Harvard Semitic Studies 43. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993.
The book provides an overview of the origin of the Arabic alphabet and serves as a reference book on the dating of earlier Arabic manuscripts. It shows the gradual transition of the alphabet from the Nabataean stage (2nd cent. BC), its adoption for the Arabic language and its early Islamic use up to 100 AH / 720 A.D. It contains chronological tables with analysis of the form, placement, connection and diacritical marking of each grapheme and discussion of the development of early Arab scriptures.
London: RoutledgeCurzon 2003. Taschenbuchausgabe, London: Routledge 2010.
The book gives an insight into the panegyric (madīḥ), a text genre that is fundamental to the understanding of the pre-modern society of the Middle East. In their multicultural Arab-speaking environment, poets directed the main part of their verses to rulers, generals, dignitaries, and members of the upper classes, who celebrated, exhorted or threatened the recipient. The Panegyric is investigated by Ibn al-Rūmī (897), who devoted many of his poems to the last pre-emperor of Baghdad. Ibn al-Rūmī's work is suitable for such a study because it addresses the question of literary patronage and creates a self portrayal of the poet and his social position.
Library of Arabic Literature. New York: New York University Press, 2015
The Life and Times of Abū Tammām of the courtier and scholar Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibnYaḥyā al-Şūlī (d. 333 or 336 H / 946 or 947 AD), translated here for the first time into English, offers a convincing plea for "modern poetry" and for Abū Tammām's importance as a poet against the attacks of his critics. At the same time, it draws a lively panorama of the literature business in Baghdad and Samara. Like the poet who defends it, the book is epoch-making: it represents a fundamental step in the development of Arabic poetics and opens a long series of works on innovation in poetry.