, such as Abu Al-Alaa Al-Maari, who had risen to pan-Arab prominence in the years since the first publication. At least five authors later wrote similar versions of the book or added new materials covering new regions, such as Andalusia.


  • Thaʻālibī, ʻAbd al-Malik ibn Muḥammad, 961 or 2-1037 or 8 Author.

Created / Published

  • Cairo : Sawy Press, 1934.


  • -  Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • -  Iraq
  • -  Lebanon--Al-Biqāʻ--Baʻlabakk
  • -  994 to 1014
  • -  Arabic poetry
  • -  Biography
  • -  Poetry
  • -  Poets
  • -  Poets, Arab


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 24 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
  • -  Content in Arabic.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021666173

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

ThaʻĀlibī, ʻAbd Al-Malik Ibn Muḥammad, 961 Or 2-1037 Or 8 Author. The One of a Kind. Cairo: Sawy Press, 1934. Pdf.

APA citation style:

Thaʻālibī, ʻ. A. I. M. (1934) The One of a Kind. Cairo: Sawy Press. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

ThaʻĀlibī, ʻAbd Al-Malik Ibn Muḥammad, 961 Or 2-1037 Or 8 Author. The One of a Kind. Cairo: Sawy Press, 1934. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.