There is no study in English on the career of Qaṭarī b. al-Fujā`ah (d. c. 79 AH / 699 AD), poet and final leader of the Azraqite Khārijite sub-sect. However, there are few direct primary sources. This paper critically analyses Sunnite heresiographies, and the most direct Azraqite primary sources extant: their poetry and coins. The investigation demonstrates a shift in the portrayal of Qaṭarī in 8th and 14th Century biographies owing to the influence of literary sources. Additionally, a close reading of Qaṭarī’s poetry offers unexpected insights. Finally, studying Qaṭarī’s coinage challenges the ways Sunnite annals would like us to remember the Azraqites.
This paper aims to understand the social structure of the region of Garhwal during the time of the Parmar dynasty (9th-19th centuries). The social system in Garhwal follows a unique idea of clean and unclean caste. A typical village in the region of Garhwal is divided into Bith or the clean area inhabited by either Brahmins or Rajputs or both. While Domana or the unclean area is occupied by the Shipkars or Dome. Further, within the Brahmins and Rajputs several subdivisions can be observed. This was due to constant immigration of the two groups from rest of the subcontinent after establishment of the Parmar dynasty. The position of an individual in the social system of Garhwal was fluid and was based on proximity with the power rather than the status by birth.
The ‘literalness’ that exuded from beast fables often give an impression of simplicity, which takes away the serious hermeneutic attention that beast fables deserve. Though the targeted audience of these stories were often ‘simple’ (vulgus) people, the narrative aim was itself challenging. The hitopadesha and panchtantra katha, as well as, the beast fables used in medieval grammar schools (compiled later in Disticha Catonis) were, in fact, serving the fundamental purposes of ‘utilitas’ and ‘moralitas’. They employed the use of ancient liberal arts, primarily, ars rhetoric, as aquifers that facilitated the proper percolation of their non-vulgus dogmas. The paper aims to analyse the adaptation of a non-vulgus dogma to a vulgus audience, and in the process, discuss the birth of the beast literature as a ‘vernacular’ genre coming out of this adaptation.