Ibn al-Muqaffa

(c. 721 - c. 756)

The son of a tax collector whose hand had been crushed as punishment for embezzlement, Ibn al-Muqaffa was born in Fars around 721 and educated in Basra, where he learned literary Arabic. In his twenties he became secretary for the royal family, a position he retained after the Umayyad Caliphate was overthrown by the Abbasids in 750. His didactic manual on being a ruler, Kitāb ādāb al-kabīr (The Major Work on Secretarial Etiquette), likely written for the son of a caliph, is the only original work attributed to him with certainty; the remainder of his work consists of Arabic translations of Persian folktales and chronicles. 

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