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BUHTURI [al-Walid ibn 'Ubaid Allah] (...

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Originally appearing in Volume V04, Page 762 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BUHTURI [al-Walid ibn 'Ubaid Allah] (820-897), Arabian poet, was born at Manbij (Hierapolis) in Syria, between Aleppo and the Euphrates. Like Abu Tammam, he was of the tribe of Tai. While still young, he went to visit Abu Tammam at Horns, and by him was commended to the authorities at Ma'arrat un-Nu'mdn, who gave him a pension of 4000 dirhems (about £90) yearly. Later he went to Bagdad, where he wrote verses in praise of the caliph Motawakkil and of the members of his court. Although long resident in Bagdad he devoted much of his poetry to the praise of Aleppo, and much of his love-poetry is dedicated to Alwa, a maiden of that city. He died at Manbij Hierapolis in 897. His poetry was collected and edited twice in the loth century, arranged in one edition alphabetically (i.e. according to the last consonant in each line); in the other according to subjects. It was published in Constantinople (A.D. 1883). Like Abu Tammam he made a collection of early poems, known as the Hamasa (index of the poems contained in it, in the Journal of the German Oriental Society, vol. 47, pp. 418 if., cf. vol. 45, . PP. iogo Biography in M'G. de Slane's translation of Ibn Khallikan's Biographical Dictionary (Paris and London, 1842), vol. iii. pp. 657 ff. ; and in the Book of Songs (see ABULFARAT), vol. xviii. pp. 167-175. (G. W. T.) BUILDERS' RITES. Many people familiar with the ceremonies attendant on the laying of foundation stones, whether ecclesiastical, masonic or otherwise, may be at a loss to account for the actual origin of the custom in placing within a cavity beneath the stone, a few coins of the realm, newspapers, &c. The ordinary view that by such means particulars may be found of the event on the removal of the stone hereafter, may suffice as respects latter-day motives, but such memorials are deposited in the hope that they will never be disturbed, and so another reason must be found for such an ancient survival. Whilst old customs continue, the reasons for them are ever changing, and certainly this fact applies to laying foundation stones. Originally, it appears that living victims were selected as " a sacrifice to the gods," and especially to ensure the stability of the building. Grimm' remarks "It was often thought necessary to immure live animals and even men in the foundation, on which the structure was to be raised, to secure immovable stability." There is no lack of evidence as to this gruesome practice, both in savage and civilized communities. " The old pagan laid the foundation of his house and fortress in blood."' Under the walls of two round towers in Ireland (the only ones examined) human skeletons have been discovered. In the 15th century, the wall of Holsworthy church was built over a living human being, and when this became unlawful, images of living beings were substituted (Folk-Lore Journal, i. 23-24). The best succinct account of these rites is to be obtained in G. W. Speth's Builders' Rites and Ceremonies (1893). (W. J. H.*)
End of Article: BUHTURI [al-Walid ibn 'Ubaid Allah] (820-897)
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